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.