I have been thinking long and hard about a lot of things in the investment and financial advice industry over the last few months. What I uncovered is that there are a lot of people doing just enough. The idea of going above and beyond for clients is quickly dying as more and more people are automating all sorts of tasks from grocery shopping (actually pretty useful) to investing (jury is still out on this one). I took a long hard look at everything we are doing here at Thorium Wealth Management from the investment process, client management, to long term succession planning, to every expense paid, and the Return on Investment for the business. It has been eye opening.
What I determined was that we are 99.9% of the way there. While that may be good enough for most people it is not acceptable to me.
If 99.9% is good enough then the following things would be true.
12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents every day.
2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.
103,260 income tax returns will be processed incorrectly during the year.
315 words in Webster’s dictionary will be misspelled.
291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly.
880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on the magnetic strips.
Now these examples may be a little extreme but it proves the point that many times 99.9% is not enough. One of the things I found while I was reflecting was that while I am in contact with my clients frequently my process is not enough. When I meet with prospects we usually discuss their current relationship and a consistent complaint is that their advisors do not contact them enough. Clients expect more than just an annual meeting and an emailed newsletter and birthday card.
Obviously, every client has unique needs but we try to meet several times a year. Upon further reflection, what many clients and prospects lack is sufficient education around their specific financial situation. That’s not to say they are not knowledgeable. Quite the opposite. What I find is that people know a lot but what they lack is the person helping them tie it all together. I do not expect them to become an expert in investment theory or asset allocation but they have a want and need that many in the industry are not fulfilling for their clients. Moving forward education will become a much bigger part of my client experience.
As an industry, financial advice and investment management owe that to clients.
Because 99.9% is close but it is not enough.
Clients deserve 100% and I am going to do everything I can to get Thorium Wealth Management to that 100% level.