DEVIL’S AVOCADO: Reflections on providing advice [this blog in books #6]

10 September 2021

reading time:  minutes

Most of the books above are fictional – in the sense that they don’t technically exist (outside of my mind or this blog).

Today, I want to share Devil's avocado: On giving advice. 

When people ask me what I do, I'm often reluctant to say that I'm a "financial planner". I'm just as likely to say I'm a "recovering lawyer", "lion tamer", or "professional power walker". Read what you want into that. 

However, I take the role of providing financial advice – or advice in any professional capacity – very seriously. It's something I think about a lot, as you can probably gather from these articles. 

(Why "devil's avocado"? I use this term quite a lot. I define it as "a devil's advocate, but nice". Along with being careful about how I communicate questions and observations to clients (verbally and non-verbally), it's a framing that allows me to challenge and push back against people, without losing rapport.)

Please note: Some of these articles are dated. They refer to legislation and regulations that have been updated. In most cases, the spirit of what I have to say is still accurate, but the details aren't still relevant. As with all articles, from this blog and elsewhere, check the date of publication to get some context about how recent and relevant the article is.


A final observation: when I read some of my earlier articles, I feel like I was a lot more a firebrand than I am now. Maybe I'm desensitised and numb. Maybe I'm better at picking my battles and focusing my energy on things that are more instrumentally useful, at a personal level. But on reflection, I'm proud of the thinking that has gone into the business decisions that I've made, and that inform the decisions I continue to make. 


advice, ethics, financial advice, financial planning, professionalism

About the author 

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie provides financial planning services via his business, Fairhaven Wealth ( Fairhaven Wealth provides independent, advice-only, fixed-fee financial planning services. Sonnie is also a “recovering lawyer”: he has specialised in financial services, trusts, and estate planning.

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