When looking for the right financial advisor, a few things are of utmost importance including: are they a fiduciary, and what conflicts of interest exist, especially regarding how they get paid. But it goes beyond these details. You want to find your person – a professional who gets you, listens to you, and gives you great personalized advice. Sometimes you can’t put a name to it, but you know it when you meet them – you just…click.
One of our investing partners, Dimensional Fund Advisors, wrote this piece in 2019 regarding their partnership with financial advisors, and we think it’s a great list to use when finding (or re-evaluating) your financial advisor. We are also proud to live these 10 attributes at Rising Financial, and we’d love to tell you more about it!
This year,* Dimensional is celebrating 30 years of working with financial advisors, a collaboration that helped change the way the world thinks about investing. To recognize that impact, we have compiled 30 ways that investors can benefit from the industry’s transformation. – Dave Butler, Co-CEO, Dimensional Fund Advisors. This is the third of a four-part series.
They have a clear mission to serve clients and help them meet their goals
Great Advisors want to do great work for their clients. They stake their business on doing the right thing – and know that business success will follow.
They know they cannot effectively serve clients without genuinely relating to them.
To serve well, an advisor must assume a client’s perspective. Empathetic advisors put themselves in their client’s shoes and work to understand what matters most to them.
They reveal their true selves to clients
Effective advisors elevate the connection with clients by revealing their own personal stories. A willingness to be transparent and vulnerable helps build client trust and encourages real communication.
They continue to search for the most robust solutions for clients
Great advisors are on a continual path of professional improvement. They are lifelong learners, open to new ideas, and committed to honing their technical knowledge and skills.
They work hard to uncover what’s truly meaningful to their clients.
Engaged advisors also have mastered the personal side of advice. They ask probing questions to better understand their client’s views on money and life before creating a plan.
They listen more than they talk.
Active listening encourages clients to reveal their deeper thoughts – and often, an advisor’s best answer is to ask a question that sparks creative analysis and self-discovery.
Their unwavering desire to do well for others drives constant improvement.
A strong sense of conviction to do right by clients compels great advisors to continue honing their craft and ultimately enhance the value clients receive.
They run their practice as a business and plan strategically for the future.
Advisors can better serve clients when they run successful firms. Just as they encourage financial responsibility in their clients, top advisors apply a high standard to managing their own enterprise.
They set realistic expectations about controllable actions and probable outcomes.
While the best advice may not be easy to hear, great advisors communicate essential truths about money and investing so that clients have realistic expectations about their wealth.
They don’t let market swings or media messages drive impulsive actions.
Effective advisors know the importance of preparing clients to navigate changing markets and apply discipline at crucial times, which can lead to a more enjoyable and promising financial journey.
*Originally published October 9, 2019
Dimensional Fund Advisors, LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Dimensional” refers to the Dimensional separate but affiliated entities generally, rather than to one particular entity. These entities are Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Dimensional Fund Advisors Ltd., Dimensional Ireland Limited, DFA Australia Limited, Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada ULC, Dimensional Fund Advisors Pte. Ltd., Dimensional Japan Ltd., and Dimensional Hong Kong Limited. Dimensional Hong Kong Limited is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission to conduct Type 1 (dealing in securities) regulated activities only and does not provide asset management services.