Money is personal. How can a firm expect to manage wealth for someone without spending time building a relationship with them? In order to provide the guidance that clients need, a firm needs to fully understand what their clients are trying to accomplish and why. And this takes an investment of time and energy.
Clients should expect more for the fees they pay than owning the latest and greatest new investment, or receiving a constant barrage of costly marketing materials, or getting invitations to expensive dinner events. They should receive an investment of the advisor’s time:
- time spent fully understanding their situations and their vision for their wealth
- time invested in building a comprehensive financial plans to analyze and verify their financial goals, and to build the road map that will lead to the fulfillment of those goals
- time expended on the due diligence it takes to provide the allocations and investments that are appropriate for their situation
- time spent managing their portfolios, and making trades when necessary for profit-taking, tax-loss harvesting, re-balancing, expense reduction, and quality improvement
- time invested in preparation for and engagement in the phone and/or in-person meetings
- time expended on visits with out-of-town clients in their homes, when feasible
- time spent in key discussions with their outside counsel – CPAs, estate attorneys, insurance agents
- time invested in insuring that every call during business hours is answered by a person, not an automated phone tree
Clients should know that they are valued not because of the investment recommendations that are brought to them, but because of the investment that the advisor and the firm makes into them. That is how “high touch” should be defined. Expect more.