Does your financial adviser understand your needs and values?

Does the work you do with your adviser centre purely around your money or is it so much more encompassing than that?

When my client and I work together it’s really important to me that I’m working with my client as a person, helping her achieve her goals and aims, rather than working with her money.

Providing advice as to what funds to invest in doesn’t sound very inspiring to me. Yes, its part of our role and needs to be covered. But me understanding what my client’s goals, priorities and objectives are, and what’s really important to her are much more exciting. And then getting her finances in place to achieve this, is what really lights me up. This provides a deeper, more meaningful service for her. Financial planning at it’s best.

Money on its own is of limited value. It’s the lifestyle you can afford as a result of your money that’s important.

Yes, there are certainly some people, for whom their main objective is to grow as much wealth as possible as quickly as possible. But that type of person would never be a good client for me, and I would certainly not be the right adviser for her.

My client has goals she wants to achieve, both big and small, and recognises that in certain instances, money can help her move towards them.

It’s often been said that looking at how you spend your money will show a great deal about your values.

If you value health and fitness, you probably spend a lot of money covering things like gym membership, tennis club, sportswear, nutritional supplements, personal trainer etc.

If you value adventure you probably spend the majority of your money on holidays: whether that’s to overseas far flung resorts or wild camping in the UK.

There is no one size fits all for how much money we need in retirement. If your sense of adventure needs overseas holidays to far flung places you will need more money than someone whose sense of adventure centres around camping holidays in the UK.

It’s important for your adviser to understand your values and needs in relation to your wealth so they can help you to meet these.

For someone whose value centres around gifting to charities, or to other family members, it’s important to understand whether she wants the gifts to happen regularly throughout her life or whether she wants to gift lump sums in her will. Understanding this is vital to planning how to withdraw funds from your portfolio.

Does she want to spend all that she needs to meet her lifestyle choice and then whatever is left goes to family, friends and charities. Or is it important to her that gifting takes priority and she spends what is left? Depending on which is right for her, there is a different approach her adviser needs to take.

If someone values luxurious experiences, she may prefer to have fewer, but luxurious holidays rather than a larger number of more modest spending.

The options as to what to do with your money are probably limitless. But there will be only very few options which are absolutely right for you.

When our adviser understands exactly what our values are and what’s important to us, they can ask the relevant questions to design a plan that’s relevant and fully bespoke.

One person’s financial plan should look very different to a financial plan for another client with the same amount of money, but different needs and values. The plan must centre around the client, not around the money.

If your adviser hasn’t asked you these types of deep, probing questions consider how good a service your adviser is offering. Is this the service you need to ensure your money is working to help you achieve what you want?

Don’t leave it to chance. You’ve heard the saying: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Your plan is more than just how much money do you have. It’s about exactly what it is you want to do with your money to ensure it meets your needs and values.

If you would like a no obligation confidential phone call to discuss your circumstances, please contact me on 020 7117 2628 or email [email protected].

Working with an adviser is so much more than just stating specifics about your money. And if you’re not sure what that means, let’s talk so you understand what questions I ask.