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Half Advice Isn't A Thing

29 April 2023

FINANCIAL PLANNERS – Do you ever call a plumber out just to tell them…

‘I don’t actually need any plumbing doing…’

No, you don’t do you. I hope (No matter how lonely you get)

So, why is it that some clients come to see you and the first thing they say is, ‘I don’t actually need any advice’?


The thing is, it is a code.

What it deciphers as is…

‘I don’t want to PAY for advice.’

And this is the paradox.

They obviously do need help with something; otherwise, they wouldn’t be sitting in front of you. But they can’t admit that to you or themselves, as that might mean they have to pay for it.

So, in their heads, they come up with a deal that makes sense to them.

‘I’ll come up with the idea myself through a combination of  Google, Martin Lewis, and my mate Dave who has a pub ‘O’ level in cryptocurrency. Then I’ll go and run it past an adviser to check it’s OK, and given that I’ve done all the work, I shouldn’t have to pay anything.

That makes sense.

To them.

So, let’s run that analogy past the plumber situation.

I call out Mike the drip, and when he gets to my house, I proudly show him the boiler that I bought second-hand from Slippery Sid in the Dog & Duck, with the aid of a YouTube video. I have managed to connect up to the gas supply and the electrics and am about to turn it on and see what happens, but before I do, can you just check it’s OK, please (and then if it’s wrong, it’s your fault).

Mike the drip has three options

  • Turn around and walk out of the door laughing.
  • Stand there whilst you press the switch and rearrange your cul-de-sac into an avenue.
  • Get his tools out and have a right good look at it so he can show you where you’ve gone wrong and how to fix it—for no pay.

There’s no plumber in the world that won’t choose number 1.

And yet, I’ve seen many an adviser jump in and start doing option 3 out of some misguided but honorable desire to help (or at least prevent harm).

So, how do we deal with this?

Well, there are three tools in your toolbox, depending on the voracity of the stubbornness inherent in your client.

  1. The Naughty Step
  2. The Roger Moore
  3. The Boris Karloff

And no, I can’t explain them with text, so you’ll just have to watch the video below to find out what they are!

And remember, there’s no such thing as half-advice. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners.


  • End-to-End Lifestyle Financial Planning Process & Software
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