Transparency is the language of trust


I suggest that the most important messages are often short. For example, “Will you marry me?” “I do.” “Not guilty.” “The Giants win the pennant!” “Score!” “You’re fired.” “I love you.”

This illustration is one of my favorite short communications. While trust is arguably the prism through which all business success must pass, it is an increasingly rare commodity in our current culture. In fact, I put forth that we are in a crisis of trust. Regrettably, little trust is everywhere, which is why so many folks have become increasingly suspicious and skeptical. Unfortunately, I am one of these untrusting peeps who repeatedly request that one prove their trustworthiness before I engage in a business relationship.

In his classic book, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” business guru Peter Drucker wrote, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” What I find remarkable is that all businesses want customers, but very few companies have systems in place to prove to customers their trustworthiness. Trust is not a request; it is earned. Trust is not spoken; it is a feeling. If you think about it carefully, we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others on their behavior. Customers have no way to observe sincerity except through external actions.

Like many things in life, the solutions are likely in the basics. While the fundamentals may appear simple, it is far from easy. Trust does not happen without a lot of incredibly hard work and effort. I suggest that if companies, including financial advisors like myself, do the following consistently, the trust will be earned, clients will come onboard, and one’s efforts will monetize.

1.Tell the truth

2.Take responsibility

3.Don’t make excuses

4.Be transparent

5.Be proactive

6.Be consistent

7.Be friendly

8.Be sincere

9.Do what we say we will do

10.Communicate consistently

11.Create tremendous value

12.Demonstrate that we care

A business’s client service methodology is one of the most critical means that differentiate the best from the rest. In my practice, my staff and I clearly understand and appreciate that our clients are our competitors’ best prospective client. Therefore, we conduct our business as if we are at risk of losing them. I believe if companies work incredibly hard to earn our trust and to show us that they genuinely care, I think you and I will care back. Allow me to close with arguably the most famous short message ever written... Amen! Harry Pappas Jr. CFP®

Managing Director-Investments

Master of Science Degree Personal Financial PlanningCertified Estate & Trust Specialist ™

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™Pappas Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors

818 North Highway A1A, Ste 200

Ponte Vedra, Florida 32082


The use of the CDFA™ designation does not permit Wells Fargo Advisors or its Financial Advisors to provide legal advice, nor is it meant to imply that the firm or its associates are acting as experts in this field.

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a Registered Broker-Dealer and a non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and are subject to change. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.