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How Doing Your Part in a True Fiduciary Partnership Benefits You

Fiduciary is the standard for advisors who care about relationships.  But in order for clients like you to benefit, you also need to care about the relationship.

The advisor has a responsibility to advise and act in the best interest of the client. Astute clients know they need to be active in driving value from the relationship as well.

So how can you realize the maximum benefits of working with a trusted finical planner? Put these 7 things into practice:

 

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  1. Share information.

    More often then not, prospective clients and even current clients choose to withhold information from their advisors. They are afraid or embarrassed to talk about the decisions they have made, how much money they have, or even what their goals are.

    Think about your doctor.  You want your doctor to give you the best advice to improve your health and your life.  In order for that to happen, you need to confide to your doctor details about your life, even if at times it might feel uncomfortable.  Your health history, current problems, how you live, what you eat, and future concerns are vital for your doctor to know.

    The more your doctor knows about you, the better job your doctor can do to take care of you.

    It’s the same with your fiduciary advisor.


    man in a suit talking on the phone

  2. Be honest.

    Relating back to number one, many times people will come in and share information. However, that information might be exaggerated or simplified at best.

    If you’re not being honest about your financial state, how can your wealth advisor accurately know how to help you? The answer is they can’t.

    You should expect your advisor to be honest with you, even when it might hurt in the beginning.  For that to happen, you need to be honest, too.


    two women talking at a table

  3. Have reasonable expectations (for outcomes).

    While a fiduciary will act in your best interest, they are not miracle workers. You have to be realistic about your situation, your investments, and the opportunities and risks of the current market environment (which can and does change).

    Astute clients collaborate with their advisors to set reasonable expectations over realistic timeframes.

    Another aspect of expectations is being real about what your advisor can and cannot do. Your advisor needs to clearly understand what you expect out of the relationship and their services. This opens the door for honest and realistic conversation. Your advisor can take the information you have provided, and help you better understand what you should be expecting with your outcomes.

    Clients and advisors who are intentional about defining expectations tend to succeed the most.


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  4. Be open to change.

    Because a financial advisor is one who gives advice, clients should be willing to make changes. Now, at the end of the day, you can choose what you’d like to do with your money. But if you are going to take the time to seek out expert advice, be open and willing to consider your advisor’s recommendations.

    A true fiduciary advisor cares about their clients enough to make sure they make appropriate adjustments, especially when their own lives undergo change.


    a man and women distracted on their phones while another man waits for their attention

  5. Be engaged – care about your own success!

    Our best clients are those who have a true desire and commitment for us to work with them.  Conversely, clients most apt to suffer disappointment are those who do not really care themselves.

    A true fiduciary cares more about the client than their own paycheck. Advisors expect their clients to be as interested and engaged in these financial conversations as they are.


    two men having a conversation at a big wooden table

  6. Listen to reality, not emotion.

    Your actions are not the only thing that should change. A lot of times, we need our clients to change the way they bring emotions into financial decisions.

    There are so many ways we can feel pulled by our money. Fear, envy, and love are the three emotions that drive most of the decisions we make. We encourage our clients to set their emotions aside when talking about investments and big financial decisions.


    a girl staring off in a classroom

  7. Have an open mind and don’t jump to immediate conclusions.

    If you walk into your financial planner’s office knowing you have already made up your mind, you’re not fulfilling your role as a client. You have hired your advisor to fill a role. If you resist information that goes against your preconceived biases, it will be difficult to help you.


 

When you’re feeling sick and meet with your doctor, they will follow a process of testing, questioners, physical exams and past health history to determine the best course of action. A prescription will only work for a condition that is properly diagnosed and appropriately carried out.

Your fiduciary financial advisor works the same way. They will do everything they can to help you, as long as you also know what your roles are.

 

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