Is your advisor or stockbroker playing more golf or out sailing these days? Are you questioning what they are actually doing for you? Today’s overachieving investment advisory firms are doing much more for their clients than in any time in history. This is a transformative time in financial services. Consumers are becoming smarter and advisory firms are offering more and more cutting-edge services in order to remain competitive.
At the lowest level, money management is the foundation of a successful client-advisor relationship. The ideal advisor is one who actually does the money management for you. This involves actually getting out and about, doing one’s own research, and even meeting with managements of the companies that they are investing in. It’s a lot of legwork. Unfortunately, many advisors these days are simply farming out the money management responsibility to others – in the form of wrap arrangements and sub advisory schemes. In some cases, the advisor may use a number of mutual funds and/or exchange-traded funds in an attempt to spread the money around efficiently. In any case, if you decide to hire an advisor that is using these types of products, recognize that there could layers of hidden fees beneath the surface.
Today’s successful advisors do more than just assemble portfolios, however. Future-ready advisors are now embracing what’s known as the “advice value stack.” This goes far beyond simple money management – and includes services such as financial planning, tax consulting, estate planning, concierge services and risk-mitigation. The underlying goal is to give you peace of mind in every aspect of your financial life. At a recent Fidelity Investments conference that we attended in Boston, we observed that some firms are actually providing their clients consulting services on topics such as cyber security, nutrition, philanthropic coaching and wellness. All of these services are provided, generally, without additional cost to the client. At the end of the day, if your advisor or broker is not helping you with some or all of these important areas, it may be time to start a search for a new partner. It’s a competitive world out there, take advantage of it!
We find that if you offer your clients financial planning or other value-stack offerings, then clients can better cope with the periodic market drawdowns. Having a full grasp of your financial picture does wonders for your investment anxiety when things turn nasty. Financial planning, in particular, has been a game changer for us. Our clients are embracing our value-stack offerings tremendously. It is enormously gratifying to help our clients reach their goals by mapping out a plan, putting it into action, and keeping them on track along the way. The process builds confidence in the client-advisor relationship and helps the client secure their financial freedom. If nothing else, please take away the fact that it is a competitive world out there for financial advisory firms. You have bargaining power. Plus, advisors are upping their game more and more to win your business. Don’t settle for mediocrity – there’s never been a better time to find a future-ready advisor who can “wow” you!