Broker Check
A Client's Bill of Rights

A Client's Bill of Rights

June 09, 2022

 

Sometimes, when we engage a professional who provides specialized services, we are at a loss as to what we should expect from them.  In good faith, we assume they are the expert (since we are not) so we tend to be passive in our new relationship.

 

As a financial planning professional, this is what my clients should expect from me:

 

  1. If you were referred to me by a friend, another professional (CPA, attorney, realtor) or you found me some other way, I will give you an hour of my time so you can tell me about your current financial situation, ask me questions, essentially, “kick the tires” to see if we would be a good fit to work together.

 

  1. What you pay for my services will never be a secret. I will disclose account fees, internal costs, sales charges and management fees when applicable.

 

  1. I will collect as much as information from you as necessary to understand your current financial condition, your liquidity needs, your goals and values. This allows me to make an informed recommendation to you.

 

  1. We will work together to make a plan. Our relationship is collaborative. Your input is imperative as is your honesty.

 

  1. Even though finance may not be your expertise, I will help you understand what’s going on under the hood of your portfolio and how markets and the economy affect it.

 

  1. No questions are dumb. I will answer every question you ask. I know that this financial stuff is foreign to you but I will help you to understand.

 

  1. When you have other financial questions or events in your life, I will assist you with making informed decisions.

 

  1. Shy of a cataclysmic event, I will promptly respond to your phone calls and emails.

 

  1. There is no limit to how often we can meet or talk. At a minimum, we will meet at least once a year for a formal review of your accounts/financial plan. Should you desire to meet more often we can do that too. 

 

  1. I have a fiduciary duty to you as a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner). At all times I will put your interests ahead of mine and exercise due care. I will act with honesty, integrity, competence and diligence.

 

  1. I will be brutally honest with you. There will be no sugar coating of reality.

 

  1. I will maintain your confidentiality and protect the privacy of your information.

 

  1. If you haven’t already done this, I will pester you to put your estate documents in order (having an updated will, powers of attorney for medical and financial decisions).

 

In return, I expect that you, as my client, will be honest and forthcoming and that you tell me if you don’t understand something or if you are unhappy.  I want your feedback so I can be a better advisor to you.