Ten Years Later: The Advisor/Investor Relationship

On Sept 11th 2001, I was on two separate morning flights (Detroit to Chicago, Chicago to Des Moines).  I remember watching the National Guard planes scrambling to get up in the air as we landed and hearing a lot of worried travelers on their cell phones exclaim, “I’m ok, but I am in Iowa” as their planes had just been grounded.  Most of us just stood in the airport watching on TV, stunned and silent, as the tragedy unfolded on the screen.

I’m sure all of you remember exactly what we were doing and the surreal experiences we went through that morning.  As the 10-year memorial of September 11th approaches, it brings back the all-too-real memories of the day our nation was attacked. This day changed everything for the families of the nearly 3,000 victims and in many ways, large and small, personal and professional, the tragedy changed the way Americans live and work.

In a recent Investment News article, A Decade of Change for Wealth Managers, the author argues that our client’s expectations and our businesses changed that day.  With the deep sense of fear and new found realization of what is important in life and it isn’t picking a 5 star fund.

Over the last ten years, it has been truly gratifying to see the rise of goals based planning and investing as investors have forsaken the “tech bubble” high risk strategies mindset and focused on what is important to themselves, their families and their communities.  Advisors have focused on deeper discovery processes, better communications with their clients and are focused on risk adjusted returns to meet client’s long term goals.  Our value has grown in the eyes of the client from product salesperson to a more valued consultant and a true objective advisor. 

The importance of our family, friends, and loved ones is central to our life and plays a significant role in our investing schemes. With 9/11 approaching and the sentiments fresh in our heads, think about the way this event changed your personal life and your business. Then consider your clients. What’s changed them? What’s important now? And how can you help them?  Think about your discovery process and when the last time is you reviewed their goals with them.  





John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is the creator and lead author of Practically Speaking blog and Managing Director of Practice Management Solutions for the SEI Advisor Network.

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