Do you understand what your advisor tells you? Or what you hear in the financial press? Really? Or do you just nod your head when they start to use terms or phrases that you are not familiar with just so you can move the conversation along? Do you start to tune out?
Do you ever wonder if they are talking this way intentionally to sound impressive – to imply that the whole investment process is far more complicated than you could ever understand and you need their highly paid team of experts to figure this whole thing out for you? Has this occurred to you?
A few years ago, at a district meeting for my prior firm, my manager said to occasionally use words that your clients may not fully understand to create the illusion of complexity. Really – this was part of our training! If that is not bad enough, many years ago, my then manager suggested that I recommend increasing my clients’ international holdings and come up with some reason why this is a good for them. In his words, “they won’t know any difference.”
I never took their advice, but I didn’t quit either. Well, eventually I did quit – to set up PlanVision. Now, my primary objective is to provide education and guidance to my individual and plan sponsor clients because they pay me to do it – not because an investment firm pays me. It is much better for them – and liberating for me! The next post will provide some examples of Industry Speak.