Worby wealth Management a Trusted Regina Financial Advisor talks about being a quality financial advisor.
I spend a lot of time figuring out how to add value to my clients. I read many articles on a daily basis trying to understand people’s money management issues both psychologically and mathematically. I have seen good, bad and ugly in the world of investment and here are 5 things I have integrated into my practice as I think they add value and I think you should look for these qualities in your advisor:
- Communication. During the 2008 liquidity crisis, I gained a few extra clients because I was actively in contact with my existing clients and other advisors were not in contact with theirs. The fact is that I, like all the others, did not know what was happening or why – a 50% drop over 2 months will have that effect on you! – but that didn’t keep me from calling and having appointments. I may not have had answers, but it was still my job to provide the access to whatever information was available.
- Pro-activity. This one goes a bit hand in hand with the first one but I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard this, “he calls me at RRSP time and I go write him a cheque and don’t hear from him for a year.” Who is the client in this scenario?! One trick I use for this one is to sometimes book our next appointment at the end of this one – even if it’s going to be 6 months down the line. It keeps us all accountable to meet regularly.
- Interest. I often joke that “you don’t have to be a nerd but you do have to hire one” because the reading I do and enjoy and look forward to would put the average person to sleep in about 3.7 seconds! I like people, I like math, I like psychology, I like markets – I like what I do. I don’t do it because I have to; I do it because I want to. If you are working with someone who has to do something, you know it and you also know mediocrity is the usual companion.
- Relationship. Personally, I don’t get a lot of utility out of a transactional relationship. I like to get to know my clients and I like them to know me. I am a little quirky (aren’t we all) and I like other people’s quirks. I enjoy the eccentricities that make people unique and if we are dealing with transactions – “My guy calls me at RRSP time and I don’t talk to him for a year” – I don’t get a lot of personal reward from that. It makes our work together more personal, I can understand people’s goals better and I can advise them better.
- Competence. This one is difficult to assess in an hour or two of meeting someone however, I think it is fair to ask a new advisor about wins and losses. “Tell me about 3 recommendations you’re proud of and 3 that you aren’t.” There is no possible way that everyone bats 1000 when it comes to recommendations based on the stock market but if someone isn’t willing to discuss it with you, that’s a red flag. This also leads to a talk about investment discipline – and that’s where competence truly lies.
I don’t think it’s out of line to treat a new advisor kind of like they are interviewing for a job. I often think of myself as a household’s Chief Financial Officer – you are the CEO; you’re the one making decisions and ultimately responsible. But within the realm of investments and money management services, I give recommendations for my clients’ consideration.
Next week is going to be another like this but from the other direction: What should your advisor expect from you. Believe it or not, it’s a two way street!
June 4, 2015
Chris Worby is a Trusted Regina based financial advisor servicing local Regina households and businesses since 2001.