May 8, 2011

What I Learned From My First Client Advisory Board Meeting

As I wrote previously in my Road to Independence blog, I was looking forward to holding the first gathering of my client advisory board.

The client roundtable is over and the results are in. Holding this event was one of the best things I have ever done. There's nothing more reinforcing and confidence boosting than a gathering of your best clients singing your praises to everyone else. One client, in front of everyone, said that a particular estate attorney had given him the names of the only two advisors in the city that he trusted. I was one of those names! I never knew what this attorney really thought until that moment. I know for certain that there are many other trustworthy advisors in Baton Rouge. However, to hear it from the mouth of the client...well....it was worth more than gold (even at current prices!). A good reputation should be the goal of every advisor.

When I went independent, one goal was to create a practice that was different. Not different for difference’s sake, but better. I sought to do things that other advisors weren't doing, but also provide services that clients were seeking. I wanted those clients to walk away with the feeling that I am trustworthy, proficient at what I do, offer something unique and give them the attention they deserve. If these items are what I am measured by, then at least with these clients, I have succeeded.

Advisor Coach

I have been holding meetings with an advisor coach lately. My focus over the past six months has been on evaluating and refining my business instead of growing it. I suppose that's okay at some point, but now growing my business has bubbled up to the top of the list. I'd like to double my business over the next 12-18 months and my coach has some good ideas to accomplish this. The funny thing is that I've heard many of his ideas before, but had forgotten them. Don't misunderstand, he also has several new ideas for me as well. I think it will help me to refocus my efforts. If you'd like his name and number let me know.

Outside Managers

How many of you have delegated the task of portfolio management to an outside firm? How many of you do all of this in house? I've been giving consideration to outsourcing this, but I have a concern. If the markets start to plummet, will they make adjustments quickly to avoid large losses? This is important to me, as avoiding losses is a prime focus.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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