Traditional planners, agents, and advisors are primarily transactional. Their goal is simple – they want to sell you financial products. In some cases, the products they promote may be exactly what you need. But in many more cases, the products they promote could serve their needs better than yours.
You work hard for your money. You deserve an unbiased financial strategist who considers your needs above and beyond completing a sale. A strategist is with you for the long term. They work with clients for years, helping them to optimize their money and wealth-building game through effective strategies.
A strategist is hard to find, so how do you know whether you are working with one?
Ask yourself these 6 questions:
Question # 1
Are you just buying financial solutions?
The transactional agent generally focuses on immediate challenges to specific problems instead of taking a holistic approach toward achieving multiple goals. A strategist, on the other hand, considers all your goals and builds a roadmap to success, even taking into account goals you haven’t verbalized. It’s similar to the difference between an ER doctor focused on immediate injuries and a primary care physician who addresses overall health. If you are in debt, a strategist helps you pinpoint the root cause, often solving multiple problems.
Question # 2
Who’s the agent working for?
If you are not paying the bill, then the agent almost certainly isn’t working for you. Instead, he or she is working for the company that provides the product you’re buying. A strategist, on the other hand, is your personal consultant. Since you’re paying for the services, there is no conflict of interest. Your needs come first.
Question # 3
So you think you’re safe with your banker?
Think again. Many bankers are transactional agents. First, they will sell you anything to tap out your entire credit capacity. They have no regard for what you can afford. For example, bankers issue loans after collecting just enough financial information to protect the bank’s interest. They are not concerned with whether you eat or travel or have future plans. Profiting off your money is their game.
Question # 4
Do you get an annual financial check-up?
If not, you are most likely dealing with a transactional agent. A transactional agent only calls when there’s a problem. A strategist, though, will make it part of their job to routinely check in on your progress. He or she will help advance your financial education and stay focused on your success.
Question # 5
Who’s talking about risks and making sure you take on what you can manage?
It sounds good when you have access to lots of cash, but look out. The transactional agent will only disclose as much information as the law requires. A strategist will explain what you’re risking and guide you toward the best decision for you. I’m sure you know people who bought houses they couldn’t afford and lost them to foreclosure. This is a tragedy of working with a transactional agent.
Question # 6
Do you take away a written plan that is easy to follow?
Many plans consist of complex financial jorgan and worksheets that ultimately collect dust. Not all plans are equal. A one-page business plan that is referred to daily, for example, is much more effective than a 100-page plan that no one follows. A good plan is easy to execute.
An Unnecessary Struggle
Monica was ambitious and smart. She graduated college top of her class and almost immediately landed a prestigious position with an amazing company. After working hard and saving for several years, she decided to look into meeting with a financial advisor. A friend from work recommended a local agent, so she made the call.
Her excitement for wealth building quickly turned into frustration. It seemed that the agent was quite intent on persuading Monica to do a cash-out refinance on her home that she didn’t want, and was always trying to convince her to buy some new kind of insurance. When Monica tried to talk to her agent about her budgeting goals and long term retirement plans, the conversation fell flat.
Fortunately, Monica told her family about her struggle at a holiday gathering, and her sister recommended that she work with a financial strategist instead. With some hesitation, she contacted CleveDoesMore to see if there truly was a better way. After just two conversations, Monica couldn’t believe how different the approach was. No one was trying to sell her things she didn’t want and there was truly a focus on long term planning. Within just a few weeks, she had an easy to follow financial roadmap all worked out and had learned a few simple strategies to increase her ability to save money.
Say “Yes” to Strategy
At CleveDoesMore, our method isn’t for everyone. Our favorite clients aren’t the richest people. Instead, they’re the people who take a proactive, strategic, and objective approach to sustain peak financial health. Their dreams are turned into plans and their plans become reality.
When you meet with us, we’ll show you how to achieve peak financial health through our 360 Degree Financial Blueprint strategic planning process. This has been time tested and proven true to the point we back it with our $500 Fix guarantee. We are confident that you will find at least $500 that you never knew you had. In many cases, our clients uncover tens of thousands of dollars.