A recent FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) report (mainly centred around the issues of a standardised fact-find -the gathering of client information), ‘acknowledged’ that the length of the fact-find process can act as a potential barrier to the consumer seeking advice.
What the report does not say is how long this lengthy, arduous task of explaining what are the most important things in your life and how they may impact on your financial outlook for the rest of your life actually takes.
Back in the day (1990s & early years of the 2000s) many financial ‘advisers’ had the whole process off to such a slick practise, that they could meet a client for the first time, complete the compliance work, the fact find, sell some products and complete the paper-work all in the space of under 90 minutes. Of course, this was officially frowned upon by the compliance department, but the Sales Managers loved us for doing this. Yes, incredibly, in such a short time, we managed to solve the clients financial issues (or so we thought) – history shows us otherwise (take the Scottish ~Widows Extra Income and Growth Plan which cost Lloyds TSB millions in compensation for example).
Roll forwards almost 20 years, and Registered Life Planners (RLP) take around 6 -8 hours to work with clients to figure out what are the most important things to them, and start to build a Financial Life Plan together, which reflects what they really want.
Of course, along the way there is plenty of financial information gathering, but that is not something which gets in the way – it is all done with ease and grace, not a mad dash to complete it in 30 minutes – or even worse, burden the clients by asking many seemingly mundane questions during our time together.
Rather than guessing what may be important by rushing thought it, we take our time to get it right. Clients love the fact that more time is spent with them to focus on their lives, their needs, their ambitions and their future. That’s why we call it Financial Life Planning.