One year of When: Non je ne regrette rien
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When it comes to the most important things in life, we need to prioritise them. Our families, our oldest friends, our communities, our health and even our careers. If we don’t then we run the risk of disconnecting from what’s most important to us; from the people and causes we care most about.
And when it comes to major life goals, we need to prioritise them as well. Otherwise they just won’t happen. But prioritising the big goals means giving up on other things and challenging what feels comfortable. You need courage to change course in life, especially when things are going along fine.
Things were going along fine for us. As financial planners employed within a large institution we had the comfort of a monthly salary, local colleagues whose company we enjoyed, and clients we loved to work for. We built our expertise in retirement planning and were provided with opportunities to become CFP® professionals.
Time for a change
But over the course of the Royal Commission into Financial Services, it became crystal clear to us that things had to change. The financial services industry had forgotten how to serve. It had become unhitched from community expectations.
The community expects financial advisers to serve their clients and their clients alone. There should be no other vested interests. No employer seeking to distribute its in-house financial products. No employer seeking to limit the topics of the advice just because it’s easier.
And advisers should be paid only by their clients. No commissions, volume-based bonuses, or asset-based fees that are linked to the number of products sold.
We decided we wanted to be part of the solution. But that would require us to resign and start our own professional practice.
Not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.
With the support of our families and our local community, we decided ‘when’ was May 2019 and we founded When Financial Solutions.
It has now been twelve months and we don’t regret a thing. It has been exciting building a professional practice that serves the North West and New England regions. Specialist retirement planners who are paid only by our clients and only for the services we provide. And what you see is what you get. There are no hidden agendas.
We work with our clients to help them understand not if but when they can achieve the things that are most important to them. When they can retire; when they can stop working and start doing things they’re more passionate about; when they can buy the caravan, and start to travel; when they can renovate the kitchen; when they can study that course; and when they can take time out to teach the grandchildren to drive.
And things are going well for us. In just twelve months we have set a foundation for the long-term. We have established a brand we’re proud of, provided advice to more than a hundred local clients, moved into our new premises in Marius Street, and even taken on our first employee.
We’re thankful for the support of our families, our community, and of course our clients.
It's an honour to serve
The reality is it’s an honour to serve the people in the North West and New England regions of NSW. To help them make informed decisions so that they have the confidence to spend money, safe in the knowledge that their retirement plans are sustainable.
Because it’s not a matter of ‘if’ your retirement will be satisfying, but ‘when’.
Michael Bowman and James McMaster are co-founders of When Financial Solutions