What Our Research Uncovered that Truly Defines the Franklin Wealth Experience
We want to thank everyone for their continued support. This year has been another great year as far as receiving introductions to wonderful people that we value as clients. We also appreciate your continued feedback as to how we can continue to improve our service to you. We have heard from you individually, in focus groups, via feedback channels and through notes and emails what you like about working with us and what we can improve. We appreciate your candor.
When asking our clients what they truly value from us via feedback forms and our latest advisory council in July, we uncovered four primary areas. They were:
- Proactive communication and engaged relationships
- Ongoing education
- Creating Plans and mapping where they are in relation to their goals focusing on progress instead of perfection.
- Empowering people through implementation and holding them accountable to what they need to do to be successful.
We are committed to only accepting a limited number of new clients we can be sure to effectively service. As our practice has grown, we have hired good people to handle more for our clients to keep from spreading ourselves too thin. Our criteria for accepting new clients are relatively simple. The three criteria are:
- Are these individuals going to be receptive to our advice?
- Would we as a team enjoy working with them in a client – advisor relationship?
- Will this relationship be profitable to all parties involved?
We want to meet and talk often enough to make sure that our clients are informed and know where they stand in relation to their goals. We constantly solicit feedback directly and through feedback forms to make sure that we are delivering on our promises and are always working hard to improve on our delivery process.
We also believe that an educated client is going to be better prepared to achieve their goals. The more a client understands the better decisions they are going to make and the less they will have to fear as they develop more faith through understanding. It is interesting to hear how much more fearful of sharks people become after watching Jaws or Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. It has been calculated that it is more likely to be hit by lightning (1 in 10,000) or by an asteroid (1 in 700,000) than being bitten by a shark (1 in 3.7 million). Likewise, clients tend to become more fearful of upcoming events just after a bad period but less fearful when they better understand investments and can put events in context.
Nowhere in the list was investment returns listed. Many of our clients surveyed have done much better than the average investor over time, although in any given year some could underperform a given index or strategy. Being successful financially and achieving our goals involves more than just beating a benchmark or avoiding a downturn. Tax planning, estate planning, distribution planning, social security planning, saving, budgeting, withdrawal structure, succession planning, and a confluence of many other little things all work together to allow us to be successful financially. Those who only consider investment returns restrict themselves to a flat black and white experience when a vibrant colorful three dimensional experience is available.
Good advisors help investors set and work toward goals, plan for life’s surprises, engage in constructive behavior modification, and maintain accountability related to budgeting, implementation of estate plans, and more tax efficient savings strategies coordinated with the client’s tax and legal professionals and the involvement of all family members.
Constructive behavior modification ensures that clients take advantage of opportunities when everyone else is overly fearful and are more cautious when the crowd is overly excited. Investors are naturally inclined to follow the crowd, as can be confirmed with a glance at fund flows between equity and bond funds during bull and bear markets. Money pours out of equity funds after stocks falter, then pours back in after years of positive returns. That’s the polar opposite of buying low and selling high. Warren Buffet is fond of saying, “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.” The successful investors are better able to control their emotions and make rational decisions and good advisors work to keep them from hurting themselves. Clients value us for our ability to help them do what they need to do to keep from being too aggressive and hurting themselves or in many cases saving them from a slow death due to inaction and fear.
Clients who know their Family Index Number are focused on this and what they need to do in order to live well and make continued progress tend to accomplish more than those who have not gone through the process of defining their ideal future and setting a course for where they want to be. This is where we feel we truly add value and what we are focused on going forward.
Data as of August 18th, 2014