Lessons from Shakespeare on financial advisors: How do you spot an Iago? (2 of 2)
In Parts 1 to 4 we discussed lessons from Shakespeare; the concept of the trusted advisor; the importance of strong communication and trust; and how you should trust your advisor. In Parts 5 we discussed the first three deadly sins of advisors to avoid. Here are the concluding 4.
1. Avoid advisors who do not seek to include both you and your partner in all discussions – An advisor should include and unite a couple, not deal with one person – “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.”. All advice they give must take account of the views, fears, goals and aspirations of both of you.
2. Avoid advisors who seem to have ‘answers’ before they even inquire about your needs. A potential advisor should let you do most of the talking and actively listen to you what you say. Chide them if they seek to dominate and control the conversation rather than you – “this cuff was but to knock at your ear, and beseech listening”
3. Avoid advisors who over complicate things – Advisors who complicate financial matters should not impress you. Instead, seek an advisor who can explain complex issues to you in plain English. A potential advisor should be able to explain to you in plain English the typical products they recommend, especially the risks of those products – “He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier”
4. Avoid advisors who promise you high returns – Don’t select an advisor based on who ‘promises’ you the highest return. For one thing there are no ‘promises’ or sure things when it comes to investing, anyone who states otherwise is either lying or ignorant. Such ambition may sound seductive but it is merely “Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the other”. The only way you can expect to potentially receive a high investing return is by taking more risk – investing is slow and relatively boring, gambling is fast and exciting.
In addition to our passion for finance we have a passion for great literature. We believe even 400 years after his death Shakespeare has much to teach us about finance and indeed life. There were lots of characters in Shakespeare’s plays who were called upon to give advice. Likewise, there are lots of people who can and do call themselves financial planners. If you are trying to seek out a ‘real’ financial planner who will advise you in your best interests, why not heed the lessons of the bard? Sonnet 116
 Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, Scene 1
 Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Scene 3
 Macbeth, Act I, Scene 7
‘Part 6: How do you spot an Iago? (2 of 2)’ is Part 6 of a 6 part Series.