Why We Get Up In The Morning

iStock_000046476096LargeEvery day that I am able to arise and take care of our client's needs and watch them accomplish their goals of retirement, children's education needs, or even purchasing a second home is quite rewarding. If you are a client of HMC Partners, you realize quickly that we take your goals and aspirations quite seriously. From advisor to staff, we are all on the same page of working to see you fulfill what is important to you. However, there are times when we are reminded that some days are more special than normal. One day recently, both John Hardy and I each had one those seminal moments meeting with two separate clients. John met with a soon to be new client whom had just lost her husband of over 30 years. Like many marriages of our or previous generations, the husband had taken care of the family finances which means he had made all of the investment decisions, paid all of the bills, and knew where all of the pieces of their financial puzzle were. In a time of extreme mourning, the recently widowed client was being forced to track down their investments and other family finances…an area where she lacked confidence, knowledge, and interest. Psychologically, she was not prepared for this laborious task.

John is one of the best I've ever met at providing both empathy and sympathy to the grieving while accomplishing the intended goal of forensically piecing together the mosaic of the family's investments. After a two hour meeting and many tears shed, our new client left feeling confident that not only would HMC Partners be able to help her track down her assets, but that we would be able to help her put a together a blueprint that will help provide her with income and growth of her assets while preserving the principal. The relief that John provided allowed her to return to focus on her healing.

One that same day, I met with a long-time client and friend about his twin sister's assets. His 76 year old sisters have lived together for the better part of their lives and like many twins….were inseparable. One of the twins, however, is the early stages of dementia and both will be headed to assisted living soon. Two years ago these wonderful ladies had the misfortune of encountering an insurance agent who didn't take into consideration the basic suitability factors of age, liquidity, or client comprehension. They were sold products that had no place for aging seniors in order to make a large commission. My client brought his sisters in to see me and for me to hear what they were trying to accomplish.

After only a few minutes, it became clearly apparent that they had no idea what and why they had purchased and had simply trusted the agent. Unfortunately, people in the financial services industry prey upon the aging, promising everything that they want to hear while providing high commission products that benefit only the agent. So as their new advisor, we are in the process of interviewing attorneys who specialize in the area of unsuitable sales practices in the financial services industry. Our goal is to have these assets freed from these high fee, high surrender charge products so these ladies can have the liquidity needed to have unencumbered access to these assets to pay for their assisted living needs. They left relieved that someone finally understood what they were trying to accomplish and that someone was looking out for their best interests. My friend and client exhaled audibly and said he felt that finally he is on the road to providing his sisters the guidance they need to live out the remaining years with dgnity and comfort.

So on that recent day when both John and I met with two different set of folks that had two totally different crises, we were able to set a clear path for rebuilding. It's a reminder of why we get up in the morning.

• The opinions in this commentary express the views of the author and in no way represents the views of LPL Financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.