Time for a Transition (XIII): Redefine Your Value

A look at how some advisors have thrived recently, despite a spate of financial scandals and ongoing economic turmoil.

Why have some advisors not only gotten by, but even thrived, during years of economic turmoil and financial scandals?

Why have some advisors not only gotten by, but even thrived, during years of economic turmoil and financial scandals?

Brett S. Ellen, CFP, President of American Financial Network, thinks he has the answer: "We, and other top advisors, have continued to succeed through this terrible time because in every instance, without exception, everyone in our office has always put our clients' needs before our own. We've demonstrated our integrity, repeatedly, over the years and our clients and strategic partners have witnessed that," says Ellen.

Plus, when things get tough, "We always ramp up communication, helping our clients and strategic partners understand the value of planning and having a team of professionals who are there, independently, watching out for their best interests. Not only have clients stayed with us but they've sent their friends, family and business colleagues to us with hearty endorsements," Ellen adds.

Being client-centered came up time and time again in numerous interviews I conducted over the past nine months with leading financial advisors and industry experts. When pressed for details, Ellen, who has been #1 in both commissions and fee-based revenue for multiple years with independent broker/dealer Securities America, pointed to several other success factors - including the power of team.

"If you put great minds together, it yields better results. The more professionals from different disciplines like law, finance, business, insurance and employee benefits work together, the better it is for clients," he says.

"No one person or firm can know everything there is to know, especially in this new and complex world. And since we are committed to providing a 360-degree planning experience for our clients -- almost all of whom are highly-successful corporate executives or business owners -- having a professional team in place is a necessity," explains Ellen.

It also provides a wonderful way to reassure the client that there are checks and balances in place, that no single advisor or firm is pulling all the strings, as there are multiple professionals thinking about their situation and working to make sure things go right.

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