Wealth Advisor (Part 3 of 4)
Andy Meyer, Partner & Senior Wealth Advisor
As fee-based Wealth Advisors, we consistently meet and talk with new people every day. Some interactions are simply surface level that start and end in the same sentence. Others are icebreakers that end up being the beginning of a long-term relationship.
Meeting new people is an important part of our routine; it’s how we got started in this relationship business and it’s why we are one of the fastest growing Registered Investment Advisors in the Midwest. First and foremost, we have the best clients that not only inspire us to bring value to their lives, but also introduce us to the people that are most important to them. Although our clients tell us Vantage folks are down to earth and feel like family, this is a small part of what we can attribute to our firm’s exponential growth over the last few years. Instead, I believe our growth is a product of managing expectations through a consistent process that is built on transparency.
When we meet someone for the first time, we are not trying to find out how much money they have in their 401k or how close they are to retiring. Our main objective is to learn if they are a good fit for us and if we can bring value to their life through our financial planning process.
Fit is imperative. Understanding and setting expectations early is an important first step. We can’t make your credit card debt disappear overnight with some sort of magical strategy. We do not have the special seeds for your missing money tree that will allow you to keep up with the Joneses. And we are not your stock picking Jim Cramer that will make you rich overnight with a couple quick trades. We believe expectations go both ways. Much like you as the client expect consistent transparency from your Wealth Advisor, we expect the same to come from your side of the table as well. This is a process that does not happen overnight.
Typically, our client service model takes time. Depending on the client’s age, experience, comfort, and level of motivation this process can be compared to either building a new home or simply giving an older home a face-lift with a fresh coat of paint. Although we believe in the value of time and being efficient in the advice we provide, we are also not in any hurry. This is another aspect where expectations matter. Financial planning is not a point-in-time task; it is an ongoing process that demands consistent analysis in order to successfully implement, maintain, and evolve when necessary. As Fiduciary, fee-based Wealth Advisors, we partner with you to develop customized strategies with your best interest as our guide. We believe in having a plan A and B for all priorities, but we also understand that life doesn’t care about our plans and we will need to be able to pivot and adapt when necessary.
If you are a young, fast moving family that doesn’t have the time for multiple face-to-face meetings before getting started, we will meet you in the middle by gathering the pertinent data up front prior to meeting in person. This will generate a follow-up Q&A that can be done remotely. This Q&A allows us to determine fit, next steps, initial recommendations, and provide a “quote” on what the cost/expenses could be to move forward. Offering an efficient flexible service model for busy schedules appeals to a wide range of our clients. However, we haven’t lost sight of the folks that prefer a more gradual approach that may require several in-person interactions to move forward.
We acknowledge some of you have had past experiences that have shaped your opinions or concerns when it comes to working with a Wealth Advisor. Throughout our transparent process we will work to eliminate those concerns. As your Fiduciary, your best interests are at the foundation of what we do. Poor client service and negative past experiences are a huge reason why new people are referred to our practice. Unfortunately, this is also a reason why potential new clients avoid seeking out a local Wealth Advisor who can provide reliable advice that may include retirement planning, investment management or tax and estate strategies. We are committed to finding out if we are the right fit for you, and for this reason, our firm does not charge for an initial consultation.
Expectations. Transparency. Process. Consistency.
Let’s have a conversation.