Blog Series: The Master’s Difference

September 1st 2016, by Garrison R. North

Over the next four blogs, we will focus on what we call “The Master’s Difference.” We will discuss how our views differ from many others in our industry and what that means for you as a client of Master’s.This post will focus on how our method of developing your financial plan differs from the method used by many in our industry.

The financial services industry’s origins trace back to two groups of people: insurance salesmen and stock brokers. Both of these groups sold financial products, insurance policies and stocks. This product sales mentality still persists in our industry today.When the typical “advisor” gives a recommendation to a client, he talks at great length about the superlative attributes of a specific financial product, whether that be an insurance product, an annuity or an investment strategy, and then attempts to squeeze the client into the product or strategy he wants to sell.

Another common strategy is to ply the client with impressive-looking financial plans with beautifully prepared colored charts, graphs and analysis. These are designed to impress the client and help the advisor make the sale, but they have little to do with the client’s goals. At Master’s we start with your stated objectives and values when we build your plan. From there we develop a rationale and systematic strategy that moves you step by step in the pursuit of each of your individual objectives. We believe that financial products are necessary tools chosen to help you pursue your goals after a rationale and strategy have been established.  Financial products should be the last thing to consider, not the first.

While many advisors have already predetermined the product they want to sell you, we take the time to understand what you want to accomplish. The hard work comes in developing the rationale and strategy that will help you most effectively pursue each of your stated objectives. We unequivocally reject the sales-based origins of our industry and instead deliver thoughtful, client-focused financial planning services.