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    College Planning: It’s Closer Than You Think

    posted in Client Relationships Jun 21, 2022


    Graduation is barely in the rear-view mirror and the fall semester is right around the corner. Now is the time to enjoy one last summer before the first year of college. Ideally, everyone would have begun planning for college years ago and could breathe a sigh of relief today, knowing the hard work is behind them. Still, this can be an emotionally charged time for many family members.

    Once you meet a client and learn about the family makeup, one of the first questions to ask is, “Have you started planning for college?” Advisors often focus primarily on retirement planning,  but higher education funding is an important part of financial planning conversations for families with children and younger couples who may wish to pursue their own post-secondary education goals. Even if your client doesn’t currently have children, if they intend to, it’s never too early to start saving for college.

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    The Human Touch in Financial Advising

    posted in Client Relationships May 10, 2022


    It’s an increasingly automated world, and while today’s automation may not eliminate the need for humans, artificial intelligence is changing the way people conduct their lives and business. Likewise, easily accessible apps and online services have convinced many individuals that they can take a do-it-yourself approach to many things — including investing.

    Some advisors find it challenging to prove their value to clients when computers can dole out investment options at the click of a mouse or tap of a touchscreen. Robo-advisors can’t do everything, however, and advisors who can demonstrate particular qualities and add the human touch in financial advising are in better shape to set themselves up for success.

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    What Advisors Should Know About Tax Freedom Day

    posted in Client Relationships Apr 12, 2022


    Sometimes it can be hard for clients to get an idea of their financial situation unless they can see a clear visual that demonstrates where their money is going. A strong visual can help people understand abstract concepts and gain a better grasp on what’s really happening.

    That’s where Tax Freedom Day enters the conversation. The tax filing deadline for 2022 is Monday, April 18, but that also happens to be Tax Freedom Day for a lot of people.1 What is Tax Freedom Day, and what should advisors know about it to help guide clients through their individual financial waters? We’ve broken it down for you here.

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    Financial Advisors Need to Manage Emotions, Not Just Money

    posted in Client Relationships Mar 29, 2022


    The expansion of big tech and online investing tools has been a wake-up call to some financial advisors as they’ve watched a segment of their clientele slowly disengage and distance themselves. Add to that the pandemic’s impact of taking in-person meetings to a virtual standstill and the gap widens.

    Not only are some investors pulling back and choosing to shift their portfolios to online platforms, some may be going directly to online providers and skipping an advisor altogether.

    Advisors fully understand the value they bring to a client’s retirement planning strategy. But is there a disconnect between what investors really deem valuable and what financial advisors think investors value?

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    Do Big Tech Innovations Pose a Threat to Financial Advisors?

    posted in Client Relationships Mar 8, 2022


    Big Tech companies have long since expanded from their initial industries, such as e-commerce, communication, social media, marketing and search engines. Many of these entities have begun building a presence in the financial industry — bringing with them troves of customer data and capital reserves to develop and invest in technologies that are disrupting the industry.

    Tech giants have thrown their weight and capital investments into key technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, machine learning, software-defined security and other potentially disruptive innovations.1 Facebook parent company Meta has its blockchain-based Diem Association payment system. Amazon’s lending arm offers business loans. Google Cloud is used by major financial services companies.

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    7 Financial Advisor Tips for Optimizing a LinkedIn Profile

    posted in Client Relationships Mar 1, 2022


    More than seven in 10 Americans use some type of social media. Younger adults are the largest audience, but older generations are gaining ground.1 

    While there are many social media channels out there, not all have something to offer financial professionals when it comes to engaging with clients and prospects. LinkedIn is one social platform that is widely regarded as a valuable resource for advisors and other business professionals. In fact, a greater percentage of higher income earners use this channel. Half of adults earning $75,000 or more are on LinkedIn compared to just 21% of those who earn between $30K and $74,499.1 

    Just because you have a LinkedIn profile, however, doesn’t mean you’re leveraging the platform to its fullest potential. It’s important to avoid common LinkedIn mistakes and to present your profile as if it were your online business card. Before you scour the internet looking for interesting articles to share or post your own nuggets of wisdom, make sure you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile using these seven tips.

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    How Should Clients Choose a Financial Advisor? It Starts With a Little Help

    posted in Client Relationships Feb 15, 2022


    People have access to a wider range of choices today than perhaps ever before when it comes to selecting a financial advisor. Even before the pandemic normalized the practice of meeting remotely, clients could take their pick from traditional, online-only and even robo-advisors to help them meet their financial goals.

    Evidence suggests recent events have increased the demand for financial services. In fact, a 2021 study found that, more than a year into the pandemic, more people reported confidence in the advice from a financial advisor (26%, up from 22% in 2020) than from themselves (20%, down from 30% in 2020).1

    That same study reported an increase in Americans working with an advisor, with 38% saying they had an advisor (over 29% the previous year).1

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    Don’t Forget: Digital Assets Are Now Essential to Estate Planning

    posted in Client Relationships Dec 21, 2021


     

    There are many details to consider when helping a client set up a will or estate plan, from assigning an executor or power of attorney, to choosing beneficiaries, to setting up a trust and more. 

    The process of creating any good estate plan includes taking an inventory of valuable assets that will need to be managed or dispersed upon someone’s death, including:

    • Real estate
    • Investment accounts, cash, stocks and bonds
    • A business or intellectual property
    • Personal property such as jewelry, vehicles, artwork and furniture

    Often, miscellaneous items or heirlooms that may not hold great monetary value but have significant meaning to individual family members are also included in estate planning.

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    How Financial Advisors Can Appeal to Wealthy Investors

    posted in Client Relationships Dec 14, 2021


    It’s a common assumption that most, if not all, wealthy individuals already have financial advisors assisting them, making them difficult to engage as prospects. But this isn’t always the case; some have quietly accumulated wealth over their lifetimes without the help of others — through higher earnings, real estate, employer-sponsored plans, inheritances or good old-fashioned savings (and a bit of luck).

    It’s also important to consider that some affluent investors who are already working with an advisor may actually be ready to consider a switch. Take, for example, an executive who accepts a position at a company that requires relocating to a different state. Understandably, they may prefer to work with an advisor who is closer to their new home. There are plenty of reasons affluent clients of other advisors could be open to an initial conversation.

    For advisors, this leads to the question: how can you get yourself introduced to that executive or other wealthy prospective client?

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    Why Consumer Confidence in Financial Advisors is Growing

    posted in Client Relationships Nov 16, 2021


     

    Despite the onset of mobile apps and technologies that allow individuals to go it alone when it comes to investing, the demand for financial advisors is on the rise. That’s according to a study by LIMRA, a worldwide research, consulting, and professional development trade association to the financial industry.1 

    Understandably, consumer confidence a decade ago may have been lackluster due to the housing crisis and market volatility as part of the Great Recession. However, confidence levels for financial advisors in 2020 surpassed their pre-Great Recession levels (24% vs. 36%).1 That’s despite unprecedented uncertainty resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, supply chain disruption, market swings and more.

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