Financial Literacy

Forging strong relationships through advisor and client education

A good financial advisor keeps learning, even after years on the job. Also, the best financial advisors know when to admit that they don’t have an answer, and how to find someone who does.

“One advisor is not typically a master of every area we need to work on with our clients, so we really work with a lot of collaboration,” said Robert Turner, CLU®, ChFC®, AIF®, president and chief executive officer of Capitol Financial Solutions, LLC. “Often our advisors collaborate with our clients’ trustees, attorneys, accountants and other professionals to ensure a comprehensive approach to customized financial solutions.”

With over 50 independent advisors, Capitol Financial Solutions, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, provides wealth management, financial planning, retirement planning, insurance, and other services to clients from a wide variety of backgrounds and income levels. The firm invests considerable effort into educating its advisors, and challenges them to “reinvent the firm to provide additional value to the clients,” Turner said.

Turner joined a friend’s firm shortly after becoming an advisor in 1990. It was there that he had his first experience with training new advisors. When he started Capitol Financial Solutions in 2005, he did so on the premise that the firm has an obligation not only to train its advisors to be their very best, but to educate clients in how to make better financial decisions as well. Prepared clients, Turner said, can not only withstand market shocks, but they also can communicate their needs and risk-tolerance more effectively to their advisor.

“There’s going to be changes, there’s going to be volatility, let’s talk about how you’d react to that now and make sure you’re not taking too much risk, which could really derail your discipline to stay on track,” Turner told “Advisors Magazine” as an example of a typical discussion with a client.

Capitol Financial Solutions uses a variety of tools to assist clients ranging from software to experienced advisors who know how to help guide clients through rocky financial straits with confidence.

“Today, financial advisors have great financial planning tools and software that allow them to plan out scenarios,” Turner said, adding that these can include long-term care needs, the impact on a financial plan if a spouse dies, and other unexpected problems.

“Most of these things can be modeled out pretty well,” Turner said.

The new todsc 0006ols also help Capitol Financial Solutions better assist clients by providing customized financial plans in line with clients’ goals. For many clients, it’s no longer about “alpha,” and more about taking a personalized, goal-based approach to financial planning, Turner said.

“In the past, I think clients have been chasing what the hottest thing is, or the best return, or the hottest stock,” he said. “But we’ve always taken the philosophy of fundamental investing, which is better than chasing the hot thing of the day.”

The firm does not simply rely on technology or algorithms, however, and believes strongly in one-on-one advisor-client relationships. Turner said those relationships are especially valuable today when clients’ can turn on the television or open a web browser and immediately be bombarded with financial news, sensational headlines, and contradictory advice.

“Information overload, that can be a double-edged sword,” Turner said. “It can cause investors to make the biggest mistake they can make, and that’s failure to act.”

A good advisor’s role is to help take the emotions out of investing, so that clients can keep their goals in focus without being sidetracked by the noise. An automated tool, mobile application, or financial algorithm simply cannot replicate the sort of relationship needed to help investors through difficult market corrections — or to assist them in not going overboard when times are good.
“I think it’s hard to replace that one-on-one relationship when you’re trying to help someone develop and maintain and stick to a disciplined strategy that meets their risk tolerance,” Turner said.
Turner also explained that Capitol Financial Solutions acts as a fiduciary, when providing fee-based services.

“At our firm, we always put our clients’ interests first, and we believe that there should be a unified fiduciary standard for all advisors that cover all products and services,” he said.

Turner added that he believes that advisors should take responsibility for their clients’ financial well-being, especially when the law does not, such as in the case of over-complicated 401(k) disclosures. Clients have an obligation to educate themselves and understand the financial products they use, Turner said, but often the complexity involved makes that difficult.

“I really believe it’s incumbent on the advisor to help the client navigate through that,” Turner said, adding that disclosures and other financial documents should be simplified by law.



Capitol Financial Solutions also emphasizes frequent client communication so that investors do not feel helpless when the market takes a downturn. Turner said that while the 2008 financial crisis was difficult, the firm picked up several new clients during that time who felt their previous advisors were not communicating enough, adding to the daily stress of making it through the market collapse. Prioritizing communication also reminds clients that their advisor is approachable and willing to take the time to answer their questions, Turner said.

For more information see www.capfs.com

Registered Representative/ Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Signator Investors, Inc., 8816 Six Forks Road, Suite 301, Raleigh, NC 27615 Member FINRA, SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Capitol Financial Solutions, LLC is independent of Signator. 201-20171013-392112

 

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