Derek Condon is an Advisor with Haven Wealth Management – a financial advisory firm that follows a hybrid approach that combines personal advice with technology to dramatically reduce the cost of financial planning. By following this approach, Derek has been able to bypass the hurdles of the traditional financial service model and create a more effective advisory process.
In this edition of Advisor Spotlight, we speak with Derek to learn more about him and Haven Wealth Management’s approach to financial planning.
What inspired you to become an advisor?
I started learning about finance and investing in my spare time because I was in a job I was unhappy with. Through that process of self learning, I was constantly thinking to myself this is stuff everyone should know. From that point I tried to tell anyone who would listen to me about what I was learning, and really found a passion for helping people with their finances.
What do you feel is Haven Wealth Management’s greatest competitive advantage?
Our biggest competitive advantage has to be our commitment to always putting our clients first. There isn’t anything we do at Haven that doesn’t prioritize our clients. We believe that if we do business the right way, the results we are working towards will follow, and it’s been a successful model for us so far.
What is the biggest misconception clients have about the process of getting insured?
How easy it can be. Insurance is often a topic that causes people to sigh or cringe, everyone knows that they should have life insurance, but too often they are willing to put it off until they absolutely can’t anymore. I think by using technology and having a client first approach, it’s simple to make the process easy for clients.
How do you think digitization will affect the future of the industry?
My hope is that digitalization will help make the industry easier for everyone. As advisors, we can leverage technology to do more for clients while spending less time doing it. And the more we can do for clients, the more they benefit. Insurance is an important conversation for everyone to have, and I think digitalization can help change insurance from a conversation people don’t want to have to a conversation they do.
How has remote work affected the way you interact with clients?
I think it’s never been more important to have regular check-ins with clients. It has been a difficult almost two years now for everyone, so keeping in touch with clients to make sure they understand there’s always an open line of communication is key to ensuring the plan you have in place is still relevant and working.
How do you stay up to date with industry trends?
The biggest key in this industry is to always be learning, and to anticipate the questions you might get from clients before they ask. I think you need to sift through a lot of information you see online and understand what’s important and what’s not. A lot of people just read headlines, and don’t necessarily digest the actual information they see.
What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Being an advisor can sometimes put you in a tough spot, but part of your job is to lead your clients from where they are, to where they want to be. Getting comfortable with being honest about negative things, and saying something a client might not want to hear isn’t easy. But if you have the clients interest first, it’s something I think they’ll appreciate down the road.
What’s something about being an advisor you wish you knew earlier in your career?
This is tough because I consider myself still in my early career, but I think it’s really important to understand your ‘why’ or reason for doing what you’re doing. You’re going to see a lot of successful people in the industry, and it can be incredibly stressful when you’re a new advisor. But if you understand what you are working towards, and why it’s important enough to work towards, it can keep you on track and block out the noise and distractions.
What is the major takeaway you’d like to leave your clients with when choosing you for their insurance needs?
My hope is that every one of my clients knows and understands that I am on their side, 100%. When I sit down with someone I am working with them to find the best solution, for now and for what we think their future will look like. I have no other priorities or objectives other than doing right by them.
If you were writing a book about your career, what would be the Title?
Something along the lines of “Always Striving to be Better”. I believe this is an industry of continuous learning, no one knows it all and no one can know it all, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try anyways.
If we all try to get a little bit better everyday, then we will. And by getting better each day I can better serve my clients and make more meaningful connections and have more meaningful conversations.
What was one of the most meaningful moments of your career?
Passing my QAFP exam earlier this year was a big one for me. Having that designation and knowing all of the work I put into passing that exam really gave me the confidence that I belong in the industry.
Derek is a true representation of the future of the advisory business. With a combination of tech savviness, and a client-first approach, he has been able to merge the efficiency of automation with the satisfaction of personalized advice. This unique customer experience is sure to meet most current and future client expectations for a long time to come.