• Review client goals: Assess whether clients who ask if they should move their money from fixed instruments to securities can afford to sustain a change in their position. Also, be sure to identify the money the person wants to protect from market risk.

–W. Andrew Unkefer, Unkefer & Associates Inc., Glendale, Ariz.

  • Let the planning mentality rule: Consumers tend to feel scared (in down markets) and greedy (in up markets). Some may therefore ignore or reject the advisors advice, if it counters their new mood. But advisors who help clients focus on long-term financial planning models–and stay with the plan–will help clients achieve what they need to achieve. The advisor must set this tone.

–Frank Gencarelli, GE Financial Retirement Services Group, Richmond, Va.

  • Diversify: The problem is, too many clients make market moves at the wrong time. A better approach is to diversify and stay on track. To do that, people need a process and a plan, and an advisor who can tie it together.

–Katherine Hunter, Pacific Life Insurance Company, Newport Beach, Calif.

  • Maintain integrity: If an advisor gives advice that the client doesnt like, some clients may go away disappointed or angry. But remember you are not all things to all people. Dont compromise your values. Many clients later come around, often because of that.”

–David Miller, Pareto Systems, Ottawa, Ont., Canada

  • Explore options: For example, consider whether the client might be better off moving money out of existing securities that have rebounded in value and into the safety of a fixed or indexed annuity–in order to lock in gains from the recent rally.

–W. Andrew Unkefer, Unkefer & Associates, Inc., Glendale, Ariz.

  • Educate: Provide clients with ongoing communication and information about what is happening. Do this during all parts of the market cycle. This builds trust and shows that the advisor is concerned about what is best for the client.

–David Miller, Pareto Systems, Ottawa, Ont., Canada


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, February 13, 2004. Copyright 2004 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.