Lumiant is built to create optimal experiences for both single, or partner clients. Within a relationship, there is often one individual who has more control or influence over the personal finances of the pair. They are likely to pay the bills, organise bank accounts, and keep tabs on where their money is going. We refer to this individual as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) partner.
The other individual we refer to as the non-CFO partner, as they generally tend to leave organisation of the finances to their spouse. There are no specific genders attached to either role, it is determined by personal tendencies, and circumstance.
Individuals can fall on a spectrum, i.e. you may have both clients who are very involved with the family finances, or both clients who tend to avoid money conversations. Regardless, there is usually one who tends to take the most control over this aspect of the relationship.
Understanding which category each client falls more into, can help advisers to facilitate an equal discussion. CFO partners tend to talk more in the sessions, feeling this is their area of expertise. Likewise, non-CFO partners can look to their spouse for guidance on how they should feel about a particular financial decision. This is not always the case, however an awareness that this is the tendency can mitigate for this risk.
As the Lumiant process centres on values-based decisions instead of purely money-based decisions, it is important that both partners have an equal voice. Advisers can create this environment by inviting non-CFO partners to share their opinions first, and encouraging each partner to silently listen at first as their spouse shares. Discussion is encouraged, but should wait until both partners have had a chance to speak individually.
The value proposition of financial advisers centres on trust, and the ability to build trusted relationships. It is through listening and demonstrating that they are acting in the best interest of their clients that they will gain this trust. One of the difficult aspects of this industry is seeing clients not act on provided advice, even if they agree on the advice in their meeting. By aligning the advice provided to the partners and their values, clients are more likely to accept and trust the advice, and more importantly, act on it.