People want to get what’s coming to them. The government is issuing economic impact payments or stimulus checks. Everyone wants to know: “Where’s mine?” Human nature is a curious thing. In our business, we talk features and benefits. People push back on costs. Make something an entitlement and people say: “Where’s mine?” This could be the blueprint for the post pandemic financial advisory relationship.

News flash! For good advisors, this isn’t much different from the pre-pandemic relationship. The volatility in the market has given these attributes more value.

Your compliance department would be at your door if you used the word “entitlement” with clients. A better way of saying it might be: “What should clients reasonably expect in an advisory relationship?”

Eighteen Reasonable Expectations
Think about it. Good advisors bring a lot to the table. Many intangibles don’t carry their own fees, yet deliver value, helping justify overall pricing.

1. A human voice when you call. Reach out during business hours. You will likely be greeted by someone who knows you personally. The bank, cable company and power company use an automated telephone tree.

2. A financial plan that adapts to changing circumstances. The pandemic has taught us life has more “what if’s” than we thought. Your plan anticipates and assigns probabilities to different outcomes. It gets reviewed and can be revised.

3. Periodic contact and reviews. Clients get “report cards” reviewing progress to goals. These are delivered face to face or by phone on a schedule. There’s two way contact between clients and advisors in the meantime. Different people prefer different channels. We try to accommodate.

4. Transparent pricing. What you are paying is clearly spelled out. Products and services elsewhere that appear to cost less many have hidden fees or surrender charges.

5. Professional money management. As the client, you can choose how involved you want to be in portfolio management. We can make each investment decision together or we can outsource day-to-day management to experts in specific disciplines.

6. Retirement planning. The pandemic made this much more important. We look at your current lifestyle, anticipated lifestyle, what you can realistically afford and how to improve the picture.

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