A recent article with the admittedly long title of Managing Client Variability as a Pathway to Scalable Efficiency recently caught our attention. In this article, the author looks at the struggle all service-based companies face in providing high levels of service and doing so at a reasonable cost to clients. His focus was, not surprisingly, on how this affects the financial services industry.
We at CH recognize that we need to strike this balance for our clients, and pride ourselves in our ability and determination to continue to provide bespoke, tailor-fit solutions for our clients. That said, to achieve such a custom fit for those clients we need to find ways to standardize the things that can be standardized, freeing up the time and resources needed to address the unique challenges and circumstances of our clients’ lives.
So how do we do this?
First, we have a relatively small, but diverse set of investment ideas that can be used to create exactly the right portfolio “fit” for any client. We believe in true diversification within a portfolio and finding the right level of risk vs. the potential return. And we want to do this without being constrained by any one investment company, bank, or other investment vehicle type. We and our clients determine together the right portfolio for them and do not have to worry about proprietary products or quotas.
Second, for most of our clients, we either prepare our client’s tax returns ourselves or together with a select group of tax specialists (e.g. estate taxes). This allows us to better see the tax implications of any recommendation we make and to plan accordingly. In those instances where a client already has an accountant, we work closely with that firm to achieve optimal solutions.
Third, we can offer life, accident, sickness, critical illness, and disability insurance to our clients meant to offset the unique risks they might face from death, injury, or illness. In many cases, these policies can also act as an additional diversifier for their investment portfolio, and to prepare for long-term needs like a child’s education, retirement, or taxes that would be owed upon death.
Fourth, we offer estate and succession planning for our clients, partnering with trusted legal teams in creating proper Wills, Powers of Attorney, Personal Directives, Trusts, and other structures to manage needs ranging from the simplest to the most complex.
Finally, we work together with our clients on their philanthropic goals and objectives. Be it through direct giving, or the creation of a family foundation we have the tools and partners to make this possible for clients both large and small.
To offer all these services we need to create and maintain tightly controlled processes that have the flexibility to be modified when needed. We also make use of commercial-grade technology and new tools like web-based software solutions for client tracking, to create and monitor portfolios, financial planning, and tax preparation software, e-signatures for clients, online and in-person meeting options, regularly generated reports and online access to investments and insurance policies. The tools are often standardized, but the service we provide is customized.
We encourage clients to take the time to read the article linked above. And if you have any questions or comments to make about how we have both standardized and customized the services that we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us, and ask.
As always, we welcome any questions or comments.
All the best,
Brian Trafford, Chief Investment Officer
& Your CH Financial Team