Adviser Gordon Bell from Rainbow Life on some of the biggest hurdles the rainbow community face when seeking financial advice
GB (Gordon Bell) is the proud founder and owner of Rainbow Life – An LGBTQI+ Empathetic Insurance and Claims Advice brokerage. He’s been in the industry for over 25 years
Can you tell us a little bit about your history and how you ended up starting Rainbow Life?
Hi, I am GB (Gordon Bell), and I am the proud founder and owner of Rainbow Life – NZ’s only LGBTQI focused insurance, claims, and KiwiSaver retirement income funding adviser.
I am often asked why I started Rainbow Life – and the answer is simple, but the reason quite sad. In 2016 I had a ‘last straw’ moment. I was referred to a married gay couple who had just bought their first home. They had recently had an unpleasant experience with another financial adviser who was rude, left them feeling insulted, and gave them the impression he did not like or understand gay people. Hearing about their experience was the thunderbolt I needed to set up Rainbow Life after sitting on the idea for 15 years.
I only wish I had done it earlier because the demand for my “rainbow empathic” financial services where overwhelmed. So many people, so many questions, so many problems to be solved.
From your time in the industry, what difficulties do members of the LGBTQI community face when it comes to securing their financial futures?
I have found that a lot of advice being given simply will not achieve what the customer expected. I believe this is largely a result of the lack of trust and lack of relationship between the adviser and the client not being strong. Lack of trust is not a trivial matter. Not being on the same page as your adviser can be detrimental to the quality of advice given. Claim time is not the right time to find out if your insurances will work or not. No trust often means that the clients are uncomfortable in giving full and correct answers to extremely important questions. This may mean that correct advice is impossible.
Lack of empathy and trust means that if illness, injury, or death occurred it could be a limited claim payment or no claim payment. The same applies in investment and retirement savings too, where people can receive advice that could lead to a lack of cash flow in retirement and investment with companies that are not rainbow supportive.
If you could pass on advice to members of the rainbow community that are striving to secure their financial future, what would it be?
If you want Certainty, Control, Cashflow and Dignity then having the correct adviser - a “rainbow empathic” adviser - can smooth out the road to your financial future.
Because of its importance, I will repeat it again. The financial journey starts by getting the correct adviser, be it your financial adviser, mortgage broker, lawyer, account, dentist, doctor, mechanic. Find professionals that are ”rainbow empathic.”
Remember it is your “Quality of Lifestyle” and your future that you are looking to maintain.