Vipin Khandelwal, Founder
& CEO of Learning Infinite, says advisors add value not just by identifying
the right investments but also by helping their clients understand their
relationship with money.
This might come as a surprising statement to you, but do
your clients really understand how to deal with money?
It is safe to assume that many of your clients have
acquired their wealth only recently, in fact, over the last 10 years or so.
They are probably the first one in their family to get a higher education and,
in the case of a few, from families which found it hard to even make ends meet
in the past. Hence, their interaction and relationship with money is pretty
In my interactions with clients, I have realised that
many of them are still trying to figure out how to put their money to use. They
are grappling with issues such as
Should they spend now
on buying that huge LED TV or a gadget or save for a goal which is years away?
Is holidaying today
not better than saving for a retirement corpus many years away?
Now as the client’s financial advisor, how do you help
them resolve these issues? In other words, how do you help him/her establish
this relationship as well as make the most of his money resources.
The truth is that it is not just about the savings,
investments, the mutual funds, asset allocation and the yearly review. You have
a far bigger role to play.
Let me give an example.
One of my friend’s clients had recently realised the
importance of good health and took up a membership at a gym worth a few
thousand rupees a month.
He started with great enthusiasm but it soon vanished.
While his subscription money was paid, he was not using the gym facilities at
“I feel lazy,” was the client’s answer.
This is a typical case where the client has the money and
he wants to use it to towards improving his health. He falls for the typical
bait of joining a gym. No doubt, a gym has far more equipment, but of what use
is it if you’re not using it.
Situations such as this will keep arising for: an
upgraded gadget, an extra house, a bigger car, etc. As a financial advisor, how
would you deal with this situation?
Sir, why are you wasting your money on something that you
don’t/won’t use? Why don’t you invest it towards your child’s education?
Sir, I understand your need to be fit and healthy. Why
don’t you evaluate buying gym equipment which will help you do cardiovascular
workout at your home? The amount that you will have to spend on it will
probably be less than your yearly gym fees.
A smart decision indeed!
As an advisor with the latter approach, while addressing
the latent need of the client, you have also raised his awareness
Next time, whenever he thinks of money – spending or
investing, he is going to seek your advice thus taking your relationship with
the client to a higher level.
- Advice around money is not always
about suggesting the best mutual fund or fixed deposit. While the financial
calculations, sheets and asset allocation are important, they are not the be
all and end all of financial advice.
- Resources will always be limited in
comparison to the aspirations.
- Helping clients to establish their relationship
with money will enable them to make smart decisions and create wonderful
experiences. Get them to understand their latent needs and cater to them.
Sometimes it means just spending in the most optimal way.
This would be a far better value building approach.
And once clients undergo this experience, they will be
willing to value your advice worth far more which ultimately translates into a
higher business and revenue for you.