Service, please. Please!

Written by John Osbon on December 14, 2011

Let’s be honest. In many businesses, customer service is dead or dying. Stores without salespeople. Telephone “help” lines with endless prompts to nowhere. Call center reps who have no idea who you are, what you need, or how to help. In too many cases, service has become a casualty of indiscriminant cost cutting or just poor business strategy.

When it comes to your investment accounts, how much service can you expect?  A lot, I say!

What a million dollars buys

I still think a million dollars is a lot of money, and with our suggested account size at that level at Osbon Capital, it’s more than enough to expect personal, thoughtful, and expert service.  What’s that look like?

It’s personal

Service starts with a person, someone who is capable, motivated, and accountable from start to finish in meeting client expectations. That would be me, in most cases, since Osbon Capital is built to handle no more clients than I can deal with directly and personally. This is the total opposite of the model that I grew up with on Wall Street, eventually managing Chinese armies of salespeople myself.

Because service is so personal and unique, it can’t be scaled or replicated. While there are people behind the scenes to assist me, I believe that service starts and ends with the owner.

Boutique-style attention

A boutique like Osbon Capital is a financial problem solving center for the client. A place that makes life easier. A place that puts client interests first. I know how important this is; I created Osbon Capital in 2005 for my own family because I couldn’t believe how complicated, cumbersome, and costly it was to manage money – and I was a Wall Street insider!

We were the first clients of Osbon Capital and I treat all clients in the way I would want my family treated. Here are four ways my commitment to service comes to life:

Simplification.

One Osbon client arrived with 21 family accounts at 6 different firms. Too many! Retirement accounts can and should be consolidated.  If they can’t be (such as 403b or 437 accounts) they should still be reported on and brought into a unified portfolio strategy. Same with individual, joint, and trust accounts. Osbon Capital is built to manage and/or report on all investment accounts, no matter their location.

Cost control.

Our primary goal is to help clients protect and grow capital. I don’t feel we can pursue that goal while putting clients in investments with expense ratios of 100-200 basis points or more. Not when many index investments keep expenses to 7-25 basis points. The industry is still 1 percent too high, in my opinion. And for what?  A lot of advertising, in most cases. Helping clients improve performance by cutting costs is a priority at Osbon Capital, one we are well suited for as we receive no compensation to market or sell any financial products.

Fulfillment.

Fulfillment is an all-encompassing word for “getting things done.” The financial industry is highly regulated rules-driven, and often opaque to the consumer. So the simple transfer of money on short notice from an investment account to a bank, for example, becomes frustrating if you don’t know how it’s done. We know these things and make it easy for clients.

Connection.

Meeting long-term financial goals often requires specialized expertise and teamwork. On request, we are pleased to connect our clients to tax advisors or expert attorneys that our other clients use and are happy with.

Get the service you expect

In many areas of life we accept terrible customer service as the unfortunate norm. A long phone queue for cable installation is not the end of the world. But for matters of importance – and few things are more important than your financial security – I believe you should expect and demand a consistently high level of personal service delivered by a professional who knows you and has your interests in mind. I strive to deliver that kind of service at Osbon Capital.

 

[hs_action id=”2410″]


This article may include forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements (including words such as “believe,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and “expect”). Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Various factors could cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements.

Nothing in this article is intended to be or should be construed as individualized investment advice. All content is of a general nature. Individual investors should consult their investment adviser, accountant, and/or attorney for specifically tailored advice.

Any references to third-party data or opinions are listed for informational purposes only and have not been verified for accuracy by the Adviser. Adviser does not endorse the statements, services or performance of any third-party vendor without specifically assessing the suitability of a third-party to a client’s or a prospective client’s needs and objectives.

Expense ratios do not include advisory fees charged by an investment advisor.

 


  • This communication may include forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements (including words such as “believe,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and “expect”). Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Various factors could cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements.”
  • “Historical performance is not indicative of future results. The investment return will fluctuate with market conditions.
  • Past performance is not indicative of any specific investment or future results. Views regarding the economy, securities markets or other specialized areas, like all predictors of future events, cannot be guaranteed to be accurate and may result in economic loss to the investor.
  • Investment strategies, philosophies, allocations and holdings are subject to change without prior notice.
  • This communication is intended to provide general information only and should not be construed as an offer of specifically tailored individualized advice.
  • While the Adviser believes the outside data sources cited to be credible, it has not independently verified the correctness of any of their inputs or calculations and, therefore, does not warranty the accuracy of any third-party sources or information.
  • Adviser does not endorse the statements, services or performance of any third-party vendor.
  • Unless stated otherwise, any mention of specific securities or investments is for hypothetical and illustrative purposes only. Adviser’s clients may or may not hold the securities discussed in their portfolios. Adviser makes no representations that any of the securities discussed have been or will be profitable.