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3 Things Every Investor Thinks About


At Pasadena-based Western International Securities, management works with a virtual army of employed and independent financial advisers serving clients all over the country. Advisers have access to an extensive list of products ranging from annuities to securities to fixed income assets. Each of them walks that thin line between bringing new assets into the company and helping investors reach their financial goals.

Financial advisors work with a full range of clients who need varying kinds of advice depending on their circumstances and goals. To say that a financial advisor will recommend one thing to a specific client and something completely different to another should be obvious. Less obvious to advisors are the thoughts running through clients’ minds.

There are three things every investor thinks about, whether voiced or not. Financial advisors who account for these things in their conversations will find it easier to gain the trust of their clients and develop long-term relationships with them. Advisers who ignore these things tend to have a challenging time building a solid client base.

So, what are the three things every investor thinks about? They can be framed in the following questions:

  • Can you help me with financial planning?

Low-volume investors are most likely to wonder what kind of advice they are actually getting. Many come into the relationship expecting retirement planning along with investment advice. After all, that’s why they are investing to begin with. However, it does not take long for consumers to realize that most of the advice they are being given is straight up investment advice.

This is not necessarily a problem as long as clients know what they are getting into from the onset. Financial advisors are primarily investment advisors, and clients are okay with that as long as they know up front. If they go into a relationship expecting retirement planning assistance and do not get it, that’s an entirely different matter.

  • How much am I really being charged?

In the back of every investor’s mind is that nagging question about how much they are being charged for the advice received. Of course, there are all those other fees and charges investors have to worry about. The big problem in many cases is that investors are afraid to voice their concerns. Many will not ask how much they are being charged. Unfortunately, not a lot of financial advisers freely offer that information either.

  • How do I know I am getting the best advice?

Lastly, investors routinely have doubts about the advice they are getting. They understand that financial advisors are not perfect and that their advice does not necessarily counteract all the volatility inherent to investing. But at the same time, there are always those nagging questions about whether the investor could be doing better or not.

Of the three questions, this one might be most important. Why? Because an investor who gets to feeling that his or her financial advisor is not offering the best possible advice is one who will begin suspecting that individual’s motives. Then it is only a short leap to severing that relationship and looking for a new advisor.

The task for companies like Western International Securities and their financial advisors is to find a way to freely talk about these things without jeopardizing the advisor-client relationship. Clients need to have as much information as possible to maintain confidence in their advisors along with the kind of trust needed to make sound investment decisions in any market.

In the end, it is all about transparency. Investors have questions they may not be willing to actually ask; the best advisers anticipate those questions and preemptively answer them.

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