What Keeps You Up At Night?
This can be a daunting question but we attempt to ask it of all of our current and potential clients. The answers we hear are very diverse and obviously are affected by each person's life to that point and their vision of what they anticipate in the future. Most times the conversations are around some uncertainty about their future. Nonetheless, the answers offer us insight into the minds of our clients and tend to form the beginning of the basis of our relationship and the resulting recommendations we may suggest.
To drill even deeper, we ask the trilogy question "What 3 issues concern you most about your financial future"? Once again the answers are diverse and the conversation can become lively. There are no standard answers and obviously financial stability is a concern to many. Sometimes these probing questions in the case of married couples, gets them talking about issues that they may have been thinking about but never vocalized with each other let alone discussed with someone else.
What I find interesting is that many people worry more about health issues and not the financial markets. People worry about family not finances and their children not performance. Grandchildren not interest rates. Travel not asset allocation. Divorce for a child not types of life insurance. They worry about continuity of operations for the family business if the founder dies or wants to retire not fees for service. Many of our meetings in our conference room do not include any discussions about portfolios. Granted, the portfolios of our client, the asset allocation, the performance and the fees are all very important. Those issues do not seem to be keeping our clients up at night. The non-financial matters seem to be the insomnia generators.
I often do this same exercise internally with my own thoughts. Many of my concerns mirror that of most of our clients including the uncertainty with health, our children and their future children (God willing). After thinking long and hard about the "What keeps ME up at night?" question, it became very obvious. I've gotta go! The real question is "What keeps YOU up at night"?
Until the Next Tom's Take...