From the May 2012 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Get Organized to Provide Help

It’s well-worth the investment of a few hours to create and maintain a file of resources that could make a world of difference to your clients, your family and your co-workers. Here’s how I would suggest approaching the task:

  1. Identify areas in which you want to help your clients. For example, if your client niche is retired airline pilots, their needs are likely to be very different from a clientele largely made up of young technology entrepreneurs.
  2. Gather relevant articles, books and a list of helpful websites for each subject. You might also begin collecting success stories of friends, family, clients and colleagues who battled these issues and dealt with them well. Consider writing a newsletter article or an email to your clients about what you’re learning.
  3. Reach out to your networks of support to find resources worth recommending. Remember, clients themselves can be a powerful source of information and resource sharing. Asking for their help may also reinforce your role as a caring and engaged advisor. Check with your broker-dealer, your custodian or your practice management consultant for resource help as well.
  4. Ask your corporate and compliance attorney how to limit your liability. Make sure that when you suggest a resource, you’re not liable for a less-than-good experience. Put language in your resource lists that protects you and your practice.
  5. Set aside an hour at least biweekly to review your resources. You can research new information online, read articles, make calls to prospective resources or plan meetings with practitioners you might want to recommend.

>> Return to "When Your Advisory Skills Aren't Enough."

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