Financial Advisor Best Practice Q&A with Dan Girard
Girard Financial Group is an independent investment and insurance services financial advisory firm based in Millbury, Massachusetts. President and Founder Daniel F. Girard Jr. LUTCF says, “Many of our clients retain us to be their personal CFO. We do that through a mix of professionalism and outstanding service to both individuals and small to medium size corporations.” A happy TimeTrade user since 2008, Dan Girard joined us recently to share his perspectives:
With online appointment scheduling we spend fewer hours focused on the logistics of setting up meetings, and we can each fit in up to six client appointments per day
Girard Financial Group is respected for its client-centered approach, what’s the secret of your success?
”We want to help those that want to be helped, those who are at a point in their financial lives that want, need, and are willing to accept guidance. Individually, we concentrate on assisting good people grow their assets and educate them on protecting their most important asset – their family – through wealth accumulation and protection planning strategies. We help our clients find the money to put back in one of two places, either into their current lifestyle or future lifestyle.”
What goes on during an initial meeting with a prospective client?
“First meetings with prospective clients are free and take place in-person in our offices. We use that appointment to discuss their financial situation, get a sense of how they’re currently managing their investments, and identify concerns they may have. We give them an overview of our firm, who we serve and how we’re paid. If it’s clear it’s a mutually good ‘fit,’ we then book a follow-up meeting to discuss how we can best help them.”
You’re actively involved in the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) – how does that relationship impact how you conduct your business?
“NAIFA describes its members as ‘advisors you can trust,’ and I’m proud to believe I’ve earned my clients’ trust. The role of a NAIFA advisor is based on three essential principles: to educate clients through every stage of their lives, provide affordable advice and her to a code of ethical business practices.”
How does Girard’s e-Newsletter help in that education process?
“We send out a monthly e-newsletter to thousands of clients, prospects, and others who’ve opted-in to receive it. While it helps drive business, we also see it as a powerful way to engage with customers by providing informative content on a variety of topics including:
- Assessing Portfolio Performance: Choose Your Benchmarks Wisely
- Estate Planning Strategies in a Low-Interest-Rate Environment
- Give Your Retirement Plan an Annual Checkup
Why do you encourage clients to meet for an annual review?
“Annual review meetings are a great time for clients to revisit and review their employer-sponsored benefits. For example, if your plan offers a Roth account and you haven’t investigated its potential benefits, you might consider whether directing a portion of your contributions into it might be a good idea. Also consider how much you’re contributing in relation to plan maximums. Could you add a little more each pay period? Although it’s generally not a good idea to monitor your employer-sponsored retirement plan on a daily, or even monthly, basis, it’s important to take a look at least once a year. With a little annual maintenance, you can help your plan keep working for you.”
Speaking of ‘working for you’ — how has online appointment scheduling made you and your team more efficient?
“Before TimeTrade we spent way too much of our valuable time proposing and booking meetings – time that would be better spent providing advice for clients. With online appointment scheduling we spend fewer hours focused on the logistics of setting up meetings, and we can each fit in up to six 1.15 hour client appointments per day.”
That’s a lot of meetings, sounds like business is good!
“Business is great! We’re actively growing business with both our individual and corporate clients and recently opened another office location.”
Congratulations on your success Dan! Thanks for sharing your story with us.
To learn how you can start offering client meetings from your emails, website, and social media accounts check out TimeTrade for Financial Advisors