I attended a Financial Broker Seminar some weeks ago where they presented the results of a survey which they had conducted with over six hundred random customers. These customers agreed to contact a chosen selection of brokers and banks for financial services advice and some of them were at the seminar to share their personal experiences. I feel that some of the feedback from this panel regarding financial brokers is relevant and worth discussing.
I asked a question, expressing the fact that “I don’t sell televisions; I advise on financial products which could have a huge financial impact on a person or families life”. I also stated that “I like to inform every client of the services I provide, but when people just ask me for something specific like a life assurance quote, they can react indifferently to me when I try to inform them of the various other financial products I can provide”.
One of the panel responded with “If I only want a Life Assurance policy, I don’t want to hear about any other products unless I ask for it”. In a way, suggesting that they feel this would be wasting their time or possibly just a chance for a broker to try to sell them something they do not want.
Recently I visited with a client of mine who had just been told he had only 2 weeks to live. I visited him to pay my respects and say goodbye. While visiting, this man said to his wife and children “Drumgoole Financial Services look after all my financial stuff, contact them when I am gone”. I had met with him several times over the previous few months so his financial affairs were clear and in order.
I got the very sad news that he passed away the week I started writing this column. This client chose to be involved in the financial planning process. He discussed all the services we provided and chose to take out the policies he felt were most relevant for his family.
My relationship and work with him didn’t stop as soon as I advised (“sold”) on a suitable policy. It was a continual journey that included reviewing and altering his plans as his personal circumstances changed over time. I will now be assisting his family with the death claim process for his Pension, Life assurance and Investments. His surviving family will be able to rely on me to help arrange all of these affairs while they grieve the loss of their loved one.
There is a tendency for customers and financial brokers to avoid discussing these distressing subjects. I chose to share this factual sobering story to highlight that a financial broker can be an important supporting character in prudent financial planning.