The seven roles of a financial planner

There are at least seven hats a financial planner can wear to help you without ever once having to look into a crystal ball:

1. The Expert
Now, more than ever, investors need financial planners who can provide client-centred expertise in assessing the state of their finances and developing risk-aware strategies to help them meet their goals.

2. The Independent Voice
The global financial turmoil of recent years demonstrated the value of an independent and objective voice in a world full of product pushers and salespeople.

3. The Listener
The emotions triggered by financial uncertainty are real. A good financial planner will listen to clients’ fears, tease out the issues driving those feelings and provide practical long-term answers.

4. The Teacher
Getting beyond the fear-and-flight phase often is just a matter of teaching investors about risk and return, diversification, the role of asset allocation and the virtue of discipline.

5. The Architect
Once these lessons are understood, the financial planner becomes an architect, building a long-term wealth management strategy that matches each person’s risk appetites and lifetime goals.

6. The Coach
Even when the strategy is in place, doubts and fears inevitably will arise. The financial planner at this point becomes a coach, reinforcing first principles and keeping the client on track.

7. The Guardian
Beyond these experiences is a long-term role for the financial planner as a kind of lighthouse keeper, scanning the horizon for issues that may affect the client and keeping them informed.

These are just seven valuable roles we can play in understanding and responding to your ‘whole-of-life’ needs that are a world away from the old notions of selling financial products or making forecasts.