Showing clients how they stack up against their peers can be a powerful motivator, writes Kristen Paech.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Nor can you force an investor to adopt recommendations about their finances, regardless of how prudent the course of action might be.

Doug Turek, managing director of Professional Wealth and founder of Wealth Benchmarks – a website that allows individuals to measure their net wealth and compare it against their peers – says consumers often drag their feet when it comes to implementing advice handed down by their adviser.

They might know that they should put more money into their superannuation, but when it comes to crunch time, other short-term goals, like buying a house, may take precedence.

Turek believes comparisons are a powerful motivator for people, providing another data point about what might be the right priorities for them.

This year he has taken Wealth Benchmarks one step further, introducing a new online tool that he hopes will help advisers develop a more compelling case for change during discussions with clients.

Available since January, the tool produces a 12-page report for advisers about key aspects of a client’s finances and makes comparisons with others in the same life stage, age band and income group.

Based on 15 summary financial inputs, the report provides an overall “balance sheet” and “income statement” summary, which advisers can use to help individuals understand “what they own, owe, are worth, spend and save”.

“Sometimes an adviser’s greatest competition is procrastination and perhaps this provides a needed tipping point to action,” Turek says.

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