Giving Thanks

Thanks 1

by George Ray

It’s that time of year.  Time to think about and give thanks for all that we have. What do financial advisers have to be thankful for?  So many things. Here are just a few.

Firstly, the upfront costs or investment needed to build an advisory business provides those who possess an entrepreneurial spirit with the opportunity to build a business with much less capital than most other types of small businesses. Even many franchises require tens of thousands of dollars to get up and running.

Advisers have many different ways to structure their businesses, and also determine what products and services they will offer to their clients.  You can even decide what type of clients you want to service by building your business around a niche market (it’s actually quite a wise move).

You can choose from a wide variety of vendors that can become strategic partners – allowing you to gain scale in your business by outsourcing important functions and processes that could be accomplished more cost effectively and efficiently by someone who specializes in performing that service. There are money managers, marketing specialists, practice management consultants, social media experts, IT consultants, web design firms, and on and on. In fact, if there’s something that you need, but don’t want to do yourself, you can likely find someone who will do it for you.

We can be thankful for advancements in technology that are making us more efficient than ever before.  An investment in office technology can save you thousands of hours of work, and can help to lessen the need to expand staff positions. Today’s software programs can perform processes such as monitoring and rebalancing portfolios, and automatically mailing client newsletters. (You do still have to write the newsletter.) (Oh, wait, I’m wrong.  There are people who will write your newsletter for you as well.)

Technology is also enhancing and providing new (and often better) ways to communicate.  Advisers can place Skype calls to meet with clients ‘face-to-face’ without being in the same room, or even in the same city – allowing you to expand your business beyond the local geography. Online webinars can provide opportunities to update your skills and knowledge, and Google Hangouts can  offer a chance to collaborate with associates.

Advisers are also increasing the use of video to tell their story.  More and more adviser web sites are using videos to introduce the adviser in a friendly and nonthreatening way. Some videos are more formal — filmed professionally. Others are using a ‘down-home’ informal and friendly approach that can be very engaging and will resonate better with certain types of clients.

Advisers (much like their clients) are more mobile than ever.  It’s no longer necessary to sit down at your desk to access your client accounts.  Broker-dealers and custodians have recognized the need to provide their advisers with easy access to client information on smart phones and tablets.

And we should certainly give thanks that our regulators and compliance departments have gained some comfort around the use of social media, and lessened our reluctance to use it to build a market presence. More advisers are beginning to see the benefits of using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other platforms to build their brand, create conversations, and gain new clients.

By the way, it also doesn’t hurt that we’ve had a stock market (DJIA) that has been generally rising over the past year, as well as the last 5 years, and recently topped 16,000.

Yes, there are many more reasons that we should give thanks, but let’s not forget the most important reason — our clients. Our profession gives us the opportunity to meet so many people.  People who need our help. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some successful. Others struggling. Most care about themselves and their families. Some want to provide charitable help to others.

They’re concerned about lessening the impact of taxes on their income, investments, and estates. They worry about outliving their money, and whether Social Security will be around for them when they retire.  They want to know how to prevent losing the large amount of money that they’ve accumulated in their 401(k) over the many years that they’ve worked, and they’re scared as hell that they will lose something even more valuable after they retire — their sense of self-worth and purpose when they are no longer a nurse, or a baker, or a Vice President.

This is the ‘WHY’ behind what we do.  It’s why we battle with the regulators. It’s why we suffer through the negative media stories. It’s why we endure the countless interviews to find the right people to staff our practices. It’s why we come in early. It’s what keeps us up late. It’s because we care. We care about helping people to reach their goals, to fulfill their dreams.  It isn’t easy, but when we are successful, there is no greater reward.  And for that alone, we should give thanks.

Recovering from a Disaster

Storm cloudsby George Ray

We’ve seen the news reports, the interviews, the photos.  But it’s still hard to comprehend the devastation that took place from Typhoon Haiyan.  Few of us will ever experience this type of disaster on the scale that occurred there.

We feel for the people.  Our hearts are heavy. We send our prayers and make donations of money, food, water, and other essentials to try to help the people of the Philippines. It will take a long time for life there to return to normal – if it ever can.

And although it’s the people that are most important, as a business consultant, I can’t help but think about the thousands upon thousands of small businesses that have had their operations disrupted by the storm — because a disruption of a business hurts many people. Employees may not be paid, or may even lose their jobs.  Vendors and suppliers may lose their customer. Clients of the business may no longer receive the goods and services that were important to them. And, of course, everything that the business owner may have been building for themselves and their families could potentially be lost — maybe forever.

I’ve spoken to many advisers who have experienced disasters – from fires and floods to Katrina and Sandy. Some have disaster recovery plans, and have shared how their plan was helpful to the continuing operation and eventual recovery of their business, but many advisers were either poorly prepared or unprepared. How about your business?

As a practice management consultant, I’ve hosted sessions for advisers on disaster recovery, and thought it timely to share a few ideas here. There is so much that can be done to lessen the effects of a disaster on your business. There isn’t room here to discuss everything, but here are some ideas to get you thinking, and hopefully motivated, to create your own plan.

If your business is going to continue to operate smoothly – maybe even able to operate at all – you need a written plan.  Think about this — every large city, and even most small towns, have disaster plans in place to minimize the effects of disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes on their citizens.  And, most large businesses have backup plans so that they will have office space and access to computer hardware and files for employees should something happen to cause a disruption in their day-to-day business activities.  You must have a plan as well.  And, it should be stored in several places, so that you can get to it even if you can’t get to your office

Don’t try to do it all by yourself.  There are plenty of resources available online to get you started.  Do a Google search for ‘disaster recovery’.  In the top of the results you’ll find a great site by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  They know a thing or two about disasters.  There are also lots of sites that offer help to small businesses.  Network with other advisers.  Talk to other small business owners in your area. Brainstorm with your employees. Contact your broker/dealer and your vendors (fund companies, software vendors, etc.) to ask how best to work with them in case of a disaster – that could occur on your end, or theirs.

Your employee, client and vendor contact information should be readily available (i.e., a copy should be stored offsite) in case you can’t get to your (or no longer have an) office. (Before storing client information offsite, talk with your broker/dealer and compliance department so that you follow privacy regulations and any internal rules regarding client information.) Do you have multiple ways to contact your employees — through different communications channels? Do you have their personal email addresses, cell phone numbers, even their social networks?  Do you know their family members or close friends, and could you contact your employees through them if necessary? What about your vendors and suppliers?  And, of course, your clients?

By the way, expect employee absences. A disaster may have an effect on your employees.  If key personnel can’t get to the office because they are dealing with the impact of the disaster on their own property or families, you must have redundancy in your operations.  How will responsibilities be delegated to various staff members during a disaster? Cross training employees can allow your business to continue operating smoothly when an employee is sick or on vacation, but it becomes even more important during times of disaster.

I find that few advisers have a written operations manual or appreciate its importance, but having a written manual will help you and your remaining staff to continue to service clients when staff members who normally perform certain tasks aren’t available.  How do you get into the software to initiate a distribution for a client when only Jane has the password — because she’s the one who usually does the distributions?

It may have taken you years to build the infrastructure of your practice, so inventory your systems and have schematics of your infrastructure. How will you recreate your business, if it becomes necessary? Do you have the ‘blueprints’ to put your business back together? How would you go about it?  What would you need? How would you access it?  Where would you start?  What would it cost?

One of the most effective suggestions that I can make to help you recover more quickly from a disaster is to choose an ‘owner’ to direct the recovery. If you are fortunate to have an employee who has strong organizational skills, who is a leader, and is very responsible, then make that person the owner of your recovery.  Having someone in your firm that you can rely upon to take charge of the administrative aspects and details of the recovery can free you to work on big picture strategic initiatives, and give you more time to talk with your clients.

Large cities and town conduct disaster drills to test and refine their plans.  You should also. Conduct a drill with your employees to walk through your plan, the possible scenarios that could occur, and how you will handle them. After the drill, ask your staff questions such as ‘how did this impact our business?’, ‘how did this impact what you do?’, ‘what can we do to accelerate the recovery and get back to normal?’

Throughout your discussions, don’t forget the most important component of your disaster recovery process – your clients.  It’s very important to clearly communicate what’s taken place and keep your clients informed of your progress. An effective recovery plan should allow you to operate in a ‘business as usual’ mode, but, if it’s necessary to make changes in your operations in order to accommodate the conditions, do your best to limit inconveniences to your clients.  Most clients will understand that it may take longer to process requests after a disaster has occurred, but will likely want to know that their assets and investments are ‘safe’.  And, they may want to be reassured that any private information is also secure.

Having a well-constructed, written disaster recovery plan that has been thoroughly prepared and effectively communicated to everyone who may be involved in the recovery of your business may help you to continue to operate during a challenging time, and get ‘back to business’ much sooner.

The Client Experience Matters

mints on the pillowby George Ray

“The financial planning experience is a combination of a dental exam, math class, and marriage therapy” according to Dr. David Lazenby, speaking at a recent FPA Retreat conference. No wonder advisers have difficulty attracting new clients and getting referrals.  What couple wants to go through that kind of experience – annually? And, why would you recommend it to your friends or family?

There is no doubt that we could must improve not only the delivery of our services, but more importantly the perception of value and the client experience.  These days we are no longer competing solely with other financial advisers or advisory firms, but with companies like Amazon, Zappos, Nordstrom, and Apple. Companies who have learned how to provide their customers with memorable (even ‘remark-able’) client experiences whenever an interaction takes place. Companies who our clients love and wish we could emulate with the experiences that we provide.

Investment Advisor Nov 2013I just finished reading Michael Kitces’ article titled ‘What if Financial Planning Was More Like Build-A-Bear?’ in the November 2013 edition of Investment Advisor magazine (you should also be following his Nerd’s Eye View blog). If you have children, and have a Build-A-Bear store in a mall near you, the experience is probably familiar (my daughter had her 9th birthday party at one with her friends). As Michael describes in his article, the company takes ‘a product long since commoditized’ (teddy bears) and turns the process from ‘a few minutes at a cash register or website into a multi-hour interactive experience’ for you and your child. The child has a ‘much deeper buy-in’ because he or she is building a ‘new friend’, and Mom and Dad end up spending twice as much money to get the ‘same commoditized product’ (Yes, this is true, Michael).

Wait a minute. Did you get that? Let me say those two phrases again – ‘much deeper buy-in’ from the client and ‘willing to pay twice as much’. What adviser doesn’t want clients who are fully ‘bought-in’ to him and his firm, and willing to pay more for the client experience he provides — if indeed there is superior value?

So, what could we do to enhance the client experience? The Investment Advisor article suggests that changing the experience to be more interactive for the clients will create stronger relationships which will lead to more referrals. People need help with basics like organization, so we could assist them by sorting through their statements and prospectuses to help them decide what to keep and what to discard (although I’ve seen few advisers who are willing to do this), but we could go even further.

I’ve always told advisers that there is a big difference between data and information. That difference is primarily one of perspective – who’s looking at it. Data is raw. It may be organized, but it’s still just data. Until it is converted into relevant and useful information for the user (by placing into the proper context), it offers little value. As an example, advisers will often simply take a report from a money manager or fund company and pass it along to their client. In most cases the report was written for the adviser (not for the client) and has very little value to the client.  The fund company may have taken data and converted it to useful information for THEIR client (i.e., the adviser), but now the adviser must take what is data (from his client’s perspective) and turn it into useful information for HIS client.  This is where value is derived.

Mr. Kitces also says that delivering a financial plan to a client as a ‘giant tome, even though we collectively acknowledge that virtually no one reads them’ is not an ideal experience for the client either. Ideally, showing the client the results and recommendations through a live presentation using interactive software may be much more effective. The good news is that more and more advisers are starting to use iPads and large flat screens in their conference rooms to attempt to provide a more graphical and flexible solution for client discussions. The bad news is that we are still in need of more improvements to financial planning software before it becomes easy for most advisers to use it to interactively deliver that great client experience. As I mentioned above, financial planning software typically takes client data and uses it to prepare useful information for the adviser, but software companies need to work harder to help the adviser translate and organize the client’s data back into useful and relevant information for the client. (Companies like Dr. Lazenby’s ScenarioNow and firms like eMoney appear to be working toward this goal.)

I also love Michael’s suggestion to use mind maps to illustrate a client’s situation. I’ve frequently used mind mapping and electronic tools like Mindjet’s Mind Manager software to map out difficult concepts that I’m trying to understand. John Bowen of CEG Worldwide (and his co-authors Patricia Abram and Jonathan Powell) do a nice job of showing how mind mapping could be used to create a ’Total Client Profile’ in his book ‘Breaking Through – Building a World-Class Wealth Management Business’ (page 53). Imagine if the map could be interactive – allowing the adviser and his client to navigate through it during their planning meeting — and make changes, and see the consequences, as they review it.

And something else that I believe needs to be incorporated into the client experience is the use of data visualization.  We see these types of graphics used often to organize and summarize big data into visual information that can be more easily digested. I believe that it will become easier for financial advisers to produce this style of visual graphics that will be useful in client meetings. You can see examples at Visual.ly

Michael says ‘People will pay a lot more to an experience-based business that charges them for the feelings they get from engaging than they will to a business that sells stuff or charges for services rendered.’ I agree. Please read the valuable insights he offers in his Investment Advisor article, and look for ways that you can improve the client experience for your clients today.  Ask your financial planning software provider to incorporate more interactive tools and features into their software.  Watch for new tools coming from companies outside of our industry and consider how they could be used to improve the client experience. It matters.

What if YOU Created the Disruption?

Newton Cradle Crop 2

by George Ray

(Damn. This one’s a bit long. Better grab a cup of coffee.  Or maybe Instapaper.)

We’ve been talking about the disruptive changes that could occur to an adviser’s business model and where they might originate (for a review, see this post). I’ve suggested that every business should be concerned about disruption, provided some examples, and said that financial adviser practices are not immune.  But let’s turn from the negative idea of disruption to the positive side —- INNOVATION.  Can you proactively innovate in your practice to stay ahead of the potential disruption that is inevitably on the horizon?  And, (now ‘free your mind’ as Morpheus told Neo in the Matrix), could the innovation that you put in place in your own practice actually become some other adviser’s disruption? (and, just as Neo reacted, it’s OK to say ‘Whoa’). Rather than waiting around to have your business disrupted by someone else, what if it was you who proactively innovated — and created the disruption? Hadn’t thought of that, had you?

Ideas for business model innovation can come from almost anywhere, but there are primarily four hubs (or epicenters) that can be a source for business model innovation. Each of these hubs can serve as a starting point for major changes to your business model and have the potential to create powerful changes in your practice.  Let’s take a quick look at each of these four hubs:

1. Resource-driven hub

Innovations that are resource-driven usually originate from within your organization’s existing infrastructure, but could include products and services that you get from your key partners.

For example, Microsoft used its extensive software development resources to drive the innovation of its successful gaming platform, the Xbox.  This gaming/entertainment machine wasn’t originally in their business plan, but they realized that they could use their existing key resources (programmers, hardware designers, manufacturing partners, etc.) to open up a new market for their business.

With a bit of brainstorming with your team, are there any resources that you have developed that could be utilized in a different way to provide a product or service that could be of value to your existing clients — something that your competitors aren’t offering? And, more importantly, could you use those resources or key partners to help you open up a new market for your business (much like Microsoft did with the Xbox)?

2. Offer-driven hub

Your offer is your value proposition.  You can certainly innovate by changing your value proposition, but it will create changes to other components of your business model.

As an example, we saw in our own industry years ago the rise of no-load mutual funds. Some fund companies changed their offer by telling consumers that they didn’t need an adviser, and should do it themselves.  We can argue how successful they’ve been and what this has done for (or to) clients, but it certainly created disruption in my practice back in the 1980’s.  This new offer by some fund companies increased their revenue streams (i.e., they no longer had to pay commissions to an adviser), but may have added to their cost structure (i.e. they had to pay to advertise directly to the consumer and now hire their own service staff). This offer-driven innovation certainly placed these fund companies in a different space in the marketplace.

Today, there is talk of online robots (Michael Kitces says cyborgs) that use artificial intelligence to replace advisers by offering financial advice at a lower cost to consumers (e.g., Betterment and Wealthfront). You may not be frightened by this, and even laugh it off as something that will only take hold at the lower end of the market (i.e., for consumers with lower incomes and smaller investment portfolios), but back when you owned all of those big record albums wouldn’t you have laughed if Steve Jobs came from the future to tell you that one day you could have ‘a thousand songs in your pocket’?

3. Customer-driven hub

Have you ever seen a pop-up box on a website that is offering you a chance to connect directly to a live chat with a salesperson who can answer your questions?  Have you ever shared a comment about something you purchased or about your meal at a restaurant? If so, you’re seeing the result of customer-driven innovation. Customers want to easily find someone to help them get answers (hence the rise of the pop-up chat box) and also have a way to share their comments about their experience directly with the business, or with its other customers. So, are you reacting to your clients’ needs by implementing innovative solutions in your practice that provide increased convenience, better information, or faster access to you and your staff? What are your clients telling you that they need? Are you really listening?  And (here comes the ‘Whoa’ again), why not try to listen to what your competitor’s clients are saying? If he’s not listening, and you are, your customer-driven innovation may bring you some new clients – his, actually.

4. Finance-driven hub

Changes to your business model that are driven by finances can have a significant impact on your revenue streams, and many of the other business model building blocks as well.

We’ve all heard of the razor vs. razor blade analogy.  The company forgoes the revenue stream and potential profit that it may get from selling the razor by giving it away for free — in order to make higher margins selling the blades.  Printer companies do this also – the price of the printer is relatively low upfront, but the long-term ownership costs can be high because of the price of the ink cartridges.

We’ve seen advisers who forgo a potential revenue stream by giving away a financial plan for free in order to get the product sales that may need to be implemented as a result of the recommendations in the plan.  (We’re assuming that this is a real plan, and not just a disguised sales piece.) But there are also fee-only advisers who forgo the revenue from product sales completely. Their value proposition (i.e., offer) is much different from the adviser who gives away the plan for free.  They’ve decided that they can build a revenue stream that won’t fluctuate as wildly with changes in the market or a lack of sales. And, as a result their customer segments are likely much different from the sales person.  They work with different key partners than the salesperson.  And, the other building blocks of their business model (distribution channels, customer relationships, key activities, and cost structures) are also affected.

Innovation originating from the finance-driven hub can be the toughest for your business to take.  We’ve all seen stories about the adviser who decides to switch ‘cold-turkey’ from a commissions-based business to a fee-only practice.  He’s developing a brand new revenue stream while completely giving up his existing revenue sources.  This may be noble, but it’s very difficult to manage and to survive.

So what should you do now? Well, consider these four hubs of business model innovation as you look for ways to innovate in your practice. Each of them could provide starting points and direction for innovation. I suggested a rather bold move – innovate proactively to cause disruption rather than passively waiting to be disrupted.  Your innovations may not come to you easily.  You’ll need to continually watch for ideas and search for opportunities. But, if you’re not comfortable with this, you could always just take the blue pill instead of the red one, Neo.

Are You a Pain Reliever?

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by George Ray

I was recently stung by a bee in my backyard (one of the most painful places on the body to be stung). I’ve been taking some pain relievers to lessen the discomfort, and it got me thinking about how financial advisers can provide pain relief to their clients.  In fact, I believe that there are two primary ways that we provide value to our clients — by creating gains and relieving pains.

In my last post, we briefly looked at the need for financial advisers to continue to innovate and adapt their business models in order to avoid being disrupted — or wind up like Blockbuster, Kodak, or Blackberry (maybe soon). I’m a big advocate of completing an annual SWOT analysis (and have lead adviser workshops on the subject) so that advisers can examine their current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOTs).  This can be one of the most effective ways to build (and update) your business plan for the coming year (if done correctly). And although the SWOT analysis can be effective, I believe that we now have a need (because changes are occurring so rapidly) to actually take a step back even further by re-examining our business models much more frequently.

One of the key business model building blocks is your value propositionIt must describe how your firm’s products and services create value for your clients. If you can’t clearly show a potential or existing client how you can create value for him, you really have no business talking to the client. Most advisers think about creating value by creating gains for the client (and I’m not just talking about investment gains). We often suggest that we provide better service (although we have difficulty defining what that means exactly). We might focus on the array of solutions that we have available. Or how long we’ve been in business. Or how many credentials we have after our names.

But your value proposition isn’t about you.  It should be focused on your clients. And your clients often have pains — financial pains. You can differentiate your business from other advisers by letting clients know that you can be a pain reliever. In fact, here are some questions to ask yourself about the pain relief ability of your value proposition:

  • Can you make your customers feel better by killing frustrations or annoyances that give them a headache?
  • Can you fix an underperforming solution from a competitor by offering better performance, higher quality, or new features?
  • Can you relieve the pain of difficulties and challenges that your customers encounter by making things easier or helping them get things done?
  • Can you help your clients sleep better by diminishing their concerns or eliminating worries about their finances?
  • Can you limit or eliminate the conditions that develop from common mistakes that clients often make?
  • Can you break down barriers that are keeping your client from adopting better solutions?

Take some time to think about your ability to be a pain reliever for your clients. Consider all of the things that you do to help them to improve their financial wellness, and help them avoid getting stung in the backyard.  It really hurts.

Referrals? Don’t Bother Asking.

by George Ray

I just finished reading another article on how financial advisers should be asking for referrals. This one titled “Getting Referrals Your Own Way” by Ellen Uzelac appeared in Investment Advisor magazine (thinkadvisor.com on the web) in the August issue. It says that 90% of advisers don’t ask for referrals – even after firms host sweepstakes, offering luxury vacations.  These articles appear in the financial services magazines regularly. In fact, a quick Google search of the thinkadvisor website using the word ‘referrals’ produced 874 results – just from one financial advisor publication.

The article mentions Invesco’s new “Preferral’ program which begins ‘with a line that says something like this: “You have probably noticed that I don’t often ask you for introductions. That’s because I never want to make you feel uncomfortable, or seem like I am more concerned with my business than your family’s financial well-being.”

I can just imagine the client thinking: So why are you bothering me with this now? Just because you’ve never asked before doesn’t make it OK now. Just leave me alone. Are we done? Can I go now?

The article goes on to suggest that making the referral request more ‘personal’ by making an ‘appeal that emphasizes an individual advisor’s genuine thoughts, feelings and concerns’ is supposed to make this work.  Really?

20th Referral ImageLook, everyone has their own take on what works in terms of getting more referrals, better referrals, etc. There are referral coaches and lots of books about the subject.  But I truly believe that asking for referrals is not the answer.  In fact, if you have to ask, you won’t be getting anything that’s actually worth something.  And the more you ask for them, the less each one will be worth.  I heard a speaker once say that he could guarantee that his method would get you twenty referrals every time you asked for them.  So, how much do think the twentieth referral would be worth?

Let’s get something straight. You must understand that your client has no obligation to make a referral to you. Yes, even if you tell him that it’s one of the ways that you get compensated. (Most clients have heard that one, and are saying to themselves “No, I already did compensate you for the work you did for me.”)

Secondly, you should know that referrals are a form of social currency. If I make a referral, I’m making it to raise my status with whomever I am giving that referral to.  I’m essentially saying, “I know just the person that can help you with your problem. I’ve already vetted them for you.  I feel very comfortable telling you about them because I know that it won’t come back to haunt me. I’m secure in the fact that they will do a great job and you will come back with your problem solved, a big grin on your face, and a huge thank you for me. And, as a result, I know that to you I will now be a more valuable friend, associate, relative, etc.”

So, the client doesn’t receive an increase in social status by giving you a referral, Mr. Adviser.  Remember, you work for him.  And, he’s paying you.  In his mind, he’s already above you. Yes, you are his financial adviser, but essentially you are his employee — like his gardener, or his plumber.

Now, he may well refer his gardener or his plumber to someone in need of those services.  If he does, it’s for two reasons.  Firstly, he can say exactly what services are performed by this person. “I had a leaky faucet in the bathroom. This guy came and fixed it in five minutes, only charged me half of his regular rate, since it wasn’t a big job, and he was on time and put little booties on over his shoes when he came in the front door.”

Secondly, in order to get referrals, your clients need to be able to easily ‘remark’ about you to their friends and associates.  In order to get them to ‘remark’, you must make yourself ‘remark-able’.  The plumber did several things that made him stand out (i.e., ‘remarkable’) from other plumbers – only charging half his regular rate, being on time, and keeping the house clean by putting on his booties.

So, your client must know exactly how you have helped them, and your services must be outstanding compared to the ‘typical’ financial adviser.  If you satisfy both of these criteria, you’ll get referrals –without even asking.  But I believe that most advisers do a poor job at satisfying either one of these criteria – which is why they must attempt to beg ask for referrals (which, by the way, lowers their own social status in their client’s eyes every time they ask).

How can you make sure that your clients understand exactly what you do and how it has helped them? How can you make your services ‘remarkable’ enough to make your clients want to talk about you? Let’s discuss this in a future post.

Welcome to the Business of Financial Advice

Welcome to The Business of Financial Advice. As a veteran of the financial services industry, my intention is to share and comment on current news and issues that affect the management of a financial adviser’s practice. I hope that financial advisers will find some valuable thoughts, ideas, and insights on the complex business of providing financial advice to clients.

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