I routinely ask prospective clients to describe the core qualities and competencies they seek and value. A handful of core professional attributes keep coming up regularly in the conversations.
That is, in their quest to identify and select the investment professional. I also suggest to all investors that they would benefit from putting together a short list of needs and wants.
In my experience investors who write out their wish list make better decisions. It is far easier to spot the good fit with the professional knowing what you want.
You can also apply the same approach to identifying a tax professional, lawyer or banker. Many families require a team of professionals all pulling in the same direction.
Here are the highlights of sought after advisor qualities:
Above all else, clients want to be heard, especially women.
Clients want to feel that the professional understands their unique situation.
They appreciate clear, two-way communication in simple language.
Clients seek comprehensive and objective professional advice.
Objectivity where the client best interests always come first.
Competent advice with no advisor conflicts of interests.
Independence from product bias is highly cherished.
Plus, independence from institution bias.
Lastly, independence from advisor compensation bias.
Portfolio management expertise in different economic cycles is very desirable.
Plus, market expertise during bullish and bearish times.
Finally, expertise in making rational and sensible portfolio decisions.
Clients do not want to deal with hidden surprises—full transparency is most welcome.
They desire a simple, readable agreement setting out the professional engagement. All professional fees are best laid out clearly and visibly.
Every client wants to hire a professional who represents their best interests. One they can work with to design and steward their wealth management roadmap.
Preferably, applying these core professional qualities for the long run.