If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I would not consider myself an investment guy. Sure, part of my job is to manage a team of professionals that analyze client portfolios. And sure, I can at least sound convincing when talking about the markets and investment products with most advisors and their clients — you do tend to pick up things in close to 30 years in our business. I personally believe that advisors can’t differentiate themselves by focusing on investments or the products that they sell. They can only set themselves apart with personal attention to their clients and the advice they give.
With that said, today I want to talk about investments and your business. While it might be tempting for both you and your clients to “set it and forget it” when the markets are up, history indicates this is exactly the wrong approach.
After the extraordinary equity market results 2013, who would have thought we would be testing new highs in the stock market in 2014? Interestingly enough, that is exactly what we have been doing throughout the year. According to Yahoo Finance, the S+P 500 and Dow closed at all-time highs of 1,981.57 and 17,138.20 on July 16
For a quite some time now, I have been preaching the benefits of client segmentation – not by what is important to you but what is important to the client! Think about it, just because two clients have the same amount of money or generate the same amount of revenue to your firm does it mean they have anything else in common?
It’s half time in the year and many of you are starting to prepare for a semi-annual review for your clients. You may have even completed a review of your own business for the first six months of the year – for many of you, things look good. Because of the market, AUM is up, revenue is probably up and for the most part, clients are somewhat happy. Time to settle down and take the summer off? I don’t think so.
Last week I saw a very interesting blog post from Carolyn McRea at Blueleaf. Time to be fat and happy? I don’t think so. Please enjoy Carolyn’s post.
This is the second of two blog posts covering my conversation with Michael Kitces. In this one we pushed into the current trends of financial planning. To give you a sense for how Michael operates, our conversation was conducted while he was on a long drive. In total, we chatted for about two hours, during which he became more and more passionate. I only hope there weren’t many other drivers about, as a lot of brain power was focused on the phone, so there cannot have been much left for the road.
My job gets me out of the office on a regular basis, visiting strategic partners and attending conferences. One of the things I love is meeting the people in our industry. Advisors on the whole are entrepreneurs and as such, have to have big personalities and the drive to survive. Therefore, those who service and advise them have to be the same. In today’s blog post, I have a discussion with a man who clearly fits this description: Michael Kitces.
When Does Engagement Come After the Honeymoon? In Your Client Relationship
Last week’s post by Julie Littlechild called “How Fitbit Taught Me to Set Better Business Goals” was one of my favorite posts in quite a while. I really identified with it, as I’ve been wearing my Fitbit® device since March and averaging 13,346 steps per day. Her post was a great reminder that setting the goal was one thing, but having the dashboard and tracking your activities made it more real — and can make you more accountable.
The responses to this blog always amaze me. The posts that I think are no-brainers tend to get a lot of comments from readers. The ones that I think are stronger and would warrant some discussion or feedback? Crickets. Nada. Nothing. No matter what I think is going to happen, I am usually wrong. And what I typically find is that after I see a post published, I am the first to think of an angle I missed. I usually suppress the desire to edit, but sometimes I have to add more to an existing post.
Last week, I wrote about communications in a post called Advisors: Don’t Take a Vacation this Summer from Communicating with Client. I shared an idea that one advisor was doing to communicate to his clients (in this case, me) during the summer months. He wanted to make sure that he could still educate and connect via technology, but he was going to tailor the communication to meet the needs of his client base…
As we roll in to the summer, I think work/life balance takes on even more significance. I can’t tell you how many advisors that I have met that let the business manage them and not the other way around. To me Robb Brown’s guest post today below is all about R.O.T. What is your “Return on Time” and are you really doing the things that you should be doing? You can’t control the markets and you can’t control the economy. You can control your own behavior and hopefully guide behavior of your clients. Please enjoy Robb’s post.
One of the goals of this blog (and our SEI Advisor Network Practice Management solutions group in general) is to share with readers best practices of advisors around the country. In fact, some of the most popular Practically Speaking posts come from conversations, meetings, emails from readers, and advisors who I meet at conferences. This week I didn’t have to go far for inspiration as I just received note from my financial advisor and as usual, I think he nailed it.