David Thomas, Head of Business Development
A lot of people are still unaware of the importance of financial wellbeing. At Schroders Personal Wealth, they believe financial wellbeing is not about having the most money, it’s about having enough to enjoy the things in life that make us happy and spending the money accordingly. It’s also about feeling in control, having financial freedom, and prioritising what’s important to each and every one of us. Schroders Personal Wealth’s Money and Mind research 2020 found that while many seem to be in control of their day-to-day household finances and debt, a vast majority are neither prepared for unexpected events nor planning sufficiently for their future.
Worryingly for employers, according to the research more than a quarter of employees (27 percent) said financial worries impact their ability to do their jobs properly. While more than a third of younger employees worry about not meeting their financial potential.
“At Schroders Personal Wealth, we understand that wellness has many dimensions. Lockdown has brought a sharper focus on mental, physical, vocational, and social wellbeing. But we believe financial wellbeing remains a lost strand of mental health,” says David Thomas, Head of Business Development at Schroders Personal Wealth. “It is vitally important that we all do what we can around this issue.” Schroders Personal Wealth believes that wealth is personal.
Each individual has a unique vision of what financial freedom—and their financial future—looks like. It could be the choice to retire early, to clear the mortgage, to have a second home, a private education, or to become your own boss. Therefore it is important to Schroders Personal Wealth that financial advice is focussed on understanding a client’s individual needs, hopes, and dreams before creating a plan that aims to help them achieve this.
We believe that you cannot have full wellbeing without feeling in control of your financial destiny
But it isn’t just about the future: you need solid foundations on which to build. So the here and now is just as important. Family, career, lifestyle, property: what do you need to protect and support the things you value most in life?
At the heart of the process is a deep understanding of the client. For Schroders Personal Wealth that is one that comes from developing a personal and valued relationship with a Personal Wealth Adviser.
The use of technology plays an important role in illustrating what each person’s financial life looks like today— including any risks they might not have considered—and what it is likely to look like in the future given their current situation. This leads to a discussion of how a financial plan aims to get them from where they are to where they want to be.
Technology is a feature of the Schroders Personal Wealth service. It has been holding virtual meetings with clients over video calling apps and running fortnightly online webinars and podcasts. These not only support clients but are open to anyone to attend. Clients also have online accounts where they can view their investments, host important documents, and message their advisers securely. A big differentiator for Schroders Personal Wealth is transparency. As clients get to know more about the adviser and the company, the adviser starts to understand the client’s situation and how Schroders Personal Wealth could help.
“If the client decides they would like to take financial advice, the adviser will detail all the fees and charges for our products and services, so clients know exactly how much they will pay before making a final decision” says Thomas. “This can allay some of the fears around the value financial advice can bring.”
There can be a value for employers in introducing a financial wellbeing programme. Firstly, it can improve awareness of the issue and a commitment to helping employees. Secondly, it can improve employee engagement and productivity. And, lastly, it comes at no direct cost to the employer. “To gain 365 days of improved financial wellbeing, all it takes is a few hours of your time each year”, Thomas concludes.