The low interest rate environment created and sustained by governments and central banks around the world post the 2008 credit crunch has seen asset prices steadily rise.
Clients of many advisers have seen their portfolios and house prices rise and rise – despite the Covid mini crash.
Against this backdrop it would not be surprising if many clients were not very happy with their adviser and the value of advice that has been provided.
No one can know what the future holds, but there is at least the risk that any change in the direction of interest rates will negatively impact asset values.
Many advisers do an excellent job of explaining in detail the risks of investing, and in preparing clients for a time of market falls. But it is still human nature to value the advice in a rising market and to question it when values fall.
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
The above quote is attributed to John F. Kennedy (State of the Union Address, 11 January 1962) and refers to the fact that the good times are the best times to prepare for what might be less good ahead.
There are many areas where advisers add value – simply explaining the ups and downs of markets is just one of them, even though many companies admit they could improve the way they communicate their value.
Perhaps now is a great time to remind your clients of your value, and indeed to develop a process to regularly remind clients of the many areas in which you add value to them.
There are many different areas of financial planning where advisers can add value, below are six of them with a couple of snippets that illustrate this value and could be used by advisers with their clients:
Goals and planning
• When Alice, in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, asks the Cheshire Cat: “Would you tell me, please which way I ought to go from here?”, the Cat replies: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to”. It is the same for all of us – the first stage in achieving your long-term financial goals is to have clarity of what they are.
This is a key area of our expertise. We can help discuss, work out and agree a detailed and realistic plan for your financial future. We ask you questions in a relaxed but structured way. We help you understand risks and opportunities and we build a clear plan for your future. Without a long-term plan your finances are unlikely to head in the right direction. Our job is to give you confidence in the future.
Most people find it hard (or impossible) to project returns, costs, inflation and their income needs into the future. We use powerful but simple cash flow tools that will illustrate this for you. Seeing a picture of your future 'money in and money out' can really put into perspective how your plan is progressing.