Become one of thousands who can say... "Keir Got Me Through!" 1-800-795-5347

Monthly Archives: November 2015

What Does the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule Mean for Advisors?

Smiling investment broker talking to clients

The majority of small investors currently have their main retirement savings in defined contribution accounts. A common issue for those investors is the only education they receive is from plan consultants who don’t have a fiduciary status. Additionally, any advice small investors do receive in regards to topics that include rolling over an IRA fails to dig deep into specific issues like tax considerations.

 

Understanding the Impact of the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule

 

This rule will have a significant impact on DC plan advisors. The DOL rule will make it possible for advisors to act as fiduciaries. What that means is it will be possible for advisors to innovate and provide what’s best for plan participants. Specifically, advisors will be able to guide small investors towards specific investments that are cost-effective and offer what an investor needs.

 

Another benefit of this rule is it will make it far easier for individuals to get the advice they need in regards to IRA rollovers. Instead of needing to somewhat guess with this decision, defined contribution plan participants will be able to get the comprehensive and objective advice they deserve.

 

 

During the last decade, the financial planning industry has seen a shift from focusing on products to emphasizing advice. The introduction of the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule will continue to move the industry towards making fiduciary investment advice the top priority.

 

Additional Takeaways for Financial Advisors

 

While there are quite a few reasons for financial advisors to feel positive about this new rule, it’s important for certified financial planners to understand the full spectrum of effects the rule will have on the industry. Specifically, it’s very likely that the impact of this rule will result in greater competition among advisors.

 

There’s a good chance that the increased competition spurred by this rule will put downward pressure on the general fees associated with trained financial advisors. However, that doesn’t have to create a major pitfall for advisors. Instead, it can act as an opportunity. The way it can create opportunity is by giving advisors a clear and compelling reason to explore different ways to render their services.

 

All signs point towards this rule leading to more people becoming aware and interested in getting guidance from professional advisors. This overall trend should result in a larger number of smaller investors who are making the best decisions about managing their money and planning for retirement.

 

Since the overall impact of this rule should be positive for advisors, the best step for them to take is to spend some time reviewing the specifics of defined contribution accounts and then think about where an advisor can use their specialized knowledge to provide the most value.

The Best Ways for Financial Advisors to Boost Business Going Into 2016

Happy New Year

Even though there are still a couple months until 2016 arrives, the holiday season always puts everything on the fast track. As a result, now is the time for financial advisors to start thinking about what they’re going to do to boost business in 2016.

 

Create a Crystal Clear Value Proposition

 

A simple but effective way for trained financial advisors to stand out from competitors is to identify the unique traits they bring to the table. By taking time to clearly identify those traits and even write them down, certified financial planners can get a much better understanding of where to spend their time and energy.

 

Embrace Saying No

 

Saying no may seem like the exact opposite of what an advisor who’s trying to grow their business should do. However, the reason that saying no can be extremely important ties in directly to the previous section on coming up with a clear value proposition.

 

If a financial advisor tries to be everything to everyone, they’re going to end up blending in with the rest of the industry. On the other hand, a financial advisor who knows exactly who they want to work with and isn’t afraid of saying no to potential clients who don’t fit that profile will be able to get where they want in far less time.

 

Avoid Chasing Trends

 

It’s easy for professionals in any industry to get caught up in trends and hype. The important thing to remember is just because something is being hyped as “the next big thing” doesn’t always mean it’s going to pay off. A better option for financial planning professionals is to look where money is actually being spent and then carve out new opportunities.

 

For example, even though millennials get a lot of attention, many simply don’t have the resources to pay for financial planning services. On the other hand, a large percentage of individuals over 65 have the resources and desire to work with an advisor. By focusing and innovating within a segment like seniors, savvy advisors may find the right channel they need to significantly grow their business.

 

Invest in Team Training

 

Regardless of how hard a financial advisor works, they can only take a business so far on their own. In order to continue growing, an advisor must build a team. And for a business to really flourish, that team needs to be as skilled as possible. The good news is even if an advisor is bringing in younger team members with significantly less experience, it’s possible to close the gap.

 

The key to doing so is investing heavily in team training. By making this a priority, a business can enjoy all the benefits and growth that go along with having the best possible team in place.

How Financial Advisors Can Help Clients Focus on Planning and Strategy

Depositphotos_22521519_s-2015

Most people are inundated with financial information. However, that doesn’t mean the information is making their lives easier or helping them make the best financial decisions. Instead, it simply adds to the confusion of people wondering what exactly they should be doing with their money.

 

Whether it’s when they turn on their TV or open a magazine, individuals are presented with an ongoing stream of ads for different financial products. Although there’s nothing scammy or inherently wrong with the individual elements of most of those financial products, the real issue stems from the cumulative impact all of this messaging has on people’s perception of financial planning and investing.

 

The mindset that many people get stuck in is thinking that if they can just find the right financial product to put their money in, they’ll be set. In reality, while the investments people making are obviously important, what’s more important is the plan they first create.

 

Certified Financial Planners Need to Take the Lead with Planning and Strategy

 

Individuals will be very happy once they have a plan in place and are able to see the positive impact it has on their financial well-being. That being said, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be fully receptive to the focus on planning at the very start. The reason it’s often necessary for trained financial advisors to take the lead and fully communicate the importance of planning is clients often come in with their interest solely focused on a specific financial product.

 

Primarily seeking advice about whether or not they should invest in a certain financial product can initially make it hard for a client to see the bigger picture. The good news is as long as financial advisors are patient and take time to communicate why those types of decisions are best made in the context of an overall plan, most clients will come around to seeing the value in taking this kind of approach.

 

Financial Planning Professionals Can Use This Situation As An Opportunity

 

People’s interest in the financial products they see advertised isn’t going to disappear any time soon. What financial advisors need to understand is that’s not a big thing for them. Instead, it actually presents an opportunity. Advisors can use the interest people have in financial products to attract new or potential clients.

 

Once an advisor is in a consultation, they can use the importance of planning to demonstrate to the client why it’s so vital for individuals to have knowledgable professionals who can provide guidance along the path to accomplishing financial goals.

What Do Affluent Clients Really Want From Their Financial Advisor?

Word Cloud Relationship Marketing

Financial advisors who are interested in working with affluent clients need to understand the specific needs of this segment of the population. The first need that affluent individuals have is being able to trust their financial advisor. While any client needs to have a level of trust with an advisor that’s giving them financial direction, this issue is especially important for people with a significant amount of wealth. That’s why a full 93% of wealthy clients are initially introduced to the financial advisor they end up working with through some form of relationship marketing.

 

What that means for financial advisors is although online marketing definitely has its place, it’s highly unlikely that it will lead to the acquisition of an affluent client. Getting on the radar of that type of client requires a different approach to marketing.

 

Affluent Clients Want to Talk About Their Families

 

Wealth isn’t something that only affects individuals. Instead, it shapes the lives of entire families. That’s why wealthy clients want to talk about their families with trained financial advisors. But what’s almost shocking is statistics show that less than 9% of affluent clients are offered discussions about family finance. This major gap between what affluent clients want and what they’re getting from most financial advisors provides a significant opportunity for certified financial planners who understand how to fill this need.

 

They Want An Ongoing Relationship

 

Surveys clearly show that the most affluent individuals want to meet with a financial advisor at least twice a year. However, as with the issue of discussions of family finance, many advisors are failing to provide this type of ongoing relationship. Even if a financial planning professional is used to only meeting with clients once a year and then doing everything else online, there’s no reason they can’t tailor their service to be more engaging with affluent clients.

 

Affluent Clients Are Looking for Direction and Guidance

 

Although some people have a misguided belief that wealthy individuals aren’t actively looking for direction and guidance for their investments, that couldn’t be further from the truth. A full 71% of households with investible assets of at least one million dollars are actively looking for direction and guidance in regards to making new investments.

 

Why are so many affluent individuals looking for the types of services that financial advisors can provide? The main reason is they understand the value in putting their money to work. And because affluent clients are often short on time, having a knowledgeable and trustworthy professional who can propose new investment options is an ideal situation.

 

While building a client list of affluent individuals isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight, there is plenty of opportunity within this space for advisors who understand how to position themselves.