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?
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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