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Our Core Values: 4 – Empowerment

Of all the core values we identified in our rebranding process, this is the one that excited me the most, and I think that’s because it is SO different from the norm in financial services.

You see, there’s a common approach taken by financial advisers which seeks to protect the technical knowledge we have so that we become invaluable to our clients.

That seems to make sense on the face of it – make yourself indispensable and you can charge more, right?

But we live in the internet age now, and the entire sum of human knowledge is available at the end of a Google search. So clearly, knowledge does not equal power – and fees – as it once did.

Let’s face it, financial planning can be complex, but it isn’t brain surgery or theoretical physics. If I can do it, then anyone can!

And yet I still see advisers say things to their clients like ‘don’t you worry about that, just trust me and I’ll deal with it.’ What arrogance to think that we advisers have a greater capacity for understanding than our clients!

Internet Psychology

I have built my career on giving everything I know about personal finance away for free.

In 2010 I uploaded my first video to YouTube under the name of Meaningful Money (please don’t search for that early video – it’s very embarrassing!) Now nearly 500 videos and more than 500 podcast episodes later, I have covered the ins and outs of personal finance from every possible direction and built a large audience off the back of my efforts.

You might suggest that by giving away my hard-won knowledge and experience, when I charge for it at Jacksons, I’m doing myself and the company a disservice. But the internet doesn’t work that way.

Despite all the free content available online, both my own and other people’s, many people still find it very difficult to press the button and make life-changing financial decisions without support. And so we are inundated with new enquiries from smart people who have watched the videos, read the book, listened to the podcast and who still want help from a professional.

Give it away and more people want to pay you for the in-person version – how interesting!

Empowerment at Jacksons

We believe in empowering those who trust us with their financial planning in a number of ways.

We always try to speak in plain English and explain the complexities of financial planning in a way that they can understand. It is important to us that our clients understand what we are doing for them.

We believe in collaboration, not delegation. When a client says to us ‘just go ahead’ while we’re grateful for the trust, we’re not satisfied – we want them to understand and be on board with the reasons for our recommendations.

Our relationships with clients are deep and nurturing; we are coaches to our clients, helping them to make great decisions that will help them live more fulfilled lives. We love to walk alongside our clients, cheering them on to greatness and celebrating the wins along the way.

Internally, we love to help our team members identify their skills and where we can, help them to develop those strengths. Whether that’s by paying for courses or exams, or creating opportunities for those skills to be expressed, seeing our colleagues come into their own is a joy.

We have big long-term goals to empower local young people to start their adult lives with good financial skills, through speaking in schools and colleges in West Cornwall.

And in due course, we want to partner with a debt counselling charity to give people the tools they need to throw off the chains of debt once and for all.

Empowerment is power

Money Empowerment is power

Money has no intrinsic power, but it can exert force over us in the way we handle it.

Mishandle our money and we can spiral into debt and depression. Handle it well, and the future is bright indeed.

Empowering our clients to do the latter is our calling. When a client outgrows our services and feels able to take on the management of their affairs on their own, we consider that a job well done.

Pete Matthew