What has been your most satisfying moment as a financial advisor so far?
Many people think financial planning is about money, but it’s really about helping people. Every day the advisors of Edelman Financial meet with clients to, sure, talk about money. But more importantly, they work with clients to help them to achieve their dreams and goals.
We asked this question of our advisors in the April issue of my newsletter, Inside Personal Finance. We had so many great answers, we couldn’t fit them all. Read on for our advisors’ most professionally rewarding moments.
Tom Wright – Edelman Financial’s Fairfax, Va., office
I once had four generations of a family in my office – all focused on financial planning. It began when I met with a new client whose large family created some rather complicated finances. By involving his parents, as well as his children and grandchildren, we resolved all the complex estate planning needs of the entire family. It was a unique and wonderful opportunity to help a family on a large scale.
Doug Ulrich – Edelman Financial’s Oak Brook, Ill., office
Perhaps my most rewarding moment was when I helped a client find a job for his son. We had spent years preparing for college costs, and we achieved that goal. However, despite his son’s stellar resume, the tough economy left him with few job opportunities upon graduation. Through some connections, I was able to find him an internship at a top local firm in his field. He did the rest: His excellent performance led to his being offered a permanent position, and he continues to work there today.
Darryl Payne – Edelman Financial’s Tyson’s Corner, Va., office
It’s no surprise that clients have thanked me when their returns were higher than they’d expected (or losses a bit lower during a downturn!) but by far, the most common reason clients express gratitude pertains to their estate planning. Estate planning directly correlates to SWAN — Sleeping Well at Night. There are very few substitutes for the relief and comfort that proper estate planning provides, and knowing that my clients are sleeping soundly lets me do the same.
Jonathan Saxon – Edelman Financial’s Towson, Md., office
I once met with a stay-at-home mom whose husband had recently left her. She was facing drastic lifestyle changes, including downsizing her home. After covering her financial situation, we spent another hour talking about the divorce and how the new lifestyle might impact her kids. They were about the same age I was when my parents divorced, so I was able to relate my experience. She was so grateful that I’ve often felt that our conversation helped her more than I’ve been able to help anyone else before or since.
Edward Hungler – Edelman Financial’s Glenview, Ill., office
When I first met my clients, they were heavily in debt and depressed that they would never be able to retire. But just a few years later, having made some important strategic changes, they were able to retire. They are now even building their “dream addition” to their home and planning a trip to Europe — all based on the plan I created for them, and by helping them follow it through. Just hearing the excitement in their voices when they tell me of the progress on their home renovation makes me feel very fortunate to do what I do!
Thomas Wood – Edelman Financial’s Fairfax, Va., office
A deep feeling of satisfaction comes every time I see a client achieve a significant financial goal — like having a child graduate college, or retiring in financial comfort after a long career. This satisfaction is multiplied when I stop to think about the track the client was on before I got involved. Knowing that my planning and investment advice made a meaningful difference in the outcome, that I am making a positive difference in the quality of their lives, is highly satisfying.
Val Taddei – Edelman Financial’s Fairfax, Va., office
During the downturn of 2008, one of my clients lost his job. When he called to tell me this, he thanked me for encouraging him to keep emergency cash reserves. Because he had cash in the bank, he was able to spend a month home with his children that summer — something he had always wanted to do. He was able to sleep at night knowing that his family was not in financial jeopardy, even though he had been the only wage earner in the household. All this allowed him to take his time and find a new job that was a good fit. It’s amazing that the little things — like cash reserves — often make the biggest differences.
While the planners of Edelman Financial strongly encourages clients to undergo estate planning, neither Edelman Financial Services LLC nor its affiliates offer legal advice.