To state the obvious, we are dealing with incredibly tough and strange times and it is easy to watch the news each day with a sense of despair.
It is therefore a pleasure to take a small respite and thumb through our recently published Responsible Business Report and look at some of the fantastic things achieved over the past year.
The report explores how Quilter’s Shared Prosperity Plan has helped to create sustainable futures for its customers, colleagues, shareholders and the wider communities it serves.
It measures this impact by looking at a range of areas such as how the business has improved the financial well-being of the people Quilter serves.
One of the metrics used, which is close to my heart, is the number of fully fledged financial advisers who have graduated from our school and we are proud that there has been a 19 per cent increase in 2019, with 74 students graduating as financial advisers entering both our network and the wider market.
The thought process behind using this metric is if we are getting more financial advisers into the profession, then we are helping make financial advice more accessible and, in turn, helping more people unlock the value of financial advice.
In the current climate many clients are seeing just how beneficial that advice is.
Advisers across the country are having conversations with clients experiencing a whole host of differing emotions, depending on their mindset.
Some view recent market falls as a buying opportunity, while others are so concerned, they wish to sell all their investments.
Clearly, investments are medium to long-term.
Unless clients are in desperate need of their money, riding out the storm rather than ‘cutting and running’, will dominate adviser/client conversations.
If these clients were unadvised they may have been, and continue to be, more susceptible to panic-selling.
After seeing a significant drop in the market, it is understandable, but all they would be doing is crystallising their losses.
Financial advisers have a critically important role to play in helping to coach their clients in financial matters, ensuring they do not give in to their natural human instincts, avoiding reactions their future selves would come to regret.
Scott Stevens is head of adviser recruitment and development for Quilter Financial Advisers