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February 28, 2019 
 
This one simple question could make
client outcomes better        
 

I'm a financial advisor with almost 30 years of industry experience and I want to share with all of you the one question that could improve clients' outcomes with their financial advisor.
 
Here it is: "What role do you see me playing in your financial life?"

So simple, right? Maybe even so simple that it mocks the highly specialized advice we financial advisors offer to you, our clients? I don't think so. Clients want solutions to their future financial challenges. Period. Some solutions really do take a great deal of sophistication to deliver, but many don't. And with financial software becoming more robust by the day, delivering solutions for complex financial challenges is becoming both easier and faster. The financial advisors who are both relatable and who are tech savvy are the advisors of the future - that's my belief, anyway. The twist in this is that the median age of advisors is about 50 years of age, with nearly half over 55. This is just the time when the industry could use young, tech savvy, people persons.
 
Don't get me wrong! Please don't hit the reply button to yell at me because you think I've just committed some form of age discrimination. People are living longer, healthier lives and that includes financial advisors, so that's great. Also, the financial professionals serving the public have more experience than ever, which I believe is the best thing the industry has going for it. The 50+ year old advisors have a massive amount of education that they can, and should, impart to their younger advisor brethren. Clients want their advisor to have lots of experience. After many years of working with a diverse clientele through countless situations, today's advisors have seen and done it all.
 
 
 
Back to that question above, "What role do you see me playing in your financial life?" It's important for me to ask this because I want my client relationships to be long term. If a prospect sees my role as something that I'm not willing or capable of filling, it gives me an early opportunity to bow out of the conversation before ill will enters the picture - which it will if there is a financial advisor/client mismatch. It really is simple, but so effective. If every advisor asked this - and was willing to believe that for all the mismatched clients he or she would turn away, new and better matched ones would take their place - imagine how much more satisfying their client relationships would be and how much more effectively they could serve clients. As a client, imagine how much better off you would be by being served by the right advisor for your situation? Not to say this isn't the case for you; just to say that it's either the case for some of you reading this right now or you had to go through a few financial advisors to find the right one for you.
 
For far too long, the financial services industry self-defined its role and shoved it down the public's throat. And now it's paying the price by letting new entrants, concepts, and strategies enter the picture. I'm talking about thousands of financial advisors like me who chose to become independent professionals, free from the constrained, controlled, and conflicted environment that defines Wall Street and its cohort of giant wirehouses. I'm also talking about the discount firms that sprung up in the '90's, like TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE. And now the public has more DIY choices like Betterment, Wealthfront, and Robin Hood. There are more, but these are the ones that created TOMA (top of mind awareness). If the financial services industry had done a better job as a steward of the public's assets and trust, none of these new entrants would have come into existence. The old choices were severely lacking, were created for a generation (sorry, baby boomers) that's accustomed to being told what they want (why else would they have embraced KRAFT mac n' cheese, Budweiser beer, Philip Morris cigarettes, and McDonald's hamburgers?), and can't prove their value to Gen X'ers and millennials.
 
But these new entrants aren't perfect replacements, not by a long shot. They are simply new tools that have yet to prove that they are helping the public make better financial decisions. People still buy high, sell low, chase fads (hello crypto!), over concentrate, over trade, and somehow were sold a bill of goods that doing 600 trades in their online account for a reduced commission rate is somehow in their best interest (spoiler - it isn't). I mentioned Budweiser beer above. Maybe these new fintech entrants are like the craft beers of the financial services industry?
 
But I digress. The worst thing is that the new entrants can't ask the question we started with and empathetically understand you, while the old line wirehouses are too busy offering you products and services that most of us will never need (seriously, who needs to use derivatives to lock in the present value of their South African Rand contracts against Japanese Yen?) and are just plain old shoving credit card offers and checking accounts up you're a$$ whether you approved or not (did you think we'd forget, Wells Fargo?).
 
It's a tough call to envision what the financial services industry will look like in another 10 years. I'm sure we'll mostly recognize it. I'm sure we'll see another investment fad gone bad, another scandal, another bear market, another crash, new algorithms, new regulations, etc. But make no mistake, the industry is better today, just days ahead of the 10 year anniversary of the last bear market low on Mach 9, 2009, than it has ever been. There are experienced financial advisors who are excited - no, eager - to put their experience to work for you. But I hope investors gravitate to the ones who start the conversation off by asking you "What role do you see me playing in your financial life?"
 
New video! Is time to sell stocks after such big move higher?
 
Time to sell stocks?! After such a big rally, here's how to decide.
Time to sell stocks?! After such a big rally, here's how to decide.
 
 
 
On another note, I'm getting my video reps in on YouTube, something I've been looking forward to doing for a long time. Please head over  there now and check out a few videos. They're all about 2 minutes in length. And while you're there, please thumbs-up the videos you like and subscribe to my channel. Thanks! 
  
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Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Mitch
 
 
I opened ClientFirst Strategy, Inc. because I believe that the only way to help my clients potentially achieve their goals is by offering unbiased advice & investment management expertise. To my clients, thank you for your continued vote of confidence. If you are not a client but would like to explore the possibility of becoming one, I invite you to call me directly, visit my website, join my email list, and/or connect with me on social media.      

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MGoldberg@ClientFirstStrategy.com

   
All the views expressed in this report/commentary accurately reflect our personal views about any and all of the subject securities or issuers and no part of our compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendations or views we have expressed in this report. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase of sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities, financial instruments, or strategies mentioned herein may not be suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only correct as of the stated date of their issue. Prices, values, or income from securities or investments mentioned in this report may fall against your interests, and you may get back less than the amount you invested. The information contained in this report does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. You should consult with your tax adviser regarding your specific situation. Diversification is a method of managing risk and doesn't protect against loss in a down market. 
  
  

Mitchell O. Goldberg, AIF®, AAMS

President | Investment Professional

OSJ Manager 

 

ClientFirst Strategy, Inc.

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(D) 631-920-6622 (F) 631-920-6624 (C) 516-818-0338

mgoldberg@clientfirststrategy.com | www.clientfirststrategy.com

      

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