Reaching your financial goals may be easier than you think when it comes to getting help from your financial advisor. Unfortunately, there’s a misnomer in the industry that only the super-affluent will get the best advice. However, the truth is most advisors work with average people and sometimes even a few people who have very little just because they like them. So how do you get to be one of those people who your advisor enjoys working extra hard for? There are a few steps to take that can keep you from feeling like the little fish in the big pond.
For starters, know your goals. When someone comes to me and says, “Help me do this,” but they don’t have realistic expectations for what they want, I immediately know the relationship could bring about a substantial amount of frustration for both the client and myself. It’s a lose-lose situation when this type of relationship develops. The advisor doesn’t know how to help the client accomplish what he is after and the client is going to be upset because the relationship was never defined. So it’s absolutely imperative that you go to your advisor with a goal.
Next, ask questions…not just any question, but inspiring questions. You want to keep your advisor on their toes and you do that with thought-provoking topics. Some of my best clients challenge me. They don’t come to debate with me, rather they’ve studied a little bit before the meeting and they aren’t just coming in with a just tell me what to do attitude. Taking a subject and looking into it lets your advisor know you want and expect more from the advisor/client relationship than just to garner textbook info. You’re there to learn and engage your advisor in a better understanding of you. This is definitely a win-win because we should all be students of life looking to better ourselves daily.
Another important tactic in impressing your advisor is simply taking their advice. All too often, advisors make suggestions and clients overthink what they’ve been told. The advisor has researched and knows the counsel they are giving lines up with a certain client’s goals, yet it falls on deaf ears. It’s so important to understand the urgency of any pointers your advisor is shelling out. If you don’t see the value in it, why would your advisor see the value in working so hard to help you? So it’s essential that you act when you know they have your best interest in mind. Again, this point is assuming you have already confirmed that the advisor has your best interest in mind!
Lastly, don’t keep your advisor a secret. The old adage, “the best-kept secret is the one you don’t know about” simply isn’t true. If you go to a great restaurant you’re going to tell others how much you enjoyed it. If you go to a bad restaurant, you’re going to make sure the people you know and care about don’t have to have that same horrendous experience. The problem is we are personal about our money and we don’t want to share our experiences involving money. There’s so much negativity in the media about financial guys that when you hear a positive it’s a breath of fresh air. So when your advisor has you on the right track to retiring when you want…shout it to the rooftop!
So if you want to really be your adviser’s best client, remember, it’s not about net worth…it’s about teamwork. Your advisor wants to feel like you’re working with him or her to accomplish your goals instead of feeling like they’re the only one fighting for you to reach that dream.
If you would like to try to become one of our best clients, let’s schedule a meeting today.