From the December 2006 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

Panel Explores the Issue of What Clients Really Want

A recent consumer panel, showcased during the 11th Semi-Annual CEO Summit hosted by Tiburon Strategic Advisors in San Francisco on Oct. 18 and 19, highlights the diverse nature of the investing public -- and the significantly positive role advisors can play if they can win consumers' trust.

Members of the panel, who are generally affluent and well educated, described the failed investments their parents and other family members had made, as well as their own investment mistakes.

One consumer, a semi-retired pharmacist, finally turned to a bank-based advisor (who later went independent) when he grew tired of losing money and wanted to be sure he could survive as he got older. "He seemed conscientious and caring," the man says of advisor Tif Joyce of Joyce Financial Management in Sebastopol, Calif.

A consumer who once worked as a commodities broker now feels that the best reason to get an advisor is to be sure he has competent advice and financial security as he ages. Though he isn't working with an FA yet, he does have a set of questions for prospective advisors: "What are you making off my account? What will you do for me and my account? How will you keep me and my money safe in the long term?"

Based on such input, advisors attending the Tiburon event could pick up other tips on what to share with prospective clients -- such as the importance of making personal connections and clearly describing the real value of working with an advisor.

"I want a long-term model, and someone to look out for me and my family for the long haul," comments one consumer on the panel. "I don't necessarily want [to work with] a financial advisor right now, but there could be a time when I would look again [at working with one]."

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