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Podcast Transcript

Episode 32, Season 1

How to start the goals conversation with your clients, with Peita Diamantidis


Peita Diamantidis: [00:00] Definitely, and what you’re doing is giving ... So, there’s two sides to that. You’ve got the what, so that’s the dream, what happened. And then, you can list the how, “Well, we did some cashflow stuff, and we did the rebalance.” But it is linking the two.

Peita Diamantidis: [00:14] And like you say, you’re demonstrating the value of the how. You’re demonstrating what all these other services actually deliver, rather than just, like you say, them being a list, and this is the stuff we do.

Fraser Jack: [00:32] Hello, and welcome to the Goals Based Advice Podcast. Where, I have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. I’m your host, Fraser Jack. I want to thank you so much for tuning in today.

Fraser Jack: [00:44] Big shout out to all the feedback and reviews I’ve received. And if you’re enjoying this podcast, please help me spread the word. Share it with your friends, and colleagues, and leave me a review on iTunes.

Fraser Jack: [00:54] I would also like to thank our supporting partner, Advice Intelligence, for powering this podcast. And you can book a demo directly from adviceintelligence.com.

Fraser Jack: [01:03] In this episode, I chat to Peita Diamantidis. We chat about setting goals with clients, and we cover both theory and practical tips, for advisors wanting to dig deeper into the client goals conversations.

Fraser Jack: [01:16] We approached this chat as if we were looking to start or enhance a goals based advice relationship with clients, and how exactly will we go about doing it.

Fraser Jack: [01:25] Peita’s enthusiasm is contagious, and this episode is packed with value, tips, and ideas that I know you will appreciate. So, let’s hit play on this episode right now. Welcome back to the Goals Based Advice Podcast, Peita Diamantidis.

Peita Diamantidis: [01:45] Thank you for having me.

Fraser Jack: [01:49] It’s a similar. So, you’re my first guest that’s come back on the show, for a second go.

Peita Diamantidis: [01:52] So, exciting. A return visitor, that’s fantastic.

Fraser Jack:[01:55] Yeah, you were my episode one, so it’s come to full circle.

Peita Diamantidis: [01:59] No pressure on everybody else.

Fraser Jack: [02:02] No pressure, no pressure. And the reason that I’ve asked you come back on the show, was of course, around the idea of goals based advice, and where do goals come from. And we’ve had lots of conversations around how they come from dreams.

Fraser Jack: [02:14] And you’ve done a lot of work in this space, and you obviously speak a lot in this space. So, I thought we’d start off by just diving down that rabbit hole.

Fraser Jack: [02:22] And just looking at actively how advisors can work with goals, and work with dreams, and going to decide they want to be great, rather than the theory.

Peita Diamantidis: [02:30] Yeah, and I know we briefly touched on this last time. I think, it’s important for advisors to, and they don’t have to use the word dreams, that’s my word, but to separate dreams and goals.

Peita Diamantidis: [02:41] Dreams are ... And in fact, I’ve just got a mate of ours that’s now doing these ... The dream is, I want to walk the Kokoda Track, right. So, it’s an experience, it’s got taste, and sounds, and smells, I’d imagine actually for the Kokoda Track.

Peita Diamantidis: [02:54] But it’s got a whole lot of elements to it. Whereas, a goal is a milestone that gets you to that dream. So, one of his goals was to, “Hey, I want to knock off 5km of walking a day, then I want to knock off 10km. Then I want to ...” You know.

Peita Diamantidis: [03:08] So, we need to separate those two things. Because, a lot of what we give clients currently are goals, they’re very numerate, but they are really not exciting. And I think, that’s the difference between the two things.

Fraser Jack: [03:21] Yes. And when I think about the difference between the two, I think about parameters around it. Our dreams, there’s no parameters. They’re endless, they can be anything. And so, there’s no set parameters.

Fraser Jack: [03:32] And so, when you say dreams, it means use your imagination. There are other words, you might want to use bucket list, or hopes, or aspirations. Whatever the word is, there’s no parameters around it, so there can’t be a role.

Peita Diamantidis: [03:44] Correct, and it’s certainly not societal. It’s not what everybody thinks you should say, and dreams let you do that. Whereas, goals, “Well, I guess I’ve got to buy a house, and I’ve got ...” You know, it’s these very expected things.

Peita Diamantidis: [03:58] Yeah, dreams are limitless, and we’ve got to allow them to be limitless as advisors. I think, the single worst thing you can do as an advisor with a client, is to somehow discount their dream when they bring it up.

Peita Diamantidis: [04:10] Which, I think, we might accidentally do, “Well, that’s nice, but.” Avoid the big buts, right? Of course, it’s really damaging.

Fraser Jack: [04:20] Yeah, I’m going to leave the big but comment alone. To me, when you say that, I think of the word reality, right. So, when we start bringing these parameters around, we have the reality check.

Fraser Jack: [04:29] And it’s probably that reality check, that’s the problem, and that’s been the problem in the adults. As opposed to kids, for example, who can have dreams, and day dreams, and go for that.

Fraser Jack: [04:40] But the reality check kicks in, and then the goal gets squished, or, I should say, the dream gets squished.

Peita Diamantidis: [04:45] Definitely, and I think we’re kidding ourselves of that reality. Our reality is pretty awesome, and the sort of things we can do and have the opportunity to do is massive. So, I think we self-regulate too much.

Peita Diamantidis: [04:57] We’re just discounting them, before they even become true thoughts, I think, as adults. And it’s so dangerous, there’s so many wonderful things out there. Even if you just accept them as a dream, and acknowledge them, maybe write them down, you’re not leaping off.

Peita Diamantidis: [05:10] You’re not quitting your job, and leaving your family, and changing your world. You’re just writing something down. But I think, we don’t even let ourselves get that far. We destroy them, before they even become something, even a kernel of a thought.

Fraser Jack: [05:23] Yeah. I had a guest on the show recently, that also mentioned the idea around these dreams. As, you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything.

Peita Diamantidis: [05:32] Yeah.

Fraser Jack: [05:32] And so, if you want to look at reality, and you really want to set your mind to something, you can achieve it.

Peita Diamantidis: [05:38] Yeah, 100%. And if we think back generations before us, none of them would’ve expected that they could travel the world, do 10 different trips in a year. What we see as our reality is completely flexible, and like you say, limitless.

Peita Diamantidis: [05:55] So, I think rather than worry about whether it’s possible, we should just take a look at what it is, and then talk to some people who maybe have a little bit of experience, and see if it is possible, who knows.

Peita Diamantidis: [06:06] I did a session, a dream session at International Women’s Day, which was fantastic, last week. And one of the ladies there mentioned that she’d always wanted to go to space, “And that’s ludicrous, so I’d never put it on my list.”

Peita Diamantidis: [06:18] I’m like, “Hold on. You know you can buy tickets already, right?” Now, they might be really expensive, but it exists, so don’t discount this stuff.

Peita Diamantidis: [06:28] In, maybe not our lifetime, but probably our kids lifetimes, that’s going to be real. So, don’t narrow yourself down like that.

Fraser Jack: [06:37] It’s a really good point, isn’t it, around time changes, and just because something’s not achievable now, doesn’t mean it’s never going to be. And I love the word yet, in that example. You can’t do this, yet.

Peita Diamantidis: [06:49] Exactly, exactly. And I think, that’s what’s beautiful with kids, is that there’s none of those limits. They just think all of that’s possible, and we need to tap back into that. We need to allow ourselves to think that way, it’s so powerful.

Fraser Jack: [07:01] So, rule number one, what I’m getting at here, is act like children. Is that what we’re saying?

Peita Diamantidis: [07:12] Yeah, correct. You know what, I don’t think that would hurt us, if we’d be a bit more of that, that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I think, seriousness and growing up are massively overrated.

Fraser Jack: [07:18] I can agree with that.

Peita Diamantidis: [07:23] Yeah, I believe in the Peter Pan school about afterward, never growing up. Maybe, we just have more income, and we have a few more responsibilities. But, stop this growing up thing.

Fraser Jack: [07:34] Yeah, yeah. It’s hard being a grown up anyway, who would want to do that.

Peita Diamantidis: [07:37] Exactly, exactly.

Fraser Jack: [07:39] So, let’s get into some practical tips in conversations. Let’s bring this back to advisors is sitting in their practice, thinking, “What can I practically do, as a first step, as a second step?”

Fraser Jack: [07:50] With, “I might not be creating a whole new process for existing clients. But what about if I’ve got a book of clients? And how can I start actually choosing a list of all those clients?” And let’s dive down that.

Peita Diamantidis: [08:02] Yeah, yeah. So look, what I’ve encouraged advisors to do, is think about a specific type of client. And this could be somebody that maybe you found the review meetings are getting a little repetitive. And that can happen, right?

Peita Diamantidis: [08:13] So, each meeting’s a bit similar, and it doesn’t feel like it’s progressing. And part of the reason, is maybe, we’ve solved a very specific problem, where we’re just tweaking it every year.

Peita Diamantidis: [08:21] What you could do, is prior to that meeting, you could send out a small pack to the client, that could include a relatively inexpensive notebook. Something quite small that would fit in a pocket.

Peita Diamantidis: [08:31] And send them a letter, or maybe a link to a video, that encourages them to just start listing a whole lot of things they’d love to do, see, or experience, and do it as a couple even if you advise both partners.

Peita Diamantidis: [08:43] And just get them to start doing that, and say, “I’m really going to be keen to talk to you about that at our next meeting. We want to add another level to our meeting when you come in.”

Peita Diamantidis: [08:51] And give them a bit of warning, maybe even a series of emails or contacts that could build up to that. Maybe, share a couple of your own, all right. So, you could do that prior to the meeting. And then, when you get them in, start to connect that to money.

Peita Diamantidis: [09:04] So, “Okay, let’s talk about your dreams. Share some, swap some. What have you got there? What feels real? What would you love to do in the next 12 months?” What would you love to be able to say next year when we do our review meeting, “Here are the photos.”

Peita Diamantidis: [09:16] Or, “Here’s the ticket stamp for the concert I went to in London.” Or, whatever the thing is that they’d love to do. Draw that out of them, and then say, “All right. How do we make your finances flexible enough that you can respond to these chances, should they come up?”

Peita Diamantidis: [09:32] “Should you get the opportunity to take this leap, you can. What do you need to do?” And so, it sort of just reframes the conversation. I think, as advisors, it gives us a great opportunity to talk about all sorts of things then.

Peita Diamantidis: [09:45] Flexibility in finances is cashflow definitely, and how are they behaving. But it’s also potentially insurance. You’re never going to be able to achieve some of these, because you’re not covered.

Peita Diamantidis: [09:56] So, I think it can open up a really interesting conversation, by taking it from the client’s perspective, and taking it from their hopes and dreams.

Fraser Jack: [10:05] I definitely say, as you mentioned their insurance, I definitely see that as a contingency to goals. Like, if you don’t have your insurance in place, there’s a risk assessment plan type thing.

Fraser Jack: [10:15] And it’s really that saying, if you don’t have that in place, then your goals are at risk, and at jeopardy. But I just wanted to go back a little step, because you mentioned the idea of sending a notebook out. Which, I love that idea, and doing a little video.

Fraser Jack: [10:26] Let’s just unpack that a bit more. You’ve done existing clients, you mentioned type of clients. What sort of type ... Was there any particular type you were thinking?

Peita Diamantidis: [10:34] Look, honestly, I believe this applies to every demographic. And in fact, I’d almost be tempted to target your retired clients. And I know this is going to seem counterintuitive, but a lot of them are struggling with their new identity.

Peita Diamantidis: [10:50] So, they’ve had an identity that’s worked, they now are struggling a bit with that, and therefore, are struggling with drive. And what can happen with that also, is that they then start buying to fill a gap.

Peita Diamantidis: [11:02] And so, the target, you might’ve set the right amount, you might’ve had in their pension account or whatever. Suddenly, there’s a problem with that. So, I think any age group can benefit from this.

Peita Diamantidis: [11:11] But I think of it as people that you feel are in the hamster cage. They’re just sort of treading water. This could really nudge them out of that mentality, and then let you help more, and let you empower them to do more. So, that’d be what I’ve been looking for.

Fraser Jack: [11:27] Okay. And so, sending a notebook, great idea. And you mentioned making a little video, or having some sort of commentary around what to do with the notebook. So, let’s talk about that. What would you have in that video? What are the things that they-

Peita Diamantidis: [11:41] Lots of people are uncomfortable doing that, and I get it. So, one of the easiest ways to do that is actually to do it to yourself first.

Peita Diamantidis: [11:48] So, get your own notebook, start writing things down, and share little snippets on a video of, “Well, it was tough to remember this. But then I remembered that years ago, I wanted to learn piano, because I did that when I was a kid.”

Peita Diamantidis: [12:00] So, start to actually share your journey of doing it, and how much it has changed the way you’re thinking about things. Maybe, it’s changed the conversations you have with your kids, about what holidays you guys want to do, that sort of thing.

Peita Diamantidis: [12:11] So, if you can use your own experience, it becomes another deeper connection with the client. So, that’s probably the easiest way to do it. You can machine it, and make it much fancier, but I actually think if it comes from personal experience.

Peita Diamantidis: [12:25] If you started all of this by just getting you and your team to have some notebooks, and to start collecting your dreams, it makes it far more real, and deeper. And you’ll realize what the barriers are, and you can start talking to them about that.

Fraser Jack: [12:39] Yeah. Now, I had a guest on the podcast recently, Keith Abraham. Who, now on his website, he’s got some free resources. So, keithabraham.com, and jump on the free resources. He’s got a bit of a cheat sheet to make your 100 goals ... sorry, 100 dreams.

Fraser Jack: [12:53] And there are a list of 100 all time dreams, he calls them. So, it’s not just right now, he’ll say, “No, chuck stuff in the there for the future.” And his 25 questions around like, “Are there any particular concerts you want to go to? Are there any cities you want to visit?”

Fraser Jack: [13:06] And just, you get to try and write at least four things in each section, which will then give you 100 conversation essentially, they have. So, maybe you’re just going on about it.

Peita Diamantidis: [13:16] Definitely.

Fraser Jack: [13:17] The other thing to video, is maybe, if you don’t want to do a video, just do an instruction sheet, and everybody-

Peita Diamantidis: [13:22] Correct.

Fraser Jack: [13:22] ... has some instructions.

Peita Diamantidis: [13:23] Correct. A blog, a couple of blogs would be fantastic, if you use this. Because, I think in our industry, or some people think as blogs, as being these time sensitive posts. Like, there’s something that’ll only apply for a week or two.

Peita Diamantidis: [13:37] If you’re smart, you could write content that you could refer to forever. So, if you write the right blog, introducing this content to a client, then you can refer to that in three years, four years, forever down the track.

Peita Diamantidis: [13:47] So, it can just be the online presence for that tougher context. So, yeah. And there’s lots of imagery to use there. Your first blog could be you sharing your first 50, that that’s how you start.

Peita Diamantidis: [13:59] It’s, “Look, I’ve started doing this. It’s a new habit I’m building.” And you can just share that. So, I think, yeah. Sharing personal experience is really powerful. In the presentation I do on this, I get out my book, and I share some of the dreams I have.

Peita Diamantidis: [14:11] Because, it just makes it far more tangible for people. And they can understand how eclectic these dreams can be. They can be really varied, and they should be. Now, it sort of gives them the right to do that, and lets them broaden what they could imagine.

Fraser Jack: [14:26] Yeah, it’s good for them to know that you’re just as crazy as they are, I think.

Peita Diamantidis: [14:31] Exactly, exactly.

Fraser Jack: [14:31] But to be fair, that’s really authentic. You coming across and saying, “These are my dreams about ...”

Fraser Jack: [14:37] And once they know that, and they continue to come in for a review, they’ll ask you about your, it’ll be a two way streak. They might be holding you accountable to your dreams, at the same time.

Peita Diamantidis: [14:47] Exactly. And the thing about sharing things like that, is it makes it more possible for it to become real. Somebodies going to know somebody, that happens to have court side tickets to whatever.

Peita Diamantidis: [14:56] The more you share those things, the more real they can become, and that’s good for you, as well as for the client. So, yeah, I completely agree, it’s really powerful. And it can connect you in a way that is more sincere, I think.

Peita Diamantidis: [15:08] From their perspective, I think they can often see us as the numeric people in their lives, and potentially somebody who judges, or at least is disciplining them, in some way. Whereas, this is very human, and really personal.

Fraser Jack: [15:22] Yeah, and I think, as you mentioned, certainly takes judgment out of the process, doesn’t it? Sort of, “These are my crazy wishes and dreams. Put yours down, and we’ll have a chat about them. See if some of these can come true.”

Fraser Jack: [15:33] So, I like the idea of sharing your own dreams first. And so, somewhere in that process, if we were setting up this right now, we’d be sending out a notebook, we’d be doing maybe a video, or a cheat sheet, or a what to do.

Fraser Jack: [15:44] We’d be sharing some of our own, then asking the class to go in. But anything they want on the piece of paper, no judgment, no barriers, no rules.

Peita Diamantidis: [15:52] Yup.

Fraser Jack: [15:52] And then, making an appointment, or during the next review meeting, come at them more. Then what, chat about them? Then, what?

Peita Diamantidis: [15:55] Yeah, so I think it’s a great opener. I found now, that I’m presenting professionally on dreams. I can talk to anybody, because it’s the first thing I ask them.

Peita Diamantidis: [16:06] Is, “What’s the thing that you’ve never told anybody you’d love to do?” And you wouldn’t believe the things that I’m hearing.

Fraser Jack: [16:12] Great question.

Peita Diamantidis: [16:13] Right? And so, it’s a great way to start a meeting. I think, there’s no awkwardness in that, it’s truly connecting. Being ready to share some of yours will be important.

Peita Diamantidis: [16:24] Potentially, even using it as a way, if you’ve struggled to have them engage with members of your team, it could be a great way to bring in some members, to say, “Would you believe, Mia here, she’s really keen to do this.”

Peita Diamantidis: [16:35] So, it can start to humanize them as well. I’ve even seen businesses do a version of this, where in their email footer, they’ll have their latest dream that they’re going to turn into an adventure.

Peita Diamantidis: [16:46] So, there could be ways that you can use this in an online sense. But I think, if you start with, “Would you tell me what have you got on your list? I’d love to hear. You don’t have to share them all, these are personal. But I’d love to hear some of them. And let’s talk about them.”

Peita Diamantidis: [16:58] And then, use that to frame what we’re going to then talk about with money. We’re going to start folding your dreams into your financial situation, let’s work out how to do that.

Fraser Jack: [17:09] Because, as I said, I love that question. And even just sharing that ... They’ll probably share that answer with you, and then you get your staff involved, whatever it might be.

Fraser Jack: [17:17] You and your staff become part of that inner sanctum of this ... you’ve told the secret to, or whatever. And then, you can also personalize your ... really personalize the customer service you’re providing them.

Fraser Jack: [17:29] It might be around a particular theme or something, and you can buy them a card, or something with that theme on it, or whatever it might be. And you sort of can let them know that you know, in a way that it’s still not a secret, but you’re on the inside of it.

Peita Diamantidis: [17:41] Exactly. And then, interestingly what happens, what I’ve discovered. So, one of my skills that I’ve accidentally discovered is librarian. I’m one of those people that goes to page four on Google, so I can’t help researching stuff.

Peita Diamantidis: [17:50] Most people aren’t like that, so when they say, “But I’ve always wanted to write a script.” Or, it’ll be something they just think is impossible.

Peita Diamantidis: [18:01] If all you did was took five minutes to Google that, and find them one of the master classes that are now available, or they’re online for $149, “Go look, I just found this link. Why don’t you just do a little course, just to satisfy that, and get you started?”

Peita Diamantidis: [18:15] To empower them for something that’s a simple, small step. And that just would be amazing, and lots of people don’t even bother to go that far. They think it’s so impossible, they never take the first step.

Fraser Jack: [18:28] And that could be something, that again, even before you set it as a goal, you did it that as still. And then, if you still, “Do you want to do that?” And that becomes the focus, then we’ll set the goal.

Peita Diamantidis: [18:35] Exactly, exactly.

Fraser Jack: [18:38] It sets the parameters around cashflow, and those sorts of things. So, so many great conversations can come out of that booklet of our goals. Now, I mentioned 100. That’s ... What are you thinking?

Peita Diamantidis: [18:48] I think, you’d need a good 50 for it. So, I think you need to have practiced that for a bit, for it to be enough.

Peita Diamantidis: [18:54] There need to be little ones, like if bookie boys wanted to read over a restaurant, you want to go to right through to the big Kokoda trail, sort of level, sort of dreams. So, you need a good 50, yeah, definitely up to 100.

Peita Diamantidis: [19:06] And when you start, it actually needs to all just be endless. Because, you start to fill the habit, and you see things all the time. I see posters by stands. I’ll see a movie, and it reminds me I want to go to Egypt. Or, all that sort of stuff.

Peita Diamantidis: [19:18] Once they start doing this, it’ll get much bigger. But it would be a great thing to help them build that list enough, that then you sit down with them in the review meeting, and go, “All right. What are three to five? We’re going to peak right now, that you want to work on?”

Peita Diamantidis: [19:32] “That, you really want to focus on, big and small.” So, that would be the thing you could start doing in that meeting. And then, start to help them realize they can actually implement these things.

Fraser Jack: [19:41] Yeah. So, a bit of a prioritization scenario. And also, a bit of a, what are the quick ... Are they called quick wins? Maybe, quick results that you can get?

Peita Diamantidis: [19:49] Perfect, start small. And there will be. So, one for us, was going to Vivid Taronga Zoo. It’s just been something on my list. It literally required us to just buy a ticket, and pick a day, alone.

Peita Diamantidis: [20:01] But it was on the list, so like, “We’re going to get it done. Sit down, do it right now.” And in fact, you may find there is something you could literally do in that meeting. So, you may find there’s one of those things that’s like that, that you see on the list.

Peita Diamantidis: [20:15] And you say, “You know what? Why don’t we do this right now. I think it’s crazy you haven’t done it, let’s take a look. How can we buy those tickets right now for you?” Something like that.

Peita Diamantidis: [20:25] So, yeah, I think we need to balance them. If you were to have, say five for the next year, only one of them should take longer than about a year.

Peita Diamantidis: [20:32] So, only one really big one, and at least two of them should be little things that are easy to knock off. Just, to help build the practice, build the habit.

Fraser Jack: [ 20:41] Yeah, building a bit of momentum in this one, with regards to the momentum that would carry that through into year two and year three. And also, the trust factor. The trust factor that you’ll help them get 5 of their listed 50, or whatever it might be, goals in that year.

Peita Diamantidis: [20:56] Yeah.

Fraser Jack: [20:56 ] Or, even if you haven’t helped them per se, you’ve given them permission, or you’ve motivated them in some way to doing it. It kind of ... To me, it then pushes out that trust value factor of you being a trusted advisor long-term.

Fraser Jack: [21:09] And, obviously, one of the goals might end up being a certain amount of money retired. But then, the reliable of your ... being able to help them get small goals, flows through into that trust. “We trust you to get our long-term goal, because you helped us with our short-term goals.”

Peita Diamantidis: [21:22] Definitely. And when it’s coming to people pre-retirees, you could do a tailored version of this, where you give each couple a book. They need to do this separately, and it’s about everything they want to do when they retire.

Peita Diamantidis: [21:35] And they’ve just got to write it all in the book, and they just keep on writing it down. And maybe, they do it for a few months. And then, you bring them together, and they share them with each other, and they’ll stun each other.

Peita Diamantidis: [21:46] Because, one of them might be a little more compliant. Or, one of them might let the other, just ... You know. So, it will draw out some things, and it will make anything you’re going to set up for them, for their retirement, will be so much more relevant.

Peita Diamantidis: [21:58] Because, it will be able to fit in specifically. Like, the SOA can say specific things they want to get done, and specific amounts they need. It’s so, so, powerful. So, for pre-retirees, I can see it relating specifically to that retirement phase, and what they want to do then.

Fraser Jack: [22:13] And also, you’ve just gone from being an open advisor, to a relationship counselor.

Peita Diamantidis: [22:18] Which, we all know is going to have to have an example in it, definitely.

Fraser Jack: [22:24] Well, you know, they’re number one on that list. So, that’s the number one cause of divorces, or I think about money, and money problems. So-

Peita Diamantidis: [22:30] Yeah.

Fraser Jack: [22:30] ... it certainly makes sense.

Peita Diamantidis: [22:32] I think, the nuance though for a lot of ... And we’ve had to adjust to handle this. So, there’s one type of dream or goal, where you pick it, and you implement it. But there’s another type, where it comes across your radar.

Peita Diamantidis: [22:44] So, you know you’d love to, but it’s just not within your universe right now. But it can come across your radar as a chance, or an opportunity. So, as advisors, I think there is some flexibility we need to start building into people’s finances.

Peita Diamantidis: [22:58] So, that if those things come along, they can leap. And some of the best things in life are like that. When I was much, much younger, back in my investment banking days, one of the clients that I worked with had a massive investment company from the states.

Peita Diamantidis: [23:14] And they had court side tickets to the Bulls, and it was back when Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan were doing their thing. And they said to me, “Peita, if at any point you come across, we’ll take you again. No questions asked, just tell us when you’ll be there.”

Peita Diamantidis: [23:28] And I didn’t. And the reason I didn’t, I just didn’t have the cashflow to be able to do it. Which, is ludicrous given how much I was earning, but I was in that cycle of credit card and overspending, a lot of us do when we’re young. And so, I couldn’t leap at that chance.

Peita Diamantidis: [23:41] So, I think there’s an element we can build in for our clients. But it’s that flexibility to respond to chances as they come our way, and take that magical leap.

Peita Diamantidis: [23:51] Maybe, it’s a friend’s wedding in Finland. Whatever it is, they can take the opportunity to do that, and don’t have to turn it down.

Fraser Jack: [24:00] Now, obviously, a lot of these short-term goals, we’re not talking investment timeframes that are anywhere near long-term. And we’re also talking about that most of these are coming out of cashflow, aren’t we?

Peita Diamantidis: [24:11] Yeah, yeah, we are. And I think that’s the sort of progress we’ve made throughout. Looking at our business, is we’ve realized a lot of this is going to impact, or be impacted by cashflow. And so, we’re looking at actively building a cashflow program.

Peita Diamantidis: [24:25] And I think, honestly, for most of us, we’re either going to need to have built one, or have somebody we can refer people to. Because, so much of what causes them pain and hurt, is due to cashflow and money behaviors.

Peita Diamantidis: [24:38] And when I think about, “Should we help them consolidate some super? Or, should we help them spend less in the end?” I know which one would be far more powerful, in both the short and long-term.

Peita Diamantidis: [24:49] So, I think we’ve changed ... Not, change. I guess, it’s just clarified our view on the need for that. And so, I think to give them that flexibility, we need to help them build in some gaps, and some savings.

Peita Diamantidis: [25:05] So, that then, they can leap, so that they can live, and stop being human hamsters, where they just survive paycheck to paycheck.

Fraser Jack: [25:11] Yeah. Now, you mentioned financial flexibility, which is actually what it is when you’ve got a positive cashflow. To me, these things go hand in hand. The cash flow, the budgeting concept, and the conversations you’re having, along with the dreams and goals.

Fraser Jack: [25:24] If you’re not having both of them, neither of them quite work. To me, if people are uncertain around their cashflow too, they’re not quite sure, they’re not keeping an eye on it. They find it really hard to have dreams, and goals, and aspirations about what they-

Peita Diamantidis: [25:38] Yeah.

Fraser Jack: [25:38] ... want to do, because they have this little amount of stress and anxiety happening all the time because they’re uncertain around their cashflow.

Peita Diamantidis: [25:45] Definitely the needle. It’s just that, in the back of my mind, “But is this really possible?” And interestingly, most people don’t have a measure of what they can afford. Like, they don’t actually have an innate ability to know, “I can or can’t afford that.”

Peita Diamantidis: [26:01] So, there’s two ways to respond to that. One group of the public just spend it anyway, and credit card, “Tick, tick, tick, tick.” And the other, don’t do anything, and they worry. And I can think of one particular client who has an inordinate amount of money.

Peita Diamantidis: [26:16] But she still worries about whether she really can afford that. And our meetings are me nagging her to spend. So, I’m just trying to convince her to spend any of the money. But, yeah, I think you’re right.

Peita Diamantidis: [26:29] There’s this confidence about your situation, right. It’s confidence that, “Yes, I can.” Or, “No, I shouldn’t.” And confidence is good for the now too, because it lets you be confident with your peers, with your friends, or your family.

Peita Diamantidis: [26:40] Say, “Sorry guys, we just can’t do that. We can’t afford it.” So, yeah, I completely agree, there’s a ... And we’re not talking about financial engineering understanding here. This is not what most people will probably call financial literacy.

Peita Diamantidis: [26:51] It’s just confidence in what’s going into the cashflow, and what’s coming out, and what the difference is. It’s as simple as that, honestly.

Fraser Jack: [27:00] Yeah, and I think certainly, that’s there’s a huge cloudiness around it. Without that confidence, and that clarity, you’re in cloud land, and you just can’t focus or think properly around those abilities.

Peita Diamantidis: [27:14] And, I think, actually that can ... Just thinking that through, potentially that could be what’s holding people back from getting advice. So, if they see advice as super investing reassurance predominantly.

Peita Diamantidis: [27:24] Then, if the thing that worries the most is not one of those, but is this affordability, “I don’t know if I should.” Cashflow day to day, and we’re not solving that problem, then no wonder they’re not coming to us.

Fraser Jack: [27:36] And I also see this as the stepping stones towards advice. Instead of having to take one big step up, a giant leap of faith towards paying thousands of dollars to get advice, this is certainly part of the mini stepping stones to all advice.

Fraser Jack: [27:52] In trying to get those 8 out of 10 that aren’t getting advice towards coming towards advice.

Peita Diamantidis: [27:58] It’s true, and I think we, and I know I do this too. I’m basically a financial mathematician, right, as nerdy as they get. And I think we all forget that most of this stuff is an innate to people.

Peita Diamantidis: [28:09] Remember our team, Hailey had a meeting with a client, and they were talking about some savings. And it was great, and they’re really excited. And I think it was a $40 saving a week, and she pointed out that that’s $2,000 a year, and they were stunned.

Peita Diamantidis: [28:21] So, people just innately don’t have those connectors. They don’t see the impact of these decisions, or these little one-percenters that can really add up. And so, I do think maybe, we need to really simplify how we’re trying to help, like you say, much earlier.

Peita Diamantidis: [28:39] Because, it leads into some of the other issues. But if they’re still spending more than they earn, then there’s no amount of financial engineering you can do for them in investing on super [inaudible 00:28:51], or even insurance.

Peita Diamantidis: [28:52] That isn’t going to mean ... There’s going to be a world of pain at some point in their future.

Fraser Jack: [28:56] Yeah, I agree. Now, you also said tap, tap, tap. Now, I’m a bit guilty of this myself. I’m a bit of tap the card as you’re walking past, it’s easier, it’s quick, it’s simple, there’s no pain involved. But it’s obviously something that you don’t ... you’re encouraging clients not to do?

Peita Diamantidis: [29:18] Not necessarily. I think, in this day and age, tapping is cash, so be it. It’s consciously doing it. So, consciously saying, “Well, I’m going to take my lunch four out of five days. And on the fifth, I’m going to go and buy some lunch at work, and then I tap it.”

Peita Diamantidis: [29:31] So, it’s I think, the challenge, and the challenge we’ve got with the next generation, who have only seen tapping. So, most of us have grown up with cash at some point, then credit card, and then now there’s tapping for cash stuff too.

Peita Diamantidis: [29:44] And so, we can see the difference. Whereas, there’s a whole generation who think that card, that plastic card is this magic thing that gets them stuff, right. And they don’t realize there’s any limit on it at all.

Peita Diamantidis: [29:54] And so, there’s a behavioral in there that is building, and I think is going to be a bigger problem with the next generation. Which, is why wonderful tools like Spriggy, where they’re trying to help kids learn how to tap in a more responsible way.

Peita Diamantidis: [30:10] So, that’s putting pocket money into their app, and they use the tap cards, [inaudible 00:30:13] or anything is important.

Peita Diamantidis: [30:15] Because, if we only deal with cash with little kids, because we feel that’s better for them, we’re not teaching them behaviors that can take them into adulthood. So, yeah, I think we’ve got to acknowledge we’re going to.

Peita Diamantidis: [30:25] We’re going to tap, we’ve just got to learn how to do it better, whether that means for credit cards, there’s a big sticker on them that said, “What would my advisor say?”

Peita Diamantidis: [30:35] So, every time they pull it out, it’s like, “What would your advisor say about this?” So, whatever is required to help them just take a moment, and think.

Fraser Jack: [30:43] What about a sticker that said, “How are you going to explain this?”

Peita Diamantidis: [30:47] Yeah, completely.

Fraser Jack: [30:49] That of been good.

Peita Diamantidis: [30:51] And because it’s not about restricting ourselves, I think that’s really important. This is not about stopping you from doing things. It’s just making you think about it, that’s all.

Fraser Jack: [30:58] Yeah.

Peita Diamantidis: [30:59] Couple of seconds, have a think.

Fraser Jack: [31:00] Well, that’s right, a couple of seconds. I was the same era, where we had cash. And then, you had to ... Obviously, if you didn’t have it, you had to go get it.

Fraser Jack: [31:05] And then, you had to wait for the change, all those sorts of it. It did provide those extra few seconds of thought around the purchase.

Peita Diamantidis: [31:15] Yeah, definitely. And I’m conscious spending is huge in the era where we’ve got mostly registrations for all sorts of stuff. We’re blowing hundreds of dollars a month, without even realizing it.

Fraser Jack: [31:26] And it’s all just habit. And, I guess, what we’re talking about in habits, habits are one of those things that are really hard to change, aren’t they?

Peita Diamantidis: [31:35] Really hard, and that’s why of what I’d say, is in an ideal world, you’re probably going to need to do this over a long period of time with clients. Not everybody is going to take to it super quickly.

Peita Diamantidis: [31:46] I’ve found if I’m going to generalize for whatever reason, women take to this a little faster than guys, and I don’t have a good reason for that. I don’t know, do women journal more. I don’t know what it is.

Peita Diamantidis: [31:57] But they’re willingness to just write stuff down seems to be a bit higher. But they also, women will judge themselves more about whether it’s possible. Whereas, I find guys will put it ... Once they get it on the list, then, “Well, maybe. Yeah, I know we might do that.”

Peita Diamantidis: [32:08] So, I think there is some behavioral stuff there, and I am generalizing, but we’re seeing that sort of thing. But definitely, you need to be willing and ready to reinforce it. What’s nice, is once you start doing this.

Peita Diamantidis: [32:19] So, let’s just say you picked a certain number of clients you’re going to start introducing this as part of reviews, it’s going to give you awesome content for your newsletter, or any other way you regularly communicate with clients.

Peita Diamantidis: [32:30] You can share photos from somebody who’s just done a trip that was on their dreams. You going to share your own, or something you’ve done. You can ... Something you’ve seen, you think looks weird and wonderful, “Hey guys, is this something you’d all like to do?”

Peita Diamantidis: [32:40] So, it gives you another way to communicate, which I think, is really powerful, and I think can work in one to many. Particularly, if you can get your team onboard to, so that they’re willing to share.

Fraser Jack: [32:52] Now, and just on that, I really the idea of putting hashtags with a client, with their dreams. So, #TripTo whatever it might be, or to a particular place. Then, you’re going to use those hashtags back with them, and then you’re going to also keep an eye out for them in the group.

Fraser Jack: [33:09] And, I guess, if you’re involved in that when they’re sharing that content, the social media, with their friends, whatever it might be, that you’re included in their conversation. And then, in a way, it’s introducing you to new potential clients.

Peita Diamantidis: [33:21] Yeah, and you could even think about some graphics that do that. So, if in the meeting there’s five that you identify, you could use a tool like Canva, or Word Swag. Get a great image with the written dream or goal on top of it, that’s really funky, it can go in the document.

Peita Diamantidis: [33:38] And then, as they successfully achieve them, you could turn it into a different image that you shared that said, “Congratulations.” This kind, of course, you need to ask their permission to do this.

Peita Diamantidis: [33:45] But, “Congratulations on your worldwide tour.” Whatever, or whatever it happens to be. So, I think, it can give you some great substance to your engagement, that once again, is personal, and that’s magic.

Fraser Jack: [34:03] Yeah, I definitely agree with the visualization, and having a picture of the dream, the goal, and the parameters. Once you do start setting parameters around it, it’s quite simple to create a visual of the exact moment. And to me, that’s around the exact moment.

Fraser Jack: [34:19] Some clients are different around if you wanted to go on holiday. What’s the exact moment when you personally know that you’ve achieved that goal. Is it getting on the flight?

Fraser Jack: [34:30] Is it getting off the flight? Is it getting into the concert, leaving the concert? What’s the moment for you, and then to be able to find the visual around that moment.

Peita Diamantidis: [34:39] Yeah, exactly. And most of us when ... Well, people that do this will, will print something out, and put it on the wall, right. So, if you wanted to really take this to the nth degree, then there are, and I’m not going to remember the name of them.

Peita Diamantidis: [34:53] But there are little magnet creators that will take images, that are like Instagram style square images, and turn them into small magnets people could put on the fridge. So, you could actually have the meeting, they’ve picked the things for the year.

Peita Diamantidis: [35:05] And I think, they’re a handful of dollars, it’s not very much money. Get them converted into magnets for the fridge, and you send them to them, and they put them up on the fridge.

Peita Diamantidis: [35:12] So, make this something that, like you say, you are connected to, and make it really visual for them.

Fraser Jack: [35:20] But also, I’m just thinking now, it also gives them ... it gives you the advisement opportunity, to know the exact time when that would happen.

Fraser Jack: [35:29] So, obviously, then you can set reminders and things around what time you want to go back to them. Say, “Hey, now is the time. How to be going.”

Peita Diamantidis: [35:35] Yeah, definitely. And the thing is, the last thing you want to be is the last person to hear about stuff. And as advisors, that happens, right.

Peita Diamantidis: [35:46] So, “The pension amount I drew out for this year. We spent it all in the first week because we replaced our carpet, because we’ve always wanted to own a Mustang.” Whatever it is, all right. Better to be in that conversation before it happens, even if it’s going to happen anyway.

Peita Diamantidis: [35:59] So, that’s part of what this is doing, I think, is taking it away from that judgment role. Or, the parent role almost, where they don’t want to tell you something.

Peita Diamantidis: [36:08] Better to be part of it, and work out how to pull it off, or work out how to ... maybe, they delay it over time, or whatever they need to do.

Peita Diamantidis: [36:15] Rather than, you just finding out afterwards and going, “Wow, you just destroyed the entire plan we built for you.” Which, I’m sure every advisor out there has experienced.

Fraser Jack: [36:24] Yes, absolutely, no doubt. There’s plenty of surprises that happen when it comes to spending. And if you’re cross the spending, and you know about the bucket list items.

Fraser Jack: [36:34] And like you said, if one comes available, and they want to go for it, they can. And then, they get to tick it off the list.

Peita Diamantidis: [36:40] Definitely, definitely. And I think, what it’ll probably mean also, is some of these systems might change. So, we’re looking at people like Moneysoft, and others as, “Okay. If we’re going to have these insights, how do we all need these insights? How do we do that?”

Peita Diamantidis: [36:52] And so, I think the static moment in time, that fact find view of a client, I just don’t think is going to be three dimensional enough going forward. I think, we’re all going to have to ... will need to have a more dynamic view of our clients.

Fraser Jack: [37:06] Yeah, absolutely. And many being on top of those data flows, and knowing almost like data coming in. And there technology’s there now certainly, to be able to use that. So, there’s no excuses about it.

Fraser Jack: [37:19] So, the other thing I wanted to talk about in this space, was with regards to ticking off the list scenario. There’s a lot of conversation going on now, we’ve got FDS, and Opt-In, and those sorts of things.

Fraser Jack: [37:32] We’ve got to provide detailed lists of all the services we provided, and the money that was charged, and the fees they collect. Which, I’m fine with.

Fraser Jack: [37:40] But the scenario is though, if you got a list of goals that you say, “We helped you achieve eight goals last year, eight dreams. Here they all are.” I think, that’s going to be nimble and meaningful to the client, the end-consumer.

Fraser Jack: [37:55] The rebalance, and, “I feel like the things that you did in the background.” And you had a service available to them, et cetera, et cetera.

Fraser Jack: [38:02] Those expose turning those dreams from non-tangible things, into tangible things that you can then put in your documentation of what we provide as a list of services.

Peita Diamantidis: [38:14] Definitely. And what you’re doing, is giving ... So, there’s two sides to that. You’ve got the what, so that’s the dream, what happened. And then, you can list the how, “Well, we did some cashflow stuff, and we did the rebalance.”

Peita Diamantidis: [38:25] But it is linking the two. And, like you say, you’re demonstrating the value of the how. You’re demonstrating what all these other services actually deliver, rather than just, like you say, them being a list, and this is the stuff we do.

Peita Diamantidis: [38:42] And we’re probably ... Of all industries, we’re probably pretty weak on that front. I think, it’s not that we’re not doing enough, it’s that we’re not good at connecting it to the real value. And so, like you say, it would be so powerful.

Peita Diamantidis: [38:54] We haven’t yet got to that point, but what an awesome thing to be sending through is, “Look at this stuff we need to give up. This is amazing. And here’s the tools we applied to you, and used with you, and techniques. And that was the fee we charged.” You know, “Yay.”

Fraser Jack: [39:08] It’s truly linking it back to the, to what I consider to be goals based advice. And that those scenarios, you’re taking their dreams and their goals, and you’re actually linking every service back to a particular goal.

Peita Diamantidis: [39:18] Yeah, yeah. And, I think ... Look, there’s going to be naturally, some listeners that are going to be maybe a little uncomfortable with this. Because, it does become more coaching, all right. So, that’s natural.

Peita Diamantidis: [39:30] But I would argue, all we’re doing is shifting the coaching earlier, then when we know we’re going to have to do it later, because they get into trouble. So, if we can actually twist it, so that we’re inspiring them into living a certain way.

Peita Diamantidis: [39:44] Rather than, having to deal with the mess potentially they get themselves into. I think it’s very similar skills. And so, yeah, we might become more like lifestyle architects. We’re helping them build the life they want. And hey, I’m cool with that title.

Fraser Jack: [40:00] Yeah, coaching. But also, I think it’s proactive. It’s proactive advice-

Peita Diamantidis: [40:04] Yes.

Fraser Jack: [40:04] ... rather than reactive advice.

Peita Diamantidis: [40:06] Definitely, definitely. And the thing is, most people in life don’t actually get any of that for any part of their life. So, lots don’t know how to think strategically, or to think out into the future, or to wonder, and then to start plan what they want to do.

Peita Diamantidis: [40:22] So, we say we do planning financially, but I would argue there’s a bigger picture level of planning here, to help people select and implement some great things in their lives.

Peita Diamantidis: [40:33] And if we can make ourselves a really value-added resource in that process, then like you say, you’re just connected to them for life. You’re part of their circle.

Fraser Jack: [40:45] Yeah, I love this. And so, there’s also the scenario that once you got a list of their goals, and dreams, and the services you provide. You can take that number, if you like. We’ve put a metric around it all of a sudden.

Fraser Jack: [40:58] You can take that number, and say that, “The potential new clients coming through last year, we helped our clients achieve 915 goals.”

Peita Diamantidis: [41:07 ] Correct.

Fraser Jack: [41:08] And you can have an exact number.

Peita Diamantidis: [41:10 ] Correct. I think, those groups that you can be a part of, where you feel like you’re achieving something, can be really empowering. Because, you almost feel a little accountable to them.

Peita Diamantidis: [41:21] I was part of a ... When I wrote my books for the first one, I was part of a group, where we had a million word challenge. So, in 30 days, the group had to write a million words. Now, all right, hard to attack.

Peita Diamantidis: [41:29] But actually, in the group, it was 30,000 words each. And if you only make it about yourself, then well, you can let yourself off the hook.

Peita Diamantidis: [41:40] Whereas, if you make yourself part of a bigger group achieving that, it’s like, “Well, I can’t let them down. I better write my thousand words tomorrow.” And I think, you can do this with dreams, with your clients.

Peita Diamantidis: [41:49] You could make your team and your clients all part of this, and say, “Come on guys, share them with them. And we’re going to add another one, another little tick.” To somebody achieving another dream.

Peita Diamantidis: [41:59] There’s tools out there. And the name of this, I’m going to have to send you the links to some of these. But there’s some counters that you can have, that are physical counters.

Peita Diamantidis: [42:06] And so, if somebody shared another one, or achieved another one, you could have the clique, and then you share the updated number on Facebook, or on social media. So, make all of this part of what you, as a business, achieve.

Fraser Jack: [42:19] Yeah, and on your website, and anywhere. You just have a counter ticking over.

Peita Diamantidis: [42:26] Yeah, really exciting, and what a great thing for your staff to feel like they’re making an impact. It’s not how many SOAs did you write. It’s the impact you’ve had on lives, it’s the dreams you’ve fulfilled. That’s pretty awesome.

Fraser Jack: [42:41] And as advisors, we’re always saying, “Why don’t we have more good news stories out in the media. It’s all bad news stories.” And this is the sort of good news stories that surely would be picked up on.

Peita Diamantidis: [42:51] Well, I actually think those personal stories shared with your ... directly with your clients, I think they’re more impactful than media. I think, a lot of people ... I don’t know about you, but I’m absorbing far less media than I used to, right, and certainly listening to it.

Peita Diamantidis: [43:09] In terms of actually taking it in. Whereas, things that are from people that I’m connected to, or part of a group, or part of it, that stuff I’m interacting with, and listening to.

Peita Diamantidis: [43:17] So, I feel like if we shifted our media focus to our circle focus, so whether it’s clients and future clients, or those sort of people, and just try to connect really well with them, and got those good news stories out just to them, that’s still having a massive impact.

Peita Diamantidis: [43:34] And if we all did that in the industry, we’d be reaching a lot of people.

Fraser Jack: [43:38] Yeah, I think our clients would be promoting us a little bit more too. Showing that-

Peita Diamantidis: [43:44] Definitely.

Fraser Jack: [43:45] ... their goals and dreams, how many they’ve got, and how many that’s part of a larger group, et cetera, et cetera.

Peita Diamantidis: [43:49] Because, the trigger would happen more often. So, they’re talking to a mate who said, “I saw that photo on Facebook, about you guys in front of the Eiffel Tower. You said you wanted to do that for 20 years, and you only just achieved it. How did you pull that off?”

Peita Diamantidis: [44:02] Right, they’re going to connect you directly with that stuff. So, the opportunity to refer will become far more organic, because you’re connected to joy, and happiness, and excitement, and fun. And people share those ideas really willingly.

Fraser Jack: [44:17] Yeah. And just personally, in that, as you said, your staff are probably going to feel a hell of a lot better, than now achieving an extra 2% on your portfolio.

Fraser Jack: [44:26] Then, they’re helping you actually achieve these dreams, and goals. And they’re a lot more of appeal at the moment, than a return on investment.

Peita Diamantidis: [44:37] Absolutely, absolutely. And, I think, it also even in the toughest times, it gives you something to almost reposition the client for.

Peita Diamantidis: [44:42] So, when they’re really struggling with something, you might be doing a claim for them, anything like that. It can be, “All right. This is horrible. We’re going to get through it, and then we’re going to have that dream conversation again.”

Peita Diamantidis: [44:50] “Because, you need to get back into thinking like that again.” So, I think it gives you that opportunity to bring that positivity, even in the most difficult of times.

Fraser Jack: [44:58] Yeah, definitely. Now, this has been a pretty amazing conversation. I’ve definitely enjoyed it. From there, she said the biggest nerd in the industry, amounts to technically, you’re an actuary, you’ve done all these things.

Fraser Jack: [45:11] And what really lights you up, is the conversation around them, real people, and achieving their dreams.

Peita Diamantidis: [45:18] Absolutely, absolutely. Dream big, and live bigger, I say.

Fraser Jack: [45:22] Very good. Well, I’m going to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time today, I really appreciate it. Thank you for coming back on the show as a repeat guest.

Peita Diamantidis: [45:30] Thank you for having me, I feel so special.

Fraser Jack: [45:33] I love these chats and conversations. We’ll keep having them, and I’ll certainly keep bringing them to the masses.

Peita Diamantidis: [45:39] Awesome.

Fraser Jack: [45:40] Thank you so much, Peita. If you haven’t already, I’d like you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice. And to continue the conversation, head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.


Disclaimer: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document, and divergence from the audio file are to be expected. As a transcription, this is not a legal document in itself, and should not be considered binding to advice intelligence, but merely a convenience for reference.