Real financial advisors are asked to help clients navigate complicated systems that we aren’t even sure the creators of those systems understand. Tony Isola’s recent post inspired me to for this latest edition in my series on humility.
Practicing humility means we need to address the confirmation bias head on. After all, if we’re only reading, hearing, and seeing a point of view that we agree with, it’s hard to learn something new or see where we might be wrong.
Over the last few weeks, I have been humbled by the hundreds of emails I received in response to “The Cost of Holding On,” my essay encouraging people to let go of grudges, slights, and yes, underperforming investments.
I’m blown away by your grace and willingness to do the hard work involved in letting go. You have experienced everything from the irritating (like how a spouse cut up a grapefruit), to the life changing (when you dealt with terrible injustices).
Real financial advisors often need to walk a fine line between showing humility and overconfidence. Clients need our humility when it comes to being honest about what we can “predict,” but they need our confidence when the markets get scary.
In today’s episode, I answer a fantastic question submitted by Steve. If there’s one financial concept that every person could be instantly educated on it, what would it be? Love it! Keep the questions coming.
In order to both do our work as real advisors AND do it for a long time, we need to do a better job taking care of ourselves. Because here’s the reality. Our clients need a place they can come to dump their anxiety, and if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we’ll drown beneath their anxieties and our own anxieties, too.
We’ve got to change the way we do work. For real financial advisors, this isn’t a new concept (robo advisors, anyone?). But how should we work? In today’s episode, I review Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin, and discuss how we can make ourselves indispensable. It turns out that we’re most valuable when we’re engaged in a process versus checking individual tasks off a list. Even more important, we need to focus on pushing past our resistance to doing small things that anyone can do and instead make the things only we can do a priority.
In this final episode of the series on goals, it’s time to be really honest about uncertainty. As helpful as we find Monte Carlo simulations, they doesn’t remove all uncertainty. And our clients know it. So if you want to really help your clients reach their goals, you need to become committed to the process of planning and not some outdated map.
When we’re talking about goals with clients, we need to help them define their goals by short term and long term. Do we expect this goal to happen next quarter or years from now? For instance, are we talking about planning for a big, once-in-a-lifetime trip to India is two years or an annual trip to the beach? Helping our clients define their goals can go a long way towards helping them reach their goals.
In your role as a real financial advisor, you need to practice keeping your personal values from getting in the way of your clients’ goals. For instance, let’s say you have a very strong whether parents should pay (or shouldn’t) pay for their kids’ college education. You can’t let your opinion trump what your client wants. In this episode, we’ll cover how to make sure you’re putting your clients goals ahead of your own opinions.