Cover art for podcast The Agile Financial Planner

The Agile Financial Planner

18 EpisodesProduced by Roger WhitneyWebsite

In the Agile Financial Planner podcast, Roger Whitney, CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, RMA®, AIF® helps financial advisors build and grow the practices of their dreams. Whether you are trying to grow, scale, or even start a financial planning practice, you can build a practice that serves you and your family, w… read more


What is the True Role of a Financial Advisor? Ep #12

What is your true role as a financial advisor? On this episode of The Agile Financial Planner we’ll examine the decision making process so you can learn how to help your clients make better decisions in the future. You’ll learn how to create a framework to lead your clients to make informed financial decisions. We’ll also examine whether you are more of a financial advisor or a commissioned sales person. Learn what you can do to best serve your clients and help them make informed financial decisions by listening to this episode of The Agile Financial Planner. 

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:22] I recently chatted with someone who was used to working with a financial advisor who was really more of a commissioned salesperson
  • [4:50] What is our role as true financial advisors?
  • [10:12] Tools you can use
What should the true role of a financial advisor be?

Financial advisors can also be commissioned salespeople who distribute financial products. This role calls into question their intentions. Are they really there to serve their clients and help them make the best financial choices, or are they more interested in earning commissions? Fee-only financial advisors aren’t perfect either. We also have a vested interest in selling our own services, whether it’s hourly, retainer, or AUM. So what can we do as true advisors? How can we be a profession rather than a sales industry?

How do we create a framework for our clients to make better financial decisions?

Unfortunately, in finance there are no right or wrong choices. This is why it is so important to create a framework to make those choices. Your client encounters so many types of financial decisions. But if they have a solid framework to analyze their choices this can help them make decisions that align with their goals. Our role as true financial advisors is to inform our clients so we can help them make better financial decisions. 

How can we a profession rather than a sales industry?

You don’t want your clients to constantly question your motives. They need to know that you have their best interests at heart. There are 3 things you can consider to ensure that you are serving your clients as a true financial advisor. 

  1. Be open about any conflicts of interest. 
  2. Approach life with an open hand. 
  3. Step away from the optimization myth. 

Financial planning is not a hard science, it’s a human science. Remember we are always dealing with incomplete information. How are you ensuring that you are a true advisor and not just a salesperson to your clients?

Tools you can use to help you become a better financial advisor

I love the book, Atomic Habits, by James Clear. It’s a great book for teaching you how to think about your own habits and decisions. Many people don’t know this, but you can also get a journal to go along with the book. This journal is an excellent tool that you can use to implement the strategies laid out in Clear’s book. Listen in to learn how you can use the book and the journal to help you become a better financial planner. 

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