The evolution of financial advice
Money is a means to an end, rather than the end itself. It is what we can do with money that is important, yet many financial advisers seem to focus entirely on the means rather than the end.
Most advisers are comfortable talking about products like pensions, investments or financially based problems. They are however, often less comfortable having conversations that engage clients like you in an emotional way about what matters most to them in life, and so they avoid having them.
There is a new breed of adviser that is prepared to challenge the status quo and move to the next stage in the development of financial life planning.
At Callisto, we believe there are three levels of financial adviser acting in the UK:
Product and investment centred. Such advisers tend to home in on a specific area and will sell a client another product to add to a long list. The relationship is often about them and what they want, and is based on taking.
Problem and solution centred. This is about identifying financial issues for a client and providing answers and solutions to their financial issues. It meets the needs of the client as well as the adviser and is a relationship based on give and take.
Client centred. At level three the relationship is totally focussed upon meeting the needs of the client – you. It is a relationship based on giving.
Historically, the financial services business has attracted some criticism, because in many instances advisers have failed to put the best interests of the client first.
At first glance it can make sense for relationships to exist at level two, as both parties are getting their needs met, and many adviser and client relationships are on this level. However, these kinds of relationships are transactional in nature, and can fall short of the potential, which can only be fulfilled within a level three relationship. A level three relationship must be only be about you, the client and can only be completely transparent.
When meeting new clients at Callisto we have no agenda other than to connect with and deeply understand our clients, because we know that this is the foundation of a productive long-term relationship. We are able to perform several roles for our clients. We are long-term planners, are able to encourage good long-term habits and also hold our clients accountable.
We take time to uncover your values, goals, key relationships, your interests, your assets, advisers and your engagement with our process.
We then assess your current investments and see if they match. If they do we will tell you and work with you to ensure that you reach your goals with an acceptable level of risk. If they don’t match up with your goals, we will suggest an alternative.
We will always focus our efforts on establishing your goals, crafting a long-term financial life plan, and funding this plan with a long-term portfolio. We coach our clients and continue to work through the plan through the inevitable cycles of the economy, including the fad and fears of the market. We never provide market commentary, forecasts, or interpretation of current economic events; advise our clients to try to time the market by calling the tops or the bottoms; or try to identify top performing investments in advance.
At Callisto we always put our client’s best interests first. We sit on the same side of the table as our clients and are open and transparent in everything we do.