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Is Your Financial Advisor a Doctor or a Pharmacist?

May 12, 2014 0 comments Finances, Financial Freedom

Is Your Financial Advisor a Doctor or a Pharmacist?

by Greg Hammond


How financial professionals can get in the way

Many 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

Download a chapter of You Can Do More that Matters at domorethatmatters.com 


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Greg Hammond
Greg Hammond is passionate about helping people make a greater impact in their lives, their families, and in their communities. Using his remarkable range of experience, Greg helps individuals establish what’s most important, then set and pursue goals toward preserving and growing their wealth. He believes everyone should have a chance to “do and achieve what matters most.” As a wealth advisor, Greg has counseled hundreds of individuals, families, and business owners on developing strategies for investments, intergenerational wealth transfer, building a legacy, reducing taxes, protecting the value of their estates, and charitable planning. A sought-after charitable giving and financial educator, consultant and speaker, Greg has been in financial management for more than 20 years. He is frequently interviewed by the media; recently by the Wall Street Journal for “Earning Income While Making a Gift” and the Hartford Business Journal Nonprofit Notebook for “Planned Giving.” Greg co-hosted the radio show, “Planning for Tomorrow” on WTIC News Talk 1080AM covering topics such as creating lifetime income, charitable use of life insurance, and philanthropic planning. He has been interviewed on WTIC AM news, published a special report on nonprofit challenges, and regularly speaks on “Building a Legacy” at national and regional conferences, estate planning councils, religious and nonprofit organizations. A graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio with a B.A. in Accounting, Greg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and Certified Public Accountant. Greg is also a certified True Wealth Consultant, a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP), The Planned Giving Group of Connecticut (PGGCT), The Financial Planning Association (FPA), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP). Greg’s commitment to making a difference has guided him to participate in Habitat for Humanity and to lead groups on mission trips in the United States and Mexico. Greg contributes to his local community as a board member for PGGCT, Treasurer for Westminster Presbyterian Church and Advisory Board member for The Connecticut Forum. Greg and his business partner, Scott Iles, sponsor many annual fundraising events for nonprofit organizations including a golf tournament to benefit ALS and fundraising for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. A published author, Greg lives in West Hartford, CT with his wife Karen and their two daughters. Greg enjoys research and writing, tennis and a challenging game of golf when he is not at the office or enjoying time with his family.

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