Attentive advisors do a lot for their clients. It’s a fabulous story to tell as you explain what they can reasonably expect in this relationship. Relationships are a two way street. What should clients know about your expectations of them?
Six Things Advisors Should Expect From Clients
You plan on doing a great job for your clients. This requires you seeing the whole picture and the client’s willingness to work alongside you.
1. Updates re: Changes in your Job and Career.
These can be good or bad. Has your client been offered a promotion requiring relocation across the country? Have layoffs been announced and they were effected? Have they been given early retirement? Have they started a consulting business on the side?
Why? Moving to a different state effects taxation of municipal bond income. They may need to be drawing down their investments to provide income until they find another job. This requires planning ahead.
2. Significant changes in lifestyle.
They’ve fallen in love and will be getting married. There’s a child on the way. Actually, it might be triplets. They’ve won Powerball. A distant relative has died, leaving them a windfall. They’ve decided to build a beach house at the shore.
Why: Their financial plan is dynamic. It can change with the times. The arrival of a newborn changes their day to day living expenses and highlights the need for saving for college down the road. If course adjustments need to be made in the plan, you want as much notice as you can get.
3. Heard about any good investments?
Some clients watch too much late night television. They may have seen an infomercial about buying gold coins as an investment. They may have decided to become a real estate investor and flip houses. It looks so easy on TV. It’s their money, but you would like them to tell you about it.
Why: Some investments, like gold can be integrated into their investment portfolio or bought in ETF format, eliminating the need to take possession and store the metal. Unfortunately, other investment ideas might be scams. You can provide a balanced evaluation highlighting pros and cons.
4. Are you dissatisfied?
If you are unhappy with your investments, performance or the relationship, you want to hear about it. You don’t want your client to smolder or feel they can’t get their concerns off their chest. It’s even possible someone might be giving them misinformation to put the relationship at risk.
Why: You want to know what’s on their mind. Don’t let sleeping dogs lie. Relationships are often like old fashioned pressure cookers. If you allow the pressure to build for too long, the lid can blow off. Try to address issues before they become serious.
5. Meet the children and your parents.
It’s highly likely these family members are also heirs. It’s important they understand how you help your clients and what their overall plan for their money looks like. For example, understanding how college savings accounts work might encourage grandparents to make annual gifts.
Why: On a serious note, they are likely heirs and beneficiaries. They will meet you someday. It makes more sense to do it under happy circumstances when everyone can be present.
6. Availability for portfolio reviews, calls.
It’s great that you intend to provide quarterly performance reviews, but your client needs to make time available and focus their attention. World events sometimes move markets. They may wonder if they should be taking action. If you call to let them know you’ve anticipated their questions, they need to take that call.
Why: Clients are paying good money for your services. They may be outsourcing some portfolio management activities, but not communication. One of the secrets of good long term relationships is frequent communication.
All six points can lead to more business. However, they are also in the client’s interest. It’s easy to explain how taking on each of these responsibilities benefits your client.
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