Q:What are the biggest misconceptions clients have about your job?

Joseph Bakish

Joseph Bakish

vice-president, investment advisor at Richardson GMP in Montreal


Clients often think we have control over the markets, and they also misunderstand fees.

When I discuss market movements or costs with clients, I always bring it back to the value clients receive. For instance, when I meet with clients, I show them if they are on track with their goals, and highlight any major strategies we have in play. This changes clients’ perceptions of me from “the guy who deals with my money” to “my professional wealth manager.”

Cathy Stanton

Cathy Stanton

financial advisor, Manulife Securities in Smithers, B.C.



Most clients are surprised by my comprehensive approach. I get to know clients so I can offer them what they need.

For instance, I had a new client come in to discuss investing. Before making recommendations, I asked him a variety of questions: What are his lifestyle goals? What is his income? Does he have a tax strategy in place? I discovered he owns an incorporated business and was focusing entirely on RRSPs, which would cause him tax problems. I recommended he diversify and use TFSAs for better tax efficiency.

Monica Weissman

Monica Weissman

wealth manager, Manulife Securities in Toronto

One of the biggest misconceptions clients have about the advisor’s job is that the main priority is selecting stocks or mutual funds.

But the most important part of the job is understanding clients’ needs. In the first face-to-face meeting, I get clients to talk about themselves by sharing how and why I became an advisor, along with other personal details. I take notes, but only after the meeting. Seemingly insignificant information—about family, parents, siblings—can build the foundation for a long-term relationship.

Agree? Disagree? Have your own question or answer? Write us at

by Michelle Schriver, assistant editor of Advisor Group.

Originally published in Advisor's Edge

Add a comment

Have your say on this topic! Comments are moderated and may be edited or removed by
site admin as per our Comment Policy. Thanks!