The most common reason my physician clients fired their previous financial advisors is that their advisors didn’t communicate with them.
That gives the impression that the advisor doesn’t care about his clients.
A number of them told me that they would hear from the advisor around beginning of January and then he’d bury his head like an ostrich in the sand for another year.
Several also told me that their advisors didn’t once reach out to them and discuss their concerns during the stock market meltdown from 2007-2009.
Can you imagine paying a fee to an investment advisor, then losing 50% of your portfolio, and not even getting so much as an email from the advisor?
A good advisor adds the MOST value when the market goes DOWN not up.
This is sort of like a surgeon spending a few seconds with a patient in your office and the next time you see the patient is on the operating room table as you perform a Whipple.
Unfortunately in medicine you’re expected to see an ever increasing number of patients -- which will only get worse as outside entities watch and track your every move -- so it’s inevitable that our time spent with patients will likely go down even more.
But when it comes to your money -- which I know you’ve worked incredibly hard for because I have also -- doesn’t it make sense for your financial planner or investment advisor to spend time with you directly and also reach out to you using other means?
Let me tell you what I’ve done. I set up personal meetings with my clients (almost all of whom are physicians -- everything from emergency medicine to cardiologists to neurosurgeons to radiologists to dermatologists and so on). In the personal meetings we focus only on their specific situation rather than generalities.
In other words we don’t talk about useless economic drivel like GDP growth, unemployment rates, and other crap we have no control over. This is what a lot of advisors talk about, and then they’ll send some sort of canned quarterly brochure-like letter to their clients which no one reads.
But my communication goes WAY beyond just the personal meetings. It includes the following:
Almost every time I make a trade in a client’s investment account, I send an email to the client explaining why I’m making that trade so that the client understands the rationale behind the trade. With new clients I call them first so that they feel comfortable.
I create exclusive content for my clients. In January 2014 alone I sent them close to 15 audio podcasts with associated visuals to reinforce various aspects of our investment philosophy. Each podcast was about 5-10 minutes in length so it’s easily digestible.
And I don’t brag by using obscure investment terminology. I make it understandable.
If my clients don’t understand what we’re doing together, then I’ve failed. So far no one has told me that they don’t understand our investment philosophy and strategies.
This month my client podcasts included a critical discussion about asset protection for physicians.
My plan is to hold personal meetings with my clients, create great content for my clients, and also bring in outside experts to discuss various aspects of financial planning, insurance planning, asset protection, and other relevant areas that are important specifically to physicians.
In other words I want to help my clients succeed.
And hopefully they’ll becoming my raving fans.
The way I achieve that is to communicate with them regularly.
It provides me great satisfaction in helping them and they get a ton of value for the fee they’re paying me.
What about you?
If you’re currently working with a financial advisor, are you a raving fan of him?
Or are you just chugging along aimlessly wondering what’s going on and getting very little relevant communication from him?
If you’re managing your personal finances and investments by yourself, how do you help yourself? Do you read relevant information or do you read financial graffiti?
If you aren’t happy with the way your advisor communicates with you and you want a financial planner who has walked in your shoes, understands you as a physician, takes the time to explain things, and is in contact with you regularly, just fill out the short form on my website and well be in touch.
We’ll discuss whether we’re a good fit to work together.
You can find the short form by clicking here:
Hope to speak with you soon.
Setu Mazumdar, MD, CFP®