Business meeting

The Value of an Advisor

I believe a good advisor has more to offer than simple asset allocation advice and the return someone receives from hiring an advisor should not be measured only in dollars and cents.

The ultimate goal of a financial plan should be to help you design a life where you can spend your days doing what you love.  While it’s easy to get caught in the minutia of what investment style an advisor uses or the products they invest in, I believe that my value to clients extends beyond their portfolios and into my ability to serve three distinct roles.

A Watchman

The world of financial markets and investment products is a scary place.  I’m often amazed at how many poorly constructed products and “opportunities” are being pawned off under the guise of solid investment advice.  There is certainly no shortage of bad information and that can easily sway someone into making an equally bad investment.  My job is to stop that from happening.  I am the protector, the bodyguard or, as Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) once put it, the bouncer.  I try to keep the bad information away from my clients and the garbage out of their portfolios.  If I can prevent someone from losing a lot of money due to bad information or a bad product, I’m doing my job.

A Coach

Personal finance and investing aren’t easy.  They are well known for playing tricks with a person’s emotions.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve lived it.  I’ve learned from it.  Now I’m dead set on not allowing my clients to make those types of mistakes.  Your goals, your history and your values are reflected in your plan but your emotions can work against you.  Once you have a plan, you must be willing to embrace uncertainty.  Our lives change frequently.  When they do, we must evaluate and adapt.  As an advisor, this is what I preach and advocate.  Plans are never perfect.  When things change my role is to steer clients clear of making bad decisions in times of unease.

Carl Richard said it best…

  • I help you get clear about your goals.
  • When needed, I remind you of what your goals are.
  • I prevent you from doing anything that may impact your ability to achieve what’s important to you.

An Educator

Of all my roles, I believe an educator is the most valuable.  The people I work for dedicate time to their job or whatever other aspects of life they enjoy.  Time spent on financial research is outsourced to me.  I spend a great deal of time reading, studying and educating myself so that I become better at what I do.  My role as an educator is to communicate relevant, impactful information to my clients.  I pass knowledge onto my clients that I think is important and relay ideas that I believe will allow them to continue enjoying their lifestyle in the future.

These roles may sound overly simplified but they are important.  The real value of a good advisor is difficult to discount.

Tim Brennan

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