Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Exceptional Financial Adviser: An Expert, Trustworthy, Candid Life Coach

Being a professor of finance, and chair of the Financial Planning Program at Western Kentucky University, and also serving on many professional associations over the years, has afforded me the opportunity to visit with practitioners - during conferences, at luncheons, and in their own offices. I have greatly benefitted from the insights gathered from those I meet - they serve to help me improve my own practice, as well as our university's financial planning undergraduate program.

As these conversations over many years have progressed, I have learned that financial planning, at its core, is all about assisting clients with achieving their lifetime goals. Because the accumulation of wealth is not an ends, but a means.

The exceptional financial planners I meet are:
  • First and foremost, experts. The body of knowledge required of a financial planner is both broad and relatively deep. A commitment to lifelong learning is absolutely essential. The best financial planners attend professional association conferences - gaining insights not just from the presenters but also from their fellow practitioners. And - they read, read, and read some more. They have good habits ... eschewing watching t.v. every evening and instead devoting time to family, friends, and their own education.
  • Second, trustworthy. The best financial planners realize that the allure of additional compensation, in whatever form it takes place, can distort the advice given to clients. Conflicts of interest are minimized - and avoided altogether when possible. These financial planners enjoy the expert professional-level compensation they receive, and they enjoy being on the "same side of the table" as their clients.
  • Third, candid with their clients. Never pulling punches. Dedicated to assisting their clients overcome obstacles, with often frank advice, even at the risk of losing the relationship. Clients don't just want to be surrounded by "yes" advisors.
Lastly, and most importantly, the exceptional financial planners focus on assisting clients to identify, further development, and work toward the attainment of lifetime goals. Financial planners are "counselors" in a sense, but from another perspective financial planners are more like "life coaches."

Life only happens once. Our clients deserve our expert guidance to empower them to suck all the marrow out of life, to live their lives with passion, to gain the rewards they themselves can receive from assisting others and expressing gratitude, and to live such a life that - near the end of life - they will have no regrets.

Being a financial planner is a gift, in and of itself. It is and can be the most enjoyable of professions. But it requires the commitment to be an expert, the intellectual honesty to maintain the client's interests as paramount at all times, and courage to be candid, and the focus on helping each and every client lead a highly successful life, in all of its many aspects.

Financial planning. A most rewarding profession.

Let us continue to progress toward that goal - a true profession.

Let us achieve, each and every one of us, the esteemed honor that flows from when a client refers to her or his financial planner as "my trusted financial advisor and life coach."


  1. Wow its a very good post. The information provided by you is really very good and helpful for me. Keep sharing good information.
    Financial Adviser

  2. A financial adviser is professional only when he thinks of the customer first instead of being selfish.

  3. This is a superb post about financial advisory,..I really like it,.."shipping vessel"


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