I am often asked about the nature of the relationship between Client and Financial Planner. It seems that many are not familiar with the role.

We all have a doctor and probably have had since we were born.

We’ve grown into the relationship, often supported by our parents. Intuitively, we know how this works. Rather than whole physical and maybe mental health, a financial planner looks at your whole financial wealth.

A number of elements contribute to a successful Client / Financial Planner relationship:

  • You First: you, the client, needs to feel understood. You need to be able to talk with ease about what you want or even fear in confidence and without being judged
  • You need guidance from someone with sufficient skill and experience to lead you to financial independence, whatever this means and you may not be sure yet
  • You need someone who can help you clarify your goals and then help match your finances to achieve these goals
  • Qualifications and capability are a given
  • But, the relationship needs to be clothed in trust.

There is a rather old fashioned word that accurately defines the role of a Financial Planner: a fiduciary

A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence.

Lord Millett, 1998

As a Financial Planner, there is a key point that needs to be born in mind.

We can give advice and guidance, ask questions that help you clarify your aims, but we must remember that IT IS YOUR MONEY AND YOUR LIFE.

A Financial Planner needs to be skilled at creating and nurturing this relationship, but you retain the control and the responsibility.