What retirement issue has hit you or your clients out of left field and how
did you resolve it?
There really hasn’t been any retirement issue that’s hit us out of left field. Executing on our money stewardship responsibilities in a client’s financial life requires that we articulate in collaboration with a client, in dollar specific terms, how much money will be needed to either achieve or preserve financial independence. It’s not enough to take an ‘off the rack’ formula (i.e., at age 60 one should have X% in equities and X% in fixed assets).
Personal financial planning requires that there be a clear understanding of how much money is needed to enable a desired lifestyle free of financial worry during retirement years.
And so during the economic and financial market malaise of the past several years, it should be that a clients’ investment portfolio is structured to enable navigating and persevering through the most difficult environments. And that’s exactly what happens on our watch.
I think that the blindsiding occurs when an individual doesn’t start with a conversation that is not about money but what the money is about. And to really get clear with themselves what money is to do for them in their lifetime and how much of it is needed for financial independence (i.e., retirement).
Once that gets mapped out then it is possible to devise an investment strategy that gets the job done through all the bad and good times.
What prospecting methods are the most successful for you in attracting
retirement planning clients?
YBR Advisors is an established personal financial advisory firm, which, by the way, had its beginnings in 1987 during when there was a pretty horrific cyclical bear market. I’m referring to the one day in October 1987 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined about 21%. We certainly haven’t had that experience since then!
Given the number of years this firm has been established and our uncompromising effort to do good work for every client, every time, in every facet of their financial life, we are fortunate to have created a bunch of goodwill in the marketplace. So, we’re fortunate to not have to allocate any of our attention or resources to client acquisition. Instead, the phone rings and someone is on the other end asking for help.
We do, though, communicate to existing clients that our new client advisory focus is what we call the PrePost 10. This means we focus on beginning new client relationships with those who are approaching financial independence but the mission hasn’t been accomplished or folks who are already financially independent but they’re not in complete command of their financial lives and they don’t have complete financial peace of mind.
The ‘Pre’ refers to the folks who are approaching financial independence. It analogous to being in that later phase of a flight plan when one is beginning to put the landing gear down and everything really has to go right because if stuff goes wrong the outcome is completely bad.
We begin these relationships by communicating to our clients that those are the personal financial advisor relationships about which we’re specialized. The firm’s ‘processes’ are engineered to work with clients in that period of their financial lives.
It’s also true that we have worked with most of our clients for 10 or more years. We’ve all kind of grown up together. I began in the profession when I was 28 and now I’m 50. So, we have all kind of gone along the journey together. It’s natural for clients to refer others whose situations are similar to theirs. They’re all sort of approaching the runway and repairing the landing gear at the same time. I suppose it is a comfort for new clients to know we’ve been on the flight with existing clients for a long time.