How to Create an Inspiring Team Business Plan

This time of year, many advisors turn their attention to business planning – charting their goals for the coming year.

 

Growing your business is a lot like starting a physical fitness regimen. For best results, you wouldn’t just begin randomly doing exercises hoping to reach some vague, undefined outcome. Instead, you start with a desired result and plan the right activities to get you there. And in the case of business planning, you communicate those goals and approaches effectively with your team.

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RIA Central Digests for 10/30/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

Sometimes the best tips on getting through a regulatory exam come from the people who have been through them — other advisors. During a recent compliance session at Commonwealth Financial Network’s national conference, three advisors shared their audit experiences. One said that her FINRA examiners focused on “know your clients.” Read more in a story at ThinkAdvisor. Also, at the recent NAPFA Evolution Now conference, compliance expert Thomas Giachetti warned advisors to prepare for more thorough exams. He outlined five questions advisors need to focus on before an exam. The first: Is your chief compliance officer more than a figurehead? The full story is at Financial Planning.

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RIA Central Digests for 10/29/2014

Practice Management

 

Charles Schwab this week announced the launch of its own “robo-advisor” platform, which will be available next quarter free of charge to investors with $5,000 or more to invest. Dubbed Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, it will include 24/7 support from a licensed representative. Later next year, the platform will be white labeled to advisors who custody with Schwab. A story at InvestmentNews provides more details. Also, financial advisors need to familiarize themselves with laws and protocol surrounding digital assets and specific online sites to better assist clients in the area of estate planning. In an interview with ThinkAdvisor, digital estate planning expert Jamie P. Hopkins explained how discussions regarding digital assets can deepen relationships with clients. Small business owners provide the biggest opportunity in digital estate planning, he said. A link to the story follows.

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RIA Central Digests for 10/28/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

When it comes to catering to high net worth clients, traditional wirehouses offer a greater range of servicesthan other advisory channels, according to research from Cerulli Associates. In addition, wirehouse advisors were found to be “150% more productive” than advisors in other channels because of the quality of advisor and their focus on attracting affluent clients, a Cerulli associate director said. Read more details in the Financial Planning story below. Also, millennial clients and prospects – particularly women – often require a different financial planning approach. Advisor Mary Beth Storjohann describes some key mistakes to avoid when working with millennial women, such as overcomplicating the issues. See her article at InvestmentNews.

 

Wirehouse Advisors Lead In High-End Services, Study Shows
By Suleman Din
Source: Financial Planning

 

Looking at the range of services received by clients in all advisory channels, traditional wirehouses take the lead in catering to high-end client needs, according to recent data.At wirehouses, 90% of clients received estate planning services in the third quarter of 2014, according to new research from Cerulli Associates. That compares to 83% of regional broker-dealer clients, 76% of bank clients, 80% of independent B-D clients and only 66% of RIA clients.

 

Read the rest of the story…

 

4 Mistakes Advisers Make With Millennial Women
By Mary Beth Storjohann
Source: InvestmentNews

 

Working with Millennial clients has become a hot topic within our industry in recent years and months. How to market/not market, how to invest/save, communication preferences, goals and the big question — “Why even bother?”Whether you like it or not, your client’s children (and their children) have a growing need for financial advice. If it you’re not going to answer their questions, they’ll find someone who will. This is particularly true for female Millennials, who are poised to both earn more and take on a greater role in household financial decisions than previous generations.

 

Read the rest of the story…

 

 

RIA Central Digests for 10/23/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis Borzi, who has been championing an expanded definition of “fiduciary” in the retirement plan area, is reportedly waiting in the wings while Labor Secretary Thomas Perez hears from opponents of the plan. InvestmentNews has the story. Also, financial planning for same-sex couples still involves a lot of uncertainty post-DOMA. David Gordon, a former attorney who is now executive director of The Gordon Financial Group, talked with ThinkAdvisor about some of the biggest changes since the ruling and some of the challenges that still exist, such as health care coverage and Medicaid. One of his tips for advisors: Connect with experts in the field. A link to the story follows.

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RIA Central Digests for 10/22/2014

Practice Management

 

Michael Kitces digs into a recent study on advisory firm acquisitions from Aite Group and NFP Advisor Services and presents some of the intriguing highlights, including the finding that those who acquire practices “on the cheap” generally experience the lowest satisfaction levels after the fact. His post is at Nerd’s Eye View. Also, more firms seems to be experimenting with a varied compensation model that might include AUM fees for some, retainers for another, or a combination of both as they deal with a financially diverse clientele. An article at Research Magazine describes some of the approaches advisors are taking, particularly with younger investors, as well as how advisors tackle “the talk” with clients about changes in fee structures. A link to the story follows.

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Building a Planned Giving Niche

Charitable givingA few years back, I spoke to an advisor in Dallas, Texas who had earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation from the American College. He planned to use this designation well into his own retirement as he reached out into his community and aided charitable institutions.

 

Becoming an expert in planned giving has several advantages for your practice:

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RIA Central Digests for 10/21/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

It doesn’t take long for a prospect to form an opinion of you: Five seconds or less. That’s why it’s important to make that first impression count — even before the client walks in the door. In a column at Advisor Perspectives, Dan Richards goes over some of the “little things” you can do before and during a prospect meeting to create a positive image. A link to the story follows. Also, why not borrow a page from schools around the country and host a “back-to-school” night for clients? John Anderson of SEI Advisor Network suggests that it’s a good way to remind clients “of who you are, what you do and what they can expect in their relationship with you.” Read his tips in a blog post at byallaccounts.com, below.

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RIA Central Digests for 10/16/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

The SEC had a “banner” year for enforcement actions in fiscal 2014, according to the agency’s enforcement chief, and there won’t be any easing up in the coming year. Andrew Ceresney, SEC director of enforcement, said insider trading will continue to be a “major focus” for the agency, as will private equity fees, microcap fraud, and pyramid schemes, according to a story at ThinkAdvisor. A link to the story follows. Also, the SEC Investor Advisory Committee has recommended that the SEC consider changes to the definition of accredited investor, a move that could impact which Americans can invest in nonpublic offerings. Currently private placement purchases are limited to individuals who earn at least $200,000 a year or have a net worth of $1 million (excluding primary residence). A story at InvestmentNews has the details on how that definition could change.

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RIA Central Digests for 10/15/2014

Practice Management

 

As it turns out, most of the “unique” value propositions that advisors offer to clients aren’t really that unique. In reviewing a recent study by Pershing Advisor Solutions, Michael Kitces notes that findings show advisors offer little more than “table stakes” when describing their propositions. For an advisor to differentiate him/herself today “requires a deeper, more specialized focus,” he writes. Read more in his post at Nerd’s Eye View. Also, RIABiz provides a recent webinar transcript that covers such industry topics as robo-RIAs, technology, and “the staying power” of independent advisors. Participants included an RIA owner, an RIA attorney, and a reporter from RIABiz. A link to the story follows.

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