How To Help Clients Align Their Lives With Their Wealth

What drives clients’ happiness is not basis points and portfolios, but all of the other things in life including relationships and health, according to Michael Conway, CEO of Conway Wealth Group.


Michael Conway: We had dinner recently with a prospective client in the city. We were having a fantastic time and we asked the clients or the prospective clients what is it that you think that we do for you? The client paused and said, “You take our money and you put it in your portfolio for us.” That was it. That was the gist and that was the nutshell of the whole conversation of what the prospective client through we did.

Obviously, it’s so much more than that. I think one of the things we’ve done as an industry is we’ve continued to focus our clients and our prospective clients on basis points, on rates of return in portfolios. Every quarterly review we continuously come back to the same thing, how did we do to the SNP?

Now, to be very clear, to participate in the markets and to work for the types of people that we work for, we need to be excellent at comprehensive planning and fantastic at building portfolios. To that point, we design portfolios that are cost effective, tax efficient, well allocated, and aligned deeply with the client’s long-term objectives.

Science tells us that people are happy, and what drives really happiness is not basis points and portfolios but all the other things in life. Do we have a great marriage, and are we healthy, and other relationships? Do we like our jobs? I was having a conversation with one of my clients who is worth say $35 million. Actually, every time we talk, he tells me how miserable he is at work. So I said, we’ve proven mathematically that you’re financially independent. Shouldn’t we focus on these other things? That’s what we want to do for our clients.

We’ve designed something we call the Aligning Life and Wealth index and we want to do a deeper dig on all these different areas of life, charity, leisure, family, and some of the things I’ve mentioned and we want to score them. We want to continuously do the fantastic planning and the fantastic money management but we want to drive a conversation further about all these areas of life, the things that really make us happy and not focus on just the money on a quarterly basis.

What we’ve done is we’ve built a life and wealth network if you will. We want to be able to start the conversation with our clients and then bring other experts. Keep the dialog going and review. Again, do the planning but realigning life and wealth and we want to lead a life by design with our clients and not by default.