If financial advisers keep doing things the "old way" - which is to gather facts about clients finances and then make some recommendations  - how do they know what they recommend is definitely right for the client? 

Unless WE as adviser/client have each first taken the time to truly drill down and understand what's really important to the client, Isn't the adviser just guessing what's really important? And isn't the client merely hoping it all works out for the best? 

Do you want an 'adviser' to guess what's really important for you? 

Or do you want somebody to take the time to ask questions and listen to understand WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU - and then help you get there? To work with you to overcome any obstacles you need help with? 

In short, the new paradigm in financial advice should be Goals, Plan, Implement. 

If we don't do it the "New Way", frankly, who knows what's best? 

You, our client might need a lot more money than you currently think you do to retire comfortably.  

You also might require a lot less money than you think you do. 

How much do you need to sell your business for? I have no idea until we work out your cost of your dream lifestyle in retirement. 

Only when a proper adviser has taken the time to understand what's REALLY important to you, can the cost of your lifestyle and goals be accurately quantified, with advice that follows being linked to the best interests of you the client. 

It sounds so obvious, so why does 99.99% of the financial services industry lead with product features (tax saving, investment performance)? This stuffs obviously really important. But it shouldn't be the lead value proposition of a trusted adviser who - like all advisers claim - cares about their clients. It is just the bread and butter of a professional. 

With us, somebody's really listening. Which is the difference? 

As such, we have a degree of insight that  99.99% of other 'advisers' don't have. 

Why don't more advisors take the time and have the skill to just listen? 

Is it because Most advisers are in it for themselves? Yes - and so are we, because let's be honest if we weren't, we would just run the business pro-bono. 

So it must come back to values. Personal and business values. 

We put the client first, not ourselves. This is driven by our values of sharing, integrity, and being passionate about the work we do. 

I ask you, "what would you regret if you were going to die tonight?"

This is a very different question to "where do you want to be in 5 years time?"

"Go to bed tonight, lying there with your head on the pillow, not going to wake up again, what do you regret?" 

These may appear difficult questions. But for us, life is about having no regrets. So we better be prepared to challenge and ask difficult questions of our clients because in our experience great is never usually easy. But it can be with just a little help from our friends. 

If you want to have a Financial Life Planning Session please feel free to drop me an email on robert@wilcocksandwilcocks.co.uk or visit www.wilcocksandwilcocks.co.uk for more info. 

This post was Inspired by a chat with my fellow Financial Life Planner (and one of the 0.01%), Jeremy Squibb.