In the beginning of my independent life as an advisor, the majority of my business income came from financial planning fees and I spent a great deal of time developing my planning tool in Excel. I’m very glad I took the time because it offers a very unique analysis which my clients greatly appreciate.

Up to this point in 2009, I haven’t spent much time seeking out new planning opportunities, but I have been updating the plans of existing clients.

I have also resolved that I will charge a “retainer” fee to continue monitoring my client’s progress. The fee will be deducted quarterly and the plan will be updated at least annually.

Asset Management

This year I have spent more time focusing on the asset management side of the business which has been growing well. I realize that the majority of my income will be derived from managing portfolios so I have been searching for a way to efficiently handle a larger number of accounts. When I had just a few accounts it was relatively easy. If I needed to buy or sell a security, I could accomplish this by starting with one account and moving to the next, then the next, etc. However, now that the number of accounts has grown, this task has become increasingly more challenging. I realize I will have to “group” certain accounts together so that when I need to make changes, I can change the accounts all at once. Fortunately, my custodian has a state-of-the-art trading system to make this easier. Although I am new to their system, I’d like to share a couple of things I’ve learned.

Model Trade

One of the features of my custodian’s trading system is called a Model Trade. With this, I can create a model portfolio, assign any number of accounts to it, and set it to rebalance on whatever frequency I choose. I can also set parameters for rebalancing such as, “Do not rebalance unless it is more than X% out of balance.” I can also set the minimum as a dollar amount. For example, “Do not rebalance unless the trade is more than $XXX.” It’s very easy to do and I’m excited about incorporating this into my practice.

There’s much more to this and as I learn more I will share it with you.

Thanks for reading!