Adviser roadshow shines light on modern-day advice
Thursday, 18 February 2016 1:05pm

Financial advisers took home plenty of business tips at an adviser roadshow yesterday - and many of them are refreshingly unconventional.

The main function centre of Doltone House, overlooking the waterfront view of Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney, was the backdrop of a wall-to-wall gathering of financial advisers looking for fresh ideas to kickstart their year.

The host was the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), which organised a solid program inviting insurance and practice management experts to the stage, as well as award-winning financial adviser Charles Badenach.

Risk advice consultant and corporate trainer Chris Unwin asked the audience to fundamentally change the language they use because certain words or finance jargon can drive potential clients to run for the nearest exit.

For example, words like  'insurance', 'insurances', 'disability', 'needs analysis' and 'income protection' are all familiar and popular terms - but must be banned from all conversations.

Instead, replace the same terms with 'protection', 'personal protection package', 'illness or accident', 'wants analysis' and 'income replacement' respectively.

These are words that people can relate to: "For example, don't use the word 'disability' especially for younger clients. Use 'illness or accident' instead because they can understand that at some point in their life, either of those could happen."

Business coach Stewart Bell, author of a book called 'Finnovation', gave a list of ideas on how to grow an advice practice including finding a niche, using digital communications platforms to full effect and ways to encourage clients to save up sooner rather than later.

"Procrastination is the greatest killer of value," said Bell.

Matt Heine, joint managing director at netwealth, challenged the audience to rethink how they assess their clients' investment needs and preferences. "Is it time to ditch the risk profiler?" he asked.

The consensus in the room was 'yes', but what's the alternative? Heine discussed the benefits of using a life-stage segmentation model, which factors in other issues that are just as important, if not more, than a client's risk tolerance level.

For financial adviser Charles Badenach, the overarching theme of the day was education. The more informed people are, the more empowered they will be to make the right financial decisions.

In a nutshell, the day's speakers urged advisers to avoid finance jargon that act like business repellants, go beyond the "risk profiler" tool to understand prospective clients, and ultimately, help them recognise the transformative power of a good financial plan.

There are more than 19,500 financial advisers in Australia as at September 2015, up 5.7% from the previous year, according to Rainmaker research. The average funds under advice (FUA) per adviser also rose to $34.4 million over the same period.

The AFA Genxt roadshow is a series of events held nationally and dedicated to the educational needs of younger financial advisers.

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