independent – unbiased – no products
We are ImPower.
Impower; verb; Alternative form of Empower; To give someone more confidence and/or strength to do something, often by
enabling them to increase their control over their own life or situation. (Source: wiktionary.com)
We are qualified Financial Advisers that specialise in your Financial Wellbeing.
We are completely independent –
no affiliations to any products or product providers. Just advice tailored to you, and interests that align with yours.
Independent, unbiased, no products. Simple as that.
Jessica Jamieson – FSP670611
Tony Walker – FSP31882
Who are you?
How we can help
Research has shown that the more financially ‘well’ your employees are…
- The more productive they are
- The less stressed they feel
- The better engagement they have
How ImPower can help: We are qualified, experienced financial wellbeing specialists who work only for you and your employees and in your best interests at all times. No conflicts.
Individuals, couples & families
Financial wellbeing is compromised by financial problems that are as individual as the people who experience them. They all have a similar impact on your quality of life, your health, your relationships and your work.
ImPower helps solve problems so you have more control of your finances and can live more fulfilled lives.
NEW ARTICLE by Tony Walker – September 2021
Financial Capability – What does it mean to ME?
We all want good information – but how do we interpret that information when we get it?
Information is everywhere. And everyone has an opinion. Some people’s opinions are based on sound principles and good research – some are not (we’ll leave it there!).
So, the real question which many consumers have is this “what does all this [information] actually mean to me?”
And the reality is that a lot of, so-called, “financial capability experts” won’t answer that question. They can’t, because they are not qualified – and the law makes it dangerous for them to stray too far into that personalised space.
Interested? Then read on…
What is the “Financial Capability Industry”?
A quick search for the term “financial capability” on Google reveals over 300 million listings. So clearly this is a serious topic.
Financial capability can be thought of as “the combination of attitude, knowledge and skills required to make sound financial decisions”. You might think it sounds easy. First learn the basics, then apply them. So why do so many people make poor financial decisions. The missing component is the emotional one – and emotions are so influential in financial decision-making that a whole new field of study has developed – that of “Behavioural Finance”.
But, back to Financial Capability. Why do we refer to the “Financial Capability Industry”?
Today, we are bombarded with Financial Capability material. There are books, videos, internet articles, apps, questionnaires, cautionary tales, etc., etc. All of these are crammed with good ideas. They all contribute to the very diverse industry which we call the “Financial Capability Industry”.
We think that the Financial Capability Industry can be very good at “explaining what it [some topic] means”. It’s all laid out for you. What could possibly go wrong?
The limitations of the “Financial Capability Industry”?
Too much information!
How many times do you hear that comment? It may not always be in relation to Financial Capability, but the end result is the same. Confusion and embarrassment.
So, if there is too much information available, that in itself creates an obstacle – it is counter-productive.
The term “information overload” has been defined as “the difficulty in understanding an issue and making effective decisions when one has too much information” [Wikipedia]. We believe that this perfectly sums up the limitation of the Financial Capability Industry.
So, how can the existence of information overload be countered?
What does all this mean to ME?
Some people are good at answering this question for themselves. Great – the creators of this material will be delighted that all their hard work has helped someone.
But there are a large number of people who can’t – or don’t want to – answer this question for themselves. Some of the reasons for this might be:
· Lack of time
· Lack of trust
· Lack of understanding
· It’s all too hard
· The “Ostrich Effect”
Whatever the reason – and there may be several – the end result is the same. The Financial Capability Industry doesn’t solve my problem.
A different approach is required.
The problem of personal financial advice
In March 2021 a new regime of regulation of financial advice services came into effect. We have previously commented on that in a separate article.
We will not go into detail here about the regime – other than to say that the penalties for getting it wrong have been significantly increased.
One of the consequences of this has been to scare financial capability experts away from giving personal advice. Providing factual or general information falls outside the new regime. So that is what the vast majority of financial capability experts do.
Which brings us back to the question this article originally proposed – how can consumers get help with the question – “what does this mean to ME?”
How does ImPower view things?
We believe that consumers need both general information and information about how that fits with their personal circumstances.
The following picture explains how this works. We are very clear that, without the personal financial wellbeing component, much of the financial capability material misses the mark.
So, what needs to happen?
1. First an individual needs to recognise that they have an issue. Sometimes this may be very clear and defined. But often, it is more subtle. It’s a bit like going to the GP saying you don’t feel well and finding out that your blood pressure is not quite what you thought.
2. Secondly, the individual needs to be prepared to ask for help. But, who can I ask? What will they think? Can I trust them? Imagine these questions playing out in a GP surgery.
3. Thirdly, the professional (financial wellbeing specialist) needs to diagnose the problem and develop a plan of action. This needs to take into account the individual’s personal situation, their values and vulnerabilities.
4. Finally, the individual needs to be motivated to implement the plan – “if you don’t change anything, nothing changes”.
For an individual who can’t self-help, the intervention of a professional at a personal level is vital. This is what ImPower does.
But, in addition to providing financial wellbeing expertise, we believe there are some other valuable contributions we can make to an individual’s financial wellbeing. These include:
· Guidance – not sure what to do; and sometimes you “don’t know what you don’t know”
· Reassurance – seeking confirmation that what they have done is appropriate
· Validation – seeking confirmation that what they are about to do is OK
· Comfort – the feeling of security which comes from knowing that they are on the right track
· Advocacy – not having the confidence to approach institutions to address problems; needing a plan of attack; knowing what information to provide and what questions to ask
· Facilitation – when partners can’t talk about money, a third party can help to get a meaningful discussion going
And, by the way – we charge for our services! We don’t believe in “free advice”.
What to do now
For more information contact us through the website “Get in touch” page. We would love to have a chat with you and explain how we can help you to improve your financial wellbeing.
 Centre for Financial Inclusion, November 2013, https://www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org/what-is-financial-capability
 Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_overload
 The Ostrich Effect is also referred to as “burying one’s head in the sand”. It seems that ostriches do not actually behave in this way, although they do lay their long necks on the sand if threatened.
It may be thought of as “intentionally avoiding or rejecting information that would help [an individual] to monitor their progress towards a goal” (Webb, Chang and Benn, Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 04 November 2013)