In the past some might have assumed that good financial advice is about picking the right stocks. But that’s a misnomer, says Mark Minchin, managing partner, Minchin Moore Private Wealth.
Minchin acknowledges an understanding of markets is helpful. But he says a desire to make a difference in people's lives through tailored advice is key.
“Most of the time, advice is not about buying and selling stocks. It’s about whether people are saving enough or spending too much. It’s about finding out how people are preparing for retirement, depending on how long they intend to remain in the workforce. It’s about uncovering their goals and helping them get there. This is where an adviser can add the most value to clients.”
As a result, Minchin prioritises good client communication. “I write up detailed notes when I meet clients, which I'm in the habit of sending back to them. Quite often clients come back to me and say, ‘How on earth did you remember everything I said?’
“I reaffirm the detail because it’s so important to be attentive to what my clients want to achieve. I try to influence clients to take pathways in life that are going to be rewarding and most importantly help them achieve their goals. It takes time to develop the trust and rapport you need to influence people.”
Early in his career, Minchin faced a choice between taking a management role or pursuing a career in providing financial advice. “As an adviser, I have more control over my success. Yes, you're employed by the firm with which you work, but ultimately you're employed by the clients you serve and if you do a great job for them you can create your own career path.”
Minchin has worked with a number of successful financial services firms in Australia, before starting his own business in 2010, which became Minchin Moore in 2011.
Minchin Moore as it stands today was born from the intention to create an advice firm that was independently owned and really helping clients. It hasn’t happened quickly but we are doing everything we set out to do.
Minchin Moore now has seven partners and 20 staff. It manages around $1 billion in assets for high-net-worth clients and not-for-profit institutions.
“When it comes to investing, we work with clients to build a set of rules for how their portfolio should be managed. The intention is to bring their personal goals and values to life in how we craft those rules. In most cases, we find clients don't want to be involved in the day-to-day running of their portfolio, so long as we're implementing the investment strategy according to the those rules.,” Minchin explains.
It’s evident just how passionate Minchin is about his clients. “I set out to make people’s lives easier by giving them clarity around their finances. I’m a sounding board for all the financial decisions they make during their life and build prudent investment strategies to allow clients to grow and protect their wealth.”
It comes as no surprise he has firm views about the future of financial advice. “More and more financial advice is attracting people whose primary motivation is to make their clients’ lives less stressful and more affluent. In the past, I think some people became involved in advice because they were driven by a fascination with the investment markets. While understanding the markets is obviously important it is not the key driver to providing tailored advice.”
As such, Minchin is pleased the industry is becoming an advice-first profession. “The skills people need in this next generation of advisers are different. They need to have good emotional intelligence to understand people, as well as good technical skills to deliver sound strategies.”
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