30 July 2021

My journey in Financial Planning

As the Founder and Principal of Forbes Financial, which I started in 2008, I am often asked what motivated me to start the business and why I chose a career in Financial Planning.

I grew up in financial services, as my father ran a successful firm which I then joined at aged 21, which does seem a long time ago now. The experience provided me with extensive exposure and dealings with all aspects of financial planning and, following in my father’s footsteps, I then chose to pursue a career in financial services. Working with people to deliver advice and support was the greatest appeal to me.

Having been advising for some 25 years, I understand what it means to be a good adviser. Technically, most advisers have the same tools in their toolbox, so shouldn’t we therefore all be able to achieve and deliver the right outcome?

Well, it doesn’t quite work that way. Not all advisers have the tools or know how to use and apply them in the right way.

I always say the best tools I have are my ears, as the only way I can give proper, meaningful advice is to take the time to properly understand my clients’ needs. This involves me asking a lot of questions. I call my work ‘real financial planning’. There are plenty of advisers out there who just want to provide you with a product or a solution to something they think you need – but this is not financial planning.

Real financial planning is about taking the time to fully understand clients, their current position, and their goals and aspirations for the future. It’s about finding out what makes them tick and what is most important to them. I then align planning and solutions to what they say is important to them.

In taking this approach, I keep the client at the centre of everything I do, which tends to build close and trusted relationships. I’ve been advising many of my clients for over two decades.

I am driven by a desire to develop long term and trusted relationships with our clients. Our regular review process is key to ensuring that we always understand a client’s position. This enables both myself and the wider team towards meeting their continuing needs and to help deliver their desired outcomes. No client is the same, and I continue to enjoy the challenge of analysing a client’s unique position and designing an appropriate plan that aims to deliver on their desired outcomes for the future.

As our world becomes increasingly automated, I am a firm believer that face-to-face advice and human interaction are of key importance. Albeit more so via Zoom than sitting down for coffee at the moment!

Together with my team, we ensure that everyone that every one of our clients feels individually valued and supported. Whenever the need, we want clients to feel confident that they can pick up the phone and call us. This relationship-based approach is what has made Financial Planning such a great career for me.

By Matthew Forbes

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