See full profile: Sandton Financial Advisor- Michael Westcott
Were you always planning to be a Financial Advisor and why?
From a young age, I have had a passion for investments and have been in the investment and financial advice space my whole career.
When meeting with clients do they mostly come to your own premises or do you mostly go their theirs?
My clients mainly come through to our offices, both in Johannesburg and Cape Town, although we do also have international clients.
What is your preferred mode of communication with your clients?
Email, Phone, Face to Face, Skype, WhatsApp
Have you ever done an online video call with a client?
What do you love most about being a financial advisor
I thrive on creating solutions for my clients to give them peace of mind and achieve there objectives. I simply like helping people.
Would you recommend becoming a financial advisor as a career for school-leavers, and why?
Absolutely yes. It is a very rewarding and fulfilling career, were you can really make a difference in peoples lives.
What qualities should South Africans be looking for in their financial advisor?
Trustworthiness and caring are obviously essential. Experience and skill are also very important. You want your advisor to be remunerated in a way that both your interests are aligned. I believe its best to deal with specialists. At Absolut Wealth Management, we have a full range of specialists that work as a team to offer our clients the best advice and experience.
What is the biggest challenge facing financial advisors today?
Over regulation of the industry and uncertainty regarding constantly changing regulation. I support a well regulated and professional industry, however I expect that with the changes coming it is going to mean fewer people will have access to quality advice. That is what has happened in the UK.
What aspects of financial advising do you focus on most?
Getting to now and understand my clients needs, goals and requirements is very important. At Absolut Wealth we work to optimise every aspect of our clients financial planning. That is why we work as a team of experts in each required field to deliver a quality solution and service. I personally specialise in Investments and retirement planning.
Describe your average client:
An engaging person or company who wants to optimise their current and future financial position and who is willing to pay for quality service and advice.
How far away from your premises is your furthest client?
In South Africa, I have clients in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and the Garden Route. I also have clients that live in the USA, UK, Europe and Australia.
From your financial advising experience, if you could cite one of the biggest reasons financial goals, what would it be?
Lack of a plan or lack of self discipline to stick to a plan.
What financial software do you like best?
We use Elite Wealth as our client relationship management (CRM), electronic filing and financial planning software. SigniFlow for digital signatures. MailChimp for client communication, Docfox for compliance and Sage for accounting. Our office runs on Microsoft Office 365.
What other software, online services or apps do you use?
We will be launching a new service offering called Absolut Online in 2019. This is a proprietary Hybrid - Robo Advice solution that is high tech and aimed at a specific client sector. It will have a human interaction as well.
Do you think the coming wave of automation in the next few years will steal some financial advisor jobs and why/why not?
No I do not think so. Technology is here to help us become more efficient and offer clients a better client experience. The human touch and human interaction is what is required for effective financial advice. At the end of the day people like dealing with people.
What is your opinion on Bitcoin?
Its interesting but only one of the many Crypto Currencies. Some will have massive success and some will fail spectacularly.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy water sports like Scuba diving and boating. I train at the gym to stay in shape and enjoy spending time with my kids. I also enjoy hiking and high altitude trekking.
What is the most interesting thing on your bucket list?
I have a long bucket list that I am working on. Some of my travel items include: Climbing Mt. Aconcagua (Argentina), seeing the Northern Lights, riding a sled with dogs, diving Truk Lagoon & Palau and travelling to the Antarctic. I enjoy adventure travel.