Finding the right financial advisor for your financial needs, goals, and aspirations is a tall order. With so many professionals out there, how can you ensure that you are working with people who both understand and can help you pursue your vision?
In order to help answer that question, we wanted to put together a post that gives our readers a birdseye view of what it means to work with a TFS advisor including how we operate, our philosophy, and the lifecycle of our client experience.
We are excited to bring this to you today, so without further ado let’s open the door to what it means working with us.
Here at TFS, we believe that your resources are a tool to help you live the life you have always dreamed of. We are excited to help our clients approach their wealth in a way that enhances their personal, professional, and financial lives. This holistic approach is woven into our operating model, especially the first time we meet with a client.
Once a client schedules a meeting with us, either in person or virtual, we take the time to learn more about who they are. We like to stick to getting to know them as people first and finances second. This gives us a better sense of their passions and values—telling features for how they manage and maintain their financial lives.
We talk through some of the following questions:
- What energizes you?
- What people, places, and organizations mean the most to you?
- How do you currently view your finances?
- What financial goals are really important to you both in the short and long term?
- What spurred you to come in and talk to an advisor?
Once we start to dig into that last question, we are able to have a clear understanding of their financial needs, allowing us to think about our ability to help them with that need. If, for example, we weren’t able to directly help a client with their specific needs, we are passionate about connecting them with another professional who can help.
We never want clients to leave our office feeling like they haven’t had their needs met and don’t have an adequate plan for moving forward. We always want to give our clients the ability to make forward progress on their financial needs as they grow and evolve.
Let’s take a closer look at a case study to help illustrate the experience.
New client case study
Case studies are a great way to get a feel for what the experience will look like in practice. This is an anonymized example to detail the new client process.
Client J set up a meeting with us based on a referral from their coworker. When they arrive at the office, we take the time to sit down with Client J and learn more about who they are. This initial meeting is all about getting to know Client J better.
Trust and connection are integral components in a successful advisor-client relationship, and it is our goal to start that trust-building at the initial meeting. As we let Client J lead most of the discussion, we like to touch on the following topics:
- Compatibility and cohesive working styles
- Understanding what is important to the client. This gets into the things they like to do for fun, how they spend their time, what they do for a living, the things in their life that they are passionate about.
- Deciphering their financial goals and what they want to accomplish.
We learn all of these things by letting Client J do most of the talking. As active listeners and observers, we are much better able to assess the client’s needs when they talk about themselves and their situation in their own words.
Usually, after that initial meeting, the client has a great understanding of our philosophy and how we operate which can lead them to make the decision if they want to move forward working with us. But sometimes, to provide a more concrete reason for working together, we like to do a GAP analysis.
GAP analysis is a process that assesses the present reality against a future reality. We take a look at where the client’s finances are now and where they want to be in order to make recommendations for processes and strategies to help get them to that end goal. This comes down to a three-step process:
- Take a look at the objectives
- Discover their current process for managing/investing/maintaining their finances
- Create a unique, customized plan to help them fill the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.
Onboarding new clients
After a client has decided that they want to move forward in working with us (awesome!), we continue to build our client relationships and that starts with getting a jump start on the planning process.
The planning portion often takes anywhere from 2-4 meetings at which time we go through workbooks together, talk more in-depth about their long-term and short-term goals, and really meet them where they are.
All of our clients start at a different place with their finances and by working closely with them during these planning meetings, we are able to get a clear idea of what that means for each new client that comes in, equipping us with the knowledge to be able to help them get where they want to be.
After these planning meetings, we continue to work in an ongoing way. One thing we know for sure is that plans change. Our client’s financial goals grow and evolve as they do, and our process gives them the freedom and flexibility to do just that.
Once you are actually living your plan, it’s not uncommon to modify your goals. You may find that you are spending more or less than you anticipated or that you want to move up your retirement timeline or you are ready to buy a house sooner than you realized.
Our philosophy is “it’s your money – it’s your life, you pay us to sound the alarm if there’s an issue.” We are there for you as you grow and as your goals change. We are excited for our clients as they take new steps and want to be there to help them manage their finances in a way that supports those steps.
An open door
Our door is always open and we are passionate about getting to know you and your goals for your financial life. As a team, our goal is to help empower you to manage your finances in a way that is true to your priorities, goals, and values.
Each and every client that walks through our doors (or our Wifi channel) is treated like family. Here at TFS, we are serious about your money and excited about your life.
Are you ready to take the next step in your financial journey? Are you ready for a team that cares about your financial and personal success? If you are nodding your head right now, then take some time to set up an initial meeting with us. You now know how the process works! We can’t wait to learn more about you.