It’s Your Life, Not the Advisor’s
The Trusted Client/Advisor Relationship
A good relationship between a client and Financial Advisor is based on trust and a certain amount of intimate knowledge of what’s going on in the client’s life. A good advisor will spend a lot of time listening— asking probing questions and listening. Everyone has their own ideas of where they want to go. Some people foresee a future where they live in the house that they’re currently in. Others have desires to move to some other place for their retirement years. The financial planning and investment strategy should be in support of the client’s desires in life, and not in support of the particular needs of the advisor.
How Might an Advisor Act in His Own Best Interest?
For example, if you get approached by someone who is selling a particular investment product, their position will often be, “you need this”, regardless of how it might fit into your life. You’re being sold something. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about understanding what your current life’s aspirations are and finding the best solutions that are in support of your life, and not the advisor’s life.
As another example, an advisor might be selling an insurance product of a particular type or from a particular company and it’s really about selling that product to you and how they can fit that into what your needs are. Whereas if you take a holistic approach based on what the client’s life desires are, then all of the appropriate investment types and investment approaches flow naturally from there.
Another example might be that the client desires to own a lot of real estate. This has great implications on the types of investment products the client should hold to maintain appropriate liquidity, as the investments are better considered semi-temporary until the right investment property comes available. A good financial advisor would keep this in mind and plan accordingly, considering the needs of the client and not choosing what’s easy, or what might be the product of the day to sell. A good advisor doesn’t sell, they advise.
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