5 Common Traits of My Most Successful Clients

March 17, 2015

Connect Member

Certified financial planner, certified divorce financial analyst and estate planning specialist


Here’s one of the coolest parts of my job: Since I assist my clients with personal financial and estate planning, I am privy to their hindsight as they look back on their careers and plan for the next generation. I’ve noticed several common traits that my most successful clients share. Regardless of whether they are a high-profile media personality, run a family business, or have been able to retire early from their career and are volunteering and traveling, they have five similarities.  

Beware, there are no secrets or shortcuts below — just a few commonalities that I’ve learned are not coincidental.

1. They’re investors, not traders.  

This applies to more than just stocks and bonds — it’s universal throughout their lives. My most successful clients have focused on making the right decisions for their long-term futures, and are not overly concerned or swayed by temporary setbacks or obstacles. Keeping the big picture in mind is healthy for your investment portfolio, your career, and your personal relationships.  

2. They prioritize what they’re passionate about.

One client loves cars and prioritizes owning beautiful sports cars. Another drives a Honda but focuses on taking amazing international trips. Each of my most successful clients realizes that it’s not about keeping up with their neighbors, it’s about pursuing their passion.  

3. They say, “No.”

If something isn’t working for them, successful people don’t ignore their experience or gut. Instead, they set boundaries. I’ve watched a client I respect decline board positions, and I’ve seen a strong mother set financial boundaries with her child. Too often we “yes” ourselves into trouble. Learning when and how to say “no” the right way is a key tool for true empowerment.

4. They give back.

The causes vary, and the style of involvement ranges from setting up a private foundation to volunteering at a library and sparking children’s interest in reading. Each of my most successful clients have tapped into the joy that is giving back and supporting causes that are deeply meaningful to them. Making time to truly participate in their community has given them tremendous upside on many fronts, even making their businesses stronger.

5. They’re present.

When our meetings begin, phones slide into pockets or bags. Questions are asked, and eye contact remains consistent. When I work with these clients, I truly feel as though they are present when making important decisions. Tapping into the present moment may seem like a luxury busy people don’t have, but truthfully, it’s an essential ingredient for reaching your goals.

Success is a vague term that can mean many things. For some of these clients, it has come in the form of significant material wealth, and for others, it’s simply stability within their family and financial structure. Regardless of what the outcome is, each client that I’ve observed with these traits has employed them in ways that work for them. Perhaps the most interesting of all is that these traits aren’t necessarily “natural” habits, but rather lifestyle shifts that can be learned. Look at the list and see which traits might work in your life, and how you can use them on your path to success.

Emily Boothroyd is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.