Nowadays, it’s really hard for an advisor to be across investment management, structuring and strategic advice. As the space gets more complicated, one person can’t be an expert in everything.
As an advisor, my passion is helping clients strategically, setting goals and helping with a quality decision framework, so that is where I focus my efforts. I know that I can add much more value to a client’s circumstance through strategic advice and structuring.
When I’ve got an investment question, I’ll bring in one of our investment professionals. Viridian has a team of professionals whose sole job is to look at investments. Because Viridian is a firm with some scale we can give our clients access to this specialisation and there’s no doubt that they get a better outcome as a result.
The key reason that we separate the investment discussion is to enable better strategic conversations about the future. Emotions are a big part of any healthy discussion about money. But it’s easy to let the current performance of the market influence your emotions and overall decision making. When the markets are up, people feel wonderful and don’t generally do a lot with their investments. But when markets collapse, people feel horrible and start to blend investment and strategy discussions.
An investment adviser should be able to tell you what they believe is suitable from an investment perspective, but that needs to be a separate conversation to “how much risk should you be taking right now, given your goals and stage of life?” It’s when these two discussions become merged that emotions can get in the way of good decision making.
So, if a client is exposed to market volatility, it’s really important that they have confidence in the team that is managing their investments. It’s also important that there’s someone they trust who can ask the hard questions about risk and goals, to make sure there’s no rash decisions. That’s why we have a team of full-time professionals at Viridian who just focus on investments. As a strategic advisor I can focus on building trust and understanding so when those market moments happen I can help my clients navigate through with their goals in sight.
Todd Clifford is Executive Advisor & Head of Client Experience at Viridian Advisory