Jeannie Boyle talks making the link between money and emotions before taking the stage at the Money Marketing Interactive conference in April.
What is the most encouraging advice market trend you are seeing at the moment?
We are seeing more investors looking to align their portfolios to their values. Advisers are now more willing to engage with these investors rather than dismissing this style of investing because of performance concerns.
What one word or phrase do you think sums up the state of the financial planning profession today?
Purposeful. We know that financial planning can have a positive impact on our clients’ lives and we have many fantastic advocates of this showing that a transparent, high quality service to clients can be delivered. Many business owners are now reflecting on their own or their businesses’ purpose, beyond simply generating profit.
What are the keys to winning over more consumers to start seeking advice?
As a profession we need to be more inclusive and cater for more than just affluent individuals.
From my experience, its clear people value human interaction, often alongside the ability to self-serve online. The challenge and opportunity is to use technology to deliver an ongoing hybrid direct to consumer/advice service that provides help with straightforward investment decisions and provides advice when financial lives get more complex.
How important do you think coaching and life planning are to a modern advice business?
For me, life planning is critical to engaging a client in their own financial future. These sessions can lead to something that approaches a ‘coaching’ conversation. Their connection between money and emotions run deep – many of my most meaningful conversations with clients are around their feeling about money rather than their portfolio. Being secure in your finances is an essential part of wellbeing generally. Money is the cause of so much stress. Life planning is about removing some of the anxiety.
I can definitely see more planners adding coaching to their range of soft skills as we move forward, but I’m nervous about people describing themselves as coaches without any relevant training.
What should we be doing to get more new advisers into the profession?
There is a need for newcomers and experienced advisers. We’ve set up an initiative for individuals in their 40s who are looking to change careers. They have life knowledge, as well as other valuable experience such as interpersonal skills.
At the other end of the scale we recruit graduates from the Spear programme (6 to date, more on the way) making their first steps in the working world.
What do you think marks out a truly innovative planning practice today?
Since the launch of EQ Investors in late 2014, we have invested heavily in our technology tools. Our overarching goal is to use our in-house technology to empower human interactions that remain central to the client/EQ relationship.
The vast majority of clients need personal relationship with our chartered planners to get through the delicate and taxing process of evaluating their financial situations and planning for the future. But we firmly believe that technology can enhance the depth of insight they can provide.