When talking to clients there is one word that generates the greatest reaction and it is not as obvious as it may seem. I will even forgive you for thinking…cost!
No, it is much more subtle than that; it is the word “risk”. Responses when people initially hear that word for the first time often fall into two camps.
There is the fairly common wry change in facial expression from jovial to sad or the full blown gesture of outstretched arms, open palms pushing away subconscious fear. These people instinctively sense danger and financial ruin.
Of course there are other occasions when reactions are totally the opposite. Eyes can widen and the pokerfaced struggle to hide the grin. These people instinctively think opportunity, reward and excitement. Do you know which school you would fall into?
Risk is very hard to quantify and one person’s ability to sleep comfortably at night could be someone else’s worst nightmare. Risk surrounds us all day, every day: climbing the stairs, crossing the street or even making a cup of tea, but we learn from childhood how to assess, monitor and ultimately deal with risk. Our minds very quickly tell us if it’s safe to proceed.
However, when it comes to financial risk our brains can turn to mush. Emotions escalate. Brave, courageous souls instantly turn to cowering wimps and the meek and mild can conversely summon up aggressive behaviour that would make grown men blush.
Risk should never be taken in isolation, it should always be used in conjunction with the word reward, the prize at the end of the journey: your financial objective. The old adage of greater risk resulting in greater reward is not always true. Not in today’s world.
Part of our job here at Financial Management Bureau is to discuss, understand, measure and quantify not only your financial goals but also how much time you have to achieve them and crucially what level of risk you are prepared to tolerate along the way.
When it comes to financial planning, risk is the foundation that everything else is built upon; it underpins everything we do and we don’t shy away from talking about it. We tackle it head on to ensure you are comfortable, content and completely understand your financial plan.
We don’t have any magic wands but we do have the tools, knowledge and skill to guide you.
Myth Buster No. 1
‘I don’t like taking financial risks; my money is safe in the bank’.
From the middle of January 2009, (the eye of the perfect storm that was the credit crunch), until the 1st April 2012, £50,000 invested in the Halifax Liquid Gold account would now be valued at £50,305. In the same time period the Retail Price Index has increased by 14.61%. That means the price of every day goods and services that could have been purchased for £50,000 just over 3 years ago would now cost £57,305.
That does not meet my definition of safety.