Are you comfortable telling your clients your net worth?Blog added by Todd Kirsch on March 7, 2014
Todd Kirsch

Todd Kirsch

Littleton, CO

Joined: January 24, 2014

Potential clients rarely ask me about my own financial situation. This has always surprised me. During the initial due diligence process, I ask them very detailed questions about their goals, assets, income, liabilities, etc. I’m sure they would feel a bit awkward asking me the same questions, but it’s a relevant and appropriate topic.

I actually appreciate and respect the courageous individual who asks me for this information, because they will see that I’m doing everything I’m asking of them and that I’m participating in many of the same investments that I am recommending to them.

The last time a client asked me for this information was about six months ago. I had met with this couple multiple times, and this meeting had the air of “decision time” to it. She started off asking me detailed questions about the benefits and compensation I offered to my employees (this was also important to her) and then asked me whether she could see a copy of my net worth statement. I walked back to my office and printed it out; I keep this on my computer and update it quarterly. The entire conversation on both topics took maybe 10-15 minutes, but that gave her and her husband the comfort they needed to move forward. There was a sense of, “We’re in this together, and we share similar values.”

You might be uncomfortable offering this information or encouraging clients to ask, but why should a client invest his or her life savings with someone who was not also successfully working towards their own financial goals? On what authority could you possibly make recommendations for financial success when you haven’t followed your own advice? How can you know your clients' emotional ups and downs during market volatility if you are not invested, too? Finally, it might simply prompt a better discussion with your client — for example, what advantages do you see with option A versus option B?

Answer the questions. You’ll do it in a tactful way. If you’re worth clients entrusting your their life savings to, then you'll appreciate the opportunity to share your success with them.
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