by Tony Vidler
As our professional world gets more complex, and advisers increasingly specialise in highly technical areas and only deal with one element of a consumers needs, there does seem to be an increasing tendency for many individual advisers to move away from holistic and strategic conversations with clients that is focussed on the basic objectives that matter most.
There is no doubt that professional advisers are having MORE conversations with clients that are quite strategic in nature to begin with, but often with very limited parameters. Investment advisers or financial planners are generally excellent at managing strategic discussion around a clients investment objectives and portfolio design. Risk management professionals are usually excellent at providing a strategic overview of the broader risks a client may face, and considering broad strategies (beyond merely transferring via insurance products) to avoid, retain or mitigate risks.
For the majority of consumers the financial planning process is an extraordinary, long and complex process. When they are engaging in that process with a number of highly proficient technical experts specialising in aspects of financial planning then it appears even more complex to the consumers.
Something which does help bring a degree of simplicity the complex process, and positions individual specialists and their roles within that process, is for both professionals to use the same visual to describe how their roles work together.
A great example is the following visual to describe how cash management, insurance, and retirement planning work together to address typical lifestyle needs:
Two advisers with different areas of expertise – say investment planning and risk management – can both be using the same visual to describe their respective areas to a client, and how those respective areas work together.
For todays professionals who are finding themselves specialising in a particular discipline, and working with other professionals who are doing the same, creating common visuals that show the interaction of the respective disciplines can be an excellent way of presenting how the professional collaboration works to achieve the clients objectives.