Financial coaching helps mass market consumers
Financial coaching helps people understand money and finance and can even work in partnership with IFAs, Simonne Gnessen founder of Wise Monkey Financial Coaching, has said.
Ms Gnessen, an IFA turned-financial coach, offers her clients guidance and support on their money and finances without selling products or giving regulated financial advice.
Ms Gnessen said: “I stepped away from the IFA industry just over 10 years ago because I felt there was a need for guidance with money but not on products. The industry has become too focused on high-net worth clients and is forgetting about the little people.”
She said millions of people in the so-called ‘squeezed middle’ are not being looked after, despite needing help with their finances.
They might feel intimidated by financial services or may not trust an industry that has been riddled with scandals in recent years
Ms Gnessen explained that for a modest fee of up to £85 an hour, she helps her clients manage their money more effectively and “demystifies” the world of finance by educating them about things such as investments and pensions.
She said: “With the retail distribution review coming many IFAs are not interested in mass market clients who don’t have a lot of money. They might be earning a lot, but have nothing saved so won’t get a look in.
“It won’t be long before good quality advice will only be accessible to a small proportion of consumers who can afford to pay significant fees or who have large sums of money to invest.
“There are millions who need financial coaching and I’ve pitched at a lower price than IFAs, it’s not affordable for everyone but more affordable for more people.”
As a registered life planner, Ms Gnessen also integrates this into the coaching sessions.
She explained: “I help people articulate their most profound goals in life and then we look at what how to create the financial architecture to make those goals happen.
“I work on a practical level but also on an emotional level. It’s also about behaviour, attitude, beliefs and mindset around money.
“I talk about diversification, asset allocation, pensions, funds, what it all means. I do cashflow projections and can help those nearing retirement understand the idea of tax free cash and the open market option to help them evaluate their situation.”
Ms Gnessen is clear that she doesn’t offer regulated financial advice and has taken expert advice from Grant Thornton to determine what she can and can’t do.
For instance, she can offer advice on strategy and money management systems, but not on where a clients wants to put his money.
And although she isn’t able to recommend specific IFAs, Ms Gnesesen can show clients how to find a good adviser and tells them what questions to ask, explains what professional standards are and the kinds of products that might be recommended.
That way, a client can go to an IFA and feel more confident about what to expect.
- Herne urges IFAs to develop business skills
- Glassey to target IFAs with life coaching service
- 'Life coaching can help to prepare for RDR'