Discussion of Survey Results
First, in this report, I want to thank you for responding to the independent survey conducted by Advisor Impact for Ferguson Asset Management. The purpose of the survey was for you, our clients, to convey anonymously what we could be doing better as your financial advisor.
The following is a partial summary of the survey. The italics are mine, reflecting areas of concern followed by what we intend to do to address these issues.
88% of you agreed that we fully understood your goals for the future. We should know what the goals are for 100% of our clients. We will address this with you on a one-to-one basis.
5% of you responded that we do not meet all your financial needs and 5% responded that our frequency of contact does not meet your needs. Our target is 100%. We are reviewing our contact times with you on our client relationship program and expect to step up contact where there are gaps. Please feel free to contact us at any time.
In a 12 month period you expected or desired to have about 3 (2.7) formal reviews (either face-to-face or by telephone) of your portfolio or financial plan. A third of you desired four or more reviews. We conduct an internal portfolio review monthly and will target meeting your individual formal review expectations.
Only 66% of you strongly agree that our statements are clear and easy to read. We want you to understand these reports and what your assets are doing. We are reviewing our report format to enhance their usefulness for you.
We are doing our job for 97% of you. Just like the Japanese production methods we want a zero defect relationship. Our goal is 100% client satisfaction and we strive for that.
Other items from the survey reveal that 71% of you are comfortable with or prefer written communication by e-mail. 31% still prefer the postal mail.
Retirement income, retirement income planning, and estate planning were the areas of greatest personal interest.
Nearly half of you have never had a family meeting to discuss your estate, eight percent of you do not have a will, and most of you have not reviewed your wills during the past five years. These are areas we urge you to address sooner rather than later.
We did receive, according to Advisor Impact, a 100% favorable rating in that any problems encountered by you were resolved quickly.
There were some satisfaction gaps and we greatly appreciate your telling us about these. Knowing our short comings gives us the opportunity to improve. As other firms merge, are acquired, or go out of business, we are planning for another 34 years of wealth management service to you and your family or business.
The Past Quarter Review, April-June 2012
The first quarter of 2012 showed positive market returns while the second quarter equity returns have been negative. Déjà vu 2011! As the following graphs show, the positive first quarter performance reversed, in part, due to ongoing European debt concerns.
Mortgage rates are at record lows. The fifteen year fixed rate hovers around 2.75% and the 30 year around 3.5%. Rates vary daily. Go to www.bankrate.com and click on the mortgage calculator. Just play with the input. Enter your current rate and payment and then see what you get with various other terms. Perhaps you might significantly lower your monthly payments or find yourself considering an investment property. Contact us if you need a lender.
The 10 year Treasury yield is bouncing around 1.5%. That means someone who saved a million dollars for their retirement and wants a totally “safe” investment will earn, before taxes, about $15,000 for the year. After inflation they have lost money.
As a kid, my dad told me about inflation in Germany after WWI. He said it took a wheelbarrow of German Marks to buy a loaf of bread. The Federal Reserve has accelerated the increase in the money supply during the past two years at nearly double the pace of the past thirty years. Is this food for thought or should we say “let them eat cake?”
We wish you a stress free summer with your families. May we enjoy what we have.
John, Derek, Dawn, and Sue