The universally accepted 6 stage process for financial planning is depicted below:
Rich learnings from the Wise Advice Case Competition 2016
Perhaps the best example of excellence in building plans and presenting recommendations was seen in the winning entries in the inaugural edition of the Wise Advice Case Competition, 2016. The case involved differing aspirations of a husband and wife couple, and the advisor's job was to navigate through these differences and present recommendations that enabled the couple to make wise decisions.
To know more about the case competition, click here.
It is instructive to note that when Wealth Forum engaged with the independent jury to decide the parameters to evaluate the case study solutions and the weightages for these parameters, the consensus was to accord almost equal weight to the solution and the way it was presented.
These were the parameters and the weights assigned to each - which gives you a clear picture on the relative importance of each aspect.
Change your approach from advising to enabling
The normal tendency of most financial planners is to present a single solution, after evaluating options, rather than presenting alternatives for the client to make an informed decision. Advisors who are able to make the transition from deciding to enabling clients to make an informed decision, will not only win the trust of clients easier, but will also succeed in getting client buy-in to the plan - which is critical for its long term success.
To view a great example of how advisors should adopt an enabling approach, check out the case competition entry of the winner, Anup Bansal, Mitraz Financial Services, Bangalore - click here.
Present your plan in an easy to understand manner
The other aspect of presenting your plan is the clarity and logical flow that you are able to demonstrate, which enables clients to easily understand and act on your inputs. Use of charts and graphs is highly recommended in this context. You need to avoid the pitfall of appending reams of complex looking spreadsheets in an effort to demonstrate how much number crunching you have done. Spend some time on summarizing your number crunching into simple and easy to understand graphs, charts and tables. A great example of crisp presentation is the entry that was adjudged 1st runner up in the Wise Advice Case Competition - from Shyam Sekhar, Chennai - click here.
Financial planners who are serious about taking their skill sets to the next level, will do well to study these two plans from the two champion advisors, as excellent case studies on how to build and present your financial plans.
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