By Richard Peters CFP™, Chartered Financial Planner at Fortitude Financial Planning
Starting in the financial profession in 2014, Richard joined Fortitude Financial Planning in 2016 after realising how the process of proper Lifestyle Financial Planning can truly enrich lives. He has just been approved as a Director of Fortitude Financial Planning.How it began
For me, I first saw working in financial services as a bit of a vocation – something that helps people make the most of what they have and afford the lifestyle they want. Of course, there’s good money to be made in the business too, but the focus should be on supporting clients to reach their goals.
When I first started out as a financial adviser, however, I found that generally this wasn’t what the profession was about. It was transactional and focused on selling products. This never quite sat right with me. Something was off.
I found it disheartening and frustrating that I couldn’t answer my clients’ key questions about their financial future. A pension or investment product won’t give clarity to complex questions such as, “When can I afford to stop work?”, and “Do I have enough money to last the rest of my lifetime?” And yet my role was focused on making a sale and looking for ways of selling the next product. I felt like a fraud!
I wanted to do more for my clients, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what that would look like or how I could get there. Feeling trapped and disillusioned, I looked around for my own answers.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for until I met Paul Armson and he introduced me to Lifestyle Financial Planning. Instead of being about the money, it’s first and foremost about the client’s life. They’re the hero of their own story, not their money, or their adviser. Welcome to my lightbulb moment! It became clear that it’s only once you understand your clients’ goals and aspirations that you can truly help them achieve their best life with the money they have.
Paul was a good listener and understood where I was coming from – a financial planning convert himself, he’d made the same journey I was about to go on. With a wealth of experience and passion for helping financial advisers make the move into Lifestyle Financial Planning, he gave me the direction I needed.
I joined Paul’s ‘Inspiring Advisers’ community and undertook his training modules, realising that this was the missing piece in my jigsaw. I found that what I was looking for to feel fulfilled professionally was to empower my clients to live the best lives they can, now and in the future, through real Lifestyle Financial Planning.
It starts by understanding what’s important to clients and how they want to live their life. Then through the power of financial planning, showing them what their financial future looks like, and ultimately helping them achieve their objectives, year after year.
This was a real eye-opener. I couldn’t go back to traditional financial advice – I no longer believed in it! I knew I had to either go it alone or find a company that lived and breathed Lifestyle Financial Planning that makes a real difference to the lives of their clients.
I wanted to join a firm that could help me ‘unlearn’ everything I knew and help me start again by ‘relearning’ – the right way this time! Paul introduced me to local Lifestyle Financial Planning companies – surprisingly, there were only two in my area.
After several conversations with Fortitude Financial Planning, it was clear we were a good fit for each other. It felt natural to make the all-important transition to Financial Planner with them. I had found my professional home!
Without Paul’s encouragement and education about the power of Lifestyle Financial Planning, I’m certain I would have eventually left the profession. Fortunately, instead of going down that path, I transformed from someone lacking in enthusiasm – essentially a product salesperson – to being energised, inspired, and adding real value to the lives of clients.
With Fortitude’s support, I became a Financial Planner and then achieved my Certified Financial Planner™ and Chartered Financial Planner qualifications. Today, I’m an owner of the company and have just been approved as a Director.
Now, I know I’m doing the right thing for my clients and their families, providing them with clarity in their financial arrangements and helping them achieve the best life possible with their money. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to be able to enrich lives and provide financial peace of mind for a living. As my role as a Lifestyle Financial Planner provides me with a great lifestyle too, it’s 100% a win-win situation!
When you truly believe in something, you need to go for it! It was absolutely the right decision for me and has helped transform my life and the lives of my clients for the better.
If you’re inspired by Richard’s story and are interested in a rewarding career as a Financial Planner with Fortitude, give us a call on 01327 354321.