The Sterlings (Part 7): Finding a Financial Advisor That Fits

Read the different chapters of this story: 1234, 567, 89, 10)

Amy and Travis Sterling had done it — their family budget had been adhered to, unnecessary spending curbed, and the couple had even managed to tuck away a healthy amount for their emergency savings. Amy knew that it was time to stop armchair investing and find a professional advisor that could help she and Travis reach their goals. Problem was, she never imagined finding a financial advisor that imbued her with confidence could be so difficult.

“You know that advisor, Jon, who came to the school? I felt like I was talking to a caricature of an insurance salesman!” Amy said to Maureen, as they walked to coffee. She and Maureen shared the same lunch period and had taken to getting some fresh air (and lattes) together mid-morning.

“You know,” replied Maureen, “I thought the same thing when he came by. Cringed a bit when I’d heard a few teachers went to him.

“But didn’t I tell you? Mark, the new English teacher, recommended his financial advisor to me last month. He’d said he specialized in advising teachers, but when I went to see him, he really blew me away.”

“Oh yeah?” Amy lit up at the idea of not having to cold-call any more financial advisors with her list of carefully transcribed questions. “What’s his name?”

“John. I’ll text you his number as soon as we get back.”

Amy was delighted at the prospect of an advisor that understood the specifics of a teacher’s financial choices and hurdles. After the final bell had rung, she opened the message from Maureen and decided to give John’s office a call to make an appointment.

Several days later, Amy walked into the advisor’s office and was greeted by John, himself.

After exchanging hellos, John asked Amy, “So, how can I help you, Amy? Are you looking to tune-up your financial portfolio or are you also looking for guidance on other financial issues?”

“My husband and I recently started to take saving for retirement seriously, but we’re also facing upcoming college costs for our two children. I’m not sure how much I should be socking away outside of my 403(b) and how to best save for our kids. Additionally, my oldest, Sophie is starting to build her credit. I’d like to teach her a little about investing, too.

“Basically,” Amy continued, “when it comes to what kind of financial guidance we’re looking for, pretty much everything from top to bottom could use shaping up.”

John smiled and said, “Then you’re just like many of my other clients. Helping teachers like you organize their current financial lives and plan for the future is what I love to do.”

Instead of just explaining how he could help, John invited Amy to look at a comparison grid on her website. The visual representation of John’s comprehensive services left Amy impressed, particularly when he explained how integral technology was in his approach to planning services.

“Not only do you get to view your accounts and create on-demand performance reports,” explained John, “I also get an automatic feed of your data into my software, making sure we’re both up to date. Your plan is updated every day.”

The attention John appeared to pay to his clients was reassuring, but he really won Amy over when he started to discuss financial concerns that were specific to teachers.

 


 

Find out what else John says in the book about Amy and her family, found here.