Why I Stopped Having Client Meetings After Hours
As a Financial Advisor, hours can be challenging. In an effort to please and keep our clients happy is not unusual in the industry to hold meetings at the clients’ convenience. It could be at 7PM on a Wednesday, or maybe at noon on a Saturday.
This works great for clients. And works great for some advisors as well (specially those who sell products for a living, but that’s a discussion for another time).
It worked for me for a while. But not anymore.
A lot of what I do is centered about helping our clients identify their values and priorities and live in accordance to them. We talk a lot about the intersection of congruence and happiness, about mindfulness and balance, about enjoying life and using your resources in the best possible way to do it.
My clients love talking about this. And they specially like going through the process. They really like how this little change of focus gives them much more joy and allows them to focus on what truly matters to them. As a result, our meetings are not focused about what the S&P or the Dow did last quarter, or about what may (or may not) happen if X or Y occur. Our meetings are more about life. About their goals. About their process. About family. About what they care about the most. Does this mean that they don’t care about their portfolios anymore? Not at all. It means that their portfolios are seen as a tool, rather than as an end. A portfolio is just a portion of their plans, instead of the focus of it.
Which brings me back to my initial point.
I have two beautiful children (3 and almost 1) and a fabulous wife. They’re the most important part of my life. I can’t, in good conscience, tell my clients to live in accordance to their values if I don’t do so myself.
I cherish every minute I spend with my family. Every bedtime story. Every family dinner. Every opportunity I have to play with them in the backyard or going to get an ice cream is a very, very important moment for me. And I want to spend as much time as I can with them. Why? Because my dad wasn’t around. I knew he loved me, but he had to work, and was most of the time out of town. He missed a lot of moments. Not birthday parties, or holiday celebrations, but he missed the little things. And I know how I felt about it. I don’t want to do that to my children.
So, please excuse me if you want to meet me after hours and I say no. Now you know why.
I’d be very happy to meet you early in the morning on any weekday. Or anytime during office hours. Same thing if you send me an email, or a text message. Unless it’s extremely important, I’m sure it can wait a few hours.
I love my job, and I love my clients, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I love my family even more.
I hope more of my colleagues pick up on this, because our families are important, they’re, at the end, the reason we get out of bed in the morning.
My name is Miguel Gomez, CFP®. I’m a Fee-Only Financial Advisor. If you’d like to talk and experience the values & money process, send me a message or give me a call at (915) 747–3354. You can also follow me on Facebook.