It is that time of the year, we are the next on the list for that all-important oversight of the quality of our advice. Questions abound, every client file has over 100 probing questions applied to it! Will we ever get it completely right? No, but with a great compliance team we learn from every audit and get better all the time.

The most important question across every client file… “was the advice given, in the client’s best interest?”

Well, advice begins with the first meeting and ends with what is seen in the Statement of Advice; so that makes me consider carefully the outcome of every meeting, every phone call, every written letter, not just the final advice document. Have I listened to what the client really wants, have I encapsulated this in the final recommendations, have I shown clearly the path to achieving the clients’ goals?  Have I made sure the client understands the outcome of each meeting and then most importantly will they understand the written advice?

Research shows me that over 40% of investors do not clearly understand their written advice, how I want to change this. Often the complexity and the unfamiliar financial language used alarms and confuses and, as a result, the investor does not like to ask for further clarification. What is in ‘my client’s best interest’ is to start with the fact that the money being invested is theirs, not mine. I therefore need to talk in the client’s language, I need to take whatever steps are required to make sure they understand every step we take together.  And finally, I need to make sure they understand the recommendations with sufficient clarity that they can provide me with informed consent to the implementation of my advice.

All of this is no easy task, but that is why the investor comes to us. The joy for me, is seeing a new client grasp the knowledge we impart and take this to use in other areas of their life, to have them participate fully in our financial journey together.

So, next week is our week for an Audit. I know I am going to sit down at the end of the week to be shown how I could do some things better, that is part of my education.

In my office we have a team of skills, we blend our knowledge to provide holistic advice.  Today a couple attended the office, how proud I was that we could bring all of our skills to the table for this couple: Alex Denham discussing Jim’s SMSF strategies, Catriona Sgouros reducing the enormous stress coming from Jane’s family’s decision to place a brother into care, while I assisted with their succession planning and investment strategies. They came looking stressed and left feeling as though they could cope with what was ahead of them. That is why we are advisers.

Eleanor Dartnall (AR 285743), & Focus Wealth Advisers Pty Ltd (AR 299568) are Authorised Representatives of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ▪ ABN 54 086 266 202 ▪ AFSL 221557 ▪

General Advice Disclaimer:  This information is of a general nature only and has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should consider whether the information is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation and needs.