OUR VALUE (yes I"m yelling it out)

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Sep 19, 2006 8:45 pm

For all the rookies reading the recent hijacked meanderings of Knows Wall Street and NASD Newbie regarding our value, well, get use to it. You will spend your entire career presenting the value proposition to prospects and clients. The trick is, to have something of value to give. KWS isn't wrong when he says we charge outrageous fees. We do. He isn't wrong when he says we do nothing to earn those fees. More times than not that's true. We have training programs that teach rookies to find the money and turn it over to an expert. Many of those rookies, more, rather than less, are clueless on how money and money management actually works. Not to mention how the markets, the economy and interest rate relate to one another. The broker/advisor collects the money, puts it into an "off the rack" investment program, collects the fee, and calls it good. Often times that fee is tens of thousands of dollars. Not good!


We must add value. To add value you must have something of value to give. This is real money we're talking about. You have the ability to hurt people. I mean really hurt people. Or, you have the ability to change peoples lives for the better. Which side of that equation do you want to be on? Noone on this board will ever be on the right side of that equation by being a money collector. To charge thousands of dollars for nothing more than collecting the money, putting it into cookie cutter programs, and using a prepared script ot explain performance to clients, is ridiculous. To add value you must educate yourself. You must become that which you present yourself to be, an investment expert.Forget the training department BS about just get out there. That's wrong. That's dangerous. Not that you ever will, you need to have the ability to run that money yourself. You even have to know what I mean when I say "run the money"


Let me give you an example of what I mean by understanding the process. Who was Alfred Cowles? Why is it important to know his work? Don't answer here, just go and find out who he was and what he did. Good stuff, I guarantee you. Not one of your competitors knows this guy, but you will, and you'll use that knowledge to help your clients. And to close cases.


Learn, learn, learn. read, read, read. Question,question,question. Question everything. Understand the process of which you are apart of. Understand why one program, stock, bond, manager is better for a client and another set of stocks,bonds, managers, or programs is better for another. Learn the markets. What's happening today and why? Learn when to say no and walk away. Learn when to tell a product manager to look in a mirror because they forgot to wipe all the bullsh*t off their lips. And don't be afraid to do it. And speaking of fear, don't sell your clients down the river because your branch manager needs to get a deal done. Clients comes first. That's the only rule.


Become an advocate for your clients. Find out what makes them tick. Care about them. When you do that and the rest of this you have something of value to bring to the table. That something is you. And you can charge whatever you'd like. You're worth every penny and more.


If any of us is no more than a collector of money, a middleman as Newbie calls us, it makes him right. We aren't worth the money at any price. Let's not make him right.


Sep 20, 2006 2:25 pm

Thank you TJC.  Your posts continue to make this board worthwhile to participate in.  Your words have been an antidote to the 'white noise' that seems to dominate this forum.  Please hang around, I know that I learn a lot from reading your comments.


For those of us who were trained to be 'asset gatherers', what else would you recommend in order to be of value to clients?

Sep 20, 2006 2:47 pm

I agree dude. tjc, I always appreciate and enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work!

Sep 20, 2006 4:06 pm

solid stuff tjc.

Sep 20, 2006 4:29 pm
dude:

Thank you TJC.  Your posts continue to make this board worthwhile to participate in.  Your words have been an antidote to the 'white noise' that seems to dominate this forum.  Please hang around, I know that I learn a lot from reading your comments.


For those of us who were trained to be 'asset gatherers', what else would you recommend in order to be of value to clients?



Raise yourself above the crowd. Compassion and education is the way to go. I think it was Nick Murray who said "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." These are words to live by.


Here's an example. As many of you know I'm partnered with my wife. A few years ago one of her clients was dying of cancer. The treatments were knocking her for a loop. My wife went to her house several times to cook dinner for her. A few months later the woman died. And unfortunately it got ugly as woman's the kids fought over the estate. One of the jerks went so far as to try to cut a disabled sibling out of the will. It sickened us to watch this. But, such is life. All of the money left as the kids swandered it. Fast forward about two years and the phone rings. It's a woman who asks my wife if she is the same financial advisor who use to cook dinner for the woman that passed. My wife answered yes. The caller then told my wife that she had been friends with that woman and that she'd just sold a piece of property and wanted to give my wife $600,000 to invest. So the lesson is, people talk, and other people listen. If you show people you really care about them, it will come back to you eventually. And even if it doesn't, it's not a bad way to live your life.


Education- can you tell a good manager from a poor one? How about a fund, or stock, or bond? The big three auto makers are in total disarray right now. Opportunity or suckers bet? The trucking industry is still suffering from an over supply of big rigs. Where is the opportunity in this scenerio? Do you wait for your analysts to issue buy reccos or do you find things on your own? Sarasota Capital is rotating out of energy and into tech. Is Anthony Welsh onto something or is Barron's right that the move in oil is creating opportunities in oil? The Fed stood still today. Big surprise! Time to buy bonds? How would you take advantage of current interest rates. Time to lock in higher yields? If so, how? What does history tell you? What is the consensus opinion and do you agree or disagree with it? It's important to have an opinion that's yours. Not the firm's, not the street's. You own your opinion.


Once you're educated it's important not to lay all that knowledge on your clients. Use the knowledge, combined with your opinion, within the bounds of your company's policies, to talk to your clients in terms they can understand. Talk main street, not wall street.


And of course you don't have to use your knowledge to become a stock jockey or bond maven. In fact, I'd stay with asset gathering. Let the experts make the day to day decisions. Use your knowledge to hire and fire the experts when they make bone headed moves. Put your own team of managers together. Get to know these people. Understand their process. That's how you add value to your clients lives.

Sep 20, 2006 5:59 pm
tjc45:

As many of you know I'm partnered with my wife. A few years ago one of her clients was dying of cancer. The treatments were knocking her for a loop. My wife went to her house several times to cook dinner for her. A few months later the woman died. And unfortunately it got ugly as woman's the kids fought over the estate. One of the jerks went so far as to try to cut a disabled sibling out of the will. It sickened us to watch this. But, such is life. All of the money left as the kids swandered it. Fast forward about two years and the phone rings. It's a woman who asks my wife if she is the same financial advisor who use to cook dinner for the woman that passed. My wife answered yes. The caller then told my wife that she had been friends with that woman and that she'd just sold a piece of property and wanted to give my wife $600,000 to invest. So the lesson is, people talk, and other people listen. If you show people you really care about them, it will come back to you eventually. And even if it doesn't, it's not a bad way to live your life.


tjc, that has a very familiar ring to it.  Earlier this year, I had a client die fairly suddenly and unexpectedly.  I'd had an excellent relationship with these people as they'd been with me pretty much since I got in this business 17 years ago.  The surviving husband was heartbroken and I did what I could to help him...balanced his checkbook, taught him how to grocery shop and cook for himself, introduced him to a cleaning lady, etc.,etc.,etc.


Long story short...his step-son inherited 600K from a couple of bypass trusts that triggered when mom died, and even though he lives well over 1,000 miles away, I have a nice new fee-based relationship because of how I cared for his mom and step-father.


As a post-script, the surviving husband asked me last night if he could make me a beneficiry of his trust...to the tune of $200K.  I told him several times that I was flattered beyond words, but I absolutely could not do this due to regulatory/ethical concerns.  He just kept saying "I want to find some way to pay you back for all that you've done for me."  I told him to tell all his wealthy friends how well he is treated and what a good advisor I am...


I have no idea if this will result in additional business, and if it doesn't, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I've already gotten one very nice account out of the deal, and I have a client/fan that wouldn't move his account if Peter Lynch asked for it.  That's priceless.

Sep 20, 2006 7:29 pm

And you can sleep well at night knowing you have done the right thing.  Priceless.


Sep 20, 2006 7:56 pm

I wonder if one can get that kind of service from an 800 number...

Sep 20, 2006 8:17 pm
Indyone:

tjc, that has a very familiar ring to it.  Earlier this year, I had a client die fairly suddenly and unexpectedly.  I'd had an excellent relationship with these people as they'd been with me pretty much since I got in this business 17 years ago.  The surviving husband was heartbroken and I did what I could to help him...balanced his checkbook, taught him how to grocery shop and cook for himself, introduced him to a cleaning lady, etc.,etc.,etc.


Long story short...his step-son inherited 600K from a couple of bypass trusts that triggered when mom died, and even though he lives well over 1,000 miles away, I have a nice new fee-based relationship because of how I cared for his mom and step-father.



I do not believe that a family with hundreds of thousands of dollars and enough knowledge to set up bypass trusts involves a husband and father who could not balance a checkbook or find things in a grocery store.


I also do not believe the son will stay with you when he realizes that you're stealing money from him to the tune of $6,000 per year for doing nothing other than suggesting that he should hold pat for another year.

Sep 20, 2006 8:21 pm

For God's sake ......SHUT UP

Sep 20, 2006 8:28 pm
babbling looney:

For God's sake ......SHUT UP


The statement is that the client is 1,000 miles away.  How much "personalized service" do you suppose that guy will get for his $500 per month?


The money is not in a qualified plan, so any advice other than stand pat is going to have tax implications.


Why should people pay to be told to stand pat?


Do you think you can fool all of the people all of the time?

Sep 20, 2006 8:38 pm

BL, I made a conscious decision to avoid response when it's obvious that the individual attempting to elicit a response has no capacity to comprehend what we do for a living and is completely out of touch with what investment clients want and need.  I haven't responded to several queries from said individual and I'm not going to start now.


If you or other rational adults have questions about why I have loyal clients, I'm happy to answer those, but I'm long past responding to such worthless drivel...he's long overdue to be banned again...

Sep 20, 2006 9:00 pm

It is amazing the ways we help our clients, besides recommending attorneys and CPA's I have helped fix bank errors, buy cars, plan vacations and the funniest yet I helped remove a squirrel from inside a clients house.

Sep 20, 2006 9:19 pm
Knows Wall St.:

The statement is that the client is 1,000 miles away.  How much "personalized service" do you suppose that guy will get for his $500 per month?



I move we ignore the Putzy until he gets around to answering some of the many responses he's already been provided.....

Sep 20, 2006 9:53 pm
Indyone:

tjc, that has a very familiar ring to it.  Earlier this year, I had a client die fairly suddenly and unexpectedly.  I'd had an excellent relationship with these people as they'd been with me pretty much since I got in this business 17 years ago.  The surviving husband was heartbroken and I did what I could to help him...balanced his checkbook, taught him how to grocery shop and cook for himself, introduced him to a cleaning lady, etc.,etc.,etc.


Long story short...his step-son inherited 600K from a couple of bypass trusts that triggered when mom died, and even though he lives well over 1,000 miles away, I have a nice new fee-based relationship because of how I cared for his mom and step-father.


As a post-script, the surviving husband asked me last night if he could make me a beneficiry of his trust...to the tune of $200K.  I told him several times that I was flattered beyond words, but I absolutely could not do this due to regulatory/ethical concerns.  He just kept saying "I want to find some way to pay you back for all that you've done for me."  I told him to tell all his wealthy friends how well he is treated and what a good advisor I am...


I have no idea if this will result in additional business, and if it doesn't, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I've already gotten one very nice account out of the deal, and I have a client/fan that wouldn't move his account if Peter Lynch asked for it.  That's priceless.



Indy, nice job! This is exactly what I'm talking about. We all know that there has to be the business side. The number of contacts, the sales presentations and the closing techniques. Yet, it's when we step beyond the normal business relationship that we show our true colors. Good stuff!

Sep 20, 2006 9:54 pm

I second that, even I will ignore him until he comes clean

Sep 20, 2006 9:55 pm
babbling looney:

For God's sake ......SHUT UP


Well said!

Sep 20, 2006 10:06 pm

[/quote]


I move we ignore the Putzy until he gets around to answering some of the many responses he's already been provided.....


[/quote]


You want to get this guy where he lives this is it; He's out of the game and it's killing him. Regardless of where each of us is in our respective careers we're all still on the playing field. He's off the field and not coming back. Whether KWS is a bitter has been or an empty never was, for him it's game over. Look at the number of posts this guy has. This is his life. Taking shots at those of us still on the field. We are, or can be what he never was, successful. It's burying him.

Sep 21, 2006 9:38 am
tjc45:
mikebutler222:

I move we ignore the Putzy until he gets around to answering some of the many responses he's already been provided.....



You want to get this guy where he lives this is it; He's out of the game and it's killing him. Regardless of where each of us is in our respective careers we're all still on the playing field. He's off the field and not coming back. Whether KWS is a bitter has been or an empty never was, for him it's game over. Look at the number of posts this guy has. This is his life. Taking shots at those of us still on the field. We are, or can be what he never was, successful. It's burying him.



No two ways about it, you have Putzy pegged. The poor old slob can't even explain why it's in a client's best interest to pay a massive front load OR use a single family of funds, probably while getting hit with a 12b-1, OR why $1MM sized pools of assets should even be using funds to begin with.

Sep 21, 2006 11:14 am

I think its truly sad.... You would think with that "$300K/ year pension" that ML  is paying him that he would find more useful things to do in retirement....


Its more like $30K/ year and he's barely making ends meet in Manhattan, thats why he and the mutts are considering a move to Atlanta....