The financial services profession is generally highly lucrative, ensuring that financial professionals do not need to worry about their own financial well-being.
But there is a catch to this prosperity.
From the very first day they join our industry to their last day of employment, a financial services professional will face a critical question: Will my actions today align with my client’s best interests?
There’s no middle ground.
You see, our industry is lucrative so that we never have to put our own interests ahead our clients. So how does a financial services professional know whether their actions are aligned with their client’s best interests?
The answer is simple.
If you are a professional and your actions do not CLEARLY line up with your client’s best interests, then you are not acting in their best interests. Notice that I have taken out the ambiguity here. You are either CLEARLY in the right zone or you are not.
If you are a financial services professional, you face two major roadblocks to protecting client’s interests.
The First Roadblock: You.
Are you acting properly? Can you take the simple test above and answer that you are clearly working in your clients’ best interests? If not, you should consider some serious soul-searching and a change in your business practices.
The Second Roadblock: Your Company.
What if your company has policies and procedures that you know are not in your clients’ best interests? In this case your choice is to fight or to leave. Neither choice is easy.
At the end of your career, you will be remembered as either one who tirelessly protected and nurtured your clients or one who protected yourself and your employer?
Our industry needs more professionals who will clearly look out for their clients…at any cost.
Fred Martin is the Chief Investment Officer at Disciplined Growth Investors and is a 32-year veteran of the money management business. He is the founder of Objective Measure, a conference based in Minneapolis that is bringing clarity and trust to the financial services industry and providing tools for effective financial leadership.
To find out more about Fred Martin or The Objective Measure Conference, click here.