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Help Us Help You

Comprehensive Financial Services and the Hardware Guy – A little story about a common occurrence in the office of a Financial Advisor

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” - Unknownhammer and nails

A gentleman came in the other day to my office which is located in a bank. He didn’t like the CD rates and wanted to know what I had that was better. “Show me what you got!” he said. I chuckled and asked if I could tell him a little story before I answered him. He agreed and sat down for the story.

In terms of home improvement and repair, I am a jack of some trades, master of none. It is not what I do every day. When I run into a problem at home, I generally brainstorm a solution. I used to run into the hardware store, zoom by the owner, buy my gear and run home, generally not succeeding at my task. As an aside, I could always be counted on to save a bunch of money on items from the sale flyer.

Eventually, I learned to go straight to my Hardware Guy and see what he thinks before buying. Often he gets a good chuckle about my brainstorm, because I know enough “to be dangerous”. He will usually come up with a solution that is simpler and cheaper, more appropriate, and more prone to helping me achieve my goals. What I really appreciate, is when he tells me to not buy the tools but just to hire a professional, and he always has a good one to recommend.

So, to the gentleman in my office, I said I have some questions to ask, to get the big picture here. You are seeming to equate being a Financial Advisor to being a salesman the way I used to think about my Hardware Guy.  I would respectfully submit that I am not and that perspective could be hazardous to you achieving your goals.

To take the home repair analogy further, I don’t know if you need a hammer, or which kind, if at all. We might find out that you intend to nail 5000 nails a day. In that case, you won’t have a wrist left after the first day. What you might need is a nail gun. But really, while you are focused on your house siding, the big picture might be that your more pressing need is a new roof. Maybe what you need is a contractor to do one of those jobs. In fact, what if after reviewing your whole house, we actually came up with a list of projects and prioritized them by needs and wants. Some of those jobs must be done by professionals because you don’t have the time, the skills or the tools, and some can be done by you, and perhaps in your own timeframe. In the end, we might realize that although you came in wanting to be sold a hammer, what you really needed was a general contractor.

My role as a Financial Advisor providing Comprehensive Financial Services is to be your financial “general contractor”. I work side by side to know you, your goals, your wishes and your financial situation. Then my team and I help you to get your financial house in order and keep it that way. Sure, if I was a salesman I could just simply sell you a financial “hammer” with the rate you think you like, but that is not what we do.  To do so puts you at risk of the financial version of a worn out wrist and a leaky roof because you were impatient and I didn’t take the time to do my due diligence on your financial house before selling you a “tool”. That is a prescription for financial Frankenstein, with bits and pieces pasted on over time not aligned with any plan.

Please invest the time to help us help you.  By sharing your information and patiently allowing us to review your big picture, we may find that we need to bring in other “contractors”, as well as the tools (investment products) that are appropriate to do the job in the most efficient and effective manner.

Imagine your financial decisions and products all aligned with your values and goals. How does that sound to you?