I have had the same group of friends for over 20 years now, and in all that time they have never had a clue as to what I actually do for a living. “Er…she does something to do with numbers…?” I forgave them when I was an econometrician, and even I’m not really sure what CRM actually stands for! But this time I am determined to get my friends to understand what I do.
I’m going for a 2-stage approach!
Phase 1 – explain what Engage Financial Services does as a business.
Phase 2 – explain where I fit in.
In this blog I’m going to focus on phase 1. Here goes…
As a business, Engage Financial Services Ltd specialises in planning - helping our clients develop and achieve meaningful life and financial objectives.
So clearly, Financial Planning is what we do! In order to build a bespoke financial plan for a client, we need to get a full view of their financial and lifestyle goals and objectives – understanding what is really important to them in the short, medium and long term.
It’s also equally important to get a view of their current financial situation, covering areas such as:
Assets e.g. houses, pensions, savings, investments etc
Liabilities e.g. mortgages, loans etc
Income e.g. salary, bonuses, pension income, rental income etc
Expenditure e.g. house bills, car maintenance, holidays, childcare etc
It’s only once we fully understand the whole picture that we can then create a financial strategy to enable our clients to achieve their goals. Whether it’s recommendations for helping our clients to grow wealth for retirement, optimise tax efficiencies, pay down debt in a strategic manner, buy/sell property – we work through what our clients need to do to get as close to their goals as possible.
And goals are not always achievable (sadly, I’m unlikely to be giving up work at 40 and spending my long retirement traveling round the world on a private jet) but it’s our job to discuss the tough realities that might mean working a bit longer than planned, or cutting down on some of the luxuries, or downsizing their home etc. It’s about recognising what is most important to the client, prioritising, and making it happen.
UNDERSTAND > PRIORITISE > OPTIMISE
A second area where Engage Financial Services can provide significant benefit is in the less tangible (but no less valuable) area of behavioural coaching.
This is where we help our clients understand their own behaviours and use this awareness to enable them to increase their effectiveness and, ultimately, their happiness. Just some of the areas we support clients through are:
Focussing on what’s most important personally
Understanding their personal story and how this affects their financial views
Helping focus on the big picture, whilst making small changes
Discussing what success & failure looks like and why
Understanding what financial independence looks like
We help guide our clients towards greater self-awareness and better decision making - keeping them focused on the priorities that we identified when developing their financial plan. Keeping clients to their plan is imperative to achieving the objectives they have set.
The third key area where we can add value for our clients is in Investment Management. Once we’ve developed a financial plan for a client, we then build a strategy for managing their investments to best achieve the goals we have defined.
In a nutshell, investment management covers setting up an investment strategy, utilising tax efficient wrappers such as ISA’s or pension, buying and selling funds, portfolio monitoring and re-balancing, tracking, monitoring and reporting. We have a robust investment process (which we can detail in full if you’re into these things), which can be described as index investing – focussing on low cost, long-term stability and growth. So only those with a medium to long term view should invest and they should, as Mr Buffet (major American investor and philanthropist and currently the world’s 4th richest man, so he knows his stuff) so often reminds us - invest and forget. Along with our investment committee, we identify and select portfolios that best reflect these principles.
Unusually in financial services, we don’t charge our clients based on the amount of assets we manage for them. This means that the cost of our investment management service is covered by our fixed annual fee – and this means we don’t profit by clients investing with us. This allows us to be totally unbiased when it comes to the advice process.
And there’s still more….
Our ultimate aim is to take as much hassle away from our clients as possible. They don’t need to worry about their finances because we are taking care of them. Alongside removing financial stresses – we support our clients in all sorts of different ways.
Whether it's facilitating the paperwork so they don’t have to, or lending an ear on a potential business deal - we are only ever a phone call away. It’s kind of like a financial concierge, or a personal Chief Finance Officer. We save our clients time, energy, stress and money - to enable them to focus on what is really important to them.
So… how have I done? Hopefully that’s given a bit more clarity on what Engage Financial Services Ltd is all about. If you would like to know more about any of the areas I’ve mentioned – or if you’re super excited to hear the full detail of our investment strategy that I touched on above – do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 020 3637 7007.