From the April 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Mike's Tips for Independent Success

While every advisor will have his own preferences for how he operates, and his own definition of success, here are some suggestions for how to succeed based on my experiences.

o Try and put yourself in the client's position so you can

better serve them.

o Start a client focus group to find out what they really want, and what they think of you.

o Keep a close eye on expenses; it's one of the few things you completely control.

o Be clear on what unique value you offer clients, then

communicate it clearly to them.

o Don't hesitate to charge clients appropriately for services like financial plans.

o Stay flexible, especially in the first few months, when you're bound to be faced with some unforeseen challenges.

o Whatever your personal preferences, always place the client's interests ahead of your own.

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