Compliance, From the Client’s Perspective

Does the word “compliance” send chills down your spine? I get the sense that “compliance” is still seen as this thing that makes, what would otherwise be a rather engaging experience between advisor and client, become a bureaucratic series of forms, signatures and fine print. And I think that to a large degree, that’s still...Continue reading

Choosing a Financial Planning Tool

Is choosing a financial planning tool a straightforward process? I’ve been on the choosing end of a financial planning tool on more than one occasion in my life, enough to know it’s not as simple as it seems. I’ve had the experience, both as a corporate buyer on behalf of advisors, but also, as an...Continue reading

Client Engagement “201”

Is “Client Engagement” the new buzzword?  It strikes me as a word that we all use a lot but actually have very different pictures in our heads of what it means. On one end of the spectrum, it’s hard not to do “client engagement.” With a quote in the briefcase and some quirps about the...Continue reading

Complex Estates are Hard

It’s a tough task helping clients to connect with the complexity of their money, especially as wealth and the number of associated structures increases. If that’s true, it also means that clients don’t really understand the value that we’re adding to their lives. They’re still clients though, probably, for other reasons. Ever wonder what those...Continue reading


Behavioural economics has helped us to understand that we’re not actually the “rational” beings that we like to think we are. We now recognise that we make decisions and behave in a way that is anything but rational – we’re biased in how we see the world and a whole bunch more emotional than we...Continue reading

Help Your Clients See the BIG PICTURE

We have to point clients in the right direction to take their next step, in the context of their destination. If they’re on a road-trip to Zanzibar, let’s help them get out of Cape Town first. Once they’ve reached Worcester we can help them with the next step. Instead, it feels like we’re intent on...Continue reading

Don’t Throw the Kitchen Sink at Clients

“Financial Planning” is the business of moving people toward “financial happiness”. I sometimes get the feeling that we’re in the business of “administering product”, “financial analysis”, “asset management”, “data management”, or one of any number of operational things we do in the background. These may be some of the tools that qualify “HOW” we move...Continue reading

What do Clients Want?

Financial Advisors struggle to show clients that there is value in the stuff we do for them. The consequence is that clients are completely indifferent to the services we offer and extremely price sensitive, at best. So, how do we stand out, change our perception as a “grudge purchase?” How do we get clients to...Continue reading

Clients Just Don’t Care

Is it just me, or do clients in general just not really care as much as planners do about their own financial wellbeing? Having put myself out there as a planner, I know how difficult it is to convince clients that it’s important to take an interest in the status of money in their lives,...Continue reading

What’s your Pinky Promise?

My daughters commit me to pinky promises, a challenge, no doubt faced by many parents. I accept these invitations reluctantly knowing the weight of expectation that it carries. Should the outcome not correspond exactly with the idea my girls had in their heads, I set the stage for disaster. The repercussions range from floor-stomping, demon-infested...Continue reading

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