When I started financial planning 25 years ago, I quickly learnt that there were many significant flaws in the industry. During your working lives, you may have either experienced or witnessed some of these pitfalls.
The first is that most clients deal with an individual advisor who represents a bigger business or themselves, but who approach planning in their own way. I believe that dealing with one person compromises you and your family’s financial wellbeing.
I recall my father getting advice on different occasions from two people representing the same company: their advice was completely different. I remember seeing another client who received a letter in the post informing them that their advisor was emigrating. Where does it leave the client in each instance? The greatest risk to your finances is a new advisor changing your investments to suit him.
Considering this very real problem, when we set out to build our company, we decided that Chartered Wealth Solutions would have an offering and advice process followed by everyone who worked here, ensuring consistency of advice. It was also essential for our Planners to have an associate with them in meetings so that at least two people were aware of clients’ family circumstances and finances.
It is important that our clients deal with specialists. In my first eight years in the industry, as a generalist, I offered advice across the full spectrum of financial services: retirement funds, medical aids, life assurance, and investments. As the industry became more complex, we realised that the general practitioner days were limited – being the best at everything was impossible. I equate this to a General Practitioner versus a Specialist in the medical field: if you need heart surgery, you are unlikely to consult your GP.
Chartered ensures that at every point of the advice process you deal with a specialist: a team only advising on medical aids; a team of lawyers who only write Wills, with a specialist executor winding up estates; dedicated specialists in assurance with a thorough understanding of this complex industry. Our RetiremeantTM specialists are highly trained, all with honours degrees in Financial Planning who not only understand RetiremeantTM but who also recognise when to involve another specialist in your planning – our team of tax specialists at Chartered Tax is an example. We have worked hard to build a business offering consistency of advice, where a team of specialists takes care of you and your family’s financial planning needs. We encourage our clients to form trusted relationships with our specialists, knowing that we can be true custodians of your RetiremeantTM.
I am often cautious to share much from Chartered’s behind-the-scenes, but following a recent forum where clients shared their experiences of Chartered, I realised that much goes on that clients should know. For many years we have been working on Chartered Invest, a business responsible for the implementation of your investments. This is because there is often a blurring between advice and implementation and, though inextricably linked, these are two distinct functions.
Two exciting outcomes are, firstly, the vastly improved reporting, simplifying your affairs and placing all your investments on one statement (not the variety from a few providers you may be receiving currently); and, secondly, the Chartered App. This will give you access to your new statements and Chartered newsletters and invitations. We will share more in the months ahead about this new offering.
You can read John Campbell’s article on the SA elections by clicking here.