Mother Knows Best

Shelley Yates, Communications Senior Advisor
June 26, 2018

My dad may be the one with all the licenses and designations, and I may be the one that can explain technical financial services jargon in plain English, but my mom is the one who taught both of us the most important lessons about being financial advisors:

Know your value. A computer algorithm can manage money, but a financial advisor has to do a lot more than that. In a Financial Planning magazine study, highly satisfied clients identified what aspects of their advisors led to their satisfaction: hustle, avoiding surprises, emotional warmth, active communication, listening skills and client focus. Impressive pedigrees didn’t even make the list. Know who you are and what you offer – and own it.

Pick your battles. Is it more important to win or be happy? Whether it’s a client who follows your advice or an employee who always stumbles over a certain task, sometimes letting it go feels better than winning.

Don’t forget your earrings. I used to think my mom was nagging when she’d remind me to put earrings on before I left the house. Now I know she was just reminding me to always put my best self forward. Sometimes other people know your wealth management brand better than you know yourself.

Treat yourself. Studies have shown that happy employees are productive employees. Set the example in your office by treating yourself with what makes you happy, whether it’s a daily Starbucks run or a new tablet. Or, set a new production goal for yourself, and reward yourself for achieving it. You deserve it.

There’s a lid for every pot. Mom might have been talking about dating, but it’s true for investing too. Everyone – young, old, rich, poor – has unique financial needs that can be met by a custom financial plan. It’s your job to help your clients find the lids to their pots.

Laissez les bon temps rouler, which is Cajun French for “Let the good times roll.” In other words, know how to have a good time. This isn’t just important in south Louisiana where I grew up. Award-winning event planner Emily James, who is also a wise mom, explains how to throw an easy and successful client event.

As the only one in my family that doesn’t work in the financial services industry, my mother isn’t normally who I think of as the expert financial advisor of the family. However, when it comes to becoming a fantastic financial advisor – “mother knows best.”

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