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It’s All About Communication

Clear, confident, open and factual communication between client and advisor is central to achieving a positive long-term relationship and some modicum of financial success.

When your trusted advisor suggests it’s time to make a change within your portfolio, his or her recommendation is likely based upon a deeper knowledge and concern for noticeable or recurring market trends, not on a disappointing quarter or a volatile day, week or month on the Dow. Your advisor knows the Dow looks forward, not backward.

That’s their business.

The trust you’ve placed in your advisor to make the right decisions on your behalf is based on an individual investing discipline. The onus is on you, however, to ask the right questions and understand what’s going on and why.

That’s your business.

Communication is like a dance that needs choreographing

It is a well-known fact that some advisors’ best friends were clients first.

Looking back on your first meeting, it was your financial advisor’s duty to learn as much about you as possible, while exhibiting courtesy, respect and professionalism.

Through this dialogue, compatibility played a key role by setting the tone for a mutually collaborative effort to spark a connection – a discovery – to the type of chemistry that probably exists today.

Like any relationship, you gave it time. It might have felt like whenever you said it’s partly sunny, he or she said it’s partly cloudy. No worries. You got past that.

But even today, your advisor must know how you feel each time you talk. Some advisors call this “taking your temperature.” Frequency and mode of communication for these talks should be mutually agreed upon as well.

Business is personal

During the volatile market corrections and recession panic selling of 2007-2009, loyalties and friendships were tested, leaving many advisors in a quandary: should they contact their clients or not. 

To take their clients’ temperatures, which they knew were running high, they needed to see who was nervous and who needed handholding; who was upset, overreacting, and who remained poised to significant drops in values.

Had he or she not called … had they not reminded clients to “stay the course” … or had not made a timely recommendation for short-term adjustment, the widespread media-driven panic gripping the nation could have resulted in even more lost assets, lost patience and lost advisor-client relationships.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance does not predict future results. This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.
Financial Planning Department
Hefren-Tillotson

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Hefren-Tillotson Inc. is a leading diversified financial services firm providing investment and retirement plan management and comprehensive, financial planning through MASTERPLAN® for individuals and businesses. The firm’s wealth management services are administered by Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holders, attorneys, Chartered Life Underwriters, and CPA/PFS’s. Hefren-Tillotson offers corporate services including 401(k) retirement planning, executive financial counseling, fiduciary reviews and workplace financial planning seminars. Founded in 1948, the firm is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has offices located in Pittsburgh, Butler, Greensburg, North Hills, and South Hills.