For decades, Chris Dixon ran companies in the finance sector. A few years ago, he sold his business and wanted to be smart with the proceeds. As he spoke with various advisors, he felt that too many were trying to sell him products rather than laying out a complete plan. Sensing a void in the market, Dixon decided to fill it himself. Read on for his thoughts on building trust, the dynamic nature of financial products and the importance of asking questions.
On keeping an open mind I don’t have any preconceived notions when someone comes in. I hate to say it, but I see people every day who only offer or push one product. I often say, “Cinderella’s slipper only fits Cinderella.”
Anytime I get to the recommendation stage with a client, I always offer at least three products. And, I tell everybody up front that all products out there on the market, every single one, have good, bad and ugly in it. My job is to tell you about all the good, bad and ugly on the front side so you can make an intelligent decision. Most people who have money or who’ve saved money don’t want to be sold, they want to buy. I don’t sell; I educate and let people buy.
On working with seniors I feel seniors are the most patriotic demographic that’s ever been in the United States. And every single one I’ve run across, they’re just good, wholesome people. They didn’t live the way a lot of folks today live — paycheck to paycheck. They saved money; they had a plan in place; they saved some of every paycheck. And now they’re looking for advice for the distribution phase.
On trust There are a lot of people out there who just don’t do the job the right way. So there’s negative press about the Bernie Madoffs of the world. I tell everybody that I want them to get to the point where they trust me, but I want to earn that trust because trust is earned and not given. I tell clients, “Bring your statements and fill out your questionnaire before you come to our first meeting with me but hold that back until I earn your trust. If I don’t earn it in the first meeting, I’ll earn it in the second meeting.”