Issue 18


Ben Carlson with a good piece on the difference between good advice and effective advice.

“One of the hardest parts about giving financial advice, or any advice for that matter, is the fact that good advice alone is not enough. Good advice is all around us and people simply choose to ignore it much of the time. Telling a friend or family member who is overweight to eat better and workout periodically is good advice. But for most people, that good advice will not be effective. They already know what they should do.”


Morgan Housel argues for the benefits of reduced liquidity in trying to build long-term wealth. This thinking could lead to interesting investment product features.

“Ask yourself: If Vanguard offered an S&P 500 index fund with a five-year lockup that guaranteed an extra percentage point of annual returns above the fully liquid fund, would you take it? I would. Many of you would.”


I have shared many articles looking at the art of asking good questions. Here’s another one that focuses on the first meeting with a client.

“Although clients can, and will, come in to discuss a specific issue (e.g. a pension problem), as a skilled adviser you should recognise instantly that this is never the issue. No one buys a pension or an investment product do they? They are buying a future outcome, a lifestyle, or opportunities for their children.”


Jon Rolfe puts forward a practical case in arguing that cashflow modelling is the key for financial planners who are looking to build strong relationships with business owners.

“All too often clients will only seek financial planning advice once the business sale has gone through and, by this point, some of the potential planning opportunities have been closed. The earlier we can get involved in the process the better.”


Not light reading, but here is an “Ask me anything” message board hosted by Bill Bengen, who first proposed the “4%” safe withdrawal rate in 1994.

“I was a financial advisor for 25 years, now retired, but still expanding my research into safe withdrawals from retirement portfolios. I am eager to share my thoughts with you, so please bring on the questions.”


Simon Goldthorpe summarises the key finding from a recent report looking at how advisory businesses are valued.

“Every adviser will want something different from the sale of their business; but whatever it is, you have a better chance of achieving it if you plan carefully. That means thinking about how an acquirer will view each and every decision you ever make in your business, starting now.”


Julie Littlechild examines the changing nature of business development, and how to go about building an online platform.

“When you see advisors blogging, podcasting and running webinars, they’re building and nurturing audiences. They are building a following – a platform for their message. It’s a different approach and, I’d argue, it’s helping some advisors stand out and giving them an ‘unfair’ advantage.”


Building on the previous article, Stewart Bell suggests why your current first-meeting appointments might not be converting into long-term relationships.

“If you’ve been working in advice for more than ten minutes, you’ll have probably been taught to offer a free first meeting. I won’t beat around the bush on this. No-one wants your free first appointment. If you genuinely don’t agree, go create a facebook advert offering “free first appointment with a financial planner”.”