Matching Clients and Advisors

Seek the best fit for both parties

Establishing a solid client-advisor relationship is a two-way street. Clients seek a knowledgeable financial professional they can trust to act in their best interests. At the same time, advisors want customers who are a good fit for the firm.

Strategic Retirement Plans in Billings, Montana, refers to its initial meeting with a new client as “a discovery appointment,” according to Gabe Lapito, owner and financial advisor. “The reason is because I’m interviewing the client as much as they’re interviewing me,” he explained.

Lapito wants to build a community of people he enjoys being with every day. His firm is in a position “where we want to work with new clients, but we don’t have to work with everybody.”

How clients interact with their money is more important than how much money they have, Lapito said. The company does not have an asset minimum for new clients, but it does have a “relational minimum.” SRP wants to be sure the client has ongoing needs that justify building a relationship.

lapito500x749“My clients understand the concept that you can be fiscally responsible, or irresponsible, at any level of income,” said Lapito.

Strategic Retirement Plans designs tailored solutions by making sure they understand its customers. The firm spends a lot of time in the discovery appointment.

“That’s where clients tell us about themselves,” Lapito said. “If advisors genuinely care about the people they help, they cannot afford to take a cookie-cutter approach. We customize and refine our advice based on ongoing conversations about what clients want and need.”

Over the years, Strategic Retirement Plans has built long-term relationships with the people it serves. Clients are in the office regularly to review investments, create tax returns, or revisit insurance plans when needed. At these meetings, the firm reviews progress to date and ensures it is addressing client needs.

Lapito said customers want someone to help them achieve favorable outcomes while having their best interests in mind. The firm helps clients make decisions that help maximize potential to meet short and long-term goals.

lapito300x400“Many clients come to the firm with “blank slates” in terms of advisement,” he said. “One question during the discovery meeting concerns their previous experiences with the financial industry and/or advisors. Often their only exposure was ‘someone who came into work to help us with our 401(k).’”

Strategic Retirement Plans educates people over the entire life of the client relationship. Their team of advisors works to ensure clients understand what they own and why they own it.

Lapito asks new clients to give the firm a minimum of three to five years to work towards their short-term goals. A five-year window provides a meaningful snapshot of the portfolio’s potential performance. Long-term goals – which may span 25 to 40 years – are also an integral part of the planning strategy.

“Our clients want to be able to trust someone,” Lapito added. “They’re looking for a long, healthy retirement financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

For more information on Strategic Retirement Plans, visit


Follow Us

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

What's Next, Updates & Editorial Picks In Your Inbox

Related Articles

© 2017-2021 Advisors Magazine. All Rights Reserved.Design & Development by The Web Empire