In the medical field, the term “bedside manner” is often used to describe a doctor’s ability to relate to his patients. This includes not only his personality and compassion, but his ability to drop the “doctor-speak” and relay his expertise in layman’s terms. When we find a reputable doctor with good bedside manners, he’s the guy we stick with.
The same situation applies to professionals that we hire to look after our financial health. These advisors, CPAs, attorneys have the choice to communicate with their clients in a personable, relatable way, or to create a boring cloud of mystery around what they actually do by bogging down communication with financial jargon.
At Maverick, we want to understand you, and we want you to understand us, which is precisely why we work to make all of our communication with our clients jargon free. To that end, there are a few terms used on our web page that I would like to expand upon.
On our home page we state: “We pride ourselves on being truly client focused — free from the conflicts and biases that are inherent in the typical client/advisor relationships.”
This statement is dead on in terms of defining one of our founding values, but it also has a certain, “blah, blah, blah” quality to it. So, let me explain what this actually means.
“Client-focused” – boy, does everybody in the financial world just love this phrase. Seriously. I challenge you to find a financial service firm that does not use this phrase in their materials. Like any overused word, it quickly loses its meaning, becoming a dead, filler word.
At Maverick, however, this phrase is the basis for how we do business. We focus on you. Your goals, your needs, your dreams, your risk tolerance. We pride ourselves on being good listeners — and only then use the tools and expertise at our disposal to create your financial plan.
And there is a really good reason why we can do this. It is simple numbers. Most advisors in larger firms are assigned 400 or more faceless clients. They are charged with “taking care” of this enormous group of people… It’s not possible. I tried!
At Maverick we work with a small group of hand-picked clients. Clients that we meet and talk to face to face. Clients that we know on a personal level. Clients that work directly with the owner of the firm.
Who do you think gets better advice and service?
Now to move on to the next phrase, “conflicts and biases that are inherent in the typical client/advisor relationship.” This is a big one. Not only because it illuminates one of the greatest aspects about working with an independent firm like Maverick, but also because it contains a little secret that many investors do not realize.
Here’s the secret — advisors at many firms are faced with a few inherent conflicts.
One is that although they might truly want to find the best solution for you, they only have a certain box to choose from. This means that whether it is best for you or not, you are getting whatever is available to them. Unless, of course, the advisor is willing to tell you that your needs would actually be best met at another firm that uses a different platform….? Yup, you’re going in the box.
Another common conflict is that advisors are paid varying amounts based on the products they sell you. Guess which ones they will most likely think serves you best?
Now I am not saying that these advisors are terrible people. They are working within the structure of their companies, serving the bottom line.
What I am saying is that to receive truly objective, conflict free advice that is really geared toward your needs — you need to work with a fully independent firm. A firm that wants what is best for you, not what makes them the most money or what is available in their product line.
Thanks for reading!