Kicking Goals! The national AGBA Conference 2017 brought goals-based investing to life
The Association of Goals Based Advice (AGBA) National Conference, held over two days this week in Sydney, promoted the idea of goals-based financial advice.

The conference brought together advisers, asset consultants, fund managers, regulators and other industry professionals to gain insights into the idea, hoping to assist advice businesses in their journey to implement goals-based advice.

Ignition Wealth Head of Advice Rob Corben explains, “AGBA members are united around the central truth that a goals based approach to advice and investing can deliver better outcomes for clients (and their business) than traditional methods. There is a strong commitment to work together and with industry suppliers and regulators to deliver on this vision.”.

If you ask any adviser, “Do you practice goals-based advice?” the answer will likely be “Yes… haven’t we always been doing this?”. However, the reality is that there is much more to goals-based advice and investing than meets the eye. AGBA have been working tirelessly to bring the industry up to speed with contemporary thinking in this space as well as the reasons why we need something new.

Goals-based advice centres around a client’s specific goals and aspirations, rather than just their tolerance to risk. It helps clients get a sense of control over their investments, tracking their progress and focusing on what’s important to them. Equally important, is that it includes a framework for portfolio construction and dynamic asset allocation based not on traditional historical returns but on forward looking forecasts. The goals based approach changes the dialogue with clients to be less about performance above or below an index, and more about how they are tracking toward achieving their life objectives.

Ian Knox, Co-founder & Managing Director of Paragem summed it up nicely at the end of the conference stating, “Wealth and control are correlated, good advice is all about giving clients control.”. Focusing on this concept makes it easier for advisers to show the value they can bring to clients, empowering them take control and understand the path they need to take to reach their goals.

The idea is to focus on what is important to clients, rather than on traditional benchmark investment approaches to advice. It is the more personal side of financial advice, providing a deeper understanding of clients, and paving the way for better relationships.

Andrew Inwood, Founder and CEO of CoreData Research, gave some great insights into investor attitudes and preferences which showed a clear preference for a goals based approach. Brigette Leckie, CIO of Koda Capital, also led a thought provoking discussion around the current investment environment and how to build portfolios focused on goals based investing.

The conference was a great initiative to bring like minded people together and heralds a new way for advisers to better help their clients achieve their financial futures.

Ignition Wealth’s Head of Sales and Marketing Richard Liverpool praised the event saying, “This was a great opportunity to connect with our peers in challenging but fascinating times as our industry continues to evolve. By focusing on changing the future, not fighting the past, we can all be successful.”.