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Translating Advisor Speak Thumbnail

Translating Advisor Speak

I thought today I would provide some translation services. Specifically, I will be translating some advisor-speak for you. Enjoy!


Advisor – “I think you need this additional service we provide.”

Translation – “I want to make you sticky so it is harder for you to leave and take your assets with you. The more services you use here the harder it becomes to unwind anything. Think of me as luggage – you will never get rid of me!”


Advisor – “I think you need to bring your kids in so we can meet them and have them involved.”

Translation – “I don’t want to lose your assets if you pass away. Or, heaven forbid, you want to start spending your money now so we will talk about inheritances for the kids and not depleting your assets while you are alive and want to enjoy them. I have my retirement to think about too.”


Advisor – “I do better when you do better.”

Translation – “You put up all the capital and take all the risk, but I get to ride your coattails and get paid more if the market does better. And hopefully you don’t realize what the market does is totally out of everyone’s control.”


Advisor – “If you get good service in a restaurant you probably tip 20%. My fee is only 1%.”

Translation – “If I throw out a big number I can anchor your reaction to that when you see my fee is only a fraction of it. Hopefully you won’t notice a 20% fee on a $100 dinner bill is a lot different than 1% on a $3 million portfolio.”


Advisor – “I get paid two ways. The fees you pay me and the referral of loved ones. Please provide me the names and contact details for three people you can introduce me to.”

Translation – “Let’s get this straight, I am in sales. I need more customers and you seem like someone who can help me make my next sale.”


Advisor - “A recession is imminent due to this indicator.” Or “You really need to rethink your portfolio.”

Translation – “I am going to throw out some things to stoke a little fear because we all know fear sells and I am showing you I am in sales, not financial planning.”


Advisor – “I think we need to change around all/large majority of your investments.”

Translation – “I believe in Rocking Horse Investing. Move around but never make any progress. At a minimum, I have to do something so I can justify my fee.”


Advisor – “I have the opportunity to work with the best investing firm in the world and I want you to come along with me as I make my transition to (insert name of any wirehouse).” 

Translation – “These guys are giving me a huge check to move all my clients over there and if you don’t come along I don’t get as much of that check. I know I have always told you my current location is the best, but that was until someone else offered me more money.”