What Are His Fees?
I’m told by clients that “What are his fees?” is a common question they are asked when they speak of our wealth management services at PCA. This is a question that cannot be answered accurately by our client, but it does reveal the mindset of the person asking the question.
Making a choice, based solely on price, is appropriate if the choices provide equal value. Therefore, if someone asks my client what our fees are, then the person asking the question is assuming our value is equal to whatever their current or prior experience has been. This would be a wild guess with no factual basis. This guess would be based on a false premise that what we do for one family, we do for all families.
The “one size fits all” solution is not unusual in the financial industry, especially at large “big box” companies. There is another flimsy premise that must be embraced by the person asking our client the question “What are his fees?”; cheaper is better. For a moment, consider every important decision you’ve made. This could be a large purchase, choosing a physician, deciding where to go to college, or even where to go on vacation. Did you base your decision exclusively on price? Of course you did not. You considered what you were getting for the price. This is called “Value”.
Our firm’s objective is to provide customized planning and significant value in managing the wealth of families we serve. Our approach may address areas other firms don’t touch, such as tax mitigation, advanced planning, and income planning, etc. A person who’s with a firm not providing customized solutions, tax mitigation, advanced planning, income planning, and other services, cannot know what they don’t know. A Do-It-Yourselfer likely doesn’t have an understanding of this type of expertise and its application strategically.
I’ve told clients to answer the question “What are his fees?” in this way. Tell them “He’s very expensive”! I encourage any client reading this article to tell anyone who asks, “What are his fees?”, tell them I am very expensive. Of course, we are not very expensive, but by answering that way you change the subject to what matters. Put yourself on the receiving end of someone telling you they knowingly chose a very expensive option. You would be curious as to why they chose to pay more. This leads to a much more helpful, and fact-based discussion, on what value is received.
The right answer for any family is not mysterious. We are offering a “Smart Fit Analysis”, at no cost to those that read my blog. We commit time during an initial process to review whether we can add value, and if a family is a good fit with our firm. Whether a family and our firm move forward together is then self-evident and based on facts and mutual value.