Welcome to the 3rd Edition of Drogheda Chamber’s Member Spotlight Series.
Every week Drogheda Chamber will feature one of our Members on our website and across our social media platforms.
This week we spoke to Dave Kavanagh of Financial Companion.
Why do you think most people don’t like talking about finances?
Well it’s a non tangible topic and a lot of people don’t think finances are ‘fun’.
People know if they need a plumber to fix their washing machine or a mechanic if something is wrong with their car but people generally don’t look for people to fix their finances because they don’t know that they have a problem until they look.
7 out of 8 people that I sit down with are paying too much for something or have something very very wrong with their finances but until they take the time to sit down and address it they don’t realise.
I was giving a talk to about 40 people at a hotel recently.
I asked the audience how many had life cover and the majority of people raised their hands .
I then asked the same people if they knew what company they were with, how much they were paying and what their policy covered and you know what, people just didn’t know and that’s really common.
That the reason why 7/8 people I see are paying too much for things because they haven’t looked at it or looked into other options.
But I get it, it’s not an exciting topic per say and people don’t want to talk about things that are considered negative like serious illness cover or retirement.
I always say if you get it sorted early it can be a real game changer in terms of saving yourself huge amounts of stress in the long term.
Think of it like this.
The odds of you wining the lotto are 10.7 million to 1 yet week after week every Wednesday and Saturday evening you will see people literally tripping over small children to get to the lotto machine because they think they can win.
10.7 million to one – I don’t fancy those odds but yet people think it could happen to them.
Then on the flip side when I talk about serious illness cover and how 1 in 4 people will get one of the specified illnesses covered before the age of 65 people think “ah sure that will never happen to me”.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
One of the things I’m most proud of is how I can help people take control of their finances and in turn their lives.
Finances affect every part of our lives so to be able to offer advice or save people money is something I’m very proud of.
A big moment for me professionally was when I was asked to do a financial advice slot for 2FM.
I had offered some financial advice to a listener on the air and it subsequently led to a regular 4 year financial slot which was incredible.
That led onto more work with Tv3 and numerous speaking engagements so getting recognised for your work is a great feeling.
What is the one thing that people might not know about your business?
It’s something that I shout from the rooftops all the time but it’s the fact that there is no cost or obligation for me to review your finances. It’s a free service.
People always think that there is a catch but there’s not. I did a survey a while ago on mams.ie and asked why is it that people aren’t taking the time to review their finances and the overwhelming response was that people thought they wouldn’t be able to afford the fee.
So I suppose in my business, it’s important to get the message out there that there is no cost and no obligation to the client.
This is because, if we identify that you are paying too much for something or don’t have the most appropriate plan for your current circumstances, I am paid by the company that we place the new business through.
I call to peoples house or have a chat over the phone so it is really easy and confidential to take that first step on the road to having control over your finances rather than the other way around.
The second thing that came out of the survey is that people were embarrassed about their situation, or with the mess they perceive they made but I promise there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
It’s all about helping people and getting you on the right track with zero judgement.
I was diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago, luckily i’m good and healthy now but there are so many people who come to me to talk about serious illness cover when its too late.
By that I mean when they have already been diagnosed with a serious illness. Things like serious illness cover need to be looked at before you think you need it so that it’s in place when or if the time comes.
Whats the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
I started in finance in 1980 and moved about a bit in other areas before coming back into the role in 1991.
One of my colleagues, a guy who was one of the top financial advisors said that he was going to give me three important pieces of advice. He said:
“See the people, See the people, See the people” .
You can sit at a desk all day and not meet anyone but for me I can best help people when I’m sitting in front of them or chatting over the phone.
That contact is so important especially when you’re discussing something as personal as finances.
Another is “A Candle loses nothing by lighting another Candle”.
I am very involved with LouthChat on Twitter and love the community spirit and support people have for one another in the group.
For me there is nothing better than supporting small business owners to get their message out to the wider public.