Jason Brown, Director of Advisor Success, Foster Group
I love the place I work, I love the people I work with and I think the work we do is almost always worth the money people pay us. Despite the fact I value all these things, I’ve come to realize there are some good reasons not to work with us.
Reason #1: You just want investment management.
Why would you pay someone who prioritizes financial planning if all you want is investment management? Most Financial Advisors think it’s wise to work on the plan and the portfolio together. But who cares what we think? If you’re not interested in creating and maintaining a plan, why pay for that work? Hopefully, you can find someone who’s good at investment management and is less expensive than someone who pairs financial planning with investment management. If you can’t find someone good who does investment management less expensively, well, I think you should hire the person who gives you the chance to pair the two, even if you don’t plan to use the planning side of the equation.
Reason #2: You don’t want anyone meddling with your money.
Let’s be honest: Turning over your full financial picture to another human being isn’t easy. It’s an incredibly frightening thing to do. Speaking personally, there are things in that picture that I’m not sure I want other people to see! But access to your full financial picture is exactly what a good Financial Advisor needs. They can’t do their work without it. Also, the typical Financial Advisor is going to provide some accountability, hopefully on the basis of your hopes and goals rather than theirs! If it’s too uncomfortable for someone else to have that full picture and you’re not open to some potentially uncomfortable conversations around your hopes and goals, then don’t hire a Financial Advisor. It will always be an awkward relationship. They’ll want more than what you want to give. It’s just not worth it. There’s no law requiring you to let someone see your whole financial shebang. And, you’re not a terrible person to not want this.
Reason #3: You like handling your finances.
OK, this one assumes you also have some skill at doing it. If you don’t have any skill, then please have the humility to be honest and get some help, even if you like doing it. There are things I like doing, remodeling a house, for example, that I don’t have the skill or time to do by myself. Thank goodness my brothers-in-law are both experts in construction! Anyway, if you’re good at managing your day-to-day finances and have a well-researched and disciplined investment strategy, just keep going. Why pay someone for help if you’re good at it and really like doing it? Maybe you should think about becoming a Financial Advisor 😊. Now at some point in the future you may think, “You know what? It’s been a good run, but I don’t want to do this anymore, because I like watching birds.” We, and a whole host of other Financial Advisors, are here for you. We’re happy to help whenever you want it.
Reason #4: You need to continually win in the market.
What I mean by this is that you constantly compare what’s going on in the market with what’s going on in your portfolio. Or, you might have multiple portfolios, constantly compare one to the other, and get a little mad about the one that’s doing worse. Or, you love to think about what the next big thing might be and want to make sure you get some of it. Or, it just makes you downright gloomy when others talk about how their investment person is killing it when yours is most certainly not. Feel free just to admit this about yourself. It means that you want to be in control of your investments. Go ahead and do it yourself. It is impossible to constantly win in the market, though it’s a lovely thought. If you expect an Advisor to bat close to 1.000 with your investments, it’s not going to go well – for you or them. If that’s your expectation, it’s best for you and not someone else, to be batting. That way, when you strike out you have no one else to blame. In general, giving others control over something we still want to control is a bad idea. If you want to have full control over all the financial aspects of your life, that’s not wrong. Just don’t do something silly liking hiring someone else to mess with your money until you’re ready to trust them.
Reason #5: You don’t value the service enough to pay for it
Look, there are all kinds of things I think are valuable that I don’t currently pay for. Let’s take landscaping. I really believe that a creative landscaper would do a much better job than I could. I also believe a trained agronomist would make my grass look like a golf course. These people are out there. I see them in my neighbors’ yards. I value what they do. But, I’m not at a place, yet, where I want to pay them to do this work. Do I think the work we do at Foster Group is important? Yep. Do I think we provide a ton of value? Yep. Do I think that, over the long haul, working with us might lead to a rosier financial picture than if you hadn’t become a client? Yep. Maybe not, though. And maybe you’re not ready to take that bet with real dollars. You value financial advice and investment management. There’s a part of you that wants it. It’s just not something you’re ready to commit to.
Now, if you think it might be smart to pair a portfolio with a plan, have a sense that you need or want help, are potentially willing to trust others with your money, can be flexible with your view of the markets, and suspect the price you’d pay might be worth it, reach out to a Financial Advisor. Most really love what they do.
| Jason Brown, Director of Advisor Success