In the ongoing process of supporting our client relationships, we often talk about “setting expectations.” We frame this in various ways, such as type and frequency of communications, timelines for responding to inquiries, paperwork, meeting schedules, etc. However, the most enjoyable and productive client relationships – and the happiest clients – seem to embody four fundamental principles that apply to both professional adviser and client.
1. Reasonable Expectations – Financial planning is a lifelong endeavor, and success is based on long-term commitment. Patience and conviction are especially important regarding investment strategies. Adjustments should be made in the context of the client’s financial goals.
No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.” –Suze Orman
2. Discipline – Controlling what can be controlled along the way. Markets cannot be controlled. Financial plans should focus on areas such as adequate savings, a framework for smart spending choices, and a policy for rebalancing a diversified portfolio to control risk.
“The first and best victory is to conquer self.” –Plato
3. Relevant Benchmarks – Use meaningful benchmarks to gauge investment performance. The only benchmark that really makes sense is whether a client’s financial plan is on track for long-term success.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” –Alan Lakein
4. Life Balance – Acknowledge challenges, but focus on progress. Embrace opportunities for personal growth. Take care of your health. Above all, express gratitude.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” –Eckhart Tolle
Would you like to work with us? We would love to hear from you!