John Lefferts' Blog

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lefferts Professional Beliefs

Lefferts 10 Core Professional Beliefs
1. As a Financial Professional, it is incumbent on me to be a student of the financial world and to stay current on product, industry and economic trends in order to provide added value to my client and professional relationships.

2. Financial Planning is not so much about investment returns and the product of the day as it is about shaping, directing and coaching investor/client behavior.

3. Financial Success will not be achieved by the temptation of purchasing last year’s number one ranked product, but through adherence to a plan/strategy and being invested in the proper asset classes fitting to one’s goals and risk tolerance, over long periods of time.

4. Over the long run, a diversified and professionally managed common stock portfolio has outperformed any other asset class. This understanding and belief is core to our philosophy in not falling prey to “get rich quick” schemes, but to grow wealth slowly through proper asset allocation.

5. The greatest cost in an investment is not a sales load, expense charge or management fee. The greatest cost is taxation and lost opportunity by investing too conservatively, too risky or not investing at all.

6. A client is best served by a team of financial advisors who are “interdependent” using a holistic and comprehensive approach towards asset and risk management with total independence from any one product manufacturer or provider. The client is not well served by a broker/agent/advisor who is tied to and supported by a single product manufacturer beholden to the highest fee and/or commissioned product du jour under the guise of objectivity.

7. Over time, the firm/advisor from which one buys an investment product, insurance policy, annuity or mutual fund is relatively meaningless if first a well thought out financial plan with a qualified independent financial professional is not in place.

8. Most customers do not have the training, temperament or time to shop for or learn the necessary details about financial products and services. They simply want to look a competent professional in the eye and know that they can trust him/her to give advice that is in their best interests and guide them towards making the most appropriate decision.

9. Counter to conventional wisdom, Financial Planning is more than investments. At its foundation is a proper risk management plan with adequate life insurance and up to 1 year of liquid emergency reserves on hand. Having these core strategies in place first gives one the foundation on which to build a balanced and appropriate financial plan.

10. One’s finances and/or career are rewarded by hard work, persistence and the repetitive act of performing the basics with self-discipline to stay the course, despite the temptations to do otherwise.

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