One of the fun parts of our job is doing surveys with clients once Wealth Management accounts are set up and funded. We oftentimes ask the question: "What do you like about our services?" Following is a sampling of the answers we get:
- Fee-only, no product sales, transparency of fees. Historically, commissions have been the principal method of advisor compensation and the focus has been on selling products. In contrast, out business model is "fee-only" where the focus is on the client's long-term goals. This removes most potential conflicts of interest and helps make the compensation element of the relationship more transparent to the client.
- Fiduciary relationship. This means that we act in the best interests of the client. This duty of loyalty is the overriding factor that drives all the other benefits.
- Education. Educating the client about such things as: estate planning, Roth conversions, emergency fund, investment philosophy and long-term care insurance is an important and natural part of the process.
- Sticking with the plan, discipline. Responding to economic changes versus reacting emotionally. Helping the client stay focused on the basics and on course.
- Balance. Working with the client to manage conflicting financial goals. Oftentimes, the desire to spend now is in conflict with investing for future goals.
- Structure. Regular face-to-face meetings to monitor progress and make changes as necessary. We meet at least annually with most clients.
- Confidence and professionalism. In working with a fee-only Certified Financial Planner - CFP™ professional and working with a member in good standing of the largest fee-only organization for financial planners (NAPFA) in the country.
- Planning for the long-haul. This involves an analytical, steady and reasoned approach. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to spend 35 plus years in the workforce followed by 20 plus years in retirement. For married couples, it is becoming more and more common for at least one spouse to live to age 90.
- Access. Access to us for as-needed advice; e.g. refinancing the house, how much money to have in cash, college funding, 401k advice, etc.
- Management of investments. Tracking, monitoring and making changes, as needed, to the client's portfolio. Most clients do not have the time, energy or inclination to become investment experts.
- Independent, objective advice. Since we are independent, we are not beholden to any organization to recommend their products.
- Thorough approach. Based upon the client's needs, we review and give advice concerning most of the major areas of the client's financial life, which includes such things as: retirement planning, investments, college funding, cash flow, emergency fund, estate plan, tax planning, credit report and risk management (insurance).
- Peace of mind. The end result of all the
other benefits and the number one thing that clients tell us they like: Delivering Financial Peace of Mind … for Life's Journey. Here is a quote from a client in response to a
Wichita Wealth Management "Market Commentary" letter:
"Your letter to your investors reminded [me] why I have a Jeff in my life so I don't have to look at the numbers constantly and discern what is true and what is noise. And yes I remained calm because I have a guy whose job it is to watch, think, advise, repeat."