January 14, 2014How Do You Make Sure Prospects Can Find You?
Experts say “inbound marketing” is the key to success today — not pushing out ads you hope customers will see, but positioning yourself so they’ll discover you. What’s your “inbound marketing” method?
I spend hours a week on my blog and Twitter feed. “Keyword” and “hashtag” are my middle names.20% I use Facebook, Pinterest and other sites to share useful or provocative content about investing and financial planning.80% I don’t really think I can gain clients this way. I stick to old-school marketing techniques, like seminars.
January 7, 2014What Do You Look for in a Custodian?
Custody providers compete for RIA business with many types of services. What do you consider most valuable?
I need a company that does it all — trust services, practice-management help, tech tools, everything.20% As long as my custodian is 100% reliable, I don’t care to pay extra for bells and whistles.40% I want one with a lot of know-how in helping newly independent firms grow.
December 24, 2013Do You Carry Professional Liability Insurance?
Clients can sue advisors over all kinds of things — low portfolio returns, cybercrime, late statements — and SEC enforcement actions have picked up. Are you insured?
I have a basic E&O policy, appropriate to my book of business.22% I carry E&O, D&O plus specialty policies (cyber liability, ERISA bonds, etc.).33% I’m a small shop and I play by the rules, so I don’t need insurance.
December 17, 2013Do You Prefer Financially Literate Clients?
Wealth management involves a good deal of specialized knowledge, from market mechanics to the miracle of compound interest. Would you rather work with clients who understand the fundamentals?
Yes. The savvier the client, the less time I’m forced to spend explaining basic concepts.14% No. Clients who consider themselves financially sophisticated tend to cause me problems.43% I’m good at working with clients anywhere on the financial literacy spectrum.
December 10, 2013How Much Do You Need to Know About Behavioral Finance?
Many advisors seem to think insights gleaned from behavioral finance can help them keep clients from making infamous mistakes like buying high and selling low, and not saving enough when they can to make retirement more pleasant. What’s your take on behavioral finance?
The more I can learn about specific biases and “behavioral” investor types, the more effective I am as an advisor.11% I get the gist of it, and that’s plenty to remind me that clients need cajoling to stay out of trouble.5% Theories of why people think and act the way they do don’t help me preserve or make money for my clients.
November 26, 2013Do You Use Holiday-Themed Marketing?
Some advisors write heartwarming client letters at year-end or reach out to prospects with suggestions for financial New Year’s resolutions. Do you use the festive season as a touch point?
Yes. Every year we lay the holiday cheer on thick, and our clients love it.71% We might refer to the holidays in outreach materials, but we don’t make a point of it.14% No. We feel it’s a stressful season for many, so we let it pass without comment.
November 19, 2013How Do You Feel About Finding Prospects Through Chance Encounters?
The person chatting with you in the coffee shop or at the train station might make a perfect client for your practice. Would you suggest an exploratory meeting?
I’m reluctant. There are a lot of wackos out there, so I prefer referrals and networking.50% I’m open, but I’d do some homework on the person before following up.50% It’s a great technique because the relationship starts on an easy footing.0% I wouldn’t dream of imposing on a stranger — and I don’t need the business that much.
November 12, 2013What Motivates You Most at Work?
Financial advisors go into the business for all kinds of reasons. What keeps you motivated to do your best, day after day?
Money. It’s important to me to make a good living.65% Satisfaction. It’s great to help clients achieve their financial goals.8% Excitement. It’s fun to try to stay a step ahead of the markets.4% Fear. In an uncertain economy, my job performance is all I can control.
November 5, 2013How Do You Like to Spend Your Time at Work?
The day has only 24 hours, and advisors’ tasks can feel limitless. Among possible productive activities, which do you prefer?
Enhancing marketing to bring in new clients.43% Doing more for existing clients.9% Improving technology to streamline operations.4% Making sure compliance i's are dotted and t's are crossed.9% Expanding our investment options for clients.
October 29, 2013Do You Have Clients You Just Can’t Stand?
Some advisors say they don’t work with clients who are jerks. What’s your tolerance for tough customers?
I send prospects who give me the heebie-jeebies to some other lucky advisor.15% I’ll work with almost any client. Getting along with everybody is a point of pride for me.8% Unfortunately, I can’t afford to turn prospects away; though I wish I could.77% Taking on clients who are a bad fit never works in the long run, so I don’t try.