That’s all the job satisfaction I need

We don’t often talk about job satisfaction within the world of giving financial advice, and I think this is a shame, as for me this is the main driver.

If I was to describe a typical client, and of course there is no such thing, it would be someone or a couple, a number of years away from retirement, who have started to think, “How is this all going to play out?” The mortgage may have gone, or be very low, children largely independent, and for the first time there may be a reasonable amount of surplus income over expenditure.

Questions like, what would the earliest date that I could stop work, or go into a consultancy basis, or just simply stop if I wanted. How much do I need to have saved in order to achieve financial independence?

The new client normally arrives with a degree of frustration, feeling that they should be able to work out their finances for themselves. They are savvy and switched on people, hold down responsible roles, able to assimilate information and draw conclusions, but managing this wretched stuff called money is not always surrounded by clarity.

By bringing all the assets into an easily understood schedule, showing the future income to be expected year by year, understanding the current level of expenditure and the expected levels of expenditure is what brings this clarity and real understanding.

How many times have you read a letter or report from an investment company and at the end thought: I have understood every single word, but have no idea of what this document is trying to tell me. And then thought, but I am not stupid. The ability to carve through all that “noise” of the investment world to focus a new client on what truly matters is vital, and to me what is so very rewarding.

Talking to a couple about their plans and what they want to happen, and hearing the comment, “I didn’t know you thought that?” is as common as apple pie. So, spending two hours, talking and planning, brings so much clarity and purpose, that folk go away feeling in control and with peace of mind.

But it is not like a single trip to the gym, it is the repeated trips that bring fitness and so it is with financial life planning. Regular planning meetings bring confidence and control. They match expectations with reality and ensure that we discuss and consider the important issues and not the noise. Just focussing on the investment doesn’t bring the results.

So, when the feelings on both my and my client’s side is that we have everything in order, that we are en-route to financial independence, the satisfaction comes from when control and peace of mind prevail. This satisfaction is immense.

To travel with a client and see their lives blossom and see their money work for them and provide the quality of life they aspire to, is just great.