The whole country was hoping that with young people going back to school and university, pubs and restaurants re-opening and office workers slowly returning back to city centres, life would slowly be returning to as normal as it can be in these unprecedented times. But as I write the new ‘rule of six' has come into effect and new local lockdown measures are being announced following a rise in coronavirus cases.
It is an understatement to say that life will probably not be the same again and we will have to change our behaviour if we want to stay safe and well. However, I think there will some positive changes to way in which we will advise our clients in the future: These include: .
We have been pleasantly surprised how easily clients have taken to video conferencing and some people are saying that in many ways this is better than face to face meetings. One of the many advantages of using video conferencing is that we can speak to clients more often and without the need to travel or intrude into their offices or homes. .
I have noticed that more people are wanting to talk about their longer terms plans rather than just focusing on short term issues. There are more discussions about helping elderly family members with long term care issues and how to help the younger generation get a foot on the property ladder. .
Clients who are part of ‘sandwiched generation’ need more advice than ever and this opens the door for advisers to provide a wider range of services. .
But as the winter approaches and more people become worried about their personal finances, we shouldn’t forget about the many thousands of people who have fallen into the advice gap and need help and advice as much as our more wealthy clients. .
As the Emergency Financial Advice project, which started earlier in the year showed, there are lots of people who need advice and who are pleasantly surprised at how friendly and helpful financial advisers are. .
However, I think the biggest barrier to closing the advice gap is finding a way to reach out to the mass market and to get them engaged with financial advice. .
High net worth clients may be comfortable using zoom to discuss their retirement plans but the mass market is not ready or able to engage in the same way. .