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Information is commoditized. Getting the right advice is a differentiator.

Social media is laden with blogs and articles that offer generic information about investing, succession planning, estates, tax laws, retirement goals, etc. When producing and posting these pieces of information my guess is that the creator’s strategy is for a prospective client to read the information and say something like, “Wow, if they have this information, then they must have great advice for me. How do I become a client?” I know this take is a bit sarcastic, but seeing troves of articles that offer tired strategies for the masses has me thinking that if someone thinks this commoditized universally available information is helpful, how good can their advice be?  

In high school, we can probably all remember the nervous classmate who over-studied for a big test and was a wreck the day of the exam. When it came to an essay section, if this nervous student didn’t understand the question or was scared they would get it wrong, they would unload every bit of information they memorized as an answer. The strategy, right or wrong, was that at least the teacher would know they studied and hopefully in that novel of a response was the right answer. As adults, we see a version of this nervous classmate among advisors. These so called advisors lead client conversations with strategies that they learned about or even implemented for other clients and are convinced everyone should be doing it. Or worse, they flood a client with so many ideas to prove their value, the client leaves a meeting with their head spinning. This isn’t advice; this is regurgitating generic information.

Advisors first need to listen intently, then they need to get the answer right. When it comes to investing and estate planning, getting the answer right means they have decades of experience working with countless individuals and families across multiple generations and understand the number one principal to good advice: it’s different for everyone.

Castfirm is a boutique business. We don’t sell products or information; we offer advice.

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