“IGNORE YOUR CLIENTS” is the essence of messages I often get in marketing materials for how to be successful as a financial advisor. Services offered let you automate and ignore all your clients except the ones who have at least a few million dollars. After all, they ask, why waste time on small clients who “only” pay $5,000 per year when you can focus on clients who pay $50,000 per year? Here are my questions: Doesn’t someone paying $5,000 deserve $5,000 of personal attention? (Yes, they do!) If you are paying $5,000 or more per year, what are you getting for that money that could be in your portfolio growing to $65,000 over 10 years with 6% annual returns? (It better be a lot!) Have you spoken to your adviser this year? (Many will answer no or say they have spoken for less than an hour this year.) Does he/she have you invested in mutual funds that have done worse than low-cost index funds? (Too often the answer is yes and the cost to you over the years can be quite substantial.) If this message hits too close to home, consider an hourly, fee-based financial adviser. You will not pay to be ignored because the adviser only gets paid when actually providing you with service.
Larry Pike, CFAClient Priority Financial Advisors LLC