Going for Growth: What We Know About How to Grow and Why There Is More to Learn

Feb 27, 2014

The following is a guest blog post by Dan Inveen, Principal and Director of Research for FA Insight, a consulting firm that helps financial advisory firms with growth planning, organizational design and more. FA Insight is now fielding the 2014 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms; participate by visiting their website.

At its core, our work with advisory firms centers on helping them become more valuable enterprises. Building value predicates on improving the firm’s ability to profitably sustain growth. In other words, valuable firms don’t simply grow—they grow in a sustained and profitable manner.

One way our firm, FA Insight, provides guidance for advisors is through its industry research. Many of you may be familiar with the annual FA Insight of Advisory Firms, which for five years now has served to benchmark industry performance and identify best practices. In even numbered years the research coverage tilts toward the topic of advisory firm growth. Our 2014 Growth by Design study is currently open for fielding, with all advisory firms encouraged to participate.

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How One Advisor Got Closer to His Clients by Moving Away

Feb 25, 2014

A few weeks ago, I was able to sit in on an advisor “open mic” session and hear some great stories. I’d like to share how one advisor grew his assets under management by 30% and received more referrals than he had gotten in years. All he had to do was to move 600 miles away!

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Workflows Take Center Stage at #T32014

Feb 20, 2014

Last week was T3, or in long hand, Technology Tools for Today (http://www.technologytoolsfortoday.com/). This conference, run by Joel Bruckenstein (@FinTechie) and David Drucker (@DavidDrucker), is where all the newest technical toys are laid out for advisors. It’s like a geeky Christmas day. Due to its technical content, the conference was heavily covered on social media. If you didn’t follow along with the live tweeting during the event, you can still view all the details by searching on the hashtag on Twitter: #T32014.

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Control the Only Thing You Can

Feb 18, 2014

My Olympic-themed post last week hit home for a lot of you (I’ve Met Your Competition – and It’s You). Thanks to those who sent me notes on how they are fighting complacency and striving to get bigger and better each day. Late last week, I came across an article from a real Olympian and coach to financial advisors, Paul Kingsman. I thought Paul’s insight was interesting and fits with our client-centric businesses… Please enjoy.

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Advisors: A Three-Pronged Approach to Improving Your Facebook Content

Feb 13, 2014

The 2014 Financial Advisor Social Media Study was completed by a whopping 917 advisors (wow!) and WealthManagement.com recently ran an article by Kevin Nichols highlighting why financial advisors use Facebook, substantiated with real life examples from Oeschli Institute clients. What did they find? In short, advisors are using Facebook, and the segment that has really embraced Facebook are using it not just for humanizing and branding for their firm, but to get new business.

I think Facebook might just be the most important social network for financial advisors. After all, it’s where clients discuss every last detail of their lives, including key life events such as new relationships, births, travel, retirement, and more. It’s not just for “the kids.” Teens and young twenty-somethings are actually increasingly moving on to other social platforms, such as Instagram and SnapChat.

But I’m not going to sell you Facebook. As you can see from the Oeschli research linked above, advisors are using it more and more, and getting new business and developing deeper client relationships as a result.

Instead, I’d rather give you some examples of content that would be appropriate for you as a financial advisor to share on Facebook.

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I’ve Met Your Competition – and It’s You.

Feb 11, 2014

Unfortunately, our family missed the opening ceremonies and the first few days of the Winter Olympics. (Having no electricity for almost five full days, we missed quite a lot, thanks an ice storm here in Philly.)

When we finally settled down to watch some of the events on Sunday night, it got me thinking about the work and effort each athlete puts forth just to get to that moment – struggling for years, waking up early to train, and making time in the day to go the extra mile to become the best in their chosen fields. Somehow, they find the will to make that effort every day.

What I realized is that while athletes are competing against each other in the Olympics, really they are competing against themselves every day. It got me thinking, who are you competing against? Are you even trying to compete?

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Helping Clients Remain Rational in an Irrational Marketplace

Last week, I co-hosted a webinar on one of my favorite topics. The webinar entitled, “Understanding Investor Behavior” was with Jay Mooreland, MS, CFP®, behavioral economist and owner of The Emotional Investor. Over 500 advisors registered to help understand how to proactively manage and influence investor behavior. The feedback was very positive and it looks like most came away with some great ideas and ways to incorporate some of Jay’s insights into their practices.

In case you weren’t able to join the webinar, we have two new pieces that may be of interest to you:

We’ve created a new investor-approved brochure entitled, “The Emotional Spin Cycle.” You can download it now.
Also, I’ve invited Jay to contribute a blog post on investor behavior. You can find it below.

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Advisor Workflows: By the Numbers

Feb 4, 2014

Today is a continuation of a series of posts about advisor workflows in which I come at the topic from different perspectives. We have also just created a new white paper on the topic which you can download on www.seic.com/advisors.

Last year I was in an advisor firm as part of a team improving their workflows. This is brutal work, delving deep into the minutiae of how an advisor’s business operates and then working out how to improve it. A couple of things emerged from the process:

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Five Tips to Avoid Sabotaging Your SEC Exam

Jan 30, 2014

The following is a guest blog post by Les Abromovitz – Senior Consultant with National Compliance Services, Inc., a compliance Lesconsulting firm formed to assist state and federally registered investment advisers, hedge funds, mutual funds, and broker dealers nationwide, and strategic alliance of SEI. To learn more about their services, please visit www.ncsonline.com.

To survive an SEC audit, Registered Investment Advisers (“RIAs”) must do more than just follow the rules. They also must avoid sabotaging the examination process.

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Channeling Your Inner Kreskin

Jan 28, 2014

Over the next few weeks many of you will begin the time consuming task of year end reviews with your clients. Overall the markets were up in 2013. The economy, while somewhat bumpy, is still chugging slowly along and so far the government isn’t threating to shut down next week. All in all they should be good meetings, present market volatility aside.

Two weeks ago I wrote about those upcoming meetings in a post called “Don’t let your clients be teenagers.” My point was to remind you that the questions you ask clients can define you as either a financial person or as the person who can help them reach their goals. You also have the opportunity to use these meetings to help frame discussions for clients, as well as support your value proposition. One thing I forgot to add in that post is that they are also the best time to set yourself up to “read the minds” of your clients Even better, you can strengthen your relationships and make your website, newsletter, Twitter account, or Facebook page a regular destination for your clients (and prospects).

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