by Martyn Paterson
Chartered Financial Planner
Winner of the 2020 Australian Open, and another 16 other Grand Slam titles to boot, Novak Djokovic, said, “Coaches are very important to players. They’re people that are mentors, people that are advising them, people that should be their friends and somebody you can rely on.”
We may not all be Grand Slam winners, but everyone needs that ‘someone’ at their side to guide and support them, the professional golfer with his trusted caddy, the elite athlete with their coach, a mentor at work, a tutor when studying or that good friend who’s always there – relationships that in many cases last a long time. Financial advice is no different. Great advisers do great work for their clients. The right adviser will be someone you can rely on to get you financially ‘match fit’. They will have attributes that you can identify with and should look for:
Purposeful - your adviser should have a clear mission to serve you and help you reach your goals.
Honesty - great advisers communicate essential truths about money and investing giving you realistic expectations about your financial future.
Good listeners - they will listen more than they talk, the old adage that you have two ears and one mouth, use them in those proportions, is very true.
Personally inquisitive - a great adviser will work hard to uncover what is truly meaningful to you.
Disciplined - effective advisers know the importance of preparing you to navigate changing markets and apply discipline at crucial times.
Empathetic - empathetic advisers put themselves in your shoes and work to understand what matters most to you.
A combination of these attributes can lead to you having a more enjoyable and promising financial journey but your adviser also needs to have up-to-date knowledge, the ability to apply new methods and to identify your objectives, risk approach and return expectations. This insight informs more advanced financial planning and investment approaches.
New technologies and research used by your adviser should help you understand the probability of outcomes. Cashflow modelling has become the norm to demonstrate investment and budgeting strategies.
A financial adviser should collaborate with other professionals on your behalf to manage the multiple aspects of your finances. A good adviser will take a central role in coordinating the services of others such as legal advisers or accountants.
Investment advice has evolved into comprehensive wealth management, encompassing a broader range of services rather than simple fund selection. Advisers should gear your financial plan to your individual circumstances and objectives.
Advisers once had limited fund choices for building global portfolios but improved access to global markets enables broader portfolio diversification. Today, they can work with fund managers offering diversified, value-added access to developed and emerging markets.
Average fund expense ratios have fallen. The market’s information-processing power works against high cost fund managers, who struggle to outperform through stock picking and market timing. Investors increasingly favour lower-cost, transparent investment approaches
When you’re looking for the right adviser, these pointers should give you a good starting point to make sure you find someone who is focused on delivering a great client experience – somebody you can rely on.