Bank Investment Consultant is reaching out to the million-dollar producers from our most recent BIC Top 50 and Next 50 lists to solicit their advice on how they achieved their success.

Each month we will showcase a few of the responses, first online and then in print. This time we asked two questions: 1) Tell us the biggest challenge you’ve faced in recent years and how you met that challenge; and 2) Tell us one of the mistakes you made as a younger advisor, and what advice you would give young advisors today to avoid such a mistake.

We will publish the first three answers in the next print issue. But first, we will unveil them this week online. Today is our debut offering.

Kevin McDermott (Citadel Federal Credit Union/CUSO Financial)
Biggest challenge you’ve faced in recent years and how you met that challenge: The biggest challenge is that the market is doing so well. People have short memories and clients are thinking they can manage their investments themselves. In my reviews with clients I am reminding them that the market is up 190% from the bottom and that a diversified portfolio that is being monitored and rebalanced is most prudent right now. I require a minimum of one review each year, and most clients are on a twice-a-year schedule. I also have monthly and quarterly correspondence that I send them in addition to timely informational pieces in between (i.e. Ukrainian crisis, Fed news).

Mistake from early days: As a young advisor I tried to manage the investments and manage my client relationships. No one can do both and spend the time necessary to build deep, consultative relationships with clients. But outsourcing the money management and going to fee-based relationships has allowed me to spend my time working with my clients and their families doing advanced planning. These are the most rewarding relationships. But I still need my clients to know that I have a thorough understanding of how their account is being managed. Having conversations with my clients about their goals and dreams rather than whether or not they are beating the indices has completely changed the conversation. My clients don’t view me as a commodity but rather an integral part of their family’s future.