What is the value of good advice?
It is a question that financial advisors have long sought to answer, often by assigning a monetary value. But the best way to measure the value of sound advice cannot be found in dollars or percentages.
Consider the story of a young mother of three who faced the unfortunate task of picking up the pieces after losing her husband to a terminal illness. She was suddenly thrust into the role of sole decision-maker about every area of her family’s life. One of the more difficult tasks that she faced was how to handle family finances. She had so many questions and was not sure where to look for answers.
But a family friend quickly introduced her to a financial advisor. The meeting seemed scary and intimidating and she had no real knowledge of how a financial advisor could help, so she asked her 19-year-old son to join her. After all, maybe it would help to have another set of ears in the room?
After the initial meeting, she found herself in the parking lot enjoying a brief wave of relief.
Did she understand all that was talked about in the meeting? No. Did she come away with a rosy outlook on what the future held for her? No. However, she did walk away with the knowledge that her financial advisor could help her navigate the uncertainty coming her way.
She had a team around her that would help to guide her on this new journey. That feeling was about much more than stock market performance, portfolio construction or interest rates. It was about connection and trust.
My mom came away from that meeting feeling more confident about her family’s future. That 19-year-old son was me, and I came away touched by the calm that I could see in my mom’s face.
That moment defined my career path. For me, helping clients feel at ease amid complicated and sometimes dire situations is a sacred and fulfilling calling.
Good financial advisors spend time with clients to get to know their situations and help them begin to map out their financial futures. Many people seek the advice of financial planners on the heels of a major life event, such as a divorce, unexpected job change, retirement or death of a family member. These meeting are understandably full of emotion and concern, and clients need to know someone stands ready to help guide them through the uncertainty they feel.
That is why the value provided by a financial advisor is more than what you see on a statement. When selecting your financial advisor, consider the intangible and tangible benefits advisors bring to the relationship.
Investments and performance are important, but don’t overlook peace of mind and the assurance that someone is working with your goals in mind.
The value of sound advice may be tough to measure, but a caring, qualified financial advisor is invaluable.