Creating a Partnership with Your Clients

Creating a Partnership with Your ClientsShould the relationship between financial advisors and their clients be any different than the relationships we have with our doctors, lawyers, clergy, and other professional partnerships? It shouldn’t. There should exist, between the two, a mutually beneficial financial partnership which requires both sides to provide input. The advisor shouldn’t be shouldering all the blame for investments which don’t work out. They also shouldn’t be doing all the work, when developing new investment strategies. The financial client partnership should be a symbiotic relationship because both parties have something to win… or to lose. Continue reading Creating a Partnership with Your Clients

Should Financial Advisors be Free?

Should Financial Advisors be Free?Perhaps the biggest boom of the Internet Age (from the consumer side) has been increased access to free information and services. From medical diagnosis and legal counsel, to music and movie streaming, the public has grown accustomed to getting things fast and at no charge. In light of this, many industries have struggled to devise a fair pricing model to keep them in business. What about financial planning? Should advisors be giving away their services for free? Is this a business model which can sustain itself in the long-term? Can a software application or a website substitute for real person-to-person advice about financial planning? Continue reading Should Financial Advisors be Free?

Financial Planning for Unmarried Couples

Financial Planning for Unmarried CouplesAs Americans wait longer to tie the knot and with many couples opting to not marry at all, the need for sound financial planning for unmarried couples is growing. This provides investment advisors an opportunity to offer products and services cohabitating couples can take advantage of to protect their finances. Continue reading Financial Planning for Unmarried Couples

Protecting Your Clients against Cyber-Attacks

Protecting Your Clients against Cyber-AttacksRecent news that Internet hackers compromised U.S. government data on 4 million current and former federal workers earlier this year is just the latest in online security breaches making headlines. Some consumers wonder if they can trust digital gatekeepers at both public and private institutions with their personal and financial data.

“There have been so many high-profile cybersecurity breaches in the news, not just in the financial services sector, but more broadly, such as with Target,” said Laura Grossman, assistant general counsel of the Investment Advisor Association (IAA). Continue reading Protecting Your Clients against Cyber-Attacks

How to Create an Employee Performance Management System

How to Create an Employee Performance Management SystemDespite the understanding that talent is a source of competitive advantage, establishing an effective performance management program remains a challenge for most organizations.

According to Mercer’s 2013 Global Performance Management Survey, only 3 percent of organizations worldwide said their performance management system delivered exceptional value, while almost half (48 percent) said their overall approach to performance management needed work. Continue reading How to Create an Employee Performance Management System

When Should Financial Advisors Use a PR Firm?

When Should Financial Advisors Use a PR FirmPublic Relations (PR) involves shaping and maintaining the image of a company, organization or individual in the eyes of the client’s various “publics.” PR can be a powerful tool for independent investment advisors or, worst case, damage your practice if it is not process-driven and taken seriously.

PR is not for every financial advisor; ask any PR professional and they will tell you it is not a direct path to new business. They will also tell you there is a definite distinction between public relations and marketing. Continue reading When Should Financial Advisors Use a PR Firm?

Leveraging Social Media to Fill Your Events

Leveraging Social Media to Fill Your EventsAs social media continues to outpace traditional methods of client interaction, it’s important that independent financial advisors recognize what social media platforms offer in offline business, such as events, workshops, etc.

Many, if not most, independent investment advisors agree the top two ways to grow business is through referrals – passive and active referrals from clients, as well as those from industry associates – and events. WealthManagement.com’s 2014 Advisor Benchmarking Trend Report, “Marketing and Client Relations: Practice Management Trends,” shows referrals were high up on the list of effective methods to grow one’s business, with social media being further down the list. However, the report did indicate social media has become increasingly important for advisors looking to market themselves to new clients. Continue reading Leveraging Social Media to Fill Your Events

Implementing Education Workshops into Your Practice

Implementing Education Workshops into Your PracticeThe financial services industry is a relationship business, but it’s also a business of providing a service. Implementing education workshops can be one of the most effective marketing strategies that independent investment advisors can utilize for business development. Continue reading Implementing Education Workshops into Your Practice

A Deeper Look into Outsourcing

A Deeper Look into OutsourcingShould independent financial advisors outsource? The 2015 Trends in Adviser Compensation and Benefits Study, produced jointly by the Financial Planning Association’s Research and Practice Institute and FA-IQ, seeks to answer this question. The report found that regardless of whether a firm embraces or rejects the idea of turning over part of its operations to third-party vendors, there’s rarely a change in sentiment. Continue reading A Deeper Look into Outsourcing

Financial Advisors Can Leverage New Ways to Grow Their Business

Financial Advisors Can Leverage New Ways to Grow Their BusinessExperts say that although referrals are great, they aren’t enough to grow an advisory business. With increased competition, independent financial advisors need to know how to market and grow their business.

A study called the 2014 Drivers of Business Growth conducted by the Financial Planning Association Research and Practice Institute found that business growth is a major challenge in today’s financial advisory businesses. Only 25 percent of advisors reported exceeding their business growth goals in the past year. Continue reading Financial Advisors Can Leverage New Ways to Grow Their Business

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