Why it’s all about trust

As financial advisers, our aim and duty is to inspire confidence in our clients. This must seem obvious, but it is something that we need to work at every day. We can’t afford complacency. Our services are more in demand than ever as the need for financial advice has become more acute, yet we know that people find it difficult to find and ultimately trust financial advice.

Consider the ongoing fall out of the credit crunch, the seemingly endless era of ultra low interest rates, constantly tightening regulation and ever changing tax rules and legislation, let alone the state of the bond and equity markets, geo-political volatility and so on. Not only do our clients need to trust us to navigate our way through these treacherous seas, but as importantly, so do the professional introducers we work with – the accountants and solicitors that introduce their clients to us.

The events at Woodford Investment Management, the fallen star of fund management is a recent example of mismanagement causing trust to plummet. Each day it seems, new allegations emerge about the conduct of the managers, custodians, platforms, regulators and financial advisers who knew what, when and who didn’t do something to prevent the misery suffered by ordinary investors. These investors face the prospect of huge losses, whilst the big bosses at the firm seem to prosper.

We are all urged to be vigilant about financial scams and frauds and yet we hear that the most unlikely people fall victim to convincing conmen. Small bands of crooks target not only vulnerable pensioners for their freed-up nest eggs, but also the more savvy over 55s who have now been given responsibility for making investment decisions about their financial plans in retirement. Take the 11,500 people owed £237 million following the collapse of London Capital & Finance, Internet-enabled fraudsters fleeced investors who were conned into believing LCF was kosher and regulated. Tens of millions was spent on Facebook and Google reeling investors in, who with hindsight, should have sought financial advice. How could anyone have trusted LCF?

We understand that it is difficult to know where to find quality financial advice in light of these events. We must continue to be evangelical about our duty to our clients and the professionals who trust us with their clients. We are here to spread the word that we are professional Independent Financial Advisers, not salespeople. We believe financial planning is almost a calling, and we measure our worth on the value that we add to our clients.

At Beaufort Financial, we are independent financial advisers and we do our very best to find the best solution for our clients – and we are fortunate to know that we are doing it right, because of the endorsements of our clients and the recommendations of our professional connections