Trusted adviser – it’s all in the name

The term “trusted adviser” offers clues to what to look for when searching for someone to help guide your financial future. A financial adviser must both establish a trust-based relationship with a client and be viewed as a source of valuable advice. Building trust comes from demonstrating and proving trustworthiness over time to clients.

This same type of trust runs deep in the law enforcement community. I am sure that we can all agree that it takes time to build that trust with fellow officers. Whether you are retired or a current law enforcement officer, I am sure that at some point in your career you were involved in a situation that escalated quickly, and you needed to call for backup.

As a law enforcement officer (now retired) who was assigned to the plainclothes warrant unit for 17 years, I often found myself peering around the roll call room to see who else was working. My main goal was to make it home to my family at the end of my shift. If things went terribly wrong, I wanted to have the trust and confidence that someone was coming to help me when I heard those sirens in the distance.

Trust is the foundation of a strong relationship and a key building block of long-term loyalty. It is the strong belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. For colleagues to work together with one another in any line of work, trust is essential. Colleagues must know that they can rely on one another to do the job well and provide the support the team needs.

As a financial adviser, I am aware that above all, trust appears to be the most crucial aspect in the adviser–client relationship. A client must have confidence and faith that their financial adviser can be relied upon to provide the right advice. Earning trust and maintaining it is an important trait that financial advisers need to acquire in addition to market knowledge and good advice.

A financial adviser wants to build their clients’ trust by being transparent about fees and demonstrating their value. When discussing fees, they should be open and honest and try to avoid difficult language to ensure that the client understands. It is also important to share how they will add value to their clients’ lives and discuss all the services that they provide.

In order for advisers to strengthen their client relationships, they should focus on educating clients, outlining their advice with clients’ goals in mind and communicating effectively.

The bottom line is that developing trust requires an initial investment of time. You must continually earn the honor and privilege to work with your clients by never wavering in delivering what you’ve promised and have been providing.

Law enforcement officers are dedicated to their fellow colleagues, but they are also concerned about the well-being of their family should anything happen to them. An adviser–client relationship that is based on trust will allow the officer to rest easy knowing that they are leaving a legacy.