By Matt Torney.
Meet Neil & Heather. They are long-term clients of Muirfield Financial Services. In fact, they have been with us for more than 20 years now—such is the value of long-term financial advice.
Neil & Heather first attended a seminar hosted by MFS in 1999 after growing frustrated at the lack of concern from their adviser at the time. They felt they were just another number.
Some genuine concern for their financial position and a more rounded approach to financial advice was the missing ingredient in the eyes of Neil & Heather. We’re happy to say we were able to fill the gap for them and offer a plan to suit their needs.
Following are some questions we put forward to Neil & Heather to hear more about their story and why they chose the services of a local financial planner.
What was your major financial challenge before employing the services of Muirfield?
I (Neil) had had a major health scare and then a couple of years later got retrenched from my job.
With a young family, I was worried about the best way to invest this money (redundancy package) and plan for my family in the future.
It wasn’t easy to know what to do.
What made you select Muirfield over some of our competitors?
When I was retrenched from my first job, I was given the option of going to a financial adviser. At this stage, I knew little about finance.
My first adviser was very clinical and did not give me a feeling that he cared about my financial future; he was just going through the motions.
My wife had been to a seminar run by Muirfield, so we went for a review.
The attitude was completely different, and we felt that this company cared about us as people, and we were not just a number.
It was more tailored to us.
How did our advice help you solve your major financial issues?
At the time, our main goal was to make sure we had enough to retire with.
Each year we met with Hayden, and now Matt, and I would send a plan on my finances and where I wanted to be financially by retirement.
We would discuss the best way for us to achieve our goals and discuss our past performance.
Apart from our goals, we had elderly parents and their assistance was invaluable in sorting through financial and nursing home decisions.
Probably one of the most important aspects of their advice was their communication during difficult market times, like the GFC and Covid where we never panicked thanks to their constant updates and explanation of market cycles.
What are some of your financial goals now as an individual or family?
Now that we are retired, we annually discuss the markets and our current situation as well as our options as we get older.
They also keep us informed on government pension options. Our main financial goal is to have a comfortable retirement and be able to enjoy ourselves as well.
Peace of Mind in a Crisis
Thank you so much Neil for sharing your personal story with us.
As you can see, perhaps the major benefit of having a financial adviser is keeping you sane in times like the onset of a global pandemic.
Rather than going into lockdown and leaving clients to fend for themselves it was a matter of us ramping up our dialogue with clients and ensuring they had little reason to panic.
Unfortunately, thousands of DIY investors had easy access to the panic button or sat in call centre queues with their questions left unanswered. Many headed for the exits and watched from the sidelines as the market recovered and returned to record highs as well. It pays to have the guidance of a cool head in a situation like a pandemic or global financial crisis as alluded to by Neil.
But whatever the reason for seeking financial advice, a good starting point is a personal relationship and a thorough understanding of a client’s situation. It can be so easy to get lost in the noise if this foundation is lacking in the first place.
Make sure you’re not left in the dark if another ‘black swan’ rears its ugly head. Seek the services of a trusted financial adviser when it comes to making decisions about your family’s future.