Financial Conversations

By: David Smyth, April 27, 2018

For those of you who currently work with us, we've been super active during the first quarter of the year making adjustments to your portfolio, and that near-3000-point correction in the Dow has since rallied back up 1200 or so points before taking another smaller dip this week. 
 
For those of you who are clients, I feel we've been able to manage your accounts in a very positive manner that should put your portfolio in a good spot moving forward. This market volatility has actually allowed us to have risk-reward conversations with you, while looking at real numbers - here's what it was worth, here's what happened.
 
Now, I know none of you like to see anything we own oscillate, but the reality is that the stock and equity markets do ebb and flow. This recent correction within a bull market has been a good conversation starter, and a reminder of the risk we all took in investing in securities. In addition to risk and reward, these conversations may have also included the individual sector as well as stock-specific stories on positions you hold within your portfolio.
 
I believe that in today's world, it's vitally important for all investors to have a 30,000-foot understanding of what they're invested in - and that means more than just stocks. You should also understand what services and solutions the companies you own provide to the general public. Additionally, you need to know the why - what's the goal of the investment? These are all things we naturally cover in the investment planning portion of our review. 
 
Those of you who've been with us for a couple of decades probably have become accustomed to these conversations, and might even consider them normal when talking with a financial advisor. The reality, however, is that it's anything but normal. What we do is unusual, and I know this from nearly every new client we work with telling me they've never had this type of discussion.
 
It's my opinion that there are a number of folks out there who call themselves financial advisors, or investment representatives, financial planners, and yes, some are even CFPs, who aren't well versed when it comes to the actual holdings in a portfolio, or what's going on with those companies. Many of them pass off the day-to-day portfolio management of client accounts to third-party services as they spend their time finding additional client assets, regardless of how current assets are doing. 
 
I personally have a problem with that, because I view each of our client relationships as family, and I view my role as a trusted shepherd for that person's finances. How could I not know the names of the sheep in that portfolio? I also know deep down that, if I do my best to take care of each one of you and your interests, over time, that comes back full-circle, whether in you continuing to do business with us, or when you give us that extra helping hand in the form of a referral to someone who holds you in high esteem, and that trust extends to us. 
 
That said, my desire for every family we work with is to have a real understanding of what they own in their portfolio, and even though we do want you to trust us, we want to make sure you're educated. Educated clients are the best clients. 
 
In my business, I know that when someone refers someone, trust is extended just by walking in the door. From that point on, trust is earned. As we demonstrate time and time again through financial conversations, we are more often right than wrong in our financial predictions. 
 
One of the things I do know that I've seen in my own life, personally and professionally, that's imperative when it comes to trust is communication. While we can't solve your pension issues for those of you who are Kentucky teachers (who might be having some trust issues), we can promise to communicate with you on a regular basis. As I always tell people in my conference room, regardless of whether I'm bringing good news or bad news about your financial situation, I want you to hear it from us first. 
 
Here's to three more quarters of good conversations, transparency, and hopefully a lot more referrals, as this is now the social season. Help us continue to grow, so we can continue to provide better and more comprehensive services to you and your family. 

Family Financial Partners | Growing Wealth, For Generations ™