A lot of people hire financial advisors in hopes the advisor will improve their investment returns, lower their taxes, or improve their income stream. As such, the advisor sees themselves as an investment guru, tax management expert, or a crystal ball fortune teller. Those advisors are like military leaders who spend most of their time on e-mail or in meetings. Those advisors rarely want to reach out to their clients. The advisor may only speak to the client when there is market volatility or an opportunity for a sale. This is like the military leader who only engages with their troops when it is time for the performance report or when the troop gets in trouble.
Instead of a financial advisor, what people really want is a financial coach. They want someone that
- Partners with them to help them achieve their goals.
- Provides them with the tools and strategies to be successful investors.
- Understands and knows their family.
- Will be there for them in the good times and the bad.
They do not want a financial advisor that is there for them on a transactional basis. They want a financial coach to be there with them every step of the way as they achieve their goals.
Is this different than the best military or business leaders you have been around? We all have stories of terrible leaders who lead by e-mail. And, we have all been blessed by leaders that know and understand our lives and goals. They help us reach those goals despite the impact on the leader’s career. The same is true for a financial coach. A financial coach understands why your investing. A financial coach understands your motivations. A financial coach develops plans and empowers you to make decisions that will help you achieve your dreams. A financial coach is there to sooth out the emotional roller coaster of investing and allows a person to enjoy an increased sense of well-being.
Now that doesn’t mean that understanding the investment markets and developing an evidence-based approach is not important. We need that coach to develop strategies to reduce our risk exposure, increase our returns, reduce our taxes, and fund a child’s education. But that is not what people really want when they hire a financial advisor. People can find all those resources on the internet – for free. What people really want is not having to worry about all the technical matters and to enjoy an increased sense of well-being. They want the freedom to live their lives to the fullest, to have trust in their financial coach, and to know their coach will communicate any important facts or concerns to them regardless if there is an opportunity for the advisor to make a sale.
Financial coaches enhance the lives of their clients by getting to know them. They know about their family goals and objectives. They know their likes and dislikes, their wants and fears. They listen more than they speak. They observe and question, analyze and plan, share and advise. They say no when necessary and yes when possible. Their advice is always in the best interest of their client.
Financial coaches are difficult to find and invaluable when found. They are highly educated and well liked by their community. They are not salesman, agents or brokers. They are people-oriented, caring individuals who manage investors instead of investments. They are similar to the best leaders people have been around. They are technically sound but always learning. They employ specialists when appropriate. They shield investors from unnecessary short-term fear to ensure long term success.