Rebalancing Your Clients’ “Purpose Portfolio”

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One of the truly great things about our profession is that, if we’re doing our job correctly, we’re helping our clients accomplish what is most important to them: achieving their financial goals. Like many of my colleagues, I left the wirehouse environment precisely because I wanted to be able to do business in a way that put me on the same side of the desk with my clients: to always place their best interests foremost, rather than being forced into a business model that required me to generate commissions, whether or not that was what the client needed.

But even though my intentions were good, I still needed some time to adjust my mindset when working with clients. I didn’t fully realize this until one day, not long after I had made the move to fee-only work, when I was meeting with a client who had entrusted me with one of the first sizeable accounts I had acquired for my still-new advising business. I was talking about a mutual fund I wanted the client to add to her portfolio. I was telling her about historical rates of return, volatility, fees, and all the other reasons I believed this fund was a good fit.