‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’
Many sceptics of life planning question its ability to generate assets under management (AUM). I disagree: there are studies supporting more rapid and substantial AUM, closings, referrals and business value with much stickier clients, meaning more sustainable, low-risk recurring revenue.
Through the EVOKE process, created by the Kinder Institute with whom I have trained, the client becomes attached to the life and financial planning process and develops a stronger bond with their financial planner.
In the early days the Institute reached out to mid-market advisers, believing it to be the quickest way to brand the concept. The fact many life planning firms now are mid-market advisers with relatively low AUM does not mean life planning is suited only to small firms or that it somehow limits the growth of assets, although it has been falsely interpreted in that way.
Bringing reassurance into client relationships
Our industry should not be scared of client relationship business. Truth is, as consumers see the choice, they will not go to advisers who do not have great client skills. Why would they?
An example: Tony and Sue had net investable assets in excess of £500,000 and were both retired, aged over 70. They were both in receipt of a pension, but they were concerned about whether they had sufficient financial assets and resources to meet their planned retirement lifestyle and possible care costs. They were reluctant to spend their money for fear of having insufficient funds in the future, so they were not living the lifestyle they could have afforded to enjoy.
Life planning, along with cashflow modelling, helped the couple to become more comfortable spending their money and reassured them they could afford to spend. The process also helped them accept that spending their money was the right thing to do and that they should simply go on and do it.
Chris Mellor is financial life planning director at Succession Group