For each of our clients and client families we make certain that we "chase" them down for a review at least once every six months. Sometimes they really don't have a need to see us, but for us it is important to try and keep up with any changes in their lives that might render a change in investment strategy.
Importantly, they talk directly with me, the guy who signed them up (or Paul, our CFA and Portfolio Manager or Bianca, our CFP professional or a combination of all three of us). So many of our newer clients have come to us complaining that they never got to speak to their advisor (other priorities perhaps), but are relegated to a junior member of the staff.
We make it very clear in our Our Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Stewardship of Your Wealth:
We will always:
Make ourselves available for ongoing reviews, updates and anything else you may want to discuss
You won't get that with a large advisory practice (unless you have priority, which means you that you are a multi-million dollar client) and you certainly won't get that with with a Robo-advisor.
At High Rock, you get to speak with who you want, when you want because we believe in the importance of the relationship.
As I stated earlier, some clients we have to chase: Bianca has a standing instruction not to let a particular client off of the phone when he calls to advise on the amount of his monthly deposit because otherwise I can't get him to set up an appointment.
Then there was the review that I had this morning that gave me the title for my blog. It happened at the end of our discussion on how we had rebuilt her portfolio back in 2015 (because it was previously in a "one size fits all" type of portfolio before moving over) into a very specifically tailored portfolio. Yet another ofOur Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Stewardship of Your Wealth points under theFinancial Planning heading:
We will always:
Treat each individual client and / or client family independently of other clients in tailoring their investment strategy specifically to them
We turned it around nicely, avoided the volatility in 2016 and have her well ahead of her target for this year. Others who had similar portfolios (same advisor) were crushed in 2015-2016 and are just getting back to break-even now. As I tell many of them, the unfortunate thing is that they just don't fully grasp the risk that they are carrying.
And in a non-discretionary advisory relationship, the advisor has no legal reason to be held accountable (if the initial transaction was deemed suitable at the time of the trade).
But we (High Rock) are held legally accountable because our discretionary portfolio management makes us a fiduciary.
So we will "just keep doing what we are doing" because it works for our clients.
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist