‘The Times, They Are A-Changin’

By Ray Jaramis

Time goes on, and with it comes improvement and the need for change. For the financial services industry this means the days are numbered where a value proposition can be articulated by picking the next best stock and aiming to deliver alpha in our clients portfolios.

In the modern age of technology becoming ever integrated with advice, the thought leaders are irrefutably adopting the benefits of FinTech to add value to clients.

Advisers need to take a long hard look in the mirror and redefine what it is they are doing for clients, and be clear that what it is they are doing isn’t easily replicated by a savvy algorithm.

My mentor and I sat down recently to have this discussion as I came to a crossroad in my own professional development.

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is considered by most as the highest academic level and most prestigious education an adviser can attain.

To CFP, or not to CFP?

During the discussion with my mentor, we considered what it is we actually do with our clients. As advisors, we educate, council, coach and guide. We are the impartial third party in the family who gives everyone a bit of a sanity check when a significant financial question is being asked.

None of these skills are being taught by further education providers in Financial Services. In order to become relevant, adviser education should not only reflect clients’ financial interests but also their broader goals and aspirations.

The best advisors work with their clients by making sound financial decisions through honest conversations about what is the family are working towards. A financial strategy without considering emotional dynamic and the behavioural biases simply makes no sense, and ultimately delivers the client a poor outcome.

With all of this in mind, my mentor and I looked outside the box to see if we couldn’t find a degree that was more aligned to what it is that we do.

With my full appreciation of the support from management at Treysta, I am now nearing the end of my first year as a Psychology student, and we’re not looking back.

Psychology has taught me to encourage clients to use their character strengths to their advantage, as a means way of promoting their health and wellbeing beyond the management of their financial affairs.Ray blog pic

When I make recommendations using psychology training to reinforce my advice, it creates an situation where couples and families feel much safer to discuss their underlying concerns or aspirations. This has allowed me to engage with my clients far beyond the financial planning aspect of their lives.

At Treysta, we believe that education in the industry needs to provide advisors with the proficiency to engage with clients far beyond the management of their financial affairs.

In an extension to our conversation over a year ago, my mentor and Head of Advice, Mark Nagle published an article in the IFA recently titled ‘Beware the Bandwagon’.

We go beyond the money management aspect of our clients lives to more holistic financial life management approach which is proving to be a refreshing change for the clients we work with.