Turns out there was a lot of wisdom expressed by those financial advisors on the Wells Fargo Bank-sponsored Webinar. What they ended up talking about was client retention and how to get clients to do something…wise.
Frankly, we thought the main idea behind mutual funds was so you wouldn’t have to do anything – the fund managers would do it all for you – for a fee. Evaluating financial advisors is still good advice for those of our readers who, despite our oft-expressed opposition to mutual funds, do, in fact, own mutual funds and patronize financial advisors. How does YOUR advisor treat you?
But we digress. Still considering yourself as your own client, ask whether you are building trust in yourself by…
1. Being competent. Know what you are doing by studying, researching, etc.
2. Being consistent, reliable and predictable.
3. Being transparent in communicating with yourself. That’s a bit strange in this context, but IFO would summarize this by saying, “Be honest with yourself. Are you really doing what you said you would? Are you following your own written goals? You have written down your goals, haven’t you?”
4. Having your OWN interests at heart.
What reduces trust? Over-promising and under-producing. Be realistic with your goals and actions. Keep measuring your progress. How do you get yourself (as your own client) to follow through with a plan? Make sure you actually understand and agree with what you have written down.
Did you set triggers for buy/sell decisions? Write a letter to yourself and pre-commit to an action you suspect may be hard to carry out. Buying is fun, exciting, filled with positive expectations of gain. Selling is rarely that.
Selling is usually hard to do. Selling usually means you did something wrong – you failed! You didn’t evaluate properly, guessed wrong (you’re never supposed to guess!), missed a market cue – a company cut a dividend and you weren’t paying attention. You missed a company acquisition that you KNEW was stupid, or didn’t like a new CEO, but you second-guessed yourself, held on and now the stock is tanking.
Don’t worry! That’s the time to buck up. Review your plans. Pat yourself on the back for all the GOOD decisions you have made. And enjoy the life you are making for yourself.