The Important Role a Financial Advisor Plays
By Paul Grace - Founder | Principal
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss what defines a financial advisor/wealth manager at the highest level. And then I want to let you know why I think our firm’s Principal Advisor, Chris Winkler, is so good at doing this job.
First, let’s talk about what an excellent financial advisor does for you. The essence of this job is to be a trusted financial coach. In the world of Aspirean Wealth, an important foundation of our coaching is the transmission to our clients what science/research/data teaches us about how to invest in capital markets so that we can attain realistic financial goals for you over the course of your life.
The puzzle about how to invest over the long-term has been solved by the academics. The marketplace has created the mechanisms for it to be applied to a client’s investments, and we are the coaches that transmit this information to you so that you can benefit. Coaching is needed because the science may not at first be intuitive. Coaching is also needed over time, because the discipline required to follow the science often is difficult because of our various cognitive and emotional biases, which if left unchecked, can easily lead a person to do the wrong thing at the wrong time with their investments. Investing properly takes discipline, and discipline usually is easiest to stick to with the help of the right coach.
We can use the analogy of the doctor-patient relationship. A good doctor provides you with the science and data of what is known about your medical condition. Your doctor provides you with probabilities of various medical options that are available to you to attain a certain medical goal. She/he will then work with you to pick a plan that is right for you and then help you stick with that plan. For example, if your blood pressure is too high, you will be given the information about what is probably going to happen to you if you do nothing. Then you may be given the option of changing your lifestyle to reduce your weight (for example) or you may be given the option to take blood pressure medication. A good doctor will explain the positives and negatives of any course of action. This same coaching relationship applies in the world of athletics, education etc.
The key to a good coach is that the coach needs to be connected to you, needs to have your best interests at heart, needs to have your respect. If these things are absent, then the fundamental trust that makes it all work will be missing. The coach will not be able to coach.
Second, I want to share with you my own experience with Chris, both personally and professionally. I have known him for seven years. From the moment that we met I knew that I trusted and respected him. So much so that we decided that we wanted to become partners and join our two successful advisory businesses together to form one firm. Thus, Aspirean Wealth was born a year ago. Since that time, I have seen “up close” how Chris treats everyone he meets—with respect, intelligence, and concern. We are both committed to the same academic investment philosophy, and it has been a great pleasure to see how Chris has connected with many of our West Coast clients that we met with during 2022. I trust that those of you who just met Chris with me recently realize the kind of person he is both highly skilled technically, and a sincere, caring person who connects. I feel certain that those of you from the Midwest who have known Chris for some time will recognize what I am saying here. You are blessed to have Chris “in your corner” and being there for you. For those of you who in the Bay area who have not yet met Chris, I am excited for you to have that opportunity at some point in the future.
We are honored you have chosen us to be your Financial Advisor partner. It is a stewardship we all take seriously. As our team continues to evolve, we continue to reflect upon what you are counting on us to be for you.