Dear young advisor: Don’t tell me you know what I mean, because you don’t. Don’t even tell me you understand how I am thinking, because you don’t. And be careful trying to advise me if you don’t know what “cc” stands for and have never even seen a real carbon copy.
You should be more respectful of your elders–and by that, I mean baby boomers.
Remember that we boomers came of age when everything was possible, and pills solved a lot of that–that’s legitimate medicine, not street drugs, by the way.
But today, we have learned that not as much is possible as we had thought. And we are in the uncomfortable position of not being able to consult our mentors about what to do, since many are dead or unable to communicate effectively, and those who are still alert have other things to worry about.
So we are looking for advisors in new places.
Take health care: We have learned to seek younger physicians who will be around to take care of us as we age and who are up to date on the latest treatments because they have recently been in medical school.
But with insurance and financial advice, we need a different approach–because in this area, I am more concerned with what to do tomorrow than with a long-lasting relationship, at least at the start. If you are young, that’s okay. But please heed my six tips on how you can get my attention and, maybe, become my financial advisor.
Listen. Like anyone else, I like a good listener. I also like someone who takes some notes. I have worked with many young people over the years. They seem to think they can remember everything I say to them. But I know better. No one is that good. So while you are listening, warm the cockles of my heart and have a yellow pad handy on which you take notes.
Provide thoughtful analysis. Don’t pretend that you can solve my problems without some thoughtful analysis. It took me 60 years of living to get into this financial mess, and it’s going to take more than just an hour of talking with me to figure a way out.
So don’t give me a knee-jerk solution. I would like you to take your notes home with you, chew on them, and wake up in the middle of the night thinking about them and me. Then do some good worrying about what you might recommend to me. I want you to feel my pain, even if I think you can’t understand it.