Hard Skills & Soft Skills

Stephen McFadden, Financial Registered Representative Community Investment Services/LPL Financial

What trends in customer enrollment and retention are you seeing and how are you dealing with them?
It has not changed much over my 28 years. If you tell the client every single thing they want and need to know BEFORE they sign any paperwork, follow through on every single thing that was agreed upon at the initiation of the partnership. and then do your very best to communicate/accommodate during all the different things that most certainly can and will occur, you won’t lose many clients.

What qualities/skills are most important for a financial advisor?
Advisors of the highest quality are excellent listeners. People want someone that makes them feel extremely comfortable and confident when talking about anything that has to do with their lives which, more often than not, includes their financial well-being. Great listening/communication skills are the very foundation of all the wonderful things that build and flourish in any relationship including, but not limited to, respect, appreciation, likeability, and above all trust.

What is the average client looking for?
The average client with no debt is looking for higher returns on their savings accounts that are typically designed to be liquid funds with no risk. Interestingly, we are in an unprecedented time of record low interest rates co-existing with all-time highs in the stock market. Simply put there are no substantial opportunities for better guaranteed interest without significant risk and probable cost which contradicts the very nature of funds we need ready and available at a moment’s notice. The interest rates are not much better from one institution to the next, and certainly not worth ending a good bank relationship over what might be a tenth of a percent.

Community Bank System’s principal business focus is building additional value into its diversified financial services enterprise through organic growth in core relationships, disciplined lending, selective and strategic acquisitions, and a consistent approach to business regardless of economic conditions. The company provides a broad array of banking and other financial services to retail, commercial and municipal customers. It provides a comprehensive range of commercial and retail banking services from more than 230 full-service branches operating as Community Bank, N.A. throughout 42 counties in upstate New York, six counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 12 counties in Vermont and one county in Western Massachusetts.

Community Investment Services
524 State Route 3
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
518 561-7583