Making financial management accessible to customers

“This book is a legacy that we want to leave to people at the end of our career,” say the authors of the titled work. From wallet to wallet, released last fall.

“We see books that explain how to become a millionaire or specialized books for investors. Ours falls between the two.”

Facilitate communication with customers

Above all, they want to help readers be better equipped to participate in discussions with their advisor during quarterly or annual meetings.

“During these meetings, the consultant often wants to demonstrate his managerial skills. During this time, the client feels uncomfortable showing that he does not master the subject,” says Bertrand Larocque.

Marc Saint-Pierre, mutual fund economist and institutional finance professional, came to the same conclusion.

“Clients generally don’t care about finances because they don’t understand it,” he says.

Customers regularly asked him to return the books to perfect their financial education, “hence the idea of ​​writing a guide explaining in plain language the key steps to manage their finances”.

Essential topics

The book brings together essential topics in wealth management, from RRSPs to TFSAs, including portfolio diversification, different types of investments, interest rates, inflation and managing emotions.

This last topic is particularly thematic, as disruptions in the markets can make it more difficult to communicate with customers, due to the fall of returns. Emotion then tends to precede the rational, note the authors.

They see the current crisis as an opportunity for advisers to discuss their objectives with their clients “and confront them with the implications and consequences of their decisions”.

Returns vs. Investor Profiles

Marc Saint-Pierre considers that the investor profiles offered to clients are “imperfect and partial tools”. Rather, I believe in the efficiency of performance calculations.

“An investor profile can help define the client’s objectives. But the main role of an adviser must be to allow the client to get the return that he really needs to reach his objectives,” he explains.

For Bernard Larocque, the client also has an important job to do on his part, trying to get to know himself better and define his expectations and his needs. A chapter of the book is dedicated to this subject.

“Where is the client in his life? Is he happy? These are the first questions you should ask,” says the financial planner

Build trust with customers

On the eve of retirement, he has advice for the next generation: devote significant efforts to developing a relationship of trust with clients.

“The role of an advisor is not to beat the market at all costs, but to do better than the client could do himself. Important advice in the age of robo-advisors and the self-directed investment craze.

To illustrate the importance of listening to the client, Bertrand Larocque cites a case experienced during the financial crisis of 2008. For a couple of clients, the husband had decided to quickly liquidate his portfolio as soon as the market had fallen. The husband had chosen for his part to maintain his positions.

“He contacted me every week to ask for news. His attitude showed that he was very worried about his investments.”

The advice offers the client to put his assets in guaranteed liquid investments, which relieve him a lot.

To build a relationship of trust, you have to know how to go back to the basics, say the authors, rebalancing portfolios as necessary and relying on historical returns to explain the recommendations. It is even more important than ever to know how to listen to customers.

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