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Planning stage

Life planning has a pivotal part to play in the advice process

Stepping down as managing director of Helm Godfrey was a huge decision and not one I took lightly. However, it has given me the opportunity to take a short time away from business and reaffirm my belief that life planning has a pivotal part to play in the adviser industry.

Life planning, which aims to help consumers make decision about their money driven solely by their most profound life goals, is still very much in its infancy and is not yet being fully embraced by the entire adviser community.

This does not trouble me too much as any new innovation can take a while to catch on but as we saw with the rise of the new model adviser, life planning is set to become an integral part of the industry. And it appears to have become even more important to me now that I have been able to take a step back and reflect.

Financial life planning works on the fundamental principle that better decisions are made about money when taken from a perspective of life rather than how much money you have.

Indeed, in some consultations, a client’s money and what they want to do with it is not even discussed. Rather, the focus is on how they can go about achieving their key goals.

In my opinion, this has never been more important. The political landscape has changed radically over the past year and is still continuing to evolve. Similarly, the economic recovery has not progressed at the steady rate many were hoping, causing uncertainty about the future.

All this has prompted people to reassess what is truly important to them. Most people are capable of achieving a more fulfilled life than they could have imagined and in most cases this has very little to do with how much money they have.

I have said before that I believe life planning is something which will have a big part to play in the successful future of the industry.

We are starting to notice a discernible shift away from the importance of money for money’s sake towards the importance of quality of life and that is exactly what I am focusing my energy on.

So while I have enjoyed my brief hiatus, I have returned more eager than ever to help facilitate this change in the industry and put life planning at the heart of the advising process.

Bruce Wilson is non-executive director of Nucleus

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