One of the most common concerns I hear when a new client comes to speak to me is this: “I’ve come to you because I don’t understand what all these figures and projections from my adviser mean”. The problem, invariably, is that their previous adviser has not taken the time to explain – in layman’s terms – the details of the plans they have put in place for their client. That isn’t to say that the plans themselves are poor ones… but if someone doesn’t have a firm grasp on where their money is going and what it means for their future life, then the job is only half done, in my opinion.
When I have my car repaired at the garage, I expect the mechanic to explain – in words that I can understand – what he’s done and why. That way I’m not only happy to pay the bill… but I also I feel confident that my car isn’t going to break down the next time I drive it. Knowledge is power, and if a client feels confident that they understand where their investment savings schedule is taking them, then they can relax and get on with their lives.
Equally, they should be given enough information so they can ask for changes to be made if they aren’t happy. I often refer to a “lightbulb moment” with a client… the look in their eyes when I explain why I’m giving them the advice that has come out of a long conversation about their hopes, concerns and aspirations. They’ve told you where they want to get to… and you’ve just given them a roadmap of how to get there.