Have you ever gone to the doctor, auto mechanic or other professional and left their office more confused than when you walked in? Last week I met with a new attorney for a consultation. Between our two businesses, we have five different lawyers we use for various purposes. I’m not particularly pleased about that, but as life gets increasingly complicated, so too does the need for more attorneys.
I’m used to working with attorneys and have a basic understanding of most aspects of law, but we were discussing an area I’m not particularly familiar with. As I listened to the lawyer sell himself, I became increasingly confused. The more questions I asked for clarification, the more complicated the issue became.
It was at that very moment, while I sat there listening to him, that I realized the true value of a professional. My job as a financial advisor, just like that of any other professional, is to make complicated things simple, so someone not in the field can understand them. It seems that many “experts” use big words and complicated jargon to impress their prospective clients. Instead of becoming impressed, I think most people get frustrated.
I did not hire that attorney, because I did not trust him. He was not able to make the complicated, simple, which raised all the red flags. Since I could not understand him, it would have been too easy for him to rip me off. If you’re seeking the paid advice of a professional, it’s not your job to learn his profession, but rather his job to help you understand. If you don’t understand what you’re about to buy or invest in, run for the hills. You’ll sleep better at night and always come out with more money in your pocket.