Financial advice is a fairly small profession and a relatively tiny proportion of an already small group choose to run their business as we run ours; on the whole what we do is all about getting you comfortable with your finances so that can enjoy not working anymore.
You can talk to the same person more than once, if we say we will write to confirm what we talked about, we will write; those kind of old fashioned service principles that don’t seem to exist in so many businesses these days.
We plan what we can
From time to time (and usually behind the scenes) this iteration of what used to be called independent financial advice is referred to as life coaching and it means that when talking to clients we focus on what they would like to do with their life rather than whether this UK equity fund is better than that one (because that’s a subjective question), or whether Donald or Hillary will win the US Presidential election (because we don’t get to vote so can’t influence it, so why worry about it?).
Learning from peers
Over time I’ve got to know Chris Budd (@Ovationchris on Twitter) purely on a social media basis because he, with his team, runs their business along similar lines to how we run ours.
We met up in the physical world relatively recently and got chatting and realised Ovation were running some software we had been thinking of investing in. Last week we travelled down from London and spent a day with them in their lovely office in Bristol, listening and learning about how they use the software to help run a number of key aspects of their business.
It was a fascinating few hours, partly because it’s always nice to pin back the ears and sit on the other side of the table rather than do most of the talking, but also because it opened my eyes regarding how better software could make us more efficient and more effective financial planners. Chris has even written a book about how they see financial planning and wealth management and explained over a very nice lunch that until relatively recently ‘Financial Wellbeing’ didn’t get many results in your favourite search engine but now gets about 128million! The idea is certainly catching on fast.
You can always be better
We have some very good processes within Gibson Lamb; we know how to do what we do and if I may so myself, we do it very well. However, now I’ve seen how Ovation use software to manage and monitor their processes, I have realised that we do this despite of our software and not because of it. We rely heavily on very talented and committed team members to deliver our service and with improved software we could use our energy on other matters and reduce the chance of human error as well as have considerably improved management information on what is happening, when and how long it is taking.
I love the small, family feel of our business and we have the best team anywhere who care so passionately about our clients, our business and our reputation but I boarded the train to London