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Client Values and Goals #3 – Transcript

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Client Values and Goals

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

goals, values, client, people, meeting, conversation, important, advisor, talking, fraser, discovery, advice, areas, find, retirement, questions, insurance, achievable, next episode, contingency

SPEAKERS

Fraser Jack, Cate Americano, Michael Topper, Craig Buntain, Tim Henry, Naomi Rosenthal

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast, a global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to x y advisor.com. Or simply download the x y advisor.

 

 

This podcast is proudly brought to you by Stuart we’ll provide valuable goals based advice using simple to use online client data collection tools have values and goals discussions, conduct live modeling, produce file notes, strategy, papers, essays, and automate compliance.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to the x y advisor podcast. And we are up to episode three of our six part series on how we actually go about talking to our clients and listening their hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations when it comes to values and goal setting for financial planning. In this episode, we are really looking at that discovery meeting process and understanding what are the right questions you can ask and how we can go about hosting that discovery meeting to really help our clients understand what their hopes dreams, goals and aspirations are, that may not necessarily be the standard, I want to do the same thing my parents did, for example. So today, of course, first of the right, we’re joined by Naomi. Hello, Naomi, how are you?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

I’m fabulous. Thank you, Fraser. Thanks for having me on the show again.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thank you, thank you very turning up now, tell us about Tell us about your discovery meeting process, but sort of been through the process. You mentioned before that, you know, you you’ve you’ve pre gig, gather the data, before this meeting for the clients before they come in. So tell us about how that meeting is structured for you. What happens when you know what the the whole thing for maybe, let’s start right from the beginning of that meeting, how people are then confirmed to turn up or where they turn up to?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Okay, so we, we use calendly to book people into meetings. And that sends out an automated reminder. So we’re finding that to be very effective in ensuring people turn up. You know, and you can have different ways of inviting people to a meeting, whether in person via zoom over the phone. And so for initial meetings with clients, our preference is in person. But of course that’s not possible with lockdowns at the moment. So we’re very much zoom based, which can be quite effective, because you still got that visual with that person.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And tell us about this meeting structure. Do you sort of do you have an agenda as such for this meeting?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, look, I think the agenda is really stepping, sort of stepping through the information and confirming that information. But then it’s also talking around the goals and the goals section of the any meeting is going to be much more fluid, it’s not really that defined. I think the end goal, from my perspective, is to help people really get clarity around the goals that they have. So really turning those goals into much more structured objectives. Which from which we as a financial advisor can then actually work from because you know, you might have a goal that says, You know, I want to I want to retire at 65. What’s that retirement actually going to look like? How much income do you need? How much capital do you need? And if you’re sitting here at 35 years of age, that’s, you know, a good 30 years away, you don’t necessarily have those answers. And so it’s our job, our role, really, to try and draw out a painting a picture of that retirement and what that lifestyle might look like. And then bringing it back to today and say, Well, you know, perhaps your objective might be something like this.

 

Fraser Jack 

And tell us about those questions. So you were the client, and you know, they’ve sort of give you and let’s face it, right, clients don’t really know what their goals and objectives are, when they first came in, they sort of they mentioned things, and you’ve sort of got to read between the lines, a lot of spaces and just sort of ask deeper questions. Tell us about that, or questioning type techniques use?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

I guess, for me, I find that because I’ve had so many years in this industry, it’s become quite intuitive. And the kind of questions I’m asking and I already kind of have a feel for where I want to take them in terms of getting the answers that I’m looking for. And so I look at a lot of open ended questions, you know, and what does that mean to you and why is that important to you? And, you know, what, what, if that’s where you want to be why is it that you want to be there Yeah, just very open ended getting them to really think about why it is they’re wanting to have that particular goal and what that means to them.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, to me, even though you, you know, you’re not staginess, there is sort of that that the higher level, you know, value goal, purpose, not goal, but value and purpose type conversations first higher level before chunking, down into more specific questioning around the quantifiable features of a goal. How much by when those sorts of things? Yes. And so when you when you do that, is there a process as you go through, then you have to start looking at prioritizing those goals?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, absolutely. It’s sometimes the priorities are really evident, because it’s brought on by as we talked, we’ve previously talked about by a specific event, and that specific event is driving the priorities of the goals. Other times, it’s not as clear cut, or there’s conflict between the goals. It’s like, Well, yes, you want to achieve goal a, but you can’t then also achieve gold the because of your financial circumstance. And so it’s a matter of then of talking through the priorities of those goals. And what becomes more important than something else, and then talking through perhaps some sacrifices, and people don’t like, people want to have their cake and eat it too. And so it’s about bringing a level of reality to the situation and saying, look, you know, if you want to get to go a you, and therefore you may not be able to achieve goal B now that we can put something in place that will lead you towards being able to achieve goal be at a certain point down the track. And so yeah, helping people to prioritize what’s most important

 

Fraser Jack 

during that, during that very first meeting, though, some of these some of the ideas not to actually put too many parameters around these goals. And I guess the modeling would come after that, that you go away and do a post that at meeting and then start looking at the modeling, whether that actually doable or not doable? And then having to come back and have these these conversations, which I probably think we’ll get to in the next episode, but just on just on that goal, the idea of finding out what somebody’s goals and hopes and dreams aspirations might be? How many do you look at thinking, like, in my opinion, this sort of the idea of, there’s the big ones, but then there might be a whole lot of smaller ones that we can start thinking in shorter term ones, rather than just only having one sort of big goal? What do you what are your thoughts on it?

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, look, I always talk to people about needing to focus on the different areas of life and through different time horizons. And absolutely, you’ve got to have your short term focused goals where you know, that helps drive you to keep moving forward, right? I, you know, I want to buy a car in two years time, because of x, y, and Zed reason or, you know, I want to have X amount in emergency funding or savings, or what have you this shorter term goals, or, you know, in my mind, the risk insurance, packaging is very much set it up in the right now, today short term and keep funding that through. And then you’ve got medium term goals, some people say, look, you know, I might, I don’t want to be working until I’m 65, and can access my superannuation, I want to be able to get to it when I’m like maybe 50. And so you’re going to have a much more medium term, goal goals that fit within a shorter time horizon and doesn’t look all the way out to retirement. And then, of course, your long term goals of retirement.

 

Fraser Jack 

So in this first discovery meeting, I you just primarily looking at the idea of just trying to get all those goals out of their head, generally, yes.

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

And yeah, so most people already before that discovery meeting have flagged a whole bunch of things that are important to them, and they’re very broad based and just basic kind of, I want to buy a car, I want a comfortable retirement, I want to buy, you know, I want an investment property. I want this, I want that, and so you’ve already got this full list of stuff. And then yeah, then you have to kind of work through that with them, prioritize them, chunk them into the short, medium and long term buckets and and really give some clarity around what it is they’re trying to achieve. And then therefore, where do you start in terms of being able to help them tick all the boxes to achieving those goals?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, exactly. And I think I think I was I find that’s probably very easy for, you know, for planners to go along the concept of I need to, I need to find a goal that’s got calculations, requirements and, and a strategy that I can help you, you know, achieve that otherwise, I don’t feel as valuable to you as others, but I also think that people have goals that don’t necessarily always include, you know, financial aspect or financial strategy requirements.

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Yeah, absolutely. And I find that a struggle for myself, where I’ve had some really wonderful conversations with people and you know, because I think I Got the background that I have, I just I do want to help people. And it’s not always based around numbers there are, you know, conversations that I’ve had where I’ve helped them resolve a situation or allowed them to make a different decision around something towards a particular goal that I haven’t had to do any modeling for, and I haven’t had to put something, you know, in place, like an investment or what have you, because it’s nothing to do with that. And people, I hope people value that about what I can deliver, and bring to the to the table and conversation. And then yeah, and look, then there might be strategic advice around a particular event and scenario where you are doing a bunch of modeling. But then it’s not in their mind or in their interest or in their desire to actually have an ongoing advice relationship with you. And so you’re just providing event advice, which is challenging for the business model that we have. And so it’s not something that I really want to seek out in terms of clients, but at the same time, I don’t necessarily want to turn people away when I can, you know, provide them with that strategic advice in that modeling.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fair enough. And what about when, I guess you probably have seen this a few times, and people just really just looking for permission to go and do their thing? And might it be, you know, what you think might be fairly minor or not so much, but they just like they maybe they can afford it, but they just don’t want to go and reach out and take the plunge and then they come into you? And they’re looking for just just for the ticket? Okay. Yeah, it’s

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

interesting, because, on the one hand, it might be something that Yeah, absolutely. You think, man, just go and do that I give you that permission. As a professional expert. Here’s my opinion, the thing you’ve come up with is amazing. And, you know, and I’ve actually had conversations like that recently, where I’m like, Oh, my God, I’m so proud of you, you’ve got to go do it. Just take the plunge, spend the money or you know, make that investment, whatever it might be. This is your path. I’m here to support your journey. And as a professional, you know, it’s cool to go ahead and do that. And on the flip side, then I’ve also had people come to me and say, Oh, you know, I’m thinking about doing this, or I want to do that. You know, what do you what are your thoughts around? Like, that’s such a bad idea.

 

Fraser Jack 

Emotionally, that sounds amazing. Yeah, logically, no, no, don’t do that. Yeah.

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

And, and yet, you don’t want to crush people’s hopes and dreams. But you also need to, I guess, you know, so give them a frame of reference, here’s why I think this isn’t the best thing for you. And, and try and soften the blow that what they’re thinking about doing isn’t going to necessarily work out for the best for them and may and perhaps then maybe shift the conversation to alternatives that might actually be more in their interest.

 

Fraser Jack 

Wonderful. Thank you and me, let’s let’s catch you in the next episode, we really started looking at about, you know, talking about those goals and the conversations around calculations and housing them and where to where to keep them so that the clients can keep an eye on them. We’ll see you in the next episode.

 

Naomi Rosenthal 

Thanks, Fraser. feelin

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back. Craig Ballantyne. We are talking about all things to do with the discovery meeting. Thanks for joining us.

 

Craig Buntain 

Thank you, Fraser. Nice to be here.

 

Fraser Jack 

Now, tell us about your discovery meeting. How do you set it out? What sort of time? Well, let’s start with the time how long do you give it?

 

Craig Buntain 

I diarize it for about 90 minutes. They go somewhere between 60 and 60 minutes and two hours? depending what I find depending predominantly on how much education how much client education I’m I’m providing? Yeah, it’s pretty I have a pretty set out meeting. So there is an agenda that I furnished to the client quite quickly. So initially, you know, we do all those rapport establishing things that I’m sure everybody does in their in their first meeting and have a bit of small talk and then the agenda. Effectively, I go through the steps with that as a as a first point when we start talking seriously about what they’re there for. And the idea of that is just to keep me on track. I have been guilty of waffling myself and letting clients waffle as well in the past so the agenda really kinda helps me stick to the timeframes that I’ve set aside. And so, that agenda, the first step in that is tell us your story. I want to hear what I haven’t already received back from the mini factfinder because the mini fact find is generally numbers with a few objectives in it. What I want to hear is the story how to how did we get to the point where they’re seeking advice and what are they hoping to achieve from seeking advice

 

Fraser Jack 

is a really good question. Tell me your story. Because you’ll get you, you’ll probably get a lot of different with people taking it a few different ways as a no, I grew up in blah, blah, blah, oh, no, money was tough and money was this and, but it’s all of these things that then become your understanding of how they’re going to behave under pressure.

 

Craig Buntain 

Exactly, yeah. So I actually prefer when they start answering like that, rather than getting straight down to business, it’s much easier to establish that trust when you start to hear about people’s background and, you know, find ways that you can identify with it and and, you know, have find some common ground, they’re

 

Fraser Jack 

probably you know, that they know that that’s a topic that they know better than anybody else, as well say that, that they’re there. They’re the expert in that topic, when it comes to the beginning of that meeting.

 

Craig Buntain 

Yeah, it really does help people relax, and then start to think along the lines that you want them to be thinking, which is, you’re really in that first meeting. For me, it’s all about them, you know, in, in fact, the stuff that we have in our welcome pack that we send out beforehand says this whole financial, financial planning process, the top of it, is it all about you. It’s not about us, it’s about you, and what and what you want to achieve. And so from that, tell us your story conversation, I’ll generally, you know, find some questions, I want to ask for them to elaborate and we’ll get into a little bit of the financial stuff. But then I explain some of the concepts that we’ve already been through in their welcome pack, about how we look at money, and how we look at different stages, or areas of financial planning, and where that fits into different lifestyles. So I don’t spend very long talking about that at all, it’s just kind of a brief introduction to begin with. And then the point of what I’m looking to achieve is I do a thing with all of my clients, called a vision mission and action plan. And that’s the point of the first meeting is to fill that out. And really all that is, is their goals. They’re what they have to work with, which they’ve already told me generally in the about you questionnaire that we’ve sent them out, which is the little mini fact find that we that we use through a steering wheel, and then the strategies or the areas of advice that we can add value to to help them achieve those goals. So that’s really just what are the goals? What are the areas that you need to think about? Where are you already well placed that you can maybe do yourself? And where are the areas that you’re going to need some help

 

Fraser Jack 

is a really cool words vision, mission and action. I think, to me, I’m obviously saying vision is that the vision is the goal and the in the mission is the is the value, right? The underlying motivation behind the goal?

 

Craig Buntain 

Correct? Yeah, yeah. And, and the what you’ve got to work with what might be some of the roadblocks that are along the way, all of that sort of stuff.

 

Fraser Jack 

And obviously, with the roadblocks that you were talking about contingencies, right, we’re talking about the fact that you can introduce the the idea around, okay, well, if you know if, you know, if your goal is to, you know, pay for your daughter’s wedding, and then you end up having a heart attack, and you don’t have a contingency, like a drama insurance in place, then you might use your savings to pay for your your pacemaker.

 

Craig Buntain 

That’s exactly right. Yeah, yeah. Robots can be all of that sort of stuff. That is, quite often, it’s also stuff that they haven’t ever thought about, like most people have got, in their mind insurance is the you know, an illness or injury is the biggest roadblock to them, but they don’t think about things like well, what happens if your parents get sick? What happens if your kids get sick? Or what happens if you know your brother or sister develops a drug problem? Do you want to have funds set aside to help those people out? Or what? How would that change the situation? Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, yeah. Fantastic. So you think you can also, you know, you do introduce a whole lot of different things that they haven’t thought about, then in that case? That’s exactly right. And then I’m thinking the action plan really just comes back down to you saying, well, we can we can help you with the action plan in the next few meetings or the implementation of those? with advice? Yep.

 

Craig Buntain 

Yeah, exactly. It’s really going through those six areas of advice and saying, look, I think we can improve your situation with, you know, a super strategy here and risk insurance plan there, and all that sort of stuff.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. So that all takes place in the following meeting. So just inside this discovery meeting, you’ve done some amazing work that you that you’ve told this story, you’ve got some more information, you go through the vision mission, the same vision mission in the main parts of that. And then how do you finish that? And how do you leave that meeting from there?

 

Craig Buntain 

I suppose before that the way that I do the goals is is a great goals tool in the street wheel, so I’m using online software with them so it’s very visual. They can see what it does is it brings in what they’ve put in as their roar objective. And it allows me to have the conversation and notarize the conversation about every goal that they’ve brought in. So That’s become very important in this really compliance driven world that the goals were. We’re delving into, but we’re also getting a record of it. So, so that’s really good. And then they have a document called an initial engagement. And that that document basically sets out the areas of advice. And we we just make a few ticks and crosses on it. It’s something that I just print out in the meeting, make a few ticks and crosses on it as to the areas that we’re going to review and cover and whether there might be advice going forward, and what the fee is going to pay for that.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic and probably leads us into the next episode when we really talk about how to house these goals and have those conversations, so we might pick it up in the next episode. Okay, excellent. welcome back to this episode, Kate America. No,

 

Cate Americano 

thank you, Fraser. Thanks for having me.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yes, you’re welcome. Now, we’re right in the middle of a conversation around, you know, eliciting goals, eliciting values, getting getting there great questions that help help clients actually understand what their their values are, understand what their goals might be, and the really around the emotional side of it to throughout the discovery meeting, what have you What have you seen with the advisors that you’re working with that works? Well, during the discovery meeting?

 

Cate Americano 

This is my actual favorite part of the meeting, or the whole process is because you actually get to ask the really, the meaningful questions that can, yeah, great, create quite a emotional response. So the ones that are doing well, it doesn’t need to be complicated that suppose thing I would say. But what you do need to be able to do is to ensure that you take your time create a really safe space for the clients to be able to respond. And just just listen and show that you care in terms of that. So what I would say there’s a few different ways that advisors can do this, you can either use a values matrix and get the clients or go through the process and, and complete that, it’s then the follow up question. Or you can use a pack of cards, you know, I’ve been using, when I do my own values coaching, I use a pack of cards doesn’t matter what they are that about pack of values card, they’ve got to also call online, you know, value things, if you big tech savvy, and you want clients to do it that way. And you’ll actually get different responses out of all three. So it depends how deep the advisor wants to go, the deepest and the best response that you’ll ever get from a client, if you want to really know this, and this may be for your top clients, you know, you may do the values based conversation on your whole your entire client base. But you may wish to actually personalize it for the top tier and do more of a one to one sort of coaching scenario. The reason that you actually the difference between the two is when you do something like like a values group, you know, what you’re getting is you’re not getting to see what they’re trading off, what values are trading off. And there’s enormous insight in that itself, right. So when you see somebody struggling, because you have this as a pack of like 56 cards, and when you see them struggling, but to find that, that you know, their trade off to 25, they trade off to 10, they get right down to the top five, there’s you get to see the way they make their decisions, right. And so how you then take that value is then how to take something from being just interesting. And knowing your top five values, to actually making it valuable is by asking these couple of questions after it. And the first thing is is what is that definition of that value to you. Because even though that you and I might both pick a happiness value, how they define it is absolutely critical, because it’s personal to everyone, you know, and we will all have a different response to it. So I asked them, first of all to say, Please, you know, let us know now that you pick the top five values, or sorry, the first one is align the top five values in order of priority, right, and even in that that can create an emotional response for people because they can actually sit there and they might go pitch and particularly for mums that are kind of coming out with families because they actually will sit there and they’ll go, I actually want to be able to put myself first or try and do a bit of self care. But I’m struggling with the trade off between that and family and other things, right. And this is really important in terms of that that mindset shift and being able to be the best yourself and best to others and all the rest of it. So yeah, the first thing is obviously prioritize that one to five and then define it, and then I get them to write it. I get them to write it out of 10 and I say so let’s now look at it and how well you’re actually living in alignment with that value. And I’ll say our you know, I’d say an eight out of 10. It’s a five out of 10 you know as We get a really good sort of system around that. And then my follow up question from that is what’s one action that you could take this year that will give you that will get, you know, be greater and alive and all that would help you to live more in alignment with that value. And that’s when they go into the action around that. So yeah, they they actually detail I could find my health I can be, you know, walking every day and 10,000 steps a day or all my finances, I can be putting away there. So my relationships, I can spend some time on myself. And then the final thing is, is I actually because five goals can sometimes be quite a lot. So I say, pick three, pick three goals out of those three values out of the out of those five that you just really want to focus on this year. And then we, we build that into a plan from the current user future you and building that into alignment for them. So that process is like you will know your client better than you’ve ever known them before. And it does, as I said, if you join the cards, it’s really detailed. But financial planners don’t have to do that you can even just knowing what their values are from this, and then getting them to pick that and write the summary around that. Like you just you’ll know so much more about your client and what really is important to them and their family.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, fantastic. Well, well said so many great things to unpack in that. When you when you mentioned the values matrix, you were talking about a list, essentially a master list of a whole lot of different values, which anybody can Google Of course, and come up with a list of 50 or a list of 100 are listed, or whatever the number is everywhere online. And that’s just a prompt a year that they had the idea of just people going on here that that that circling, circling, you know, 20 1020 things on there go Yeah, they these are all meaningful to me that then then you can chunk down to you into prioritizing.

 

Cate Americano 

Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, from taking it from being interesting to valuable to the client is then asking those follow up question. And that’s what people pay for razor like, that’s the difference for going from being a fear kind of free service. And because as you say, you can google these are not new tools, anywhere on the web, you can grab them off the internet, and incorporate any of that into your into your process or even, yeah, I’ve made a combination of my favorite ones that keep on coming out from the different sessions. So that’s how,

 

Fraser Jack 

and of course, so that really is finding a tool, but also putting a process in place to go through the tool.

 

Cate Americano 

Yes,

 

Fraser Jack 

I think the tool alone is one thing, but you actually need to make sure that you have a process or an agenda or whatever it might be that you actually force you to go through that process. Yeah. Fantastic. Thank you. I love the idea of, you know, then going through the deeper questions, what does that mean to you? What you know, hospice, what specifically does that mean to you this thing? So you’re getting in the client word, and then going back two out of 10, writing it back out of 10? How important is this to you achieve is one of the great things that I’ve had in the past. Around, this is a thing called the $100 game where you have you know, you’ve got $100, and you know, you got 10 $10 notes, and you have to put, you know, the money in each bucket, you know, let’s say 333 goals. And the only thing is you can’t put the same amount of money in each one, you know, kind of less than $10. And then that then forces people to put the money in, then of course, you can look at it, look at the door and say well just looked at your diary. Is that what it says? Yeah, yeah. Look at your spending habits. Is that what’s coming up. So you have some great stuff around that. Kate, we’re gonna have to catch you in the next episode. This has been really, really great. I really appreciate you adding to this this episode.

 

Cate Americano 

Thanks, Fraser.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to episode three of our six part series. Tim

 

Tim Henry 

Fraser. Great to be tremendous.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for coming back. We’re talking about the discovery meeting. We’ve got some great stuff so far. Tell us about your discovery meeting.

 

Tim Henry 

Yeah, I really love the discovery meeting. And it’s, it’s one of those things I think as as people that we, we are people, people. It’s great with meeting new people. And yeah, there’s always something there that might surprise you or be of interest. But, um, yeah, I think from from a financial, from a business point of view and wanting to do business with people. He has, I think we touched on in the, in the previous segment, we’re getting a lot of great data through initially for that discovery meeting. And it’s, it allows us really to go into the meeting, er with with a much better view of probably who we’re going to be sitting with and what their their needs are. One of the things that I really value at the moment with the system we use is we do like a small five minute what’s called the five minute health check. It’s with a Stewart wheel. And that, you know, sometimes the simplest things are the most powerful that simply just takes five people five minutes to fill in. And it really is, how are they feeling in those six areas. And it stands out starkly that they’ve really comfortable in some areas and really uncomfortable in others. So a great place to start your discussion with him is tell us about this survey. And hey, if you’re out and why those areas are red, and anon high alert, and these areas are in growing your feedback on what they’ve got to say, because that’s really the crux of it, why they’ve come to see you.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Now, we’ve had some of the other guests talk about the idea of husband and wife or partner and partner, and not doing it not not allowing them to do it together. Do you also follow to subscribe to that?

 

Tim Henry 

In the survey email? Yeah, like

 

Fraser Jack 

even do it separately? Yeah.

 

Tim Henry 

I haven’t subscribed to that, I could sort of understand why people might at that stage in the game. And it is interesting, you know, studying people, it’s probably a bit presumptuous to think that one party is more powerful, or, you know, they’ve got more control than the other, I think we’d probably start to work that out through the meeting, and and encourage both to play an active role. But generally, they fill it out together. And, and I would always ask them, does it reflect your feelings as well? Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

who filled this out? Now, just on this, the practicality of the your discovery meeting, how long does it go for? How long do you poke in?

 

Tim Henry 

We book in 90 minutes, it normally wouldn’t run for 90, but it definitely runs more than an hour. So I spend, I reckon, the average one would go about 70 to 75 minutes. Yep.

 

Fraser Jack 

And you mentioned your your things around the concept of life planning or life first. Tell us about what that means to you.

 

Tim Henry 

For me, I think it starts with a Well, you’ve obviously got the health check. That’s telling you what, what’s really on their mind. And then I think the next stage of that is what generally what is your What do you value in life, so what are their values, and really starting to uncover that. As a general rule, we don’t, at this stage, do a values questionnaire. But we do have that coming up. So that’s been developed. And we’ll be doing that later this year, possibly through that process. But one, probably the look on going on, I’ve done a lot of work on values over the time, and we’ve got our dream catcher program that we do. 90% of people have these three values really, really higher, when you start with 20 values and say narrow it down, narrow it down, and then narrow it down to 390 percent of people are going to end up with health, family, and financial well being. And so I generally talk to them about those things as a general rule in the meeting, and just and hear what they’ve got to say, you know, because health, talking to them about their values around health, they’re going to start to tell you things about what, what they like, where are they active people? What are their hobbies? What are they passionate about? Talk about their family, things like education, their kids, and what’s important for us being parents and or having a family, we won’t really want to have a family or we really don’t want to have a family or this is what’s important to us on that level. And then with their finances, I think that then becomes you know, what does financial success look like to you and starting to hear from them what they believe that is? Yeah, without getting too bogged down in the finances, just getting them to articulate what, what what a means to them. Fantastic. Excellent. So

 

Fraser Jack 

you, you take the approach of you really looking at the bucket level of values at the larger level of values and saying, let’s just let’s just without without pigeonholing them into one set of values or another, you ask them to come into these each each area,

 

Tim Henry 

I wouldn’t even frame these up as saying, I’m now talking to you about health, or I’m now talking to you about your family, but in my head. That’s what the the questions I’m going to ask them. Yeah. How do you feel about what sort of life you’re wanting to give your kids or is education, private education important to you? Or it’s really just exploring in those are my are exploring those buckets?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Excellent. So

 

Tim Henry 

in your head, you’re going through those different areas, and you end up getting a lot of stuff out. And I think that and then later on down the track, we will start to fine tune their values, if they’re wanting to put other things out on the table. But yeah, I think we know that that they’re pretty three pretty solid ones to start with.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. A new. You mentioned life planning. Does it include a life life stage planning?

 

Tim Henry 

Well, I think from a from a financial point of view, we have to apply Because certain certain things are on the horizon for people at different stages of life, again, we probably were heard where it’s appropriate, of course, we bring up that for the nearly 60, we’re going to start saying, well, you’re coming up for retirement, and these windows are going to wipe them for you super and that sort of thing. But otherwise, we’d probably let them steer it to some degree. But, of course, you can’t help sort of you don’t want to pigeonhole people. But you’re going to a little bit, aren’t you with those life stages?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. A big chunk of this meeting is the is the emotional side of it. Yeah. How deep Do you go into, into getting goals out of people and understanding what the parameters those goals might be in the in this discovery meeting?

 

Tim Henry 

Well, the system that we’re using does an awesome job of that. So it asked them to list their goals. And we we’ve also got the some of the data and, and how are they feeling? So it becomes a just a good initial template to how to expand on that. So in most cases, they’re only going to give you one line, you know, like, I want to pay off my mortgage. So then we it just gives us something to talk about. So tell us what that means to you and tell us what this means to you and tell us what, again, we’re just each time I think it’s just building on that goal and map possibly introducing other goals that they might not have thought about.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. Tell us what this means to you. Great question, Tim. Thanks for catching up in this in this episode. There’s there’s plenty to go through this gathering. I know that you and I can talk about it for hours and hours. But unfortunately don’t have the time. In the next episode, we’re going to come back and talk about putting those goals into unit qualitative and quantitative measures, and then to be able to look at what you know, how do we house them and have those conversations? So cool. We’ll catch you in the next episode. Yeah. welcome back to this episode, Michael topper.

 

Michael Topper 

Thanks very much, Fraser. Looking forward to it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thanks for thanks for being here. Now, in this. In this episode, we’re talking about client discovery meetings and the amazing meeting that takes place where advisors really get to talk to the clients about their hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations, and values and all those sorts of things. What are you seeing in this space?

 

Michael Topper 

What’s really interesting, if you look at goals, just generally with people, about 3% of people have goals set. And that’s through numerous studies, mainly in the US and in Europe. And out of those out of 100% of people, only 1% have written them down. So it seems to be quite a foreign concept to clients to have goals, given that so few actually do. And it’d be interesting to find out what kind of percentage of financial advisors have set goals. So that might be something for the people listening in on this, have you got your goals? Have you written them down, and are you tracking them, it’s a foreign concept to your clients. And if you just send them a blank sheet of paper, so please write down your goals, you’re going to get a blank sheet of paper back. But you’ve got that’s the one end of the spectrum, you can’t go to the other end, which is he has a bunch of goals, tick the ones that have these products that I can sell to you, because that’s pushing it too far. So you’ve got to get a happy medium between the two. And so what we found is work really well before having the actual discussion about goals is to get a client to think about that at home as part of the questionnaire that they get. So they can either get a goals questionnaire on its own, or can be part of the about your questionnaire. And you provide them with prompts that are three to five words, go on a holiday, buy a house, those kind of prompts. And that then helps the client frame what it is that they want to do. So if they want to go on holiday, you then ask them in the tool, is this a high, medium or low priority? It might be high, and is the short, medium or long term? So when do you want to do it. And if you can help clients get their head around those aspects, they’ve already generated two thirds of their goal. And then the last thing that we asked them to do is to say, what does this goal mean to you? So one of the requirements from asik is that the client’s voice has to come through loud and clear. You can’t have a cookie cutter approach. He has 50 goals, choose the ones you like, and here’s the SLA that you get. It’s got to be what is your goal? What does it mean to you? Why do you want to do it? And that’s the, I guess, the tool that can help the client actually provide those so what we’re finding is that a lot of advisors are getting really good goals coming through. Now they need work, but at least they’ve had a great attempt and at least it’s not a blank sheet of paper.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, exactly. Now so many things you just said then I could unpack I want to start with a concept of what that is it needs some work because that was a really interesting coming through to the end I’m you know I think what happens in a lot of you know compliance sort of see this too is goals tend to be very much are this person wants to review their risk. Okay, great. That’s a goal. Well, that that kind of feels like a strategy to me, we’re sort of jumped in, put that down as a goal with the client wants to do this strategy as they go. But you also mean In that term in that last little piece around the concept of, you know, what it is what it means to them purpose, specifically or personally, and why they want to do that. And to me, that’s obviously we’ve talked, we’ve talked a bit in this series, and with other guests around the idea about values and understanding that the goals and the values are aligned together.

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah. So you know, with a goal and and where the conversation needs to go from when the clients done, they attempted their goal. And so they’ve got a 50% or 60% of the way there, the value that the advisor adds is, do you really want to do this does not conflict with other goals. So if you’re going to buy $100,000, BMW, it means that your mortgage is going to last a few years longer. And you said, you really wanted to knock that over. So which one is it, so you want to look at cause that conflict, but also help the goal the client, make the goal and turn it into a SMART goal. So you know, the client’s goal might be we want to go overseas, that’s their goal. And the reason that’s important to them. So the other bit that they added in is my kids in year 11. And so we want to go this year, it’s the last time we can really do a family holiday with the kids before they fly the coop. So that then becomes a high priority, they want to do it in the next 12 months or whatever. But then to add it in to turn it into more of a SMART goal. And that that’s what you do face to face with the client, whether that’s via zoom, or in a face to face meeting, but it’s making the gold more robust. So it’s more measurable, and achievable. And and to see whether it is achievable and realistic. Because sometimes people have goals that aren’t realistic, and they need someone to go, Hey, I think this one may be out of touch out of reach.

 

Fraser Jack 

You’re exactly right. There’s so there’s so much we can get into that, obviously, yeah, you know, my my ideas around this is, you know, having that having that lava smuggles important having that idea that that thing, then putting some parameters around it, putting some milestones around, and then understanding if it’s achievable, and then making it specific and measurable, and all those types of things, which is, which is really important. And then allowing the client to go, Okay, I can see this is going to happen at that time in the future, and then allowing them sort of come back to now to work out what all the little stepping stones are on the way and then and then and then it becomes a belief that this is what’s going to happen and they work themselves towards and and in a way I think their advisors role is to give the client that permission to do that as well.

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah, exactly. And, you know, there was a practice, and I’ll give them a bit of a plug in called goals and dreams and that up in Queensland, and they work with people that don’t necessarily have the means to go overseas. It’s kind of a foreign thing to that group of clients that they have. And they had a dream spooled up in the foyer to the office. And what they would ask clients to do is we’ll help you go on an overseas trip. But you have to send us a postcard. And so we can stick that up on the dreams board. So when other new clients came in, and they said, Look, if one of the things they want to do is to go overseas. Well, that’s achievable. Let’s go and look at some of those postcards. These are all our clients that couldn’t necessarily go overseas. But these are the fantastic holidays they’ve been on. So it helps them get their head around that. And I think the second thing is, if you’re going to have a framework to help a client, figure out what their goals are, when they get that information back to you, you also need to think what’s missing. And so that’s where this feeling, find a five minute health check becomes really powerful, because they might have put down in the five minute health check that they’re really concerned about their insurance, but they don’t have that as a goal. So when you have a discussion with a client about you concerned about your insurance, why? Well, I want to make sure that if I pass away, my wife’s got enough money to pay off the house and blah, blah, blah, and they tell you what that is, then that’s fine. The conversation then becomes should that also be a goal, let’s add it to your goals. And that’s to get the right insurances in place. So a goals tool isn’t going to encompass everything, the advisor needs to be a bit aware of what should be on there that isn’t and have that discussion and added as a goal.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think I think when the way is the way I view that is around the idea of contingency. And every single goal, what would stop this goal from happening? What would what would what’s the obstacle is going to be is it you know, my, it could well be that parents are, you know, going into aged care or that there’s something else going on, I’m looking to make that time it could be, it could be that you know, you don’t have your estate planning sorted out and something happens to one of you, then that that might not be achievable, it could be that you don’t have the risk in place, and that, you know, you have a heart attack and you’re going to spend your money on the pacemaker, not the holiday or whatever it might be, you know, like there’s, there’s a lot of ways I think that we can look at contingencies around goals that then lead to the idea of what’s a strategy to to that we can put in place that you know, covers them.

 

Michael Topper 

Yeah, exactly. And the other thing that you mentioned is values. And so if 3% of people have goals and 1% have written them down, Guess how few have got their values sorted out. So They aren’t that many tools around to help people understand their values. They are playing cards that you can purchase. And you can go through with a client. And that seems to work pretty well for some advisors. But we recently have built a values tool to help clients get their head around the values. And the value of a values tool is that it kind of keeps the client honest. And it gives them a view of what their values are in priority order. And once you have your values sorted, it makes decisions easy because all decisions get measured against your values. And if they’re in conflict with your values, you don’t do them. And it also helps the adviser keep the client honest. Because the client might say, you know, the most important thing to me that’s right at the top of the pile of my values is family. You go, are you sure? Yes? or How come you don’t have insurance. So either your value is wrong. And you’ve said that it’s really important to you that you’ve your family is looked after that that’s conflicting, the fact that you don’t have insurance, what happens if you died tomorrow? So do we change your value? Because it’s not correct. And money is more important because you don’t want to pay for insurance? Or do we add insurance to your goals? And that becomes a very powerful conversation to have with clients as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it’s a it certainly isn’t, I haven’t been through a lot of work over the last sort of couple of years on values and understanding how to, it’s not that easy listening your own values. And my challenges out there to any advisor, listen to this, go head and try and work out what your own values are. And sometimes, it’s not an easy exercise to just dive in. And there they are. Sometimes it’s actually takes a lot of time. I know from personal view, I sort of thought are my values at this. And then really diving deeper and deeper, I’ve sort of worked out that I kind of that as well. But there’s this other thing, and this is actually more important. So it wasn’t an instant gratification moment where you just go here they are, it was it was a it was a bit of a work in progress for me personally. Yeah.

 

Michael Topper 

Now there are tough to get your head around. And what’s interesting is in family dynamics is that quite often say, husband and wife, we’re going to come up with five or seven values, there probably be an overlap of three or four, so three or four that are the same. But what really is interesting to them is that their values are in a different order. So what’s my number one value may not be what your number one value is. And that’s great. So get them to do that exercise separately, and then come together and say, we’ve got 10 values between us. And let’s come up with an order, which is in the correct order. And we did this quite a few years ago, probably 2010. As a family. And with our kids and kids, we actually figure out values a lot more easily than than adults, they ignited quite quickly. But if you do produce something like your values and frame it and stick it up on a wall, and your kids can call you up on things. Hey, Dad, you said that this is an important value to you. Why didn’t you come to my netball game, those kind of things, and that’s what they’re there for. That’s a good exercise.

 

Fraser Jack 

I 100% agree. And I love the I love the comment. I was speaking to somebody a few years ago and they said, Well, that’s great. Those are your values. That’s excellent. But if I look in your diary, you would say that would that is that what your diary would say to me as if it looked at your calendar over the last month and looked at your appointments? Is it exactly what is coming through? So yeah, that’s

 

Michael Topper 

a great thing. Show me your calendar and your checkbook. And I’ll tell you what your values are.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Let’s leave it at that. That’s an amazing session. That a discovery meeting and we’ll love we’ll catch you in the next episode when we’re talking about housing goals and having advice conversations around them. Thanks, Michael. Fantastic.

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