They say smooth seas don’t make good sailors. Well, the last few years have certainly made some seasoned sailors from the financial services industry. In our weekly editorial meetings, we always look at what our community is reading, what you all spend the longest time on, and what articles don’t attract interest at all.
I have to say, the theme that keeps coming up in those results is twofold - first, anything that covers legislation and change is widely clicked on. The second is that fact that this community is far more likely to click on a negative headline than a positive one.
You might say that makes perfect sense. After all, we all know that good news does not sell. But I believe it goes deeper than that. This group of people have been conditioned to bad news, criticism, and a constantly shifting landscape. So much so that I believe it’s all that most of us come to accept.
While we do have some good news that we talk about and receive great reactions to - the
7.4million reach of our latest educational program, Secrets of the Money Masters - most of the time advisers are clicking on, reading, and more importantly expecting bad news.
So it’s time to make some tough decisions for advisers. I read the latest Adviser Ratings report that said that 14,000 advisers will leave the industry. Sure, some new ones will enter, and accountants will also take on advice, which means the gap wont be as large, but in the main, 14,000 have decided the education standards, changing business model and bad news environment means they want out.
For those of you who are left navigating the new world, I have no doubt that you will be successful.
Australians desperately need advice and the upcoming advent of baby boomers coming to the end of their life span, and estate planning and inheritance becoming a bigger societal issue, means that the advisers who are left will be working in an environment that really does need technical financial advice in a way they may not have before.
But will you choose to focus on the positives of being an adviser? Commit to spreading good news stories about the work you are doing? Ask your clients to recommend you or get written testimonials of the difference you make? Because this is the choice you can make that will repair trust more quickly, and see the landscape settle into one where it is widely accepted that financial advice is a respected profession that serves the best interests of the clients.
I know this may not feel a natural thing to do. And often is easier to hunker down and look after what’s on your plate at the moment - which I have no doubt is a lot.
But without this type of focus on spreading the good word, and combating the bad, it’s going to take a lot longer for positive change to set in. So make the decision and get your good news out there. We are always here to help.
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