Certainty and confidence

Human beings are attracted to certainty. We prefer a sure thing than a 99% likelihood. We respond to people who are certain - people who are often wrong and never in doubt.

The challenge is, we live in an uncertain world. We can't predict the future. People have different views and respond differently to circumstances. Feedback loops are usually complex and beyond our understanding. 

Anyone who can tell you the future is revealing more about themselves than what the future holds.

The challenge is, when you seek professional advice, it's tempting to demand certainty. I'll be honest - I'm guilty of this as well. I'm guilty of this because I'm human.

It's something that I've had to become comfortable with over my years as a professional adviser. Not only have I had to become comfortable with uncertainty, but I've had to become comfortable with communicating uncertainty to other people.

In an uncertain future, can we offer certainty? No.

But we can offer confidence. We can help clients be aware of uncertainty and how we can manage it. We can make them aware that although the future is uncertain, there are things that they can do to improve their likely outcomes.

We can't offer certainty, but we can help people to be confident in the face of an uncertain future. That's no small thing. 

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is the founder and principal of Fairhaven Wealth.

Before founding Fairhaven Wealth, Sonnie worked in the legal and financial services industries for over a decade.

Sonnie first became involved with financial advice as a specialist financial services lawyer. For many years, he was an “adviser of advisers”, reviewing thousands of advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers, and providing feedback in relation to the quality and appropriateness of advice; industry best practice; risk management; and regulatory compliance. He has published work in industry publications and spoken at various financial advice conferences.

Sonnie has also worked with banks, investment management firms, insurers, and derivatives providers.

Sonnie has worked as a private client lawyer, focusing on succession, estate planning and trusts. He ran his own legal firm in Australia before relocating to New Zealand. He has also acted in independent trustee and company director positions.

Sonnie is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and manage the risks to which they are exposed.

He has written extensively on his blog, New Zealand Wealth and Risk, which can be found at www.wealthandrisk.nz.

Sonnie is married to his wonderful wife Chrissy, and has two young children, Ben and Anna.