Is your financial services partner acting in your best interests?
If they’re a sworn fiduciary, they’re legally bound to act in your financial interest. But that alone isn’t enough to ensure that they’re the right fit for your needs.
What separates just-good-enough financial services firms from truly great partners? For starters, these six non-negotiable items. How many of these things is your current financial services partner doing — and, where they’re falling short, are they willing to step up their game?
- Listen to Your Needs and Concerns, Even If They Don’t Agree With Your Priorities
A financial services firm needn’t endorse your lifestyle or business plan to be a trusted financial partner. Indeed, judgment shouldn’t be a part of the equation at all. If you’re concerned that you’re not receiving actionable advice or service because your partner is skeptical of what you’re trying to achieve, it’s time to look elsewhere for help.
- Operate From a Position of Financial Strength
You have every right to expect your financial services partner to stick with you for the long haul. If they’re not operating from a position of financial strength, how can you be so sure they’ll be around when you need them most? Look for firms that rank exceptionally well on key financial strength and performance metrics, and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions before committing to a relationship.
- Give You Honest, Actionable Advice
Honesty is the bedrock of any enduring relationship, professional or otherwise. If you can’t trust your financial services partner to provide frank, unfiltered advice when you need it most, can you really say that they’re acting in your best interests?
- Hold Your Hand When It’s Needed
By the same token, you deserve a financial services partner that’s willing and able to hold your hand when necessary — to walk you through complex financial products, bespoke investing strategies, byzantine tax maneuvers. Truly above-and-beyond service in this vein is all but priceless.
- Pick Up the Phone When You Call
Speaking of above and beyond service, you deserve a financial services partner that’s actually there when you call, whether that’s first thing in the morning or late into the evening. You have a life to live, after all; why should you have to work it around someone else’s office hours?
- Offer Products and Services Appropriate for Your Needs
Your financial needs don’t fit neatly into an off-the-shelf box. If you’re not currently working with a full-service financial partner, you may well have needs going unmet today. Keep that in mind as you evaluate the status of your relationship, and know when it’s time to set your sights elsewhere.
Your Ideal Financial Services Match Is Out There
The financial services industry does not lack for firms that claim to do things differently. Whether “differently” means “better” is quite another story, however. Your financial needs are as unique as your personality, and what works well for your friends and neighbors might not fit closer to home.
If you’ve struggled thus far to find a partner that checks all of the boxes above, along with whatever else you know you need from a financial services firm, don’t despair. Your ideal match is out there, if only you’re willing to continue the search.