Inform, educate, empower?

Inform, educate, empower?

You will see this on much of our literature, as it is something we strongly believe in. There is not much in financial services that does not have considerable implications many months or years from the original decision, so most things need considering from many different angles.

Just telling someone is not enough, (inform), but it is a start. Any client needs to know what has been or is about to be done on their behalf in terms they understand. There is no excuse for "blinding people with science", life is complicated enough without trying to be clever at someone else's expense.

More importantly, they need to understand the implications, both now, in the medium term and in later years. This education must be understandable to the client and needs to include the considerations that relate to their circumstances. It does not need to include things that do not relate to them as this is likely to confuse rather than assist.

Good financial advice is a collaborative process, with the client and adviser working together to meet the client's goals. The client needs to be empowered to question and guide the adviser to a clear understanding of the required outcomes. The relative importance of various goals will change over time and a financial plan will need to be flexed to reflect the changing agenda.

The most useful thing a client can do is have an idea of what they would like to achieve, but no fixed views on how to get there. There needs to be a proper dialogue to ensure that nothing is lost in the transition from objective to action. There also needs to be regular feedback, from adviser to client and the other way round.

Very little in life is constant and unchanging; using inform, educate and empower, we are giving our clients the tools to direct their financial futures. They know what is important for them, are aware of what will influence their financial outcomes and have the confidence to ask where they are unsure or when objectives change.

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The information contained is for guidance only and does not constitute financial advice. It is based on our understanding of UK legislation, whether proposed or in force, and market practice at the time of writing. Levels, bases and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. Accordingly no responsibility can be assumed by Martin-Redman Partners its officers or employees, for any loss in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction.