Asegurando que los objetivos son realistas
The major reason that most clients engage financial advisors is to get help in achieving their goals and objectives. Thus, an advisor has a duty to make certain that the goals outlined during the Engagement Discussion are realistic and attainable.
Section IV of the Questionnaire used to guide the Engagement Discussion requires a “quick assessment” of whether or not the prospective client’s objectives are attainable. To give an example, let’s suppose that a prospective client age 45 with $5,000 in investable assets, who is presently earning $45,000 per annum and has no pension benefits, has a goal of retiring at age 55 with an income of $40,000 per annum. It should be fairly easy to decide that this is an unrealistic goal. And it should be communicated that you feel as though the goal is too aggressive.
On the other hand, the same client with $157,000 in investable assets, a small pension starting at age 60, and a goal of retiring on $35,000 at age 55 may make it harder to say for sure. If the advisor does not feel confident in making an initial assessment, then there are several options:
1. Defer the assessment of the goals to the next meeting, until a preliminary analysis can be done; or
2. Make it clear to the client that an important part of developing the plan will be to determine if the goals are realistic, and in the event they are not, to arrive at a solution.
A client should not execute an engagement with the view that the advisor will be able to work some special brand of magic. Thus, it’s always the best practice to be conservative in your assessments.
Note: More detail concerning the nature of Goals is addressed in Gather the Client Data section.