Recently we were planning a seminar about pensions and we stopped to ask the question about who could benefit from it. We only allow in a small number of new clients on an annual basis. So in planning the seminar to provide advice to those who need it we asked the question: what kind of clients do we have at the moment? Do they share certain characteristics? Frankly, we had never thought of our clients as sharing characteristics before. We had always just thought of them as people with certain needs or objectives; people we could help.

As we discussed this topic it became clear that most of our clients do share similar values. We had not consciously set out to attract a particular type of client. But it seemed that the end result had been that we had indeed attracted clients who could be categorised by certain shared values. (We should say that we do have some clients who started with different characteristics who have ended up sharing the same values as the majority.) Because we network and interface with many financial adviser firms we also know that the general profile of a ForbesLawson client isn’t necessarily an exact match to other firms.

Generally, people don’t like to be categorised do they? Well that is unless it’s for something very favourable. In this case we believe it is. So here are the key characteristics we identified as being prevalent amongst our clients:

• They are wary of risk and generally err on the side of caution in their investment choice.
• They seek peace of mind when it comes to their finances.
• They seek protection for their loved ones as a fundamental strategy

Now if you are a ForbesLawson client and share these views you will say, “but that is just logical isn’t it?”. Well yes. It’s logical to you, but not to the rest of the world. If everyone thought like you, the multi-billion pound gambling industry would be a very small industry indeed. If everyone thought about taking a planned path to their future, financial instruments like spread-betting, cfd’s and day-trading wouldn’t have turned over billions from the inputs of non-professional traders.

You may remember from the risk profile we discuss when planning a strategy, that risk can be categorised as existing on different levels and the world is full of people who like to operate at high levels of risk or accept some degree of higher risk for a portion of their portfolio. It just so happens that none of our clients operate at high levels of risk. And logically it follows that they wouldn’t be our client for very long if they did: because it would run counter to our values and beliefs that we are there to plot the optimum path to financial security not to the possibility of a lottery win.

But, said someone who was in the session to help facilitate our thinking, what about all those people who have money to invest in ventures with a potentially higher yield? What about those people who want high risk, aren’t they potential clients too? “Ah…” we said, they go somewhere else where their desires can be accommodated. But sometimes they come back after they are altered by their experiences. By then they are looking for a good night’s sleep and peace of mind.

At ForbesLawson we do Plans for Life, because our clients want to safeguard their future. There’s a lot to be said for a good night’s sleep.

P.S. We are hosting a couple of special events entitled “Question Time” at the Holiday Inn, Westhill on Thursday 13th April which will run from 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. and then from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.. The events are geared towards providing key information about pension choices and we are lucky enough to have persuaded leading UK Pension Authority, John Reynolds, to host these events. It’s open to everyone. If you know anyone who is facing a decision about a pension, or who may be worried about the security of what was once thought to be a safe pension choice, please let them know about it. We would be pleased to welcome them and give some significant tips about what they need to think about. Attendees don’t have to talk! They can of course just listen. But questions from the audience will be most welcome as part of John’s briefing.