The Seven Faces of Valued Advice

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What is the value of great advice?

For advisers who have perceived their value to clients as the ability to deliver positive returns year after year or be accurate forecasters of markets, they will be finding it hard to enunciate their value proposition in this complex age we live in.

But there is another group who understand that the value they bring is not dependent on the state of markets. Indeed, their value can be even more evident when markets are down and fear is running high.

The best of these advisers play multiple and nuanced roles with their clients, depending on the stage of the relationship, and are amply rewarded for the manifest skills they bring to the table.

While some may quibble over the exact characterisation, broadly these functions break down to seven important roles that evolve over time:

The Expert

Now, more than ever, investors need advisers who can provide client-centred expertise in assessing the state of their finances and developing risk-aware strategies to help them meet their goals.

The Fiduciary

As a professional fiduciary, advisers can be trusted to put their clients’ best interests first.

The Educator

Getting clients beyond the fear-and-flight phase often is just a matter of teaching them about risk and return, the power of diversification, the importance of asset allocation and the virtue of discipline.

The Architect

Once these lessons are understood, the adviser becomes an architect, helping clients to build a long-term wealth management strategy that lines up with their deepest held values around money.

The Coach

Even when the strategy is in place, doubts and fears will inevitably arise. The noise of the media may also influence new ideas in the client’s mind. A great adviser continues to provide coaching to assist people to continue to make smart financial decisions while reinforcing first principles and keeping the client on track.

The Guardian

Beyond these early experiences is a long-term role for the adviser as a kind of lighthouse keeper or guardian, scanning the horizon for issues that may affect the client and keeping them informed.

The Friend

Generally, the relationship between adviser and client is a long-term one. A great adviser will generally care for their client’s overall wellbeing not just their money.

These are the seven faces of great advice and, when properly applied, become a testimony to the fact that the value of a great financial adviser extends well beyond the writing of a simple financial plan.

Stephen Lowry (CFP Professional, DFP, FAIM, AIF) is a representative of Alman Partners Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence No: 222107.

Note: Any information provided to you was purely factual in nature. It has not been taken into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. The information is objectively ascertainable and is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. This does not constitute financial product advice under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). It is recommended that you obtain financial product advice before making any decision on a financial product such as a decision to purchase or invest in a financial product. Please contact us if you would like to obtain financial product advice.