“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding.”
When I read this in Malcolm’s book Blink, it struck me as a description of the role we play in our clients' lives.
In the past, clients had to come to brokers to get the inside scoop on what was going on.
We live in a moment in time where knowledge is just a quick google search away.
Clients can google an article to brush up on how “markets work” and then google again to get up to-the-minute data on what is going on in those markets right now.
But there is a difference between having that knowledge and understanding how it should influence the actual decisions in their lives.
That is where we come in.
We help clients understand whether they should take action in the current market cycle.
We help clients understand which strategies will meet their needs based on their goals and values.
We help clients understand how the pieces of their financial life fit together and influence each other.
This is one of the primary reasons that I am not “scared” of the robo-advisors.
Robos are merely investment portfolios run by machines. Research shows that rules-based investing (that is what robo-advisors are doing) can be highly effective, but it is just one small aspect of a client’s financial life.
What is your role in your client’s life?
Is it to beat or replicate market returns or is it to help them consistently make good decisions in every aspect of their financial life?
If you are competing on the former…there is no help for you!
But if you are competing on the later…the need for your services is unending.
Remember, there is no consensus on what exactly a “financial advisor” does. When you sit down with a potential client for the first time, it is your job to define your job. If you don’t, they will bring their own pre-conceptions to the table. And that isn’t likely to end well!
Your clients don’t lack access to knowledge, they lack true understanding to help them make the very best decisions in their financial life.
Be their partner in decision making and you will be invaluable to them!
If you want to become a true partner in decision making for your clients, come join the conversation in The Intentional Advisor Mastermind where like-minded advisors are working this every day!