Dear SAGEbroadview: Let’s Get Engaged
All the talk of relationships this past Valentine’s Day had us reflecting on our client engagements and the two-way relationships they represent.
Our Client Pledge
As we dedicate ourselves to placing our clients’ financial interests even ahead of our own, we make a commitment that goes something like this:
We pledge to …
- Act as a fiduciary, treating your finances with utmost care and prudence, and placing your best interests first – even ahead of our own
- Accept no commissions or any other third-party incentives that may taint our advice when recommending companies, products or services for helping you reach your goals
- Get to know you, your personal goals and financial challenges, and to tailor our recommendations so they help you create a full financial life
- Treat your financial information in strict confidentiality
- Treat you with respect, professionalism and honesty and bring a nonjudgmental perspective to the goals and information you present
- Be available to you during business hours by phone, email or in person
- Deliver objective advice that we believe is in your best interest, even if it may not be what you want to hear
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
We figure the above pledge is a good first step to a long and happy relationship between us and our clients. That said, not everyone is a good fit for us … and vice-versa. To help you find an advisor you can have and hold from this day forth, here are a few tongue-in-cheek tips on what makes for lasting harmony between you and your fiduciary advisor, at least from our perspective.
We May Not Be Right for Each Other If …
- On Financial Life Planning – Your strategy is to regularly revisit your financial plan … once every two decades, whether it needs it or not. Your favorite medium for recording your plans is chiseled stone.
- On Investment Management –Your “other” advisor is Jim Cramer’s Mad Money TV show.
- On Wealth Management – You believe that the events and relationships in your life, your career and your family are none of your advisor’s business. In fact, your spouse is also better off not knowing about that recently defaulted home loan.
- On Tax Planning – Your idea of tax planning is to claim your pets as dependents and to put your 8-year-old daughter on the payroll as your Director of Social Media. (After all, she is considerably better at it than you are.)
- On Technology and Information – Your computer still sports a disk drive – for 5¼-inch floppies – and serves its highest purpose as a paperweight … for all those quarterly reports that you never read anyway.
- On Sage Advice – Science fiction author Gordon R. Dickson was thinking of you when he is reported to have said, “Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.”