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The role that financial advisors play in the lives of their clients is undergoing a paradigm shift around the world. Ageing populations, the impact of technology and the regulatory environment are changing what financial advisors do for clients. This evolution will affect what advisors charge for their services and how they provide value to the people they serve.
Canadian author Barry LaValley and Australian David Haintz have developed a roadmap for those advisors around the world who wish to move their practice to the future. The authors help readers redefine what financial advisors do and how to communicate their value.
The approach Barry and David outline is called "Life First" because it changes the advisor's focus to the life issues that will ultimately require sound financial and investment strategies. The authors believe that this 'new' advisor will become more of a financial coach and help clients formulate their vision of the future.
The book provides the reader with a comprehensive toolkit of best practices from top financial advisors around the world. Client communication, value proposition, discovery, ageing issues and gender all are redefined and modernized for readers who wish to survive in the midst of industry and client change.
This isn't just another practice management book, but a template for a new approach to being a valued financial advisor.
David is a CFP and a past director of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), in which time he was instrumental in the push for professionalism. Following a 28 year career with his own firm, David subsequently became a founding director of Shadforth Financial Group, which listed on the ASX and was taken over in 2014 for $670 million, with $13 billion under management, and $165 million annual revenue.
Whilst at Shadforth, David originated and on-boarded more new clients, more funds under management, and more revenue than any other of the 120 advisers, before moving into a advice leadership and coaching role in 2012. There, he took national client conversions from 25% to 67% in 12 months, on double the average FUM rate of the previous 4 years.
David was the sixth adviser in Australia to be awarded a Fellow of the FPA, and served on the FPA Disciplinary Committee for seven years, the FPA Professionalism Committee for six years, and was a national judge at the FPA’s inaugural Value of Advice Awards. He is a founding trustee of the Future2 Foundation, and lectured at the FINSIA for six years, and currently sits on the international Financial Planning Standards Board.
Having departed Shadforth in 2015, he has established Global Adviser Alpha – a B2B consultancy helping leading global advice businesses become world class and achieve outstanding result for all stakeholders.
He has presented at international conventions such as the UK Institute of Financial Planning and the South African Institute of Financial Planning conferences, and in 2016 had consulting engagements in 18 countries including diverse locations such as India and Germany.
The Life-First Advisor is David’s first book.
Barry LaValley is Principal, Right-Brain Advisor and is a leading authority in the North American Financial Services industry on client communication and financial gerontology. He has presented in Great Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mainland China, the US and Canada. In addition, he coaches advisors across the globe on the “Right-brain Approach” to client communication and how clients think, act and make decisions.
Barry started his career as a retail advisor in Canada in 1980. He moved to the Mutual Funds industry in 1987 as a Senior sales executive and finished that stage of his career with Fidelity in 1997.
Since that time, Barry’s focus has been on two areas: first, the issue of client communications and the psychology behind how advisors can “make their message stick”. Barry works with advisors and their firms to discuss how to communicate and create value for ageing clients. Second, he has been actively involved in research and education on Retirement transition through his company The Retirement Lifestyle Centre. He conducts retirement sessions for both advisors and clients across the globe.
Barry is one of the founders of the “life planning approach to financial planning” and was a contributor to the seminal meeting on financial life planning in St. Louis in 2002. In the past two decades, he has championed what he calls the “Life-first approach” which outlines how advisors can tie financial issues to life needs, concerns and goals.
Barry LaValley is an active writer and educator. He was a contributor (along with Carol Anderson) to Mitch Anthony’s book Your Clients for Life in 2003. He expanded on his ideas in 2005 in the book Put the Life into your Practice and has released So you think you are ready to retire? (2014) , The Retirement Advisor(2017) and now The Life-First Advisor.
— Alex Potts
CEO, Loring Ward Incorporated
San Jose CA, United States
“There are very few people in the world who understand Financial advisors and great advice as well as Barry and David. Their lifetimes of learning are now documented to help others provide the care to the folks who need it most. This is a must read for those who simply want to improve their care to clients.”