A Date with Destiny
I was working in banking while attending graduate school for my M.B.A. in Finance. I had been thinking that wealth management might be a good career option because I was fascinated by investing and I wanted to do something that would help people. One night, I went on a date to a dinner party, hosted by a financial advisor who was a glamorous single woman named Sherry. Like the saying goes “you have to see it to be it”, and lucky for me, she hired me three weeks later.
The Power of a Plan
Financial goals are no different than any other goals in life. If you have a written plan, you are much more likely to accomplish them. The sooner you start, the better.
My first goal when I meet a prospective client is to listen to their story. When they become a client, I start by discovering what they think about risk, reward and other financial issues. I want to really understand where they’re coming from so I can develop a plan that helps them meet their goals and objectives.
Since none of us sails through life exactly as expected, the financial plans we create are dynamic. Our plans have to be adaptable. By testing out different “What If?” scenarios, I can help clients manage most situations. Most people find this process reassuring because a lot of their anxiety when circumstances suddenly change is about money more than anything else. The planning process is allows clients to come up with options and test their likelihood of success.
Dollars and Sense
There’s a psychological aspect of financial advising that I love. It starts with understanding a client’s thoughts and emotions about money. Then we spend time putting together a financial plan and investment strategy. Then life happens. We are all going to encounter stressful situations – some with the market, or just life: divorce, death of a spouse, a child with a learning disability, a medical issue. I’m not a therapist, but I can listen, and then address the financial aspects of each challenge which can be very reassuring and help clients keep their focus. That’s where Financial DNA® comes in.
Assess Your Stress
At the Millstone Evans Group, we use Financial DNA®, a simple diagnostic tool which allows us to have an insightful discussion about your personality using a financial lens – your motivation, priorities, concerns, and communication preferences, especially where money is concerned.
We’ll guide you through the process of creating a saving and spending strategy that aligns with your Financial DNA, and then feeds into the design of your financial plan. You may soon find yourself able to effortlessly make financial choices more aligned with your goals. Clients initially reluctant to take a “deep dive” into their finances often say the experience significantly reduces anxiety because they feel back in control, making smarter choices quite naturally.
Walking the Talk
Many people care deeply about issues like climate change, human rights or equal opportunities. More client than ever tell me they want to “walk their talk.” I was one of the first financial advisors in the country to offer socially responsible investment options – in fact, I came into this business in order to help people create investment portfolios that reflect their goals and values, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Trust is a Must
I work with quite a diverse clientele from many different backgrounds, and my team is also very diverse. Team members speak Spanish, Czech, and Urdu. Many of my clients are women. I’ve built a reputation as a trustworthy ally in the LGBTQ community. Often clients come to me when they are going through major life transitions. For all these reasons, a number of clients have shared that they have a comfort level with me that they have not felt with previous advisors.
I like my clients to know that I am their biggest advocate. I want to be there to listen and help them navigate every stage of their lives. I love what I do.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Opinions expressed are as of this date and subject to change at any time without notice.