PlanFocus talks with Rebecca Jacques, General Manager of AGBA

In this update we chat with Rebecca Jacques who is the General Manager of the Association for Goals Based Advice.

AGBA is the peak industry network for practitioners and organisations that deliver best practice in goals-based advice and investing. Recently AGBA made an announcement calling on independent and non-aligned advisers to get involved in designing and building better software for the delivery of goals based advice.

PlanFocus is proud to be working with AGBA on this initiative. We caught up with Bec in Sydney recently to talk all things goals based and find out more about the technology project AGBA are leading.

PF: Rebecca, there’s been a lot of chat around the advice profession on goals based advice. When we speak to advisers most say they already do it, so what’s the big deal? Can you tell our readers how AGBA responds to these kinds of comments?

RJ: You are correct that it is arguable that in fact all financial planners are in affect already doing goals based financial planning. Yet whilst the profession of financial planning is about assisting investors to achieve their investment goals the framework which is currently utilised by the majority of the financial planning profession is in fact not aligned to assisting financial planners achieve this for their clients. It is also important to distinguish between goals based advice and goals based investing as whilst the two are connected they are distinct processes.
Goals based investing means defining portfolio efficiency in terms of clients’ goals rather than the traditional measures of return and standard deviation.

In essence to implement goals based investment planning we need to personalise the wealth management framework. At the core of this personalisation is bringing the investor to the centre stage. Risk is defined based on the clients’ goals therefore we utilise measures that capture the risk of failing to achieve those goals.

PF: Why do you think the advice profession is digging deeper into goals-based methodologies?

RJ: Goals based planning improves upon traditional approaches in the areas of measuring risk, risk profiling and managing behavioural biases. At a time when failed strategies have forced investors to rethink plans for their lifestyle, family and community goals based advice and investments provides a better outcome and more aligned outcomes to the clients goals and outcomes.

PF: The technology workshops AGBA are holding this year are not just about building better goals-based solutions for XPLAN users which we are so excited to be part of. Tell our readers about the wider technology project currently underway.

RJ: We have just begun working with members and innovators to deliver an adviser designed technology framework centred around helping clients and advisers engage better on financial goals across the entire advice process. Importantly, this framework will integrate with mainstream practice CRMs and financial planning tools via an open API. In doing so it will work alongside traditional advice processes allowing advisers and licensees to customise the goals based processes to best suit their clients and their practice.

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