The industry is in desperate need of a wake-up call. Gimmicks and half-truths seem to be the most popular response to questions of value. Instead of learning from other service industries, advisors and their firms are burying their heads in the sand. Notwithstanding, the current health and economic crisis, we are at a crossroads on how professional, expert advice will be understood and sold in the future.
The democratization of investing has placed the value of a traditional financial advisor into question. The industry has responded by arguing price, access or performance are the most important differentiators for an investor to consider. I would submit that honesty is the single most important quality to look for when selecting an advisor.
Consider the foundation of the advisor/advisee relationship. The consumer of the advice is placing trust in the information provided by the individual giving the advice. It is a transaction whose only value is based on the accuracy of the advice given. This entire arrangement lends itself well to a fiduciary obligation and is a main point I traditionally raise when discussing the competing standards of care.
Beyond the obvious of doing right by clients, truth can be the most powerful sales tool an advisor has at their disposal. The ease of access to information has led to highly educated consumers. These are clients that know more and can ask better questions than ever before. This means expect to be fact checked on everything you say. Honesty and candor are rewarded as this same educated consumer can easily reconcile what you said and what they have read.
Kingsview Partners and all the Wealth Managers within our firm are dedicated to remaking the wealth management client experience. Direct, honest advice regardless of how uncomfortable the conversation – is the standard. Combining this client service ethic with the tools that offered by an independent firm, are what turn the solutions recommended into reality.
Kingsview Partners, through its subsidiaries provides comprehensive services to address a diverse set of client needs. Many advisors believe that joining an RIA will come at a sacrifice of most of their non advisory business lines. While of course there is a fair amount of nuance individually, for most, this simply is not the case. Independence is a cornerstone of best interest. Without competitive options to provide the tools necessary, captive advisors are serving the wrong master.
We cannot always be the smartest person in the room, offer the best performing portfolio, or make fantasy into reality. A sustainable service business is built on a transparent value proposition. The ability to meet and exceed expectations starts with the truth. Honesty is your best quality, use it liberally.
Sean McGillivray, CEO