By: Jeff Headrick, Financial Planner
With Christmas season upon us I find myself in a state of thankfulness. Thankful for my God, thank you for my family, and thankful to my clients. I am also reaching the phase in my career where I have been around long enough to be able to look back and reflect.
When I think about the industry of financial advice, probably more than anything I think about the incredibly talented and honest financial advisors I have met over my career. I’ve been to conventions from New York to California and everywhere in between. And I don’t know that I’ve ever been to one where I did not meet several professionals who not only impressed me, but helped me to elevate my game as a financial professional.
Today’s post isn’t about me.
I still have a long way to go to become the financial professional that I know I’m capable of. Today’s post is about the financial advisors out there who give their clients exemplary service, and who probably deserve a pat on the back from the clients that they serve so diligently.
Below are four reasons to love your financial advisor. They can also be considered four reasons to love your accountant, attorney, or any other professional that works quietly on the sidelines to further your financial success.
#1. They tell you the truth.
The truth is not underrated. After almost twenty years of being interviewed for the role of personal financial advisor, I can tell you that people want to hear the truth. When people meet me for the very first time they don’t come right out and say: “Are you going to be honest with me?” However, with many people that are shopping financial advisors, it is the simple truth, good or bad, that they want to hear.
If you feel that your financial advisor has always been honest and fair with their advice, then that is one reason to love your financial advisor.
#2. They disclose all the facts.
Full disclosure should not be a value-added service component when it comes to financial advice. Full disclosure should be the golden standard. How does your financial advisor get paid? Are they fee-only or do they earn a commission? Are they a true fiduciary, or do they have a greater obligation to serve their employers (think big Wall Street company) best interest versus serving yours?
While it’s not very difficult to get the truth from your financial advisor, sometimes it may be difficult to get all the facts. The devil is in the details, and good business people don’t skirt the details. They disclose.
If you feel your financial advisor does a good job of disclosing critical components of their business dealings, then this is another reason to love your financial advisor.
#3.They boost your confidence.
If you played any sports when you were younger, you probably remember how important it is to hear words of encouragement from your coach. It is not a rarity with my practice to see people who are already doing a great job with their financial plan prior to working with me. However, most of us still need a little reassurance along the way from someone with more experience. Someone who can ensure us that we are indeed on the fast track to success.
If your financial advisor helps to boost your financial planning confidence even a little, then this is another reason to love your financial advisor.
#4. They are an independent.
If you ever thought about starting your own business, you already know how much risk is involved with this endeavor. You don’t start out with a benefits package, you don’t have a guaranteed paycheck, and the lives of everyone that you love and financially support are really depending on you to be a success.
I believe most financial advisors would prefer to be employees-- in a perfect world. It’s incredibly challenging to run your own business and juggle so many multiple facets of entrepreneurship. But those of us who have worked both as an employee, and as an independent business owner, know that there is so much benefit for our clients for those of us crazy enough to take this risk.
If your financial advisor is an independent, you can rest assured that they are trying extra hard to give you the best tools and the best advice they possibly can. If your financial advisor is independent, then you have one more reason to love your financial advisor.
From time to time it’s good to look back and reflect on others who have served you. Maybe today is a good day to be thankful for a friend who has been loyal, a pastor who truly cares, or a financial advisor who has always been a consistent performer.
I hope your holiday season is blessed, and that you are surrounded by people that you love. I also pray that we all take a moment and look at all the people in our lives who have contributed, even if in the smallest ways, to our individual success.
About the Author
Jeff Headrick is an independent FEE-ONLY financial planner and wealth manager with Inspire Financial Planning. When Jeff was still in his teens his father died unexpectedly. While his father was a hard worker and a good provider, he did not have the best financial plan in place when he died. This personal experience, coupled with being inspired by Sir John Templeton, Warren Buffett, Dave Ramsey, and the laws of compound interest, prompted Jeff to enter the financial services industry in 1999. He has been helping people with their financial planning ever since.
Jeff lives in Wilmington, NC with his wife and two children. He spends most of his spare time just across the Intracoastal Waterway in Wrightsville Beach, enjoying the beauty of the NC Coast.
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