Investors may wonder what makes a valued adviser stand out.

My View:

Turn your attention to the professional adviser’s personal touches.


Review my list of 10 personal touches likely to be encountered.

Have you ever wondered how to spot a valued wealth adviser? I suggest the proof is in the professional’s personal touches with clients.

In my view, technology is a wonderful tool for a variety of portfolio management activities. However, the adviser’s ability to understand client circumstances as they relate to management of wealth can’t all be replaced by technology and automation. There is a definitive benefit to be garnered for applying the personal touch.

I emphasize coaching clients on a variety of issues and strategies. I assist clients in sticking to their game plan, particularly when emotional attachments run high.

My approach is to pay special attention on delivering value to clients. First, I get to know them in depth. I listen to their dreams, specific needs, wishes and objectives. Then, I tailor the personalized solutions. My experience spans several market cycles.

I emphasize coaching clients on a variety of issues and strategies. I assist clients in sticking to their game plan, particularly when emotional attachments run high. I try to prevent short-term angst from getting in the way of reaching long-term goals. This blog is one tool in the toolbox.

The services are typically centered on how to design, structure, manage, monitor and tweak long-term investment portfolios. Often, client needs include other major areas such as retirement planning, family business issues and estate matters.

Much of an adviser’s perspective on stewarding your wealth comes from experience. Learning and applying that perspective in view of what you seek as a client is essential.

Top 10 Signs
Let’s walk through the top 10 signs that the investment professional has personal touches:

  • The professional always places your client best interests first, ahead of theirs.
  • The professional listens attentively and understands the issues important to you.
  • The professional advice is objective, unbiased and without conflicts of interest.
  • The professional is focused on managing the big picture investment risks you incur.
  • The professional defines core philosophies and investment processes in simple ways.
  • The professional understands that changing client needs require custom solutions.
  • The professional fees and costs are all transparent before and after the engagement.
  • The professional identifies your comfort between preserving and growing capital.
  • The professional prepares your written plan of action before investing begins.
  • The professional makes logical and methodical decisions,without emotion or bias.

Each of these signs of personal touches are powerful in their own right. The full combination is a recipe for a dynamic outcome.

There are two show stoppers everyone should be aware of fully. First, you should never be asked to make the investment cheque payable personally to the adviser. Secondly, all your investments should always be held for your benefit by a third party financial custodian, not by the adviser. In addition, investment statements of account should be sent directly to clients by the custodian. No deviation should be tolerated from these situations, not even for a moment.

These are my top, yet simple, signs to watch. They stand the tests of time. Have a peek at the combination of personal touches you receive.