We invited Amyr Rocha-Lima, partner at Holland Hahn & Wills to talk about his role, the profession and his dream dinner party guests.
What do you like most about your role?
The biggest breakthrough in my career was fully understanding that I’m a financial planner rather than a fortune teller.
That is, making it clear to prospective clients (and clients alike) that I don't deal in economic forecasting, market timing and performance chasing. And not just because they are impossible – at least with any consistency – but because they are irrelevant: they have very little to do with whether a client family does or doesn't achieve their goals.
Therefore, what I most like about my role is being planning-centric. This empowers me to present my capabilities to clients in terms of three priceless gifts, any one of which is worth in the long-run multiples of what I charge, and which together virtually always enable me to get clients where they would like to get to in their lives.
Those gifts are: putting financial planning first, having a long-term historical perspective on investment markets, and maintaining an ongoing defence against making big mistakes.
What’s been the best thing you’ve changed about your business?
For many years I made the mistake of thinking that our profession was primarily about money. I made the mistake of thinking it was more important for me to talk to clients about ‘technical solutions’ than to ask questions and really listen to their answers.
But then I started implementing some changes. I started to realise that my real goal as a financial planner wasn’t simply to try to be ‘right’ as an end in itself.
My goal was to be the friend and the professional who is often the last source of realistic long-term optimism in my client’s lives. As soon as I started living this realisation, I witnessed a transformation both in my career and in my relationship with clients.
What’s the best piece of tech you’ve introduced to your business?
We’ve recently adopted Microsoft Bookings to enable clients and prospective clients to schedule a call or book a meeting with us online.
Although we’ve had such teething issues getting it up and running, I can already see the benefits of allowing clients to see our availability and book time with us with much less friction.
If you could change one thing about the profession, what would it be?
I would love to see more financial planners wanting to go deeper into redefining wealth with their clients, bring more ‘life planning’ into the financial conversation.
I truly believe that most financial planners have a desire to serve their clients’ best interests. And what is best for the client? To get the best life possible with the money they have. And that best life never will be just about money.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a financial adviser?
An actor. It has always fascinated me how actors present different predicaments and issues to their audience, which allows people to question their reality.
What one word sums you up and why?
Love. To me, it is the most profoundly human experience and it’s what I strive to create in my life and in the life of those most dear to me.
Which three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Thomas Sowell: I would love to get a chance to chat with him about his views on wealth and politics.
Amyr Klink: My father named me after him. Amyr is a Brazilian explorer who has conquered some huge feats, such as being the first person to row from the African continent to Brazil, and completing an almost two-year trip sailing single-handedly from Antarctica to the Arctic
Dolly Parton: She seems incredibly kind, incredibly intelligent and isn't afraid to be herself – and her literacy programme is nothing short of heroic!
Now that would be an interesting dinner party!