'New' breed of advice anything but
New Zealand financial advisers have reacted with scepticism to a supposedly revolutionary form of financial advice, saying it's no different to what they already offer their clients.
Monday, June 18th 2012, 6:00AM 1 Comment
by Niko Kloeten
UK newspaper The Telegraph has reported on what is known as 'financial life planning', which its practitioners claim is more focused on helping clients' personal goals than traditional financial advice.
The Telegraph quoted Jeremy Deedes, director of life planning firm Planning For Life, as saying: "Planners attempt to find an individual's secret sorrow, which is the thing they had always wanted to do but had never thought they could."
But advisers at this end of the world aren't convinced this newfangled form of financial planning is anything more than an attempt to garner publicity for its promoters.
Auckland-based authorised financial adviser Murray Weatherston said it was "nothing new under the sun" and it was just the latest in a long line of financial fads and buzzwords he'd heard over the years.
"The one that comes around from time to time is people who show you the magic way to pay off your mortgage faster, but the magic is nothing more than making payments of the same size more often or making bigger payments... really there's only one way of paying off your mortgage faster and that's paying more money!"
Weatherston said clients' personal goals are "front and center" in any discussion about their finances.
"The best definition I have ever heard is that financial planning is the process by which we determine how best to achieve our lifestyle objectives with the sensible use of our financial resources," he said.
Tony Vidler said in his blog that the promoters of financial life planning and another new buzzword, finology, seem to be "desperately wanting to distance themselves from the image of being seen to sell anything".
Products, he said, are just a means to an end: "It is absolutely true that in times gone by - when the industry was young and still thought it knew everything - products were the center of the process. As the profession has learned and improved though, products are secondary. Advice is the key value component."
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at email@example.com
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