Tom Brukman, CFP®

Tom Brukman, CFP®

What inspired you to become a financial planner?

I spent a good six months in my mid-twenties exploring what profession I could build a career around. I spoke to many different people and what came out time and time again was that I had a passion for people and specifically, to help people.

Once I was clear on this, being a Financial Planner was the only profession that I believed I could have the biggest impact in. 

What prompts clients to come to you? Do you have a niche or distinctive value offering?

I believe my niche is helping clients through major transitions. The value I offer is to truly understand what the person is needing due to the transition and then to help them understand their options to make the most appropriate decision. It may sound straight-forward but this is the real crux around financial planning. 

What do you believe is the most important thing you do for clients?

I provide them with an unbiased and honest perspective of the transitions they face. Being able to communicate this to suit each and every individual is where a lot of this value lies. 

What are the biggest mistakes that you see clients make?

This may be influenced by the recent couple of years but the biggest mistakes I see are where clients make emotional decisions around their finances/lives and don’t take the time to work through the consequences of those decisions.

How do you charge for your services?

We charge an ongoing financial planning fee on the assets that we help manage for the client. We also charge for time when it comes to tax, trust, legal, etc advice.

What role does technology play in your practice?

Technology is crucial in us being able to deliver all of our value and services to our clients. Our clients want instant communication, as much detail as they need within a few clicks and all of the time.

Without technology working for us, this is not possible.  

In saying this, technology cannot replicate the human connection and interaction that is the heartbeat of our roles.

What do you enjoy most about being a financial planner?

The client interactions. It is such a privilege to help people and being in a role where clients are, sometimes, at their most vulnerable seeking help, is extremely rewarding.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a financial planner?

The biggest challenges are generally around managing the client expectations and helping them through tough times. We live in a world of information overload and this can affect clients in so many emotional and psychological ways.

What is the biggest change you have seen in financial planning during your career?

The sophistication of client knowledge and needs has changed dramatically over my career. Some of this has been driven by legislation but mostly it has been driven by technology and the access clients have to information.

What’s your one wish for the future of the financial planning profession?

I wish that the profession continues to improve its reputation as many people have had a negative experience with financial advice (not necessarily qualified advisors). I also wish that the financial planning profession continues to positively impact society through increasing peoples knowledge and ability to make good decisions.

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