Golden Gate Ageno Professor on What Defines a Successful Financial Adviser

A faculty member of the Edward S. Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University (The Ageno School) recently contributed an article to Time magazine’s money section addressing the needs of those who are in the market for a financial adviser.

This advice proves useful not only for those seeking an adviser, but also for MBAs who are either in the field or preparing for it.

Rick Kahler, Adjunct Professor at The Ageno School, writes, “People looking for a financial adviser often need to know whether a planner is a ‘heart’ as well as a ‘head’ adviser—someone who doesn’t just focus on numbers and account balances, but seeks to help clients achieve meaningful life goals.” Clients, Kahler points out, may not always know what it is they need when it comes to managing investments and savings. They also may not know the best questions to ask in order to achieve their goals.

Professor Kahler goes on to emphasize the importance of identifying with the client. “Do you live what you teach?” he questions, stressing the importance of forming a bond with people during what is often a stressful investment process. Additionally, he says, the ability to listen is of utmost importance in the adviser/client relationship. “Obviously, the most important way to assure clients of our listening skills is to listen more than we talk during initial interviews.”

Kahler addresses the importance for advisers of revealing to clients their own past difficulties, in an effort to humanize the interaction. “When we share our financial warts instead of trying to impress clients with our successes, we offer reassurance that we will not shame or judge them.”


About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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