Written by Social Media Marketing Manager Leah Earle
I have been working at Bell Financial for a year and a half now and have learned a lot about financial planning as an industry. Coming in with a background in marketing I expected the environment to be, well, kinda dry with a lot of number crunching and grey suits. Although the advisors both own a grey suit they are dynamic and interesting individuals and that, it turns out, reflects the industry as a whole.
But three things I have learned really stand out. Here’s what they are, and why they matter.
First of all for a lot of people, money is a very emotional subject. Money means opportunity. Lack of money means struggle. Money provides the necessities of life, but also can help one realize their wildest dreams. So letting someone give you advice about money involves a great deal of trust. That is why relationships are so important in financial services. And like any relationship the one an advisor has with their client is going to be dynamic. Markets change, plans change, and people change so advice and planning are an on-going process. It takes strength, resolve and confidence to help people with their money and to weather the storm of emotions that comes with it.
The second thing I learned is that money isn’t just money. It’s any number of investments (some of them complicated) and precautions (some of them expensive) carefully made by each individual based on their unique situation and personality. At times, many clients will feel as though the best strategy might be to just stash their pile of cash under their mattress, but this isn’t silly just because someone might steal it – it’s also a missed opportunity. And poorly managed money is a missed opportunity that could be among of the greatest misses of your life.
The last thing is that I now understand that financial services can be a very altruistic industry. I see now that we at Bell Financial are helping people shape their futures and achieve their goals. It’s much harder work than divulging some secret for good returns and then collecting a cheque. Not that I ever saw it like that but I had wondered what exactly a financial planner did. Now I know that they are very invested in clients’ lives and that they provide support as well as advice, and spend a great deal of time acting as teachers, helping people understand the many choices they have and guiding them to make the right choices for them. This is important because most things, even some wonderful simple things like eating healthy, or seeing the world, cost money.
There are of course many other lessons and details I have picked up. Some simple like not to put Iron-on transfers in the office copy machine and others grand like what it takes to run a successful business. I am looking forward to what the next several years bring and of course looking forward to sharing it.