As our thoughts turn to gratitude and thankfulness this season, one of the things that we are very grateful for is that we live in a free country with protection of our rights as citizens enshrined in our country’s founding documents. The Bill of Rights protects our personal freedoms and defines aspects of our relationship with our Government, describing rights, freedoms, obligations, expectations, and boundaries.
We have had some very valuable discussions in our office recently about the idea of a Client Bill of Rights, as prompted by an article in Investment News. In this article, the author makes some important observations on the evolving nature of client and advisor relationships over the last couple of decades, and about the changing expectations of clients. He proposes a Client Bill of Rights that would help define expectations and obligations of the client/advisor relationship.
Certain values like honesty, trustworthiness and transparency will always endure in client/advisor relationships, of course. But there has been an interesting shift in focus in our industry over the last decade or so. For example, in the intense markets running up to the crash of 2008, many clients primarily expected their advisors to outperform the market. Today, investors’ expectations for returns from their investments have been tempered by individual context, and a more reasonable expectation is that advisors will help their clients make smart choices and avoid making mistakes.
Just Investment Advisors?
At Rowland Carmichael we are financial advisors, focusing on your whole financial life, not just your investments. Our main mission is to help you live your best financial life so you can focus on your lives and loved ones. This focus goes back to why we founded this firm in the first place. We did not want to just be stock pickers – we wanted to help clients set a plan for their financial goals and help them with the big picture of their financial life.
As we have discussed this Client Bill of Rights, we have been encouraged as this list is already represented in the values we choose to define our client relationships. But we would really like to hear from you. What are your expectations from a financial advisor? What is most important to you about your relationship with your advisor? Does this Client Bill of Rights accurately reflect how you feel about your financial advisors? Please give us a call or send us an email with your feedback.
One thing we know for sure – it is a privilege, not a right, to be your advisor. This is a privilege we take very seriously and we strive to continually earn your trust and confidence. At this time of year as we are grateful for family and friends and freedoms, we are also grateful for you, our clients and colleagues, and for the honor of working with you. We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.