What You Get When You Are A Client

John Osbon - October 26, 2016

Perhaps you already have a robust and healthy investment advisory relationship. Perhaps you don’t and wonder how you could get one. In any case, it’s a good idea to reflect on and review what exactly you are getting from your advisor. Here are examples of what you should expect.

The ideal

What does the ideal advisory relationship look like to you? That’s the first question we have whenever we meet someone who is considering hiring us. ‘The ideal” is the first of three power questions we ask as we listen and understand what clients want and need. Below is ‘what you get’ after we have fully discussed the three power questions. Client examples are real, just the names have been disguised.What do RIA clients receive

  • Time:  At Osbon Capital there is only one class – first – and there are a limited number of seats in first class. We do that so every client gets all the time they want and need, when they want it, to talk about important things. We had multiple meetings with Warren and Caroline at their home so we could hear both spouses talk about their multi-generational investment goals for themselves, their three children, and grandchildren yet to come.
  • Simplification:  It’s common to see too many accounts, duplicate accounts, orphan accounts, and so on when we begin with a new client. Sandra came to us with 14 accounts, which we consolidated into the four she needed. It was a tedious administrative process, but not for Sandra. She simply got the benefit of turning many accounts into few.
  • Cost control:  This one is so basic, so simple in concept and yet almost never done. Drive your returns up by cutting costs and paying less in taxes. Brian, a private equity guy, knew he was ‘paying for what he wasn’t getting’, but didn’t have the time or the inclination to figure it out. We did a CFO level analysis.
  • Urgency:  Alan, a serial entrepreneur in his 30’s with a wife, two kids, a life and lots of projects. He is jackrabbit-fast in execution, and expects the same from his providers, like us. For Max and me, if it’s important to you right now, it’s important to us; speed matters. Investments, accountants, lawyers, transfers, meetings… we coordinate it all for Alan. Quickly.
  • Connections:  Financial success is a team sport. The better your roster of experts, the better informed your decisions will be. Jordan and his family had providers, but not the ones they needed. In short order through us they got a proper accountant, trust and estate lawyer and a construction mortgage at 3% for their Berkshires family getaway house.
  • Flexibility:  One size does NOT fit all, especially when it comes to investments.  Instead of shoehorning yourself into ready-made products, your advisor should deliver custom solutions, flexible execution and thoughtful implementation. That describes Gary’s experience at Osbon Capital. After years of successful wealth generation designing his investment account had to incorporate legacy investments, retirement (working, but not for money), and travel. Sometimes it just takes a lot of time and attention to get the right investment fit.
  • Creativity:  At Osbon Capital, we have never met an investment problem we didn’t want to solve. Adam, a pedigreed high-performer had about the most complicated investment situation we have seen. These were all nice problems to have – three generations, multiple companies, restricted securities, cash flow, taxes, and legacy planning, to name a few. It took a full seven months to transform his patchwork investment plan into a rigorous, cohesive plan for him and his family. Adam is an engineer, and he likes his investments to work in a well-enigneered way.
  • Communication:  Our idea of communication is to have it the way YOU want it, when you want it: in person, by phone, online, in print, email, text. Alicia uses all of the above.  She likes us to schedule our next contact before we end our current one. “Be sure to call me in one month,” she will say, and we then put it in all our calendars to make sure it gets done.

What you’ll never get here

Only you can decide what you want in an advisor and advisory relationship, but if you work with us, rest assured you will never encounter: a robot, a ZenDesk ticket application, a call center in India, a go-between-assistant-intermediary, a junior person saying, “he’s not available,” or “I’ll have to talk to my boss…”  We wouldn’t want that, and would never expect you to accept it.

What you do get

At Osbon Capital you do get two owner-operator partners and our culture slogan ‘always act like an owner’. That phrase works both ways because it’s your money, you have worked hard to own it, and we the owners of Osbon Capital want you to fully enjoy and benefit from your money.

John Osbon – josbon@osboncapital.com

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