You’re looking for more than a number-cruncher when seeking integrated financial planning services. This is because you’re essentially seeking a partner in a very critical area of your life—your financial future. And much like any other meaningful relationship, the foundation isn’t just built on expertise but also on mutual values and shared culture.
Simon Sinek once said, ‘A culture is strong when people work with each other for each other. A culture is weak when people work against each other for themselves.’
You might wonder, ‘What does culture have to do with my financial planning journey?’
The answer is quite simple: culture reflects how we approach financial planning, relationships, and even conflict resolution. It’s not just ‘the way we do things around there’ but also ‘what happens when no one else is around.’
A financial adviser with a strong culture puts your interests at the forefront, even when no one is watching.
Why Culture Matters to Your Financial Planning
Guided Decision-making: Financial planning isn’t just about returns; it’s about achieving your life goals in a manner that resonates with your values. A planner or adviser with core values aligned with yours makes the decision-making process simpler and more harmonious.
Long-term Relationships: You want a financial adviser who isn’t just a transactional figure but someone you can grow with. Core values can make or break long-term relationships, and those who share your values will likely better understand your evolving needs.
Client Compatibility: Just like how a firm seeks clients who fit their culture, you should seek a firm whose culture you fit into. Financial planning is a two-way street; being on the same wavelength with your adviser makes the journey smoother.
Higher Quality Service: A financial planning firm with a strong culture is more likely to have a team that goes above and beyond for its clients. It means their advisory service will be as focused on people as it is on portfolios.
Trust and Stability: In a firm where the culture is strong, advisers work with each other for the greater good of the client. This sense of stability and trustworthiness adds another layer of reliability to your financial plans.
So, how can you determine a firm’s culture before becoming a client? Pay attention to their communication style, how they handle challenges, and the kind of questions they ask you. Are they merely transactional or genuinely invested in understanding your life goals? Do they discuss their core values and how those align with their services?
Remember, culture isn’t a tagline on a website or a poster on the wall; it’s lived every day. Beyond the performance metrics and testimonials, consider the culture. Because at the end of the day, your financial future doesn’t solely depend on market performance but also on a shared vision and set of values that guide how that performance is achieved.