What qualities are you looking for in an advisor? What values are you looking for in a partner? We all want someone that we can trust, someone we expect to be there for us when we need them. At least that’s what I look for when I’m searching for a provider of some type. I want to know that I can rely on them to give me the best advice possible and that the advice is unbiased. We know that’s the way advisors should be and to possess these basic characteristics. But, shouldn’t I also be able to ask that the person/firm will be there for the long haul? That they will do what they’ve promised to do? I don’t need someone to work miracles or move mountains- just do what they say will do. With all the bad news and uncertainty in the world, it’s nice to be able to say that there are some people you can rely on. It would be nice to know that some promises are important enough to keep- for instance when an institution says that they are going to take care of me. I don’t expect services that are beyond their scope or stretching beyond what they can provide. I think that’s what has gotten some of these larger institutions in trouble. When you hear about companies opening accounts illegally, having sales contests and not providing support for their employees, you must wonder how these things happen. I mean, how many times do they have to be hit with multimillion-dollar fines before they learn? Not just multimillion, but hundreds of millions! One such company was even fined $5.4 million for firing the employee that blew the whistle on them for unsavory practices. In addition to the fine, they were made to re-hire the employee. That same company has laid off close to 6000 employees due to their mismanagement. Of course, these types of practices aren’t limited to the banking industry. Just recently, two insurance agents in North Carolina defrauded retirees in fourteen different counties across the state in excess of $11 million. How can I rely on companies like these to provide me with unbiased information, much less honest communication and to act in my best interest? How can I be sure that their recommendations are truly beneficial for me and not for them? When thinking about the beneficiaries of your estate, you will probably want them to be able to get good advice from someone they can trust, who is not trying to sell them some new product every week. You want someone who will listen and make recommendations based on what’s best for you and your beneficiaries, not what’s best for the institution. This is where having a fiduciary comes in handy. By law, a fiduciary must put their client’s interests ahead of their own. They must act in an unbiased fashion. I like to think that I, and Old North State Trust, provide these qualities and services to our clients each day. In fact, it’s our motto to put our clients and our employees first, to do business above board and honest and let everything else take care of itself. We even have this mantra printed on plaques in each one of our offices. It’s something we take very seriously and live by, not just words on a board.
Old North State Trust, LLC (ONST) periodically produces publications as a service to clients and friends. The information contained in these publications is intended to provide general information about issues related to trust, investment and estate related topics. Readers should be aware that the facts may vary depending upon individual circumstances. The information contained in these publications is intended solely for informational purposes, is proprietary to ONST and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete or timely.