As many of you know, I tend to get technical in my analysis of the industry. It’s a product of, well, being in product development. I do my research, identify an issue, and then focus in on specific solution to that issue. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and think bigger picture. What are the key issues facing our industry? How do they affect one another? What is their aggregate affect? Most importantly, how should all this change our approach? And that’s exactly why I’ve brought in Patrick Tucker, owner of True Measure Wealth Management and creator of the course The Evolved Financial Advisor, for today’s guest blog.
Patrick’s main (musical) message rings true – the industry is changing. It’s fostering a completely new environment and new breed of advisors. In the past, I’ve often referred to the next generation of advisors as those new advisors who will be coming into the industry for the first time over the next few years. However, the reality is that each and every one of you (existing advisors) has the opportunity to re-invent yourself right now to become a part of this wave of next generation advisors. So I hope you all embrace Patrick’s call-to-action to welcome this change, evolve with the times and stay competitive. P.S. – I know you won’t believe me…but I did get Patrick’s Bob Dylan reference.
The financial times, they are a-changin’! With the recent revisions to the Department of Labor laws, which require advisors to act as fiduciaries for their clients, and the increase in technology in our field, there is a real danger of disruption for those financial planners who do not evolve. Even if President Trump stops the DOL rule from being implemented, the impact of the regulation has already rippled through the public. Investors are now more educated and aware than ever before and they’ll be the reason finance evolves. And if the DOL Rule doesn’t go into effect, there’s always going to be a chance for new regulation. What does this mean for you? It means that you have a great opportunity to set yourself apart by evolving with the times.
Think like an entrepreneur
The new environment is perfect for those who think as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial financial advisors are those who operate under a different mindset. Instead of looking at their careers as based on sales or making quotas, the new breed of financial advisors will instead operate as entrepreneurs. Instead of focusing on sales or fitting into a broader financial workplace, they instead concentrate on being counselors to their clients. Instead of selling products, they give advice. Reaching sales goals takes second place to helping clients make the best decisions for their futures. Operating as an entrepreneur can help advisors avoid being disrupted by forever-changing financial regulations. This sounds like a win-win for everyone, right?
If this sounds as appealing to you as it does to me, you’re in luck. There has simply never been a better time in the history of business for financial advisors to make the move. The tools and resources are readily available for any advisor who wants to take the next step. The beauty of being an entrepreneurial advisor is the flexibility. There are a number of models you can use, with the most popular being the fee-only model that provides recurring revenue and allows you to grow a company that will sustain you for the foreseeable future. Other models include the retainer model, a model based on percentage of assets under management, a monthly subscription-based model, or a combination of any or all models. What does this boil down to? You get to work the way you want to work. I know, revolutionary!
This new breed of advisors will also be able to harness the power of technology to better serve their clients and to create the ideal working environment for themselves. If advisors embrace technology, they will be able to create monthly subscription-based models if they so choose, as well as drive traffic online. In addition, they can work remotely to reduce overhead and allow for travel. You no longer need to fit into someone else’s “box” to succeed in the world of finance. No more stuffy suits or oak-paneled offices, if you don’t want them. The focus is now less on image and more on where it should be: the clients.
It’s all about your clients
Speaking of your clients, what does this shift mean for them? It means you’ll be free to serve as a true counselor for them, instead of just advising on which financial product they should buy. When you focus on advice and guidance, you can step off that gerbil wheel and really learn how to become an expert on people. You can become knowledgeable about the “soft sciences” and slowly build your craft of advice. Soon, you will find that sales make themselves, while you’re busy helping your clients become happier, more fulfilled individuals. Instead of a two-hour meeting on annuities, you may find yourself advising clients on new diets to try, books to read or ways to increase focus. How great does that sound?
The time is right for advisors to make a mindset shift and evolve into a new breed of fiduciaries. Whether you’ve been in the industry for three months or three decades, you can still make the leap and grow a sustainable business that you can be proud of and that will benefit your clients in ways far beyond that of simple finances. Are you ready for the change?
Patrick Tucker, owner of True Measure Wealth Management and creator of the course, The Evolved Financial Advisor, has over 20 years of experience in the industry. By finding mentors, studying consulting businesses, taking courses, studying the soft sciences and running trial and error experiments, he has learned how to be an entrepreneurial financial advisor. He’s simplified this into an easy-to-use and replicable blueprint for anyone who is entrepreneurially-minded and tired of the sales culture.
The opinions and views expressed herein are those of Patrick Tucker. SEI bears no responsibility for their accuracy. Patrick Tucker and True Measure Wealth Management are not affiliated with SEI or its subsidiaries.