Hallmarks of a Client-Centric Investment Approach
By David Urovsky
Knowing the client. That is what a client-centric investment approach is all about.
An investment advisor’s work process must begin with the client. The advisor must take the time to really get to know the client as an individual. In the first meeting, the advisor should ask about the client’s current financial circumstances. Factors to review include annual income, job security and satisfaction, and financial assets set aside for retirement or other financial objectives. Then the advisor and client should discuss anticipated financial goals and the time horizon the client has in mind.
Based on a careful study of this information, the advisor is then able to develop a customized financial plan that offers several approaches to investment – all of which are clearly defined, manageable and responsive to the criteria the client has provided. After the client selects the approach that seems most appropriate, the advisor finalizes and exacts the plan, choosing carefully from the vast array of financial products available in the marketplace.
Day-to-day, the client-centric investment approach is demonstrated through attentive service that includes returning phone calls and e-mails promptly (on the same business day). And sometimes, the advisor goes above and beyond.
For example, a couple of weeks ago, I went with a client to help her buy a car because she wasn’t familiar with all of the financial terms and jargon. Next week, I’m going to sit with a client and her attorney to discuss alimony disagreements with her ex-spouse.
Client-centric portfolio management also means being proactive with regular and frequent client communication by phone, e-mail, mail and, if appropriate, in-person meetings.
Consistent portfolio review is another hallmark. Depending on the client’s preference, portfolio reviews could be quarterly, semi-annual or annual. Whatever the frequency, these reviews must be done consistently. They can be done in-person or by phone, depending on the client’s preference. Either way, consistent portfolio reviews make it possible for the advisor to respond more effectively to changes in the client’s life or market conditions.
Perhaps the most important hallmark of the client-centric investment approach is that all investment solutions are customized and personalized. This means strict avoidance of cookie cutter solutions or pre-packaged investment models.
In the long run, client-centric investment depends on the quality of personal relationships. As an advisor, I’m not just a stranger who manages money. I make it my business to be accessible to my clients. In that spirit, I have been known to make house calls.
David Urovsky is registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer, Member (SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. It is not our position to offer legal or tax advice. Wealth Advisors Group is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. CRN-1408432-020216