Do the clothes you wear to work have an impact on clients decisions?
According to this article on Advisor Perspectives the way you dress can have consequences on the clients perception of you and the outcome of your meeting. Click here to read more about how clothes impact cognitive processing and the impact of clothes on self-perception.
As we highlighted in our recent presentation on Slideshare (you can check out that presentation at this link) there are advantages and disadvantages to different channels. Typically with a direct or vertically integrated channel you get a simpler application process and fast fulfillment. In other words, it is convenient. With most insurance sold through financial advisers the process takes more time and is more complex, but the resulting product coverage is greater. The table below summarises the difference (in aggregate, for one scenario).
Barry Read, owner of IDS said the company would provide internal resolution services and support for adviser businesses across investment, insurance and risk advice, from next month.
“What we’ve found over the last few years is that if an adviser’s client has an issue or a complaint about a product or something has gone wrong, the advisers try to go back to the service provider and try to get it sorted.
"If they can’t get a suitable resolution, there’s not necessarily a complaints manager in the advice business, it might be just the adviser so then the next step is to go straight to the external dispute resolution. The issue there is that you’re a bit out of control of the process at that point.”
Atul Gawande has a new book, "Being Mortal" which is both horrible, and brilliant. One reviewer described it as his best book yet. That depends on your criteria, but it may be right. This is what it is all about:
You will die, but early death is so rare in modern society. Most deaths are the product of old age or long illness - which very often means the same thing. Under such circumstances people become separated from their home, their loved ones, and their purpose in life by increasingly invasive medical interventions. These can either be nursing home care or treatments of such dubious value that they may be no more than lottery tickets offering a few more days or weeks of life, but at a cost which substantially subtracts from the quality of the actual time remaining.
It is a grim read. It is also a very engaging book, well written, and on a subject that we must all confront at some point - as a friend or relative and for ourselves. For those involved in the insurance industry we must often consider such issues and help clients to think about them too there is a lot to commend this book. You can learn more at this link.
The New Zealand Herald highlights the low rate of organ donation in this article. The scandal comes from the fact that many DHBs apparently do not consult the database, limited though it is, unless the family raise the issue of donating an organ. It does not take a genius to figure out that even a pro-donation individual may not have a pro-donation family. Also, even a pro-donation family may not know of the preference of the person - and so would tend to err on declining to donate. There was this suggestion for improving rates of election to be a donor:
"They ask, donor, yes or no. If they put a question before that, 'If you need an organ to live, would you accept one', if they tick yes to that, they are hardly likely to say no to the next question."
A good financial planning process will directly address the question 'what is financial well-being?' for the clients. Poorer processes assume a common definition for financial well-being, and so long as it is 'about right' they work, but they fail utterly if a difference emerges between what the client and the adviser believes is 'good.'
So what is financial well-being? An excellent report from the (US) Consumer Financial Protection Board details the main components of the financial well-being, based on some extensive research, as the following four components:
"FEELING IN CONTROL - People who have high levels of financial well-being feel in control of their day-to-day and month-to-month finances. They cover their expenses and pay their bills on time, and generally they do not worry about having enough money to get by. This is not just about having money, they told us, it’s about managing it. Think of this as having financial security, in the present.
CAPACITY TO ABSORB A FINANCIAL SHOCK - Whether they get in a car accident or are temporarily laid off from a job, these consumers have a safety net such as savings, insurance, or family to help stop a shock from turning into a longer-lasting setback. One way to describe this is feeling financial security, for the future.
ON TRACK TO MEET GOALS - Consumers with a higher sense of financial well-being tell us they are on track to meet their financial goals. Whether or not they have a formal financial plan, they are setting goals that are important to them, and working toward those goals. Think of this as moving toward financial freedom, for the future.
FLEXIBILITY TO MAKE CHOICES - These consumers have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow them to enjoy life, whatever that means to them. Whether that is taking a family vacation, going out to eat, or working less to spend more time with family, these consumers have the financial flexibility to do what they value and what makes them happy. This can be described as having financial freedom, in the present."
You will note that the first two are statements about security, now and in the future. The second two are about freedom: the ability to make choices either today, or in the future - our goals.
Of course, that is just a conceptual framework. The exciting part is asking people what that means for them, and then working out how best to help them with that. Link.