Manning and Co look deeper in order to understand their clients’ financial needs
Giving a child pocket money for the first time can be a fascinating experience for a parent.
Some children will start speculating which house they’re going to buy on their road with 50 pence coin burning a hole in their pocket. Some will return with an almost always worrying quantity of sweets. Some, usually the favourite choice of the parent in question, will stash it away in a secret location, not to be touched on even the rainiest of days.
These tendencies are innocent and amusing in children, but they are often indicative of the type of spender an adult is to become. It would be a safe bet to assume the 35-year-old who has maxed out three credit cards was also the child who ran straight for the piggy bank. The person you would make that bet with probably gambled their first fifty pence into a pound.
Mike LeGassick, director of Manning & Company, has used this philosophy to grow his business into a company with a £3 million turnover. Writing in his best practice article for The Parliamentary Review, LeGassick highlights how important it is to understand the specific client rather than have just one approach. This doesn’t just mean ‘learning about the client’s needs’ in a business sense, an often used and unspecific term. It means understanding their financial tendencies, their subconscious patterns and the things they didn’t even realise were driving them.
Often, one of the first questions Manning & Company will ask is what the client’s earliest memories concerning money are. LeGassick writes ‘views on money are often instilled at a young age, and research has shown this to have a lasting effect on financial decisions made in later life’. The organisation seeks to understand the client’s parent’s attitude to money, with LeGassick saying ‘people are often irrational when it comes to finance, and the psychology of these decisions has to be understood’.
The company combine this with ‘anchoring questions’, such as whether they recall Black Monday, or what their understanding of the FTSE 100 is. These questions are designed to gauge how the client views their money and to correct anything that may be leading them down dangerous paths.
This approach cuts through miscommunications and gets results. A financial advisor who take a client at their word when told that they understand often complex subjects is one who is doing a disservice to the people they are working with. Most IFAs have a strong understanding of the financial world; it takes a particular type to boast a strong understanding of its clients.