The independent advisor, shopping the market is a myth. I’m not saying there aren’t good advisors who do great work. Or that advisors are lying to consumers. But honestly, who really has enough time, knowledge or ability to check out every product possibility in the market, analyse it and make it fit every new client perfectly? This also takes incredibly deep client knowledge that takes time too. It’s a charade.
Who has all that time? Why are we pretending we do?
In fact, pretending we do has upped the regulatory ante in most jurisdictions. Because we say we are “holistic financial planners” liability litigators are holding us to it. That means that unless you can prove you do what you hold yourself out to be doing, you’ll be liable for a lot more than you bargained for.
This is why there are great financial planners who can give you a great plan based on tremendous knowledge of you and your situation but can only do a little shopping to find products to solve every issue. There are also great advisors who can shop a great deal of the market for many products but don’t have the time to do all the planning to place them all most effectively.
It’s just a charade to say that you can do it all. Most advisors have a few favourite companies and a few favourite products. That’s fair too. People understand.
We don’t have to overpromise and under deliver. It’s the worst sin of all in the business. It needs to stop. How about just saying what you really do, be proud of it and do it very well? You can. Consumers will buy it. They just have to know it.
Be honest with them. They’ll be fair with you.
Let’s try under promising and over delivering for a while. When you engage a new client in writing, keep client expectations under control so we don’t create a business that can’t be done. It’s getting that way already. It needs to stop.
I’m Jim Ruta and that’s just the way it is.