By Adam Drinkwater
We’ve often been told that ‘we are what we eat’, so what can be said for the material that we consume? Many of us are influenced in everyday life by the things we see and read; government messages and campaigns, our choice of news media, and so on. But what is it that influences our views when it comes to our financial future? And in turn, as an adviser, what influences our thoughts when it comes to providing greater advice and value to our clients?
Traditionally, advice provided to consumers has often centred on technical knowledge and perhaps offering access to products that weren’t available to the retail environment. More often than not, this has been influenced by those with something to sell, such as product providers. But, as the industry evolves and the paradigm of advice continues to shift, how do investors position themselves to better understand what is available and perhaps more to the point, what will make them truly wealthy.
So what is true wealth? Is it having all the money in the world, or being able to buy every material good that you could need? Perhaps in the short term, but does that make people truly happy and provide long term personal wealth? Understanding the first steps of what money does for us, and how it makes us happy, must surely be paramount to ascertaining why we seek advice in the first instance. It is with that in mind that leads us to seek further information and consume knowledge, alongside thoughts of others, in order to develop an informed understanding of the advice that we truly need. For this very reason, what we consume becomes significantly influential, and it would be remiss of us to ignore all available content on why money is important to us.
Having consistently consumed traditional material such as economic data or performance figures, consumers are led to seek positive results in such areas (often over short time periods), and typically judge success and value on that. As advisers, it’s not uncommon to be questioned on the performance of funds prior to any other discussion, or with any real relevance to the objectives that are trying to be achieved.
It is for this reason that as advisers it’s not only our duty to educate our clients over the journey, but also to help them better educate themselves and understand what will help them achieve their objectives, and in turn true happiness. Through taking time to review our clients’ advice experiences, and understanding how they’ve gained the most value, it’s become clearer that meeting values and long term fulfilment has become far more meaningful than encountering short term highs. For those who have realised this, there has been a progression towards better investment making decisions, and behavioural changes aligned with this.
At Treysta, the advice team has found increasing value in consuming alternative material, to the extent that we have now formed a library and review blog for this purpose. It has become hugely influential in the manner we are able to provide advice, and the additional layers of value we are able to offer to our clients. The broader team in addition to existing clients are already enjoying the inherent changes in how we do things because of what we are consuming, and we look to continue building this valuable source over time.
Going forward, we will continue our work in broadening mindsets towards creating a more meaningful advice journey, built around recognising value sets and identifying drivers that allow money to enable long term happiness. We look forward to sharing material or commentary with our valued clients, and encourage contact with us to discuss opportunities to do so.
Rather than having conversations around short term data, you’ll hear us talking a lot more about your values and money happiness in the future, and now you know why!