Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Amazon Podcasts When you’re a business leader, delegating is just part of what you do. Handing off those tasks you’re not so fond of or that you don’t have time for frees you up to focus on your passion, which makes good business sense.
But what about the tasks you can’t necessarily hand off? You know, the ones that have to do with your financial future?
You find someone who considers that topic their passion—and who you’ve built a positive working relationship with—and you work with them to get it done.
Today, we talk to investment veteran Jennifer Snyder about the relationship aspect and how it can factor into your success.
Jen is the President of Doyenne Financial Ltd., a portfolio management firm licensed in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and Doyenne Insurance and Estate Planning Ltd. which is licensed in Manitoba and Ontario. Both companies are headed by an all-female team. Relationships are the base that Jen has built her businesses on, with Jen explaining that she often knew her clients for years before they even became her clients.
“Usually there’s a pain point,” she says, “something that is eating at them. It’s a blessing and a curse because sometimes I find the pain point when I don’t mean to.”
As she’s found, part of that pain is feeling like we need to have a handle on every part of our lives - our finances included.
That’s an impossible feat, Jen assures.
“You have to let yourself be good at the things that you’re good at and allow other people into your life to help you with the things that you’re not,” she says.
Many times, these situations allow for learning on both sides of the relationship. While Doyenne advisors and Portfolio Managers are able to share their knowledge of the finance and investment world, they are also able to learn from the clients they’re working with - and vice versa.
Focusing on collaboration and knowing that it doesn’t end when just one of the parties has what they need is an approach that benefits everyone.
“When you stop listening,” Jen says, “that’s when the relationship stops growing.”
Collaboration also involves working with other professionals that a client knows and trusts, whether that’s within or outside your own company. It saves the client from having to repeat the same issues and conversations, which offers the client a better experience in the end.
Getting an overall picture of her clients’ needs from other professionals allows us to give the advice that will let our clients make the best decisions for themselves, their businesses and their families.
As she identifies pain points, Jen also looks for solutions that will solve more than one if possible. It’s about stretching your dollar as far as it can go.
She gives the example of using your RRSP contribution room to reduce your taxable income in the next year as “the first step in a good, positive savings cycle,” she says—and creating a good, positive savings cycle will provide you with funds for other important things, like paying down your mortgage, TFSA contributions, or home renovation costs.
In many ways, an advisor’s role involves teaching as much as it does offering financial advice. She teaches her clients how to manage their finances, of course, but she’s also happy to offer financial planning advice to the younger generation.
“I’ve started conversations with clients’ children,” she says. “We talk about basics. What does savings look like? Where would you put that money and why?”
There’s no difference between children and adults when it comes to nervousness around asking the financial questions they don’t understand, Jen explains. By giving them the space to ask those questions, it can help them feel more comfortable with their own finances.
In business and in life, sorting out finances can be tricky when you’re working with a partner. If you have different spending habits than your romantic partner, for instance, getting information about how to balance your finances can benefit more than your bank account. Similarly, in a business partnership, setting clear boundaries around finances from the get-go can make for a smoother working relationship.
Jen warns against meeting with clients only once a year.
“Their eyes glaze over and it’s easy to conclude that they’re not listening,” she says. “What I’ve learned is that you’re giving them too much at once. There is a price to pay for trying to cram too much into one meeting.”
Having shorter, more frequent meetings by phone, video or in person ensures the important details are getting across. Then, for the big, annual meeting, it’s easier to focus on the larger-scale issues that might be on the horizon.
Regular contact also allows for the opportunity to keep building that business relationship—something that is a work in progress.
“If you expect to keep that relationship, you have to participate in it,” says Jen. Connect directly with the Doyenne team at Doyenne Financial Ltd., Doyenne Insurance and Estate Planning Ltd. or reach out to Jen on LinkedIn.