The Simpler You Make Things, The Easier It Is For Them To Make Decisions

If there’s a gene for providing financial advice, Ann Baker Ronn inherited it. In 1969, her father and his business partner created the first financial planning firm in Houston. She is CEO of Income Protection Solutions Inc., and focuses on disability, an often-overlooked area of financial planning.

The genesis of her emphasis on disability income insurance was prompted by a client who had lots of life insurance and a long-term care policy, but no disability coverage. He developed brain cancer and couldn’t work, and his wife became his caregiver. Their income turned to zero overnight. “It’s a huge hole in people’s planning,” according to Ronn.

Educating Clients

Ronn spends a lot of time educating clients and bemoans the fact that financial education is lacking in the school system. “Children either think that money grows on trees, or they always hear that they can’t afford this or that – they grow up with a fear of money,” she says. “I explain the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – there is no perfect investment. Each client has specific needs and goals – you can’t throw a dart and say that’s appropriate for them.” Ronn also says advisors don’t need to overcomplicate it, but they must educate clients about what they’re getting into. “We have to be open and honest and must explain the risks inherent. If you explain it to the client, they can make a decision and not have buyer’s remorse.”

Would You Put Your Parents in This Investment?

Ronn says she tries to put her money where her mouth is. “If someone asks if I own this investment, I can say ‘yes’ or that my husband does,” she says. “Do you believe enough in the investment to put your own money in?” That situation isn’t appropriate for every client, but she does ask herself if she would put her own parents into a particular investment.

Men and Women Make Decisions Differently

Approximately one-third of Ronn’s clients are female. She notes women take longer to make decisions than men and are generally more methodical. That doesn’t mean she thinks women should consult only with female advisors. “I know many men who are very successful with advising women – they listen. The way to be successful is just listening – don’t interject your words until they are finished,” she says.

When choosing a financial advisor, Ronn recommends asking for introductions to long-time clients. “They bring a better description of what we do than anyone else,” she says. She adds that many of her clients have been with her for 30 years, and it’s like a long-term marriage. “People don’t want to start a relationship with a financial advisor and have to do it again in a few years,” she says. Ronn doesn’t have a minimum net worth requirement for clients but looks for someone who wants help and with whom she thinks she can have a lasting relationship.

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Securities and investment advisory services are offered solely through Ameritas Investment Corp (AIC). Member FINRA/SIPC. AIC and IPS are not affiliated. Additional products and services may be available through Ann Baker Ronn or IPS that are not offered through AIC. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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