The few brave souls that desire to change their ways often request anonymity in their clandestine conversations with me as well as others who promote best practices. I don’t say that from a position of moral authority, just being a fraternal ear to my friends. It’s like operating a confessional. Interestingly, they need to purge their financial indiscretions and find a bit of relief in getting this weight off their chest. And keep in mind that most of their spouses are unaware of their financial indiscretions. But in the final analysis, actions speak louder than words. Putting the client first can only come after you have swept your house clean of bad behaviors and set in order a spartan lifestyle not so much monastic, but fiduciary.
There’s an old saying I’m fond of using with prospects when it comes to oversight of their finances, “Do you want me to operate under catholic guilt or protestant forgiveness?” Even the most evangelical clients like the thought that you would feel guilty over a fiduciary misconduct rather than to default to Shakespeare’s to err is human.