How To Find A Financial Advisor

“What Can You Do For me?”

When you consider entrusting your most complex personal or corporate financial objectives with a trusted advisor, you need to be confident they are in good hands. Only consider one who will put themselves in your shoes and will take into account your individual touchpoints to help paint the picture of how impactful client service is in planning for your future.

You should be able to discern three things about your potential advisor before they earn your business:

  • can your personal or corporate objectives become their objectives?
  • will they constantly monitor performance and anticipate changing circumstances or opportunities?
  • will they provide you with the answers you need, fast?

In my experience, a sale or transaction is only as good as the service that comes with the product. After all, many represent the same product – so the only defining moment is whether you trust this person to have your best interest at heart.

Below are some helpful insights to remember when determining your standards for entering a relationship.


Studies show that a sweeping majority of consumers are more likely to engage after highly personalized services are provided. While technical expertise is important, the standard should be to put a great deal of effort into building strong, personal relationships. We like to use the phrase “legendary service” here, it is the bedrock of long-term client retention and is just good business. You should expect nothing less.


Your advisor’s client service model should include means to help them advocate for you in unique ways that aim to deliver greater value to your family and businesses. Joel Stephens, a principal at Thomas Financial for 25 years likes to say this: “no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

In the end, quality client service should outweigh a quality product because it yields higher levels of trust and sustained long-term exchanges. This is not to say service and product don’t work closely together, they do. Consider bolstering your portfolio by partnering with an individual and organization that exemplifies your ideal service standards and needs.

For us, a partnership with M Financial—a national alliance of exceptional financial services providers—supports our commitment to excellence in client service and provides extra endorsement of our integrity. This kind of trusted partnership could significantly improve your ability to confidently plan for your future, and that of your children and grandchildren for generations to come.

 “What can you do for me?”  That’s the question you should be asking an advisor you’re considering.

When I started this company over forty years ago, this was the first question a potential client asked me. To give a helpful answer I knew I had to listen carefully to what my client wanted and—just as carefully—to what he didn’t. His time was too valuable for me to waste. So is yours.

We may be good listeners but what matters most to our clients is our ability to respond quickly and effectively. ‘Money never sleeps’ was never truer; a client’s situation may change overnight, and it is our job to help them stay ahead of the game.

At Thomas Financial, we have found a winning combination of serious client service, long-term relationships and a wide circle of professional collaborations.

Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas is Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Financial, a financial services agency that provides life insurance, retirement planning, wealth management, and employee benefits to high net worth individuals and businesses. After graduating from the University of Tampa in 1972, Rick became a Top of the Table member of the Million Dollar Round Table, an elite organization recognized as the standard of excellence for financial services professionals. Rick is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the University of Tampa and supports a variety of civic and charitable organizations. To contact Rick, please call (813) 273-9416 or email [email protected].

Disclosure: Securities and investment advisory services offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a registered Broker/Dealer and investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Thomas Financial is independently owned and operated. File #2442826.1  

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