by Peg Eddy, CFP ®
Having been a CFP practitioner since 1983 and now on the cusp of my retirement, a look back on my career seems timely. There have been many client engagements, hundreds of financial plans completed, numerous portfolios structured and managed and countless challenges met for clients’ benefit. However, in retrospect, what remains most clear and precious is what clients have taught me. Below are just some of the “gems” clients have shared with me in their own ways that have had a major impact on my life:
- You don’t have to have all the answers; just say so and make a commitment to do some research to find an answer for me or find a resource for me;
- You don’t have to always be “on”; allowing your human and personal side to show is all right-as a matter of fact, it makes me feel more comfortable working with you, as I know no one is perfect, so stop trying so hard;
- You don’t have to take responsibility for my financial missteps; you’ve told me what will happen if I make certain decisions or financial moves; it’s my life, my choice-don’t take it personally when I decide to go in a different direction than the one you feel is best for me;
- You don’t have to minimize what you do for me; when I compliment you, it’s because it’s well- deserved; I know how hard you work for me and other clients and how much you care about our financial wellbeing;
- You don’t have to take on my problems; life is hard; I’m a grownup-just listen and commiserate with me but don’t take your work home with you;
- You don’t have to always be at work; taking a vacation or time off gives you a better perspective on things and reinvigorates you for a career that is very demanding;
- You don’t always have to be serious; when you inject humor, or share a joke with me, it helps brighten my day;
- You don’t have to mince words-I expect the truth from you and respect your expertise; be polite, but don’t sugar coat bad news;
- You DO have to remain objective and non-judgmental even though your face is so expressive I can tell what you’re thinking even when you don’t say it!
It has been a thoroughly rewarding experience being allowed into the lives of so many special clients and their families. For this, I DO count my blessings!
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