Bruce Wilson is MD at Helm Godfrey, a firm of ultra high net worth advisors.
People and businesses begin relationships with financial advisors for a range of reasons but to my mind the following two are the most important: to help establish financial goals and aspirations and then to put the necessary plans and processes in place to ensure they are achieved.
As with most other worthwhile relationships, for these relationships to be truly successful there needs to be trust and respect on both sides, something that becomes increasingly important when the economic outlook becomes less certain, such as now.
It is during these uncertain and difficult times that financial decisions from the past are most often called into question and the client/advisor relationship is properly tested and evaluated. Goals and aspirations are revisited and amended while the plans and processes put in place to deliver them are quite rightly placed under the microscope and reviewed in light of the changing circumstances.
In short, as in all things, it is during the tough times that the important relationships that we depend on become ever more critical. An advisor's true ability is laid bare and their knowledge and wisdom to keep their client's decision-making on track and in line with their long term goals is ever more important. If this relationship has not been properly established with a clear understanding of what the advisor can and cannot do, client expectations and trust is easily destroyed. We are currently seeing examples of this happening and the client pain is acute and the destruction of the relationship rapid. Unfortunately large chunks of the wealth management industry are coming up short.
My hope is that these columns will not be doing the same. Covering the main areas that really matter to you, such as tax and investment as well as retirement, estate and business planning, I will be drawing on the knowledge and experience of my team at Helm Godfrey to deliver value directly to you.
The idea is simple – to utilise the collective expertise of our highly qualified financial advisors and planners to provide you with a range of useful information designed to help ensure that the financial goals and aspirations of you and your business are not only achievable but go on to actually be achieved.
Recent research has shown that what people want from an advisor in the financial world is a "guru" – literally someone who takes you out of the darkness and into the light. I'm hoping that in these columns we will be able throw some light your way and here's to what I am hoping is a successful and rewarding relationship.
To make sure the column is of maximum use to you, and in keeping with the interactive nature of the internet, it would be good to get your feedback on what has been covered. It would also be great to hear suggestions for areas you are keen for the column to explore.