David Aigner, Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management Group, Senior Vice President/Financial Advisor, Houston
1. What has hit you or your clients out of left field, and how did you resolve it?
The one issue that has hit clients and their financial advisors with the greatest impact has been the increased volatility in the market and its effect on client’s portfolios.
As clients have strived to meet an ever higher percentage of their pre-retirement income needs in a long trend of declining interest rates, they have moved more and more towards equities to add the ‘extra return’ that they need.
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We have worked to resolve this issue by building in targeted maturities in our portfolios to meet cash flow needs as they arise and by balancing our portfolios with a greater emphasis on dynamic asset allocation with the use of investments that are designed to reduce volatility through non correlation.
The emphasis is more on reducing volatility as compared to increasing alpha and therefore portfolio volatility.
2. What prospecting methods have been most successful for you?
Our success in marketing has come through educating clients as compared to selling them.
We will gather small groups of individuals that work for a single company and spend an hour over lunch educating them about their specific company plans. Most pre-retirement prospects have little knowledge about what retirement plans they have with their companies. They need to be educated on how these plans can be distributed and used to meet their income needs and long-range retirement goals.
This begins the process that allows them to build trust and confidence in us and our business.
3. Do you face any frequently occurring misconceptions with prospects?