When we talk about “ethics” we are referring to a philosophy of dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions. It’s around justice, truth-telling and promise-keeping.
Where do you see yourself in the above statement? Do you have moral principles that allow you to look yourself in the mirror each morning knowing you are putting your clients’ needs first? Knowing you are keeping your promises and telling your clients the truth? People can handle the truth. Often, they can’t handle a lie!
The culture of your business is a good place to look to see if there is a culture of openness, honesty and transparency. If not, you might want to have a dig a little to try and find why these valuable traits are missing.
Here’s a really good test of your own ethics as a businessperson. Would you give the same advice to your parents that you would give to your clients?
It is so easy to slip into the “she’ll be right” attitude “ it’s only Joe Bloggs I am dealing with”. Shift your thinking now before all your Joe Bloggs find another adviser.
When was the last time or, in fact have you ever, done a client survey to determine what your clients think of you, your business and your processes? Get a third party to survey them. You might be surprised at the results, and it might be the best messaging you ever received.
Good staff and good systems are critical today to ensure a smooth-running business. With the new legislation coming at us quickly where good record-keeping and disputes registers are top of mind with the FMA, is your business ready for the new world?
With a well-run business it gives you the power to know you are trying to give your clients the best experience possible. It allows confidence in financial decision-making by your clients because they have trust in your judgement. It gives them confidence around budgeting and spending decisions. It gives peace of mind and higher levels of happiness.
At the recent FSC Roadshow I spoke with many advisers and brokers about where they were at with licencing, getting qualified and decisions around becoming an FAP or joining one. I estimate only around 30% -35% have made final decisions or are near to them. If the polling is true only a small percentage have actually applied for and been granted their transitional licence. Whilst you still have just under four months to go if you haven’t made your mind up yet, I suggest you start getting your house in order now.
We know from the number of advisers currently undergoing their level 5 training there are many more yet to start that process. With everything else going on in adviser land it is a good time to get at least the qualification piece under way. We are here to help so give us a call.
Ethics, it’s an interesting value that can set you apart from the competition. In today’s world you can get by with little on the ethics front and, for a while you might succeed, but you will be found out eventually and the price you pay may be very high indeed.