1-800-NO-HELP: My Advisor, My Friend

This post is the second in a series that I have titled “1-800-NO-HELP.” Every major discount bank or financial advising company has a 1-800 phone number that clients can call when they need assistance. I call these numbers “1-800-NO-HELP” numbers, because the advice given over the phone is not personalized to the individual, and may not always be in the best interest of the client. This series explores how our ethos at Lindsey & Lindsey is to provide the opposite of “1-800-NO-HELP” – personalized, custom-built, and independent advice for our clients.

Objectivity, the quality of being impartial or neutral, may sound like a great idea when it comes to money management. Numbers are numbers, right? But your money isn’t just a number to you, and the impact it has on your life is far from “neutral.” So while objectivity may sound appealing, there’s much, much more to the equation.

A recent article written on Investopedia.com entitled “How To Be A Top Financial Advisor” listed a formula for becoming a top financial advisor. The article suggested “remaining objective” and was loaded with business jargon and buzzwords. However, nowhere did it mention simple ideas like trust or a genuine interest in wanting to help people.

The financial world is a complex and volatile place, and sometimes these simple strategies become lost. However, we should all feel that our advisors are working with us, as a part of a team, to achieve agreed upon goals. At Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management, we know that it’s the simple things that count!

A Desire to Help Others

If an advisor gets into the wealth management business for the income, their clients usually figure that out pretty quickly. To really make a difference, an advisor has to enjoy helping people.

I understand that as a result of the recession, many of my clients are cautious and guarded. The easiest way to reassure them and overcome these obstacles is to show them that I care.

My clients and I share a common desire: to live a more meaningful life. I take pleasure in helping them achieve their goals, and it drives me to work on their behalf.

Jason Laux, the Vice President of Synergy Financial Group, says, “The primary reason clients fire a financial advisor is lack of personal touch. Clients can tolerate the ups and downs of the market if, and only if, they feel that their advisor is monitoring the situation and keeping them informed.” A good financial advisor is a source of stability. You should be able to trust that s/he is looking out for your best interests at all times.

Ways to Create Trust

In business, as in other facets of our lives, we seek to associate with people we trust. However, a recent survey cited by MarketWatch found that “48 percent of Americans say it is hard to know which sources of financial advice can be trusted.”

An independent financial advisor has the ability to recommend the course of action that is best for their client, without influence from product providers, and without prescribed limits on the products and strategies they can offer. Trust is built when a client knows I am looking out for their best interest, not the interests of product providers. I communicate to my clients a full range of options so that they can make advised decisions with me.

Always Work as a Team

I like to think of myself as part of my client’s “team.” Together we are striving for a shared goal. The team mentality builds trust and an open, honest working relationship. Professional sports teams don’t strive for individual awards like MVPs or Golden Gloves; they strive for championships, which everyone can share. Together, we are stronger than our individual parts.

As the Harvard Business Review explains, “When you create a climate of trust and the sense that ‘We are better together than we are apart,’ it leads to greater effectiveness.” My effectiveness as your financial advisor is the ultimate goal.

Caring, trust, and teamwork are the foundation for a healthy and successful client/advisor relationship. Moving past “objectivity” and into a working relationship that advocates for my clients goals makes my work worth doing well. I’m lucky to love what I do – working closely with you to build a prosperous financial future.