The Athena Network’s company philosophy embraces the following principles:
The Athena Network operates under the Fiduciary Standard, generally regarded as the highest standard of client care. This means that we are stewards, or guardians, of your financial well-being and we put your family’s interests ahead of our own. We believe that our adherence to the Fiduciary Standard is the right thing to do and we hope that it provides you, our clients, with peace of mind and confidence that we are working diligently on your behalf.
At The Athena Network, we believe in providing unbiased advice to our clients. For that reason, we abide by the following principles:
- We do not accept commissions or compensation based on product sales. Rather, clients pay us directly for our advice. This transparent compensation structure translates into reducing or eliminating many of the conflicts of interest inherent in commission-based compensation.
- We do not accept free meals, entertainment or other “freebies” from financial product sales people. Our recommendation of an investment vehicle is influenced solely by our conviction regarding its merits.
- We do not accept referral fees or participate in revenue-sharing arrangements with outside service professionals, such as accountants or attorneys. We rely on the quality and experience of the other professional, given the client’s particular needs, as the basis for a referral.
At the Athena Network, we embrace a collaborative culture.
Collaboration with Clients.
- Collaboration is at the core of our Mission: To provide a collaborative, educational, and empowering experience for women who want to be engaged in achieving their financial and life goals.
- We view clients as partners in the planning and investment process. This means that we get to know you — your story, personality, needs, goals, and fears. Understanding the multidimensional layers of your life helps us work with you to develop sound, suitable strategies that are aligned with your values and goals.
- For true collaboration to happen you should be educated about the issues and options at hand. Since clients will differ in your level of financial competency, our model involves enlightenment, coaching, accountability, and support — in a safe environment — all aimed at building your financial skill set.
Collaboration with your Family. If you desire, we are happy to work with your family members in a variety of ways. For example, we will facilitate a series of family meetings to discuss your updated estate plan. As another example, we may take an active role in educating and preparing younger family members to receive wealth. As always, if we can’t help you directly with a family matter, we will do our best to direct you to the best suited outside resources.
Collaboration with your Other Advisors. These other advisors may include your accountant, estate attorney, insurance agent, company HR benefits manager, and others. This collaboration leverages all of the specialized expertise available to you. With your permission, The Athena Network takes the lead to coordinate the joint efforts with these other advisors.
We believe that good communication, listening, and empathy skills are just as important as technical competence. We work diligently to embody the following traits in our communications with clients:
- Proactive. We take the initiative to reach out to you to schedule review meetings, follow up on action items, remind you of your follow-up items, and alert you to investment and planning-related matters that may concern you.
- Responsive. When you reach out to us, we make every effort to respond within 24 hours, and typically the same business day.
- Clear. We try to steer free of the industry jargon that often serves to boost the ego of the advisor but can confuse and intimidate clients. We encourage you to stop us when we use unfamiliar words or concepts.
- Thoughtful. We ask curious questions, use active listening, celebrate your accomplishments, and offer empathy when life gets challenging.
- Sensitive. Our clients find that they can trust in our maturity and empathetic skills. We strive to tune in to your needs, thoughts, and feelings so that you feel understood, appreciated, and cared for. And we make a concerted effort to keep the conversation with couples balanced, both inside and outside of the office.
- Transparent. We explain in clear and understandable language how our office works, and what we can and cannot do for you. We let you in on our thought process and rationale for recommendations.
Our practices of stewardship, objectivity, collaboration, and good communication are the first steps in earning your trust. We try to further merit your confidence by our manifestation of the following qualities:
- Technical Competence. Our education, experience, and credentials help us to earn clients’ confidence in our technical competence and know-how. The “icing on the cake” is our ready access to top notch resources at LPL Financial, including its award-winning investment research department and highly trained financial planning group. The end result is our ability to provide personalized, customized advice and counsel to clients of various backgrounds and with diverse challenges, from the more routine to the unusual and complex.
- Ethical Conduct. We are proud of our unblemished regulatory record and work hard to demonstrate every day, in every way, ethical conduct and character.
- Reliability. We strive to be consistent, follow through with promises, demonstrate that we can be counted on, and deliver top notch service.