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Creating the Financial Wellbeing book and podcast

Ovation MD Chris Budd tells why he launched Financial Wellbeing, a website, podcast and book aimed at helping consumers do more than just get to grips with their finances

I attended a conference recently where the subject was Financial Technology. Lots of very clever people predicting how FinTech will engage people in the future. Robo advice was a recurring theme.

One question kept coming back to me as I listened – what problem are they trying to solve?

In my experience clients want to spend as little time as possible thinking about their money. What they want to know is NOT how the asset allocation of their portfolio has changed, but how much closer they are to achieving their objectives.

A good example of this is the language we use in financial services. We do steer clear from jargon, but we are still not truly speaking to people on the subjects they worry about. This is why I wrote The Financial Wellbeing Book, to try and talk in a language that people will engage with, not be impressed with.

Check out some IFA websites local to you. Even the better ones will have topics such as ‘Pension Advice’, ‘Estate Planning’ and even ‘Wealth Management’ (whatever that might be!).

Most clients are simply not interested in this stuff. No one goes to an adviser with a burning desire to have their wealth managed (even if that is what they might initially tell us).

This is why not enough people take financial advice, because they don’t care about pensions or ISAs. They care about what the future might look like. They need help understanding which dreams might have a chance of becoming reality. They need help focussing on what makes them happy in life.

I’m a passionate advocate of a ‘coaching THEN planning THEN advice’ approach to financial planning. I’m also a great believer in money being a means to an end.

All proceeds of The Financial Wellbeing Book go to the Penny Brohn UK cancer charity. The book helps people to work out their own basic financial plan but, crucially, a plan based on becoming happier, not just wealthier. It doesn’t talk about ‘active versus passive’, but tries to get people thinking about their relationship to money.

Some IFA practices have bought copies to give to their clients (or, perhaps better, their clients’ children). Bulk discounts are available, contact me for details!

We’re also producing The Financial Wellbeing Podcasts. This features a regular ‘tip from the professionals’ slot, so I’d also love you to make contact with me with any suggestions you might have (you’ll get a namecheck with the tip). Email me on

If we are going to connect to more people we need to engage them in their finances. That is not going to happen by showing off our technical knowledge. Instead we need to communicate in a language that ordinary people not only understand, but will be inspired by. Objectives, motivations, dreams even.

Robo advice will work for some people who are interested in the detail of their money. For most people, however, engaging them in a way that really means something to their lives is far more likely to attract them to advice – and to keep them there.

The latest round of courses to teach coaching skills for advisers are imminent, Click here to book a place. Click here to buy a copy of The Financial Wellbeing Book.

Listen to an episode of the Financial Wellbeing podcast, where Chris and actor and writer David Lloyd interview Ian ‘Mod’ Moore a comedian, author on his decision to move to France andhow that has affected his relationship with money and developed his own Wellbeing.

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