A Not-So-Humble Brag
The urban dictionary defines “humble brag” as an attempt to brag by couching it in a phony show of humility, and we all cringe at the thought of committing the sin ourselves. So writing this blog post is difficult. At First Financial Consulting, we’re not too fond of bragging, humbly or otherwise. We believe the results we achieve for clients speak for themselves.
That’s why the overwhelming majority of clients come to us through referrals, both from other clients and from professionals such as CPAs and attorneys. And it’s also why we have an exceptional client retention rate of 95%, forming long-term relationships with our clients to help them achieve their goals and dreams.
Still, it’s quite nice to be recognized for a job done well.
And that’s what Los Angeles Magazine has done by naming First Financial Consulting a winner of the Five Star Wealth Manager award for 2017. We are humbly but openly proud to receive this acknowledgment.
The Five Star Wealth Manager Awards are bestowed according to evaluations that consider the quality of the advice provided, the client retention rate, and the absence of complaints or disciplinary actions, among other more technical criteria.
It’s deeply rewarding to know that First Financial Consulting rises to the highest standing of wealth management firms when analyzed among our many peers in Los Angeles.
While an evaluation by numbers is clear-cut and definitive, a guiding philosophy is how we deliver those numbers, and it’s what underlies everything we do at First Financial Consulting.
First and foremost, we worked long and hard to distill our principles and our mission into a simple directive: “First Financial Consulting provides clients with objective advice they can trust.”
We put that credo into practice through three watchwords: objectivity, predictability, and accountability.
We work with our clients with complete objectivity, never selling any product to anyone for any reason, and never accepting any compensation from an outside party, which would compromise our fiduciary responsibility. That’s a fancy phrase that means we always put our clients’ interests first.
We are specific about developing plans for our clients to attain a clearly defined outcome, such as retirement in a certain number of years or building up a retirement account to a designated dollar amount by a certain age. No matter the particular goal, we are explicit in articulating those goals so that everyone – we and the client – knows what we’re trying to accomplish.
Simply put, we hold ourselves accountable for reaching those goals, measuring performance against the target so that clients know, at any time, if we are attaining, exceeding or falling behind what we said can be achieved. If we fall behind, we correct the situation – or we don’t deserve to keep the client relationship.
What we do at First Financial Consulting is to help people achieve their goals and dreams. Life is about living, not numbers. It’s also about balance. Life is never perfect, and all of us often have to balance one goal against another – the professional against the personal, the near term against the future. We help our clients strike those balances in their lives and then enjoy the results.
Of course, all wealth managers should share these aims but, as the Los Angeles Magazine recognition implies, we’re good at what we do. The secret sauce for implementing our guiding principles comes down to one thing: our people.
When we welcome an advisor into the fold at First Financial Consulting, the first essential requirement we seek is professional competency. Our advisors are skilled and maintain the highest ethical standards. They also possess or are working on attaining, an advanced degree such as CFP, MBA or CPA, for example.
But we look for something else, too. We call it “a servant’s heart,” to describe someone who draws their sense of purpose from serving others. In other words, they care deeply. Some people feel a sense of purpose by completing tasks or transactions. Others are monetarily motivated, getting a sense of fulfillment from their bank account or commission check. We search for people who get their sense of satisfaction by helping others. They are smart, educated and competent, but they are also gifted in serving others. They’re in the right job for the right reason. That’s a hallmark of the folks at First Financial Consulting.
And the folks at Los Angeles Magazine have recognized it by naming us a 2017 Five Star Wealth Manager award winner, and we are very humbly proud.