In a world where discussions of complex issues are constricted to 2-minute segments on cable media and 280 characters on Twitter, thoughtful and long-form communication has been cheapened or neglected in our daily life. You’ve undoubtedly heard of the studies showing that the human attention span continues to shrink (8 seconds for the “average human” as of 20181) as a result of the way in which we are presented information. While I believe this is a problem that will need to be addressed on a much broader scale, in this post I only wish to address one item that demands greater attention – the relationship between you and your financial advisor.
Your goals, resources, and circumstances are far too unique to be addressed by a “quick and easy” questionnaire. The timeline in which you’ll need to access your investment funds is your own timeline, not that of the “average American”. Maybe your child selects a college far more expensive that you’d originally anticipated. Maybe your heart is set on retiring a decade before the traditional age of 65. Maybe you have a relative with special needs who will need to be provided for. Perhaps you are anticipating an inheritance that will vastly alter the resources at your disposal. Or maybe a new promotion will impact your need for tax-advantaged investment strategies and affect your current savings goals. The list of possibilities is truly endless.
How will a robo-advisor or an institutional advisor with 350 clients be able to address these needs? When something changes or a new opportunity arises, don’t you want to be able to call someone intimately familiar with your unique circumstances, so that they can assist you in charting the path forward? The good news is, you have options.
With the growth of technological resources, investment advisors are no longer bound to the support framework of giant brokerage institutions and as a result, they’re breaking free. Registered Investment Advisor firms are likely your best bet for a personal relationship with your financial advisor. With freedom from the sales framework of big institutions, advisors have greater control over their time and resources to serve clients in a more thoughtful and personal atmosphere.
That said, you won’t find the same experience everywhere within the RIA space. My advice is to interview multiple advisors to identify the best fit for YOU. It goes without saying that they’ll need to have an investment strategy and fee structure that aligns with your needs. But in this day and age, DO NOT undervalue the less tangible aspects of the relationship that they offer. Determine just how easy (or difficult) it will be for you to reach your advisor when circumstances change. Gauge their interest in your personal circumstances by the questions they ask. Qualitative questions about how your finances and what you wish for your family are equally as important as the quantitative questions they ask about your finances. More importantly, don’t just hire a “yes-man or woman”. You need an advisor that will hold you accountable to your goals and objectives, not a “friend” that will bend to your every request just to make you happy or keep your business.
The right advisor for you is the one that will best improve your odds of reaching the goals you seek to accomplish. At Buckhead Capital, we place the utmost importance on tailoring our service to YOU and YOUR needs. We don’t offer cookie-cutter strategies and you won’t see any “quick and easy” questionnaire on our website. We would rather talk to YOU. There are no silly questions. Whether you work with us already or are just interested in exploring your options, shoot us a message or give us a call. We look forward to the opportunity.