Q: What makes BRP/Grenier different?
Pat: Our independence means we are completely objective. We can recommend whatever financial strategy we believe is the best for our client. Period. Because we get to know our clients as individuals, we can focus our research based on what we hear. And all of our clients get the same level of treatment, regardless of how much they have to invest; being independent gives us the freedom to do it that way.
Q: What is your first objective when meeting with a new client?
Pat: I’ll also tell them a little about me, so that they can get a sense for how I work and approach things. So much of our relationship with our clients has to do with establishing trust.
Q: How does understanding them as people determine your approach?
Pat: You have to know what’s important to them if you’re going to make good decisions and sometimes that means setting realistic expectations. If they have a goal of buying a house in the next year or so, even if they’re in their 30s, you can’t invest 100 percent of their money. You need to fully understand their goals and the timeframe in which they want to meet them.
Q: Do those early conversations also help you determine your client’s risk tolerance?
Pat: Absolutely. You can usually tell based on the lifestyle they lead. Do they like to travel? Do they spend very little and what are their hobbies…are they parachuters? Those details tell you a lot.
Q: What experience do you want your clients to have with you over the course of your investing relationship?
Pat: I like to know that I have their confidence and trust. Very often a client will call me with questions not necessarily related to investing, but on some related life issue. I recently had a client ask my opinion on whether they should select a family member to be their power-of-attorney. That’s a very personal decision, but one that ultimately impacts their finances, so I appreciated the call. That kind of trust feels really good. They may be missing something huge because they’re too involved.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Pat: I received a note from a client recently that I found really touching. Actually, I have it here. She said, “Your skill, imagination, and creativity have made it possible to live my older life in a way I could not possibly have imagined…Thank you beyond anything words can say.” For me, that feedback is the most rewarding part of what we do.