When a client of mine visited me may years ago, he picked up a pen and piece of paper to make a note and immediately challenged me about whether I was an independent financial planner or whether I worked for the company whose pen and pad he had picked up?

He was being facetious but he made a very valuable point (for me at least).

How can I claim to be independent but then I hand a client a pen from company A when she signs an application form for company A and all the while pressing on the desk pad from the same company?

Right then and there I cleared my office of anything that had reference to any company that we use – we are independent financial planners and can afford to buy our own stationery and calendars. There is no marketing material from any financial company in our office – they dont pay us to advertise on their behalf and will not compromise our independence either.

I was reminded of this when I saw this sign on the wall outside a financial planning practice in Cape Town…I understand what they mean but does the average client? Are you independent or do you work for Discovery?

No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post)