Some days bring good news and some not so good. Recently a heartbroken client called to tell us that she’d lost her husband of 42 years. A lovely man and a client himself for over 15 years.
When she called, she did not need financial advice, she needed reassurance and to know that we’ll take care of any administration and paperwork, and work with her solicitor and her children to get things sorted out.
Then, when she is ready, we’ll support her and her family through this huge change and help her see a brighter future.
She didn’t need to talk about her financial plan, or discuss her future goals, nor any financial solutions. She just needed someone to listen to her concerns and her memories - someone she knows she can trust, who can share a story or two about her late husband.
When something as momentous as this happens to a client, it is important that the whole team goes into overdrive to cushion the blow and take away as much stress and confusion as possible. As financial and life planners, the relationships we build with clients are deep, meaningful and strong - concentrating on what they hold dear and important, rather than just on their money.
We should feel privileged and honoured to be trusted with clients’ hopes and dreams, with family secrets and special interests and we should also feel very sad when we have to say goodbye to one of our lovely clients.
We must take our responsibilities for these very seriously because we understand that even if clients initially come to us with a finance-related issue, this is rarely the most important thing in their lives.
• This column appears in the latest edition of Financial Planning Magazine. To view an exclusive preview of the magazine and find out more about how to subscribe to the UK's only professional title exclusively for Financial Planners and Paraplanners click here - Financial Planning Today Magazine - Check out the subscription offer which expires soon.
Julie Lord is a founder of Magenta Financial Planning in Bridgend, South Wales