Should Financial Advisors Expect More From Their Clients?

Should Financial Advisors Expect More From Their ClientsDo clients know what financial advisors expect of them? If not, tell them.

In the world of financial advisors and planning, much is written on the topic of what clients should expect from those they entrust with their finances. But on the other side of the coin, which is rarely spoken of, we find the expectations of financial advisors. As a financial advisor, have you clearly listed and communicated what is expected of the clients you choose to work with? Not doing so could potentially hurt your business and overwhelm your resources, leaving little time to spend on your ideal clients. Let’s explore this further…

In a recent article, advisor Larry Ginsburg talked about the process for firing clients and how he first heard of the concept at a conference 35 years earlier. Through the years, he realized his firms retained several clients who were considerably difficult. While their accounts were high-net worth accounts, Ginsburg realized dealing with these clients was taking up 60 percent of his time while only providing less than 10 percent of his revenue. After arranging for these clients to be advised through another firm, he went on to creating a set of standards for those he chose to work with.

While his dilemma is not uncommon in the world of independent broker dealers, it is often overlooked because expectations from the advisor are typically voiced rather than the other way around. This scenario highlights the need for advisors to be direct with clients – to learn not only what the client wants from you, but also for the client to understand what is required and expected of them.

Here are some expectations financial advisors may want to communicate early on with their clients:

  1. Clients will keep their scheduled appointments or communicate in a timely manner when unable to make their appointment.
  2. Clients should provide the advisor or his or her assistant with financial data in a timely manner.
  3. Requests for paperwork and other information will be responded to by clients in a timely manner.
  4. Clients should be open and honest about their situations, needs, desires, and financial goals.
  5. Clients will treat advisors and staff members with respect and dignity.
  6. Clients will be forthcoming when they are unhappy.
  7. Clients acknowledge and understand that certain tasks are not handled by the advisor but by staff members.
  8. Clients will make any requests within a reasonable time period.

Many independent broker dealers have found that by being direct with expectations of the client, and listening to what the client is looking for in an advisor, anxiety can be alleviated on both sides. Providing clients with these expectations upfront and gauging reactions may also help you in determining early on if you want to move forward with a client.

To learn more about client and advisor expectations, visit Summit Brokerage Services has been voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. Let us show you why! To experience the Summit difference, learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, and begin creating your financial planning documents, visit or call us at (800) 354-5528.

About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.


About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions.  Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations.  Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology.  For more information, visit

*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, and Summit Brokerage Services.


All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.


Content created by Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

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