One of the really great things about our business is the wide variety of individuals with whom we have the pleasure to partner. Our clients range in age from young Millennials with careers, dreams and aspirations far in front of them, to those from the Greatest Generation now enjoying the fruits of a dignified retirement. We have families of modest means and those who have accumulated multi-generational wealth who are paying it forward for family, friends, favorite causes and for those less fortunate, many of whom they will never know personally. And we have clients from numerous career disciplines including business owners, doctors, lawyers, accountants, educators, farmers, retailers, printers, artists, engineers and architects, to name a few.
When it comes to residential architects, there is an interesting parallel in the role they and we play in our respective professions. Architects are helping design and build sustainable homes and we are helping design and build sustainable nest eggs. Both professions require a lot of training, expertise, experience, discipline, trust and detached objectivity, and both offer an extremely valuable service to their clients. An architect will sit through numerous meetings listening to their clients’ ideas, likes and dislikes, dreams and fears and then create a plan that will direct the construction of the optimal home given the clients’ budget. Throughout the construction process they will make countless on-site visits to ensure the home is being built exactly as designed. Unfortunately, some people cannot see the full merits of utilizing an architect, preferring to draw their own plans or hire a draftsman, thinking they are saving money. What an opportunity for disaster if things don’t go exactly right. There won’t be a do-over without a lot of stress, delay and unnecessary costs. What would the homeowner pay to fix things once they have gone wrong? They would pay far more than the nominal fees charged by the trained professionals who have practiced their discipline for years.
Firms like Wealthview Capital act as financial architects, partnering with their clients to design and build financial nest eggs. They exercise the same level of care, expertise and dedication as their architect cousins, but in the pursuit of different goals. Just like in the architectural example, some people believe they can save money by doing it themselves. However, numerous studies have shown individuals under-perform professionals over time, so that strategy may wind up costing more than the nominal fees they were trying to avoid. Others, reluctant to fully commit to one firm, may engage multiple wealth management firms, giving each a portion of their savings to plan and manage. How is this in the client’s best interest? It’s not, and here’s why. There is no way either firm will know what the other firm is doing, and they will likely possess different philosophies and strategies to pursue the clients’ goals and objectives. One may be going in one direction while the other is headed in the opposite direction, effectively neutralizing each other’s efforts.
So, what’s the solution? It is to do your homework; ask questions and learn about the firms’ investment philosophy and financial planning capabilities, depth of experience and training, costs and potential conflicts of interests, to name a few. Ask for referrals and if the firm adheres to a fiduciary standard of care or a lower suitability standard. Only then can you partner with that firm you believe is the best fit for you, making a total commitment. It is truly in your best interest to do so. If you don’t trust a firm to manage and advise all of you then you need to find one you do trust. They are out there if you know where to look. For us it’s not about short-term performance or products. It’s not about beating the market, market-timing or finding the next ten-bagger. At Wealthview our mission is our clients’ mission. It’s helping them create a common-sense plan to define and pursue their goals at reduced costs but without unnecessary risk. We then put that plan into action and monitor progress toward those goals with a commitment to mutual transparency and accountability and an adherence to a fiduciary standard of care. It’s that simple - plan, execute, monitor and adjust as needed. Then get on with life.