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Reality Check II:  So you got your new job as a Relationship Manager.  What is next?

Part 1: Reality Check I

No. 6 Assuming they have ready sums to invest.  Is this the right timing?

Value-investing disregard market timing.  Fund managers and investment experts says it is always a good time.  The reality is if you are the Relationship Manager, if the investments drop by 20%, you are responsible for answering to the client.

In theory, the timing for investments does not matter.  But in reality, every quarter, you face increasing pressure from customers on poor performance on investments and increasing sales targets.  So timing the investment entries gives you the optimal chance to sustain your career, the investment portfolio, your customer’s satisfaction and meeting your bank’s KPIs.


No. 7 Can you trust your House Views?

Mutual Fund
Mutual Fund

This is one of the most difficult question. Ideally, if you get into the best financial institution, the investment views must be better, isn’ it?

That is what many wealth managers & investment experts perceive.  You would have access to the best information, the latest information, the smartest analysis.  In this case, Lehman Brothers wouldn’t have collapsed, and Citigroup, AIA wouldn’t need bail-out funding, since they have access to the best information.

There is a clear difference between economic views, investment views and wealth management.  Unfortunately, house views doesn’t making any of this distinction, confusing wealth managers.

“Information is not knowledge”

~ Albert Einstein

That was a critical thinking approach.  You indeed will have access to the best institutions, the leading experts who tracks the financial market everyday, the latest information that now your team can put together to provide quality financial advice to customers.  These are the key selling points to clients.

But still, the house views are a major challenge.  When views are right, it is holy grail.  When views are wrong, all else break loose.


No. 8 Can you trust your experts?

Investment Committees
Investment Committees

House views are not people but a consensus of thoughts that were ideally fiercely debated.  Then these views are being re-shaped by investment specialists & experts.  And you start to receive ambiguous views because the thoughts were clearly differing during the debates.

In addition, if the house views are clear & simple, then there isn’t a need for further explanation, rendering your experts and yourself redundant.  Certainly, the views needs to be explained in an easy-to-understand way by experts, such as portfolio managers, equity / bond / treasury specialists or investment advisors.

But people have opinions, which are often differing.  Which is why Bloomberg analysts’ forecasts could have huge price differences. (In the simplest form, they have different opinions about the price target).

So do you trust your house views, Bloomberg’s analysts forecasts, or more than 100 financial institutions’ recommendations, or your experts?


No. 9 Can you trust your clients?


Sometimes it isn’t just about the best products, the best services.  How often have you seen your client diversify across 2 – 3 banks, and after a while, 4 to 5 banks, especially the wealthier ones.

They are placing bets and diversifying because you may leave, your bank may cause dissatisfaction or other banks are promoting better services or products.  Maybe sometimes, it is just brand preferences.

The question begs: Do you then serve your client’s whole-heartily and trust that your sincerity, your commitment, your top experts, your quality advice is enough to keep them with you?


No. 10 Can you trust yourself?

Private Banker
Private Banker

Wealth Management in Asia is young, and alongside the average age of & experience of professionals.  The knowledge pool in Asia is weaker relative to the centuries of financial system in Europe, and the last century in United States.

This means during boom and bust, growth and austerity, you are more likely a passive passenger, attempting to be active.  As Wealth Managers & Relationship Managers, do you have the knowledge, the competency, the access to financial intelligence & tools, the aptitude and the soft-skills to navigate client’s wealth steadily over a course of their lifetime and their generations.

And importantly, can you trust yourself to be able to do it?


Extra. Should you have accepted the role in the first place?

Relationship Manager Thinking
Relationship Manager Thinking

Maybe you should ask yourself this before you commit: for higher pay, perks, titles …  But like the financial markets, no risk, no gains.


Read the first part: Reality Check I

  • No. 1 How long would you really be staying in this bank?
  • No. 2 How long would you really be staying in this job?
  • No. 3 If you think you are in a great company, think twice.  Why?
  • No. 4 So everything is in place.  Where are your clients?
  • No. 5 So you have acquired your clients.  How much money do they have?

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