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Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Ernesto Ramirez • Coral Gables, FL
OneMiami Financial Group • OneAmerica Securities Inc.

I am a full-service financial advisor and seek to find suitable solutions for a variety of my clients’ financial needs. It is all about learning who the client is, what’s important to that client and their family, and mapping out a path that’s going to help them get to where they see themselves over the next five, 10, 20 years, and beyond, depending on their specific time horizon and objectives.

Working with the resources of our firm, I can help clients in many different areas: financial planning; insurance planning and risk management; long-term-care planning; investment management; and retirement, charitable-giving, and estate planning. I strive to help clients develop the foundation for a personalized road map for their financial future.

In meeting with prospective clients or getting started on the financial-planning process with a new client, I want to make sure that I am doing everything in my power to help that client or client couple see that I am firmly committed to developing a long-term relationship that works toward their goals.

There are various ways that I do this at the start of a client relationship:

  • I clearly explain the parameters of how our working relationship should ideally function. I would like to be a guide in their financial lives and, in turn, seek their commitment to work collaboratively with me and our firm.
  • I review the broad outline of the financial-planning process we will embark on. This will only work to its fullest potential if I can get a complete understanding of their current financial picture and their goals for the future. I want to know not just what they see as the “must haves” for their lives but also their most aspirational goals.
  • I will often tell them how I have helped other clients with major financial decision-making, drawing parallels with how I might help them. These examples can be helpful. I have relayed, without compromising any personal information, how a relationship with a current client might have spanned many years and covered the births of children, those same children going off to attend college, and the clients now preparing for retirement.
  • I talk about the long-term nature of our planning process. At this point, I often talk about “stage-planning” with clients, covering their short-, medium-, and long-term goals.
  • I communicate that our services can complement their work with other trusted professionals, including attorneys, accountants, or real estate professionals. I want to maintain open communication with a client’s other advisors to help ensure that needs are being met across all fronts in a coordinated fashion.
  • I discuss our quarterly review process, where we closely monitor progress toward their goals over time and make adjustments as required. The quarterly review process allows us to serve clients with a disciplined, goals-based approach and helps clients stay focused on what is most important. If there is a significant event in their lives, we want to know about it right away and, if necessary, will have a meeting as soon as possible.

The bottom line is I want clients to know that I am there to help guide them over the long run, creating a plan that will have a strong impact on their financial future. The objective is to build a relationship of mutual trust and respect that will last a lifetime.

  • Building strong client relationships should start with an advisor’s clear communication of the financial-planning process and establishing shared expectations.
  • It is important that new clients understand that their advisor will work closely with other trusted professionals they may use.
  • A quarterly review process helps clients stay focused on goals-based planning.

Disclosure: Registered representative and investment advisor representative of and securities offered through OneAmerica Securities Inc., a registered investment advisor, member FINRA, SIPC. OneMiami Financial Group is not an affiliate of OneAmerica Securities and is not a broker-dealer or registered investment advisor. Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be relied upon as individualized tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice. Neither the companies of OneAmerica, OneMiami Financial Group nor their representatives provide tax or legal advice. For answers to specific questions and before making any decisions, please consult a qualified attorney or tax advisor.

Photography by Jennifer Jones

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