Court cases are all in the news. Courtroom and crime shows are some of our TV drama favorites. What does the defense team try to do? Establish reasonable doubt. They try to present an alternative explanation favorable to their client. You have many friends. Many of them invest. They have many choices. You need to establish yourself as the alternative.

1. Who does the plan? Many homeowners are into DIY projects. They visit the home improvement store and buy supplies. They stop by the garden center, see plants they like and buy them. Do they have an overall plan how the building project will progress or how the garden should be designed? Often the answer is no.
Here’s what the advisor does: They talk with their friend like an architect or landscape designer would. They learn what they want to achieve. They look at the big picture, the end result and design a plan to help them get there.

2. Who implements the plan? The homeowner decides to build an addition to their home. Armed with YouTube videos, they begin their project. Somewhere along the way they discover they need township permits for construction. They need to pass inspections. They also discover concrete foundations need to be a certain depth and dry before you can build on them.
Here’s what the advisor does: They work alongside the client, letting them know the risks involved and anticipating the materials (investments) they will need to build the portfolio. They act in a role similar to a general contractor.

3. Who does the specialized work? The homeowner’s landscaping project might involve renting a backhoe. How difficult could it be to use? The home addition requires wiring and plumbing. Will they decide to install this on their own, since the work must pass inspection? Probably not.
Here’s what the advisor does: Like a general contractor, they bring in specialists. Insurance is complicated. You don’t want to pay premiums for years only to discover you had the wrong type of coverage when you needed it. They try to get the job done right the first time.

4. Your friend wants someone who understands them. Many people get their medical care through a family medical practice. They have multiple doctors, one is yours. Your physical is scheduled months in advance. You will see your own doctor. So far, so good. But when they have a pain and want to come in immediately, the practice is accommodating, but you will need to see a different doctor or a nurse practitioner.  The friend is upset. They want the doctor who knows their health history, not a stranger.
Here’s what the advisor does: They provide a personal relationship. They take the time to get to know their clients. They are accessible. They will talk over problems.

5. Your friend doesn’t want to overpay. First they determined everything on the Internet should be free. If they want research or to use a tool to help design a portfolio, they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Now they want to trade for free too. Many online services are only too happy to work with them. Why should I pay you?
Here’s what the advisor does: Your friend has figured out “free shipping” for online purchase isn’t really free. It’s another way of saying the cost is built into the purchase price. They realize the firms processing their “free” trades are making money, they just don’t know how. You are transparent about your fees. The fee-based platforms you use are the ultimate in “pay as you go” pricing. If your friend invests with you and decides to leave you, they are only charged for the time they were using the service. (Investing should be a considered a long-term commitment.)

6. What if something needs attention? When your friend chooses and manages their own investments, they are “driving the bus.” They have taken on the responsibility of tracking their investments on a regular basis. They are also taking on the responsibility to do their own research and keep current.
Here’s what the advisor does: The client is putting themselves in the copilot’s seat. They are involved in making decisions, but they aren’t on their own. They are seated next to a trained professional. If they hire money managers, they are sitting in the navigator’s seat or maybe in the main cabin, letting professionals make the big decisions.

7. Boredom. Your friend had a landscape designer in. They got a great garden installed. The garden needs to be weeded. The lawn mowed. Plants pruned. They lose interest. They just wanted to have a nice garden to look at, not do any work. The garden becomes overgrown. The homeowner’s association sends nasty notes.
Here’s what the advisor does: They help maintain the garden, getting the client to focus attention on the portfolio. They make suggestions. They point out things that aren‘t working and suggest alternatives. They encourage new growth.

The financial advisor brings a lot to the table. Once your friend realizes what can go wrong, they start to understand the value of professional advice.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor can be found on Amazon.