If clients want to talk about what the market is doing every hour, Lee Stoerzinger is not the financial advisor for them.
Instead, Stoerzinger, founder of financial planning firm Lee Stoerzinger Inc. in Oakdale, Minn., wants to talk about their family and their background.
“When we think about money, let’s be honest – we’re not talking about just money, but also a host of related consequences and deeply felt emotions,” says Stoerzinger, who specializes in retirement planning.
Stoerzinger has many baby-boomer clients and tries to help them talk to their elderly parents and their adult children about money. He is the author of On the Back Burner, a book about aligning a person’s values with their financial planning.
“You shouldn’t let your client sit their 94-year-old mother down and start talking about where the check book is or what’s happening to her money days after their father -- her lifelong mate -- died,” says Stoerzinger. Instead, start by appreciating storytelling.
Before talking about financial specifics, an advisor needs to appreciate that clients want to talk about goals and life experiences, he says.
“We are in a unique position as financial advisors: People often tell us things they don’t tell anyone else. We can see the dynamics between our clients, their parents and their children, and we need to encourage communication between our clients and their family members.
“As a society, we have to start talking to each other,” he advises, “and this is often difficult, especially when the topic is money.”