My name is Rudolph and I’ve been in the financial services industry since 2013. I had the privilege to grow up in Stellenbosch where I attended school and university. I graduated from the University of Stellenbohsc with a Bachelor of Commerce (2012) and then completed a Post-graduate Diploma from the Stellenbosch Business School (2014). I hold an advanced Post-graduate Diploma in Financial planning from the University of Free State (2018). My role at WealthUp is that of Senior Financial Planner (since 2015) and became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® in 2016. I am also the Head of Community at Ensombl South Africa.
What inspired you to become a financial planner?
My journey into financial planning was more accidental than intentional. 10 years on, I realize now that my career in financial planning is way more of a calling than a career. Having the privilege to walk alongside our clients and making a positive difference to their lives is what keeps inspiring me to remain a financial planner.
What prompts clients to come to you? Do you have a niche or distinctive value offering?
Clients know that they need to get in touch with us when they are going through a life transition – whether a small change or a big “lifequake”. I know that we, and this is applicable to all client-first financial planners, add value to the lives of our clients when things are going well, but I am fully convinced that we add immeasurable value when clients go through a life-change. “When life changes, money changes and when money changes, life changes” – Susan Bradley.
What do you believe is the most important thing you do for clients?
We are accessible, responsive and engaged.
Accessible: Our clients can reach us when they need u
Responsive: We are emotionally and physically consistent when we respond to our clients’ requests or needs
Engaged: We take interest and in our clients and we are present with them
What are the biggest mistakes that you see clients make?
Not managing their non-money resources. We only have three resources to manage and that is our time, energy and money. We are lucky to have clients who are very good at managing their money resources, but they often neglect to manage their time and energy resources well. How it plays out, in reality, is that we see clients getting to the end of their lives and not having had the pleasure of enjoying their money due to a lack of time and/or energy.
How do you charge for your services?
We have split our value offering into two parts and we charge differently for each.
- The first part of our value offering is to take clients on a 4-step journey to create their own personalized financial plan. We charge an upfront financial planning fee via invoice.
- The second part of our value offering comes into play when clients want to appoint us as their ongoing financial planning partners to help implement their financial plan and to help keep their lives in order ongoingly. For this we charge an “assets under advice” fee.
What role does technology play in your practice?
If the Y2K bug had to hit all over again, we would probably have to close our doors. So in short, technology adds significant value to our business and to our clients. We are more efficient because of technology and thus more available to better serve our clients.
What do you enjoy most about being a financial planner?
One word: relationships.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a financial planner?
Working in the business vs working on the business.
What is the biggest change you have seen in financial planning during your career?
The two most exciting change that we are currently experiencing is:
- The move away from the financial planner being the expert on the clients life and what they need to the client being the expert in their own lives.
- Financial planners adopting a coaching way of being. It is important to make a distinction between financial planners wanting to be coaches (which I don’t think makes sense) vs financial planners using coaching skills to become better financial planners through enhanced listening and questioning skills. If you are a better listener with a kind curiosity about your client, you will discover things that will radically impact upon your clients financial plan and they will be so much better of for it.
What’s your one wish for the future of the financial planning profession?
That we move from an emerging profession to a mature profession that is well respected for the value that is adds and the live change that takes place.
We hope you enjoy reading our series profiling Financial Planners. If you would like to be featured, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org