The Challenge of Identifying and Addressing Clients' Liabilities

By Crucial Clips     May 26, 2020
The following text is a transcript of a portion of a speaker's presentation made at an industry conference or during an interview. This transcript solely represents the view of the individual who spoke, and not the view of Financial Advisor IQ or any other group.
Source: FA-IQ @ IAF, Feb. 13, 2020 

MIRIAM ROZEN, REPORTER, FINANCIAL ADVISOR IQ: We're here at the Investment Advisor Forum with Devin Ekberg, the chief learning officer of the Investments and Wealth Institute. Are financial advisors trained well enough? And what do you put in your training to handle the liability side of clients' balance sheets?

DEVIN EKBERG, CHIEF LEARNING OFFICER, INVESTMENTS AND WEALTH INSTITUTE: So it's a really good question. And I think the best answer is that it depends, because some liabilities are very easy to identify. And they're either very discrete, meaning that they're knowable: they know what the dollar amount is and when it's going to come. And for those types of liabilities, yeah, I think financial advisors are well-trained to be able to service those types of liabilities.

Where it's a struggle is when those liabilities are maybe less defined. For instance, when you're asking about what our consumption will be in retirement, that's a liability. And consumption 30 years into the future for some cases in certain areas like health care and education and other types of expenses, those are less knowable.

And so those types of liabilities, it's much harder to immunize against. And so I think there can be some work done to help advisors have a practical framework for addressing those specific types of liabilities.

MIRIAM ROZEN: Devin, thanks for helping us out with this.

DEVIN EKBERG: Thank you for having me.