What can you do when it seems that too much transparency is hindering an advisor-client relationship? Consider the case of a client who is obsessive about tracking his investments almost continuously—which is easy to do on the Internet. He calls or e-mails his advisor every day asking about this or that news flash as a reason to buy or sell.
• Matt Lynch: This illustrates that the very basis between the client and the advisor needs to be defined better. If the client likes to keep score every day, and wants the advisor to outperform the market, it sounds like the goals of the client and the advisor are not aligned. The advisor needs to spell out with clarity what services will be provided and on what basis. Let’s be clear about the nature of the relationship, the value exchange, and how often we will have contact. Is this just a transaction relationship, or an advisory relationship? If you spell that out clearly, then the client is free to say, “I want this” or “I don’t want that.” Today, there’s a lot of bundling of financial services, so clients might be getting things they don’t want, or not getting them but still paying for them.