For this issue of Market Conduct & Suitability, Jay Grubb of Key Financial Partners, who is a financial, retirement and estate planning specialist in Gwinnet Country, Ga., provides his thoughts on how advisors can survive and continue to do the right thing during these tough times, and explain to their clients why now is a great time for safe products.
Senior Market Advisor: With times tough and uncertain, it’s an opportunity for you to be the calm amid the storm. What are you doing right now to allay your clients’ fears?
Jay Grubb: Go over your clients’ plan again to reassure them that they are still on course. I always show them if they stayed in their previous investment how much money they would have lost if they didn’t make a change.
SMA: Since the economy has hit its rough spots are you seeing your sales up, down, or the same?
JG: Up. It is strange, but business is going great ever since the market has started to drop. I guess they finally see why safe money strategies are critical for people in retirement.
SMA: What products are you having the most success selling right now? Why do you think that is?
JG: Annuities and life insurance. People want safe places to place their money now with the market going all crazy. Life insurance, when explained and designed properly, is always easy to fit in the client’s plan.
SMA: What are some key tips or action items that you can give other advisors to help them succeed during this turbulent market?
- Use the negative media and market as an opportunity to talk to people. An opportunity to talk to someone about their finances like this doesn’t come around that often. Take advantage of it.
- Develop safe money strategies for your clients (prospects and current clients).
- Get referrals from existing clients
- Meet with existing clients and go over their statements. (You will get more business!)
SMA: What type of questions do your clients have for you and how are you addressing/answering those questions? JG: Most of the questions I am getting have to do with the insurance company and them going out of business, or a question here and there about AIG. My response is, “Most of the companies I deal with have been around for hundreds of years and have been through times more difficult than this one we are in now.”
SMA: When there are tough times, we never seem to see a lack of finger pointing and playing the blame game as to why we’re in the state we’re in, but what as an individual or as an industry do you see that can be done to help turn this thing around?
JG: I think for people to wake up, take a deep breath and relax. The world isn’t coming to an end, but times are tough. The best thing we can do as an industry is take advantage of this and tell everyone we can talk to about safe money solutions for their planning going forward. Learn from this disaster as a lesson to our industry and our clients that when you are relying on something you aren’t in control of, these types of occurrences can happen and do happen. We cannot turn back the clock, but we can plan for tomorrow.