The pursuit of ‘quality’ advice

By February 13, 2018Financial Planning

Quality advice

Our core goal at ProSolution is to exceed our client’s expectations in the quality of advice that we provide. Of course, our fees need to be competitive and fair, our service caring and attentive but it’s the quality of the advice we give that we must continually improve.

Why is quality so important?

Quality financial advice results in quality outcomes (meaning more wealth). The reverse is true too. That fact is that quality trumps everything. For example, most people will be prepared to suffer poor service if the quality of financial advice more than makes up for it i.e. if you are building a lot of wealth then that’s the most important thing. In short, the quality of the financial advice you receive will determine how successful you will be in building wealth.

Quality is therefore more important than other considerations such as price, service, convenience and so on. That is not to say that we ignore everything else. Certainly not. However, we absolutely recognise that quality is by far the most important consideration for us at ProSolution.

The 6 factors of quality advice

There are 6 factors that influence the quality of advice:

  • Absolute independence – we must staunchly protect our independence such that we have no vested interest in the advice we provide. This means that our only concern needs to be what is best for our clients. Almost all financial advice or investment horror stories are a result of conflicts of interest.
  • Strong discipline – we must have the discipline to stick to evidence-based, sound methodologies. Sometimes this means investing in a way that is counter-intuitive. Sometimes it requires patience including coaching our clients to be patient too.
  • Continual education – we must invest time and money in continually educating ourselves. There is always a tension between learning and doing i.e. a day out of the office at a conference creates a backlog of work. However, we absolutely must prioritise education to ensure we’re giving our clients the best advice.
  • Lots of experience – there is no substitute for experience. Knowledge is relatively easy to replicate but there are no short cuts for increasing your experience. Experience tells you how and when to apply the knowledge you have. The more experience, the better the advice.
  • Fanatical quality control – one of the biggest challenges of any large advice businesses is how do you ensure that all employees (advisors) are giving the right Advice must be vetted. Therefore, I think smaller is better (i.e. I’m very keen for ProSolution to continue to be a boutique business).
  • Avoid templates – there is one thing that large and growing businesses like to do and that is to find ways to scale their business. Because scale equals profit. However, advice businesses do not lend themselves to being scaled. In fact, the more you try and scale a finance advice business, the more you destroy the value of advice (because advice becomes less tailored and more templated).

I have noticed that there is a worrying tend of some financial businesses orientated their advice and products to suit either the market or their client’s budgets. If you cannot afford to invest in an investment-grade property, you do not compromise and invest in a secondary location (i.e. non-investment-grade property). Instead, it’s often better to invest in alternative assets such as shares. In the long run, a quality share market investment strategy will beat an average investment property.

Therefore, our approach is to find the right assets that fit our clients’ circumstances, budget and goals. We will never compromise the quality of our advice just to suit or win a client.

Use this as a checklist

I realise that I have a vested interest in espousing the benefits of our approach. However, I thought this blog was good because it helps you think about what is important i.e. price, service or quality – it’s almost impossible to have all three – as Seth Godin eloquently communicates in this short blog.

I have made it clear that I think quality is the most important. And you now have a checklist of 6 things to ask about or consider when selecting an advisor.