It is a fair question to ask your financial advisor if he or she “eats their own cooking.” In other words, do they invest in the same way that they advise their clients to invest? If so, it shows that they have strong enough beliefs about investing to follow their own advice. That would be a comforting feeling if I were in a client’s chair.
We could take it a step further, though, and ask an advisor (continuing the food analogy): Do you follow the recipe? In other words, do you have a plan for how to get to the desired result. As someone who can’t help but plan for every eventuality, I think this is an even more important question than asking about the investments. If a professional tells you they will help you meet goals, make decisions, and understand your situation, are they disciplined enough to do it themselves when it counts?
Who Needs a Plan? We do. You do.
I mention this because Katie and I were invited to be guests on a podcast hosted by our friend, Steve Sanduski, entitled Between Now and Success. Steve had come to know how we were planning our business in a very purposeful way and wanted to explore our methods for the benefit of his national audience.
To summarize an hour’s worth of conversation, we have thought very deeply about what it takes to serve the families who trust us now and those who may come to us in the future. We know that being good planners and investors will help a lot of people, but we also know that firms like ours hit stumbling blocks along the way. They fail to plan for growth. Some firms fail to use technology to improve the client experience. They fail to develop talented people. From our inception we have embraced the idea that Morton Brown Family Wealth could grow accidentally. There are too many people in need, and the number of qualified advisors is shrinking. As advisors, we need to have both the ability and the capacity to serve. We need to be prepared.
How we plan
We started with a Creed that defined our values and focused our efforts on helping families make confident decisions. Then we started building Playbooks that helped us articulate what we do, how we do it, and deliver on those promises. The client experience should be consistent and robust. Our Playbooks have focused our attention on both of those goals. The result is a living, breathing plan that evolves with every new day, much like the financial plans that we create for our clients.
Financial decisions are too important to not have a plan. Our work here is too important to not have a plan. We follow the recipe and eat our own cooking. We are happy to pull back the curtain and share some of the work that goes on behind the scenes.