Hard Skills & Soft Skills

Christina Ubl, Partner Clute Wealth Management

What qualities/skills are most important for a financial advisor?
The short answer is – soft-skills. A financial advisor needs to be able to listen, understand and empathize with a client. Modeling calm and consistency is also important — no matter what the markets are doing or what a client’s situation may be. A client wants to know that a FA will be there when needed.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about hiring a financial planner?
It’s important to do your homework first. Talk with friends and family and ask them who they work with. Also ask why they like working with their financial planner. After getting a few names, verify that they are a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and check their website. Do you “see” yourself represented on it? Do you think they will understand your situation and add value? If so, then call them to get a feel for the “fit” and then go with your gut instinct.

What is your average client looking for: investments, retirement, insurance products, estate planning, education, risk analysis, other?
Investments are certainly important to our clients but it is also the other things that families, and the next generation of families, feel are important. It is understanding the total wealth picture and understanding what the families want to achieve with their assets. That is why a financial plan is so critical. It allows us to put all of the pieces together to get a better understanding of their whole picture, while at the same time helping us identify any potential areas of exposure. Clients want someone to be on the journey with them, so they can make the optimal financial decisions for their goals.

How did you adapt during the pandemic to help your clients and community stay connected?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we started a video series of Lakeside Chats to help our clients feel more connected to the Plattsburgh community. Each Lakeside Chat is open to all and features a local “expert” who is invited to talk and interact with other community members on a wide range of personal and financial literacy topics.

What do you view as your greatest challenge/opportunity going forward?
The greatest challenge is using technology well to provide information when and how clients want it. The financial industry, in general, is one of the slowest at adapting to change but we need to do it to keep up with clients’ needs. The greatest opportunity also happens to be technology. The ability to integrate, automate and outsource anything that takes our time away from clients is critical.

Clute Wealth Management (CWM) is an independent firm and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) that provides strategic financial and investment planning for individuals and small businesses in the Champlain Valley region of New York and Vermont. Owners Heidi Clute, CFP® and Christina Ubl CFP®, CDFA®, head up a dedicated and experienced team. The firm has been in business since 1984 and is among the earliest woman-owned and led RIA firms. Clute Wealth Management develops customized strategies for personal, business, estate, and charitable financial needs. We especially enjoy helping women, LGBTQ+, and other historically under-represented groups develop financial confidence and independence.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, an RIA. Member FINRA/SIPC. CWM separate entity from LPL Financial.

Clute Wealth Management
152 Tom Miller Road
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
518 561-5707