February, 2016 | nVest Advisors

Beware the Sketchy Salesperson: 10 signs you should do business elsewhere

Nearly every investment professional built their book of business by winning their client accounts away from another advisor or firm. It’s just how the business is done, unfortunately. If you have assets, we in the financial industry will all be in competition to be the manager of those assets. Whether it’s your bank or credit union, your insurance agent, a registered rep in a brokerage firm, or an independent firm like nVest Advisors, we’re all competing to earn and keep your business by offering a unique value proposition based on product, price, and service. Sometimes the competition for your dollars makes the agent or rep feel the need to use questionable, even unethical, tactics to try to win your business. In the process of earning new clients’ business and hearing how and why they were in the products they were sold, I’ve heard clients relay some real whoppers. I’ve also been in competitive situations where multiple companies are talking to the same pool of prospects, and have heard many of them first-hand. It’s fine, I suppose, to always put your product or service in the best possible light. Here at nVest Advisors, we have a company creed of Aggressive Honesty as a primary sales strategy. That means, we’re eager to be transparent and we proactively identify our own strengths and weaknesses to the best of our ability. Granted, not all firms believe you should always tell the client what they need to hear (rather than what they want to hear), but there needs to be a clear line where acceptable “spin” ends and deception begins. The bottom line is, every product, company, and yes, financial professional, has various pros and cons. Accentuating your strengths isn’t unethical. Handling objections isn’t unethical. Lying, whether by direct statement or by omission, most certainly is. As you talk with financial pros, all of whom want your business, here are a few (sadly) common sales tactics used by sketchy salesperson that should, at least, raise your suspicion. (And at worst, should have the agent or broker run out of the industry, in my opinion.)  

Staying Sane: An nVest primer for handling volatility

As a pro who’s been in the business for some time, I find it hard to get riled up anymore about market corrections. They come and they go. They present great buying and selling opportunities, but little else. However, I know that clients do get nervous – after all, how can you not become panicky when you see headlines screaming doom and gloom about the economy? Yesterday evening, Yahoo Finance declared, “Wall Street Slammed as Investors Flee to Safety”. To further lure the reader in, we are treated to photos like the one below, showing an institutional floor trader (note that I didn’t say “investor”) having a really bad day.   So how bad was the so-called “slamming” the top three investment indexes took on Thursday? The DJIA was “panic-stricken”, and down all of 1.6%. The S&P 500 was “battered”… a mere 1.23%. And NASDAQ took it in the shorts for a whopping 0.39%. I hope my sarcasm comes through. If not, let me say it clearly: the only horror that happened today was media created, initiated, and propagandized. True, the markets were down. Slightly. They’ve been down, in correction territory, for about six weeks. This is a natural, normal, highly regular occurrence in the equity markets. But that sort of truth, sadly, doesn’t sell newspapers. So what can you do to stay sane during times like this? Well, for starters, unless you are in this business or make a living day-trading, do your best to avoid the daily drama of the CNBC “horse race”. Markets go up and down, but over enough time, always up. For nearly every average investor, the kind nVest Advisors was created for, today, this week, even this month, mean absolutely nothing to your long-term investing goals. Here are some of my friendly tips to help you have a better holiday weekend, and for the next few weeks:   

February 12th, 2016|Categories: Behavioral Finance, Company News, From our CEO, Investing General, Investment Markets|
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