By now, you've probably opened up your 2018 statements. For those of you who work with us, you may have already come in and discussed what we're doing, and we've covered what options lie ahead for 2019 and beyond. For those of you who don't work with us, this is a great time to give us a call and start that relationship with our team.
Maybe you're thinking, "Why? I know my balances are down a little, but I don't think I should change till things bounce back up." I appreciate that, and I'm glad you brought that up. This is something I've grown accustomed to hearing when there's been a market correction or some volatility. The reality is that, without looking at what you're currently doing, I can't make recommendations for where you might be better off taking a different approach.
The vast majority of times when I do look at a prospective client's portfolio, I typically see some things that didn't happen, and some things that did happen, that I'd recommend changing up. Some of the symptoms I like to address when asked for a second opinion are as follows:
First, how organized is the portfolio? Prospective clients often have various statements but no consolidation of their 401(k), IRAs, children's accounts, etc. If this lack of organization isn't enough, the second symptom I often see is, when I ask how a person is invested, I'm met with a deer-in-the-headlights look. You know, the one the deer gives you that says, "Okay, just hit me." Are you raising your hand about right now? It's okay. This is a very typical situation, and you're not alone.
Next, we frequently have to educate people on the fees they're paying to whomever they're currently working with. Even though there have been rules passed that require advisors to inform their clients about what they're paying, a lot of folks don't understand, simply because that's not their full-time job. I do think it's of the utmost importance to be very clear about what you're getting for your money.
Fourth, as we ask about the relationship someone has with their current advisor, we often find that there's a general lack of communication, whether in person or with the staff. Frankly, one reason people often make the shift from one advisor to another is because they don't feel that important to the advisor or team they're working with. Studies generally show that people leave more often for a lack of trust in the relationship than for actual poor performance.
Lastly, and perhaps most important to us, is the folks we see who have an investment plan their advisor printed off and gave to them, but are still lacking a comprehensive financial plan. So, when you work with our team, we're not just going for better investment portfolio performance. We hope for that of course, but that can't be the only thing we do, because the markets do go up and down.
What I can guarantee (and there a few things I can say that about!) is that we will organize your financial life. We will maintain an ongoing planning conversation with you that has as much (if not more) to do with your goals and life objectives as it does your investment portfolio. In addition, when it comes to investing, we will make sure you know what you own. I can also guarantee you that you will forget what you own, and that we will be happy to remind you. We want you to be as informed about what we're doing for you as you want to be.
Because we talk regularly about all these things, you'll work not just with me, but with our entire team. We never want you to be inconvenienced or not get your questions answered if your advisor is on vacation, out sick, or completing continuing education courses. This benefits you because more people understand your situation than just one person, and creates redundancy if, God forbid, something happened to your primary advisor.
Furthermore, and you already know this if you read these newsletters, we will communicate with you en masse but in a personable way, in between your personal touches with our office. We want to educate and grow your trust in our team, and hopefully earn your trust and referrals on a daily basis.
If you're ready to start the conversation but you're not quite ready for actual voice contact, email me here
. Or, simply pick up the phone and call us at 859.219.1006 to talk directly to one of our team. We truly appreciate that you're considering our services, and we hope we've reaffirmed what we're doing for those of you who are already working with us. If you know someone you think we should meet, I am always humbled by and appreciate your referrals, as we do have additional planning hours available to take on about 30 new client families this year. That's the biggest compliment you can give us as we continue to grow our firm.