The Secret Failure of the Financial Industry

By Michael J. Searcy

Our firm started running Google Ads in 2018, and boy, was it eye opening.

You see, we had all the technology in place to help a large number of people, and knew that many people turn to online search when vetting candidates to help them with financial planning and investment management. We set up the ads for people to call us directly, and waited to see what would happen. The results were disheartening, but not like you’d expect…

Time after time, people were online, searching for their advisor or the advisor to their retirement plan, who they should already have had a relationship with, but didn’t have a name or even a phone number to reach that person.

I received calls from workers at big companies, like GM, asking “Are you the person that handles my 401(k) account? I’m retiring, and I need help.” I received calls from workers at small companies, just trying to find out how to get a statement on their account. I received calls from widows trying to locate the person who handled their spouses accounts. When I would tell them that they hadn’t reached the right place, I would hear “You know, every person I’ve talked to has told me they’re not the right place. I do not know what to do.”

Clients of the financial industry are confused and need help.

It still surprises me that so many Americans do not have someone helping them understand their investment accounts, don’t have any idea who their advisor is, and don’t have a direct number to get in touch with the people who are CONTROLLING their money.

Maybe they were with an investment advisor at a big brokerage and were passed off when theirs quit. Maybe their company changed their retirement plan manager and the workers weren’t informed. Maybe one spouse in a household took care of all the financial decisions, leaving their spouse in a world of mess upon their death. Maybe there’s a lot of mess out there, and not enough firms working to clean it up.

If you happen to be a client of our firm, you have one phone number to call. And if you call that phone number, one of 9 people are going to answer every single time. They’re going to know you, your spouse, your situation, and probably even the name of your dog. We would never want any of our clients questioning their finances or not knowing how to figure out exactly where they stand. We don’t want our clients to be scared, confused, or lost.

And you may feel like you know exactly where to turn, who your advisor is, who runs your retirement plan and how to contact them. Good. That’s exactly how we want you to feel.

But, those people who’ve called me and didn’t know this information? They’re somebody’s mom or dad, they’re somebody’s neighbor, they’re somebody’s someone.

So, talk to your parents, talk to your neighbors, talk to your employees. Ask them if they’re comfortable with how their finances are managed and if they could get someone on the phone right now if they had any questions. If they can’t, help them find that information before the day comes when they’re confused or scared and turn to a Google Ad and get me. Because as happy as I would be to talk to them, I know in that moment I’m not who they’re looking for.

And if you are looking for a team that you can trust to be a phone call away when you need them, call me at (913) 814-3800. We’ll be waiting to speak with you.

Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.

The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.  

Published for the blog on March 21, 2019 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.