I attended a professional development seminar in Pittsburg last month hosted by a well respected and cutting edge leader in the field of financial advising.

Based on the seminar announcement, I went expecting to take away lots of new tips, ideas and ways of connecting and better serving clients.  What I came away with instead was validation.

The presenter gave the ten “must haves” that advisors need to add to their process and service mix to serve clients in the future.  As the speaker ran through each of the 10 “must haves” I kept waiting for something that we don’t already do.  As it turns out, The Prosperity Experience®, Mackey Advisors’ financial and investment planning process,  has 9 out of 10 of those “must haves” built-in!

At one point in the presentation the speaker was giving an example about how to talk to clients about their goals.  She was relaying a scenario in which a wife, who was not the primary breadwinner, was talking about her goals, which included: taking the kids on an annual vacation, owning a lake house, and funding education for grandchildren.  One of the other advisors in the audience spoke up quickly and said, “I am not going to ask the wife what she wants in front of her husband.  It is just going to upset him as he sits there thinking, ‘how can I afford this?’”

It was at this point, that the question I posted as the title to this article popped into my head, “what is an advisor for?”  How can anyone possibly advise a client unless they understand deeply who their clients are, what they want out of life, and how they want to live?  If their advisor, isn’t willing to step into the mire of conflicting financial goals, exactly who is?  If their advisor doesn’t have those clarifying and sometimes uncomfortable conversations with them, who will?  And most importantly, without this knowledge, how can the advisor expect to sufficiently understand the clients’ cash flow needs and craft an investment plan to meet them? 

At Mackey Advisors, non-judgment is a key value.  Most of us have enough judgment and baggage around money that the last thing we need is an advisor who has judgment about our goals and desires.  We want what you want.  Our job is to listen deeply to who you are and what you want, develop alternative paths to help you get what you want and need, and to present the consequences of your choices, so that your choices are clear and easy.  Simple, elegant and loving.

My Mother used to say, “love what you do and it will show.”   She was right.