NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Every year the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa recognises one of its members as the Financial Planner of the Year. This time the award went to Mark MacSymon, who is a wealth manager at Private Client Holdings in Claremont, Cape Town.
Mark took the award this year. They had the annual gala dinner last week in Cape Town. Mark, thanks so much for your time.
MARK MacSYMON: Nastassia, Hi. Thanks for having me.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Congratulations on the award. Let’s start off with you sharing a couple of philosophies of financial planning.
MARK MacSYMON: I think it’s important to see financial planning as a framework. It’s really a strategy. I think that good financial planners take clients from where they are currently to a point in the future that gives meaning to the goals that they want to attain. I think financial planning shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a single-based activity, but really it’s an overarching strategy to help clients get from point A to point B, and there are a lot of moving parts involved in that.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: What’s that one key tip you can give for us to have a better relationship with our financial advisors or planners?
MARK MacSYMON: I think that the key is to really build a genuine relationship. It’s the responsibility of the financial planner, also partly the client’s, to build a genuine relationship, because these relationships really work in the longer run. I’ll use the word “intimate’ – the closer and more intimate your relationship is with the financial planner, the better the financial planner can understand the client’s goals, and the more likely are the outcomes.
I think honesty is crucial, and of course that builds trust. We’ve heard time and time again that trust is certainly the foundation, the cornerstone of this profession.
And very often we find some of our best ideas from our clients. With clients who are open and with ears to the ground we get fantastic ideas from them. So the more we have those honest conversations with clients, I think the more that benefits clients and the more it improves the relationship.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Alright, Mark, thanks so much for your time.