Late last year, we engaged an independent market research firm to survey a selection of our clients to help us better understand whether we are meeting clients needs and to identify areas for improvement.
Thank you very much to everybody who participated and also for the many positive comments. The market research firm informed us that the response rate was almost double that of the average survey they conduct and we see that in itself as a positive.
Survey Questions and Scoring Key
|Understanding||How well do you believe your Adviser understands your personal financial needs?|
|Business Relationship||How comfortable do you feel talking about your financial needs? What is the level of trust between yourself and your Adviser?|
|Financial Knowledge||What level of technical knowledge do you believe your Adviser has in relation to your financial needs? This includes the knowledge contained within the practice, and its network of associates.|
|Range of Financial Services||How well do you think the range of products and services your Adviser offers matches your needs?|
|Implementation of Solutions||How well do you believe your Adviser has followed through and implemented solutions to your financial needs? This may include the time taken to implement a solution, the process that was followed, and whether you received what you expected.|
|Professionalism of Business Practice||How do you rate the overall professionalism of the practice in terms of its business operations, business premises, furnishings, equipment, image and location?|
|Standard of Support Staff||How do you rate the standard of the support staff in terms of professionalism, dependability and courteousness?|
|Financial Review Process||How well does your Adviser keep up to date with your changing financial needs? Do they regularly ask for details on your changing circumstances and update you on whether you are achieving your financial and personal goals?|
|Communication||What is the standard of communication you receive from your Adviser regarding relevance, quality and frequency of communication, including letters, newsletters, telephone calls, seminars etc?|
|5 – Excellent||Expectations always met and consistently exceeded|
|4 – Good||Expectations always met and sometimes exceeded|
|3 – Satisfactory||Expectations usually met, with an occasional problem|
|2 – Poor||Regularly fails to meet expectations|
|1 – Very Poor||Rarely meets expectations|
Summary of survey results
The survey benchmarks us with industry peers nationally, as well as providing feedback from our clients on nine key performance indicators. Furthermore, we are informed that the firms within the peer group tend to be practices which are regarded as above average. We are very proud then to be advised that we rank in the top quartile on every measurement.
Average scores by category are detailed in the table below and we are delighted our clients think so highly of our firm.
A great many of you made specific mention of the quality of our staff. That is great to hear and again every member of the firm understands that they share the responsibility of looking after our client’s financial well-being.
At FB Wealth Management, we are continually striving for improvement in everything we do. So it is probably no surprise for you to know that we all sifted through the many positive comments to look for any criticisms or areas that may require attention.
|Category||FB Wealth Management||Benchmark Average||Variance||Quartile|
|Range of Financial Services||4.38||4.12||0.26||75-100%|
|Implementation of Solutions||4.55||4.17||0.38||75-100%|
|Professionalism of Business Practice||4.56||4.38||0.18||75-100%|
|Standard of Support Staff||4.71||4.36||0.35||75-100%|
|Financial Review Process||4.44||3.95||0.49||75-100%|
Areas for improvement
More regular updates
A common request from Financial Planning clients was for more meetings and/or more regular portfolio updates.
The updates is an area that we have been looking at in some detail. Given that most clients now have access to email, we are working towards automating reports that can be sent on a quarterly or half yearly basis. We hope to be in a position to implement more frequent automatic portfolio updates for Secure clients during the first half of 2017 and to Investment Review clients soon thereafter. However, you are always welcome to call for specific portfolio updates and we can generally provide a detailed report at short notice.
Having more regular meetings is a more complex issue as our fee schedule is a delicate balance of minimising costs and maximising services for clients. Clients who feel that more regular face-to-face meetings would be of benefit, are welcome to contact me or any of the other Advisers to discuss their needs. We can certainly help in this regard. As you would expect, we are always available if there is an urgent/unexpected issue to resolve.
One client made mention of the amount of paperwork and reports that we inflict upon you. Sadly, while we feel your pain, this may be a fact of life for the foreseeable future. Governments have moved to stamp out shady behaviour in the financial world. Their key solution was to bury you in paperwork that will protect you (if you get around to reading it!)
It is the area of planning that we like the least, particularly as we know it adds little value to your lives. We are constantly seeking ways to streamline processes but also must concede that signatures in our presence are often necessary to guard against rising levels of internet fraud.
We are working on simplifying our reporting where possible and hopefully you will notice this in the reporting you receive for your next review. Again, it is a balance between compliance and common sense.
Another client wondered whether, with our knowledge of investments, we should be able to ride out periods of market volatility better than most. While we employ numerous strategies such as diversification, cash flow planning, dollar cost averaging and very careful manager selection, we do not profess to any inside knowledge of the direction of markets. In fact, any good fund manager will acknowledge the same. On any given day, it is possible to read financial opinions from intelligent commentators who may have diametrically opposed views on the market. Our role is to help you trust the markets in the longer term, based on the empirical evidence that over the long-term the amount of risk you take will ultimately determine the returns you will achieve.
Overall, survey participants indicated they are happy with the level of service received by FB Wealth Management. Unfortunately, two clients felt that there had been a diminishment in our service to them over time. This is two too many, and I urge those clients to contact me directly to ensure we rectify their specific situation.
We have differing scales of service, accompanied by differing levels of fees. In all cases though, we recognise that every client deserves attention and respect and apologise if it appears that this has not been forthcoming, even if only in a few cases.
The survey indicated that 97% of clients are willing to refer us to friends, family and colleagues and 69% have already referred us. We appreciate each and every referral, even if in some cases we are ultimately unable to assist.
Referrals are our lifeblood and are an enjoyable way to conduct a practice. We do not advertise, and in fact we do not accept appointments from anyone who does not tell us who referred them.
If you wish to refer someone to us, we are always happy to speak to you first. We are also happy to speak to the potential client too. Initially, this may be by phone and in some cases we can assist with simple queries without any further contact or cost. Where it seems that we can provide value, we then arrange an initial meeting at no cost to the person being referred to us. At that meeting we would be able to outline, in general terms, possible strategies, services and costs with no obligation on the part of the potential client.
I would also like to specifically address the issue of Risk Insurance within our practice. Long-standing clients will remember that I made laboured attempts to provide insurance advice back in the early days of the practice. Even then I was a strong believer that it is an essential part of a financial plan, particularly for younger clients and those who have significant debt obligations. In hindsight, I was not very good at it, because it is actually a very involved area of expertise in its own right that should not be done by a part-timer. When Tim joined the practice and specialised in Risk, he took it to a level of professionalism that I believe is unmatched in Queensland. Those of you who have used the service and particularly those who have had to claim on the insurance can well attest to his advocacy on behalf of our clients.
I bring this to your attention because I believe that in many cases a referral to Tim may be an easier introduction to our firm for younger people. Despite the misguided beliefs of politicians, we know that insurance needs to be conducted on a commission basis i.e. a success fee. The advantage for a potential client is that we can assist in assessing their insurance requirements and implementing the policies required. Over time, as the client recognises the need, he or she can access our Financial Planning services.
Many of you have actually started your relationship with us in the same way and know that it is a very good way to develop familiarity with, and confidence in, our firm before there is any fee-based financial commitment.
We are grateful to clients who took the time to provide feedback to us through this survey and appreciate your honesty helping us to identify areas of improvement. It is pleasing to note that, in general, we are meeting the needs of our clients – and sometimes exceeding these expectations.
We are hopeful that the survey feedback provides a good indication of how clients in general perceive our firm. If your experience with our firm differs from these survey results, we encourage you to let us know, particularly if you have any concerns. By letting us know if you have concerns, you are giving us the opportunity to remedy the situation and improve our service to you.
In closing, the team here at FB Wealth Management are very much looking forward to working with you in 2017.