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  • Writer's pictureBlake Bowman

3 Keys to Great Client-Advisor Relationships

Here are the essential elements of an exceptional relationship with your financial planner.

Having worked directly with clients in the financial services industry for over 6 years, I have identified 3 key ingredients that should exist between a client and their financial advisor. To be clear, it is rare for all 3 of these to exist, hence why the average American either does not have a financial advisor or does not feel they have a great relationship with one.

(We are seeking to change this!)

First, trust is an essential element of all great relationships. This is especially true when it comes to financial planning. Think about some of the key relationships we have with professionals (physicians, dentists, attorneys, therapists, accountants, surgeons, etc.). We trust that the orthopedic surgeon operating on our bad knee knows what she is doing and is going to fix our knee. If we didn’t fully trust her, we would not allow her to operate on us. This same level of trust must exist in your relationship with your financial planner. Of course, we as advisors must be trustworthy in order to gain and maintain your trust.

Next, effort is an essential element of a successful financial planning relationship. If you are not willing to put in a good amount of focused effort, it is unlikely that you will have an ideal outcome. Financial advisors are similar to fitness or sports coaches in this way. We can add tremendous value for you, if and only if, you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Like long-time financial advisor and author Nick Murray says, “I can only help those who want to be helped by me, now.”

Finally, cost is an essential element of a true financial planning relationship. This is an area where people have a lot of questions. How much does it cost? Is it worth it? Most advisors and firms have historically done a bad job of transparently sharing the true cost with clients. Most people do not know how much or (sometimes) even how they pay their financial advisor. I am a firm believer in transparency from the beginning with all clients. You should know how much you are paying your financial planner. That way, you can decide with confidence and clarity if you are willing to pay an advisor to help you.

Please reach out to me directly if you would like to discuss anything you have read in this post. The best way to reach me is by email (

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