By: Hammond Iles on April 22nd, 2014

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Financial Advisors - Are You a Doctor or a Pharmacist?

financial planning  |  Estate Planning  |  financial advisor  |  Wealth Management

Many financial advisors unwittingly (or in some cases, not so unwittingly) tap into or add to people’s already existing fears. They don’t explain the difference between voluntary and involuntary philanthropy. When people regularly respond, “Well, no, we’ll need that money for us and the kids,” many financial professionals conclude that the conversation is over.  Additionally, they feel this is a conversation that just isn’t worth having unless the client brings it up.

At the risk of introducing another profession to make an important analogy, we’d ask you to consider whether the best advisors should act as pharmacists or physicians? Should your advisor just dispense the prescriptions or solutions to the issues you bring to him or her?  Are you expected to depend on the answers you receive, without question? Or do you want your advisor to be ready, willing, and able to have the kind of courageous conversations that a good physician should be free to initiate?

Haven’t the most helpful people in our own lives been the advisors, mentors, counselors, and friends who have asked us the best and sometimes most compelling questions? Do we routinely label someone “wise” who has that admirable trait of habitually asking that one extra question that others don’t ask? Don’t we respect most those who help us challenge our own assumptions and sometimes our stubbornness?

Aren’t advisors smarter and infinitely more helpful to their clients if they clearly discuss the scope of the proverbial “medications and treatments” (i.e. strategies, solutions, investments, etc.) that can truly improve the quality of their life and legacy – as a skilled and compassionate physician would?

In truth, many of the individuals and families we serve, who trust us and rely on us, just don’t really appreciate or know on their own what they can accomplish through their legacy and philanthropic planning. Wouldn’t the best advisors want their clients to know this? And if one of your advisors helped you realize this, wouldn’t you trust and rely on them that much more in the future?

 ―Excerpt from chapter 5

You Can Do More That MattersDownload a chapter of the book at

 Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA is a wealth impact strategist who works with individuals, families, closelyheld and familyowned businesses, helping them grow and preserve wealth, plan for retirement and  manage their charitable giving. You can reach Greg at 1-800-416-1655 or  for financially intelligent guidance or a Wealth Impact Assessment to show how you can build a legacy of your values, influence, and money without sacrificing your own lifetime goals and objectives.