Chet Brothers, founder of Brothers & Company Financial, believes financial advisors work best with a team behind them and that the days of a single person running the show are almost over.
“The role has changed from a sales person in the investment industry to a practitioner in the profession of financial planning. There is now no room for those without professional designations or those that cannot provide holistic plans for clients. The days of the single sales person without a team are coming to a close.”
Brothers & Company is an award-winning financial services firm based in Saskatchewan. Providing financial advice, coaching and solutions, Brothers started the company in 1994 and it is one of the few financial planning firms that works exclusively with boutique investment firms on behalf of conservative investors across Western Canada.
Throughout his time as an advisor, Brothers has watched as the industry has evolved and says a successful advisor is one belonging to part of a larger team that can provide resources, backup and expertise in all areas of a clients’ lives. For example, his team is a part of Lawton Partners who partner them with other experts in the industry so they can provide a more extensive service to their clients. This is opposed to an individual advisor working solo.
Through partnerships and an additional support team, Brothers is able to offer a more comprehensive service and refer clients to field experts when it comes to specific financial aspects. However Brothers emphasises the need for advisors to keep learning within their own field.
Brothers says advisors owe it to their clients to never stop learning so they can be informed and skilled ready to provide good advice.
“A good advisor is also accountable and transparent in all their client dealings and of course must consider the interests of the client before all else.”
If this true it could be that many individual advisors should seek the comfort of a firm so that they can offer more to their clients and be protected should it happen that the days of single advisors come to an end.
He also says that there are no tricks when it comes to being a good advisor, just ‘common sense.’
“In my early career I was attracted to the so called science of investing that suggested that risk could be reduced and returns enhanced through various asset allocation or tactical shifts based on academic research from people that had never actually invested. It rarely worked as advertised and clients were left wondering what they actually owned. It was like putting money into a black box and hoping for the best. There was no transparency and little accountability.
Now I know that the best way to grow wealth is through the ownership of great businesses that are hard to live without, difficult to compete with, and difficult to replicate that reward their shareholders through a growing dividend stream which ultimately means they increase in value.”
Named as one of Wealth Professional’s top 50 advisors in 2014 in Canada, Brothers is well-respected in the industry.
Despite his years of experience, it seems one of the biggest challenges that remains in the industry is advisors showing their worth.
“The challenge is to the front line advisors to show their value to the clients and get paid in a manner that is fair and transparent.”
However, when they are recognised, Brothers says it is one of the best things about the job.
“The very best thing about being an advisor is when a long-term client tells you that they owe their financial success to the advice and guidance I have provided over the years. It validates the time and effort spent on education, systems and processes over the years.”