In a recent discussion with Susan Hirshman, I asked her what she thought were the big issues facing advisors today.
Susan had until recently been a wealth manager herself and a managing director at JP Morgan. She has written for Investment Advisor and Wealth Manager and our sites on topics as diverse as advanced tax planning—she’s a CPA in addition to being a CFA and a CFP—and on women and money—she just published a book designed for women called “Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?”
Anyway, Susan said there was only one issue that advisors cared about: in a time when little in the way of new wealth was being created, the only issue for advisors was getting and keeping clients, especially the right kind of clients. It’s likely that those clients would be found in somebody else’s book of business, so more than ever, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. You need to have a clear message, and deliver that message in traditional and, for many of you, untraditional ways, such as through social networking utilities like Facebook or Twitter.
Some recent research bears out the changing ways we are communicating with each other, especially the young, though if you happen to know the joy of having teenage children, it may not be a surprise. A New York Times article cited Nielsen research on cellphone usage by 13- to 17-year-olds, finding that the average teenager sent or received 3,339 text messages a month, far outstripping mobile phones’ usage for voice calls. For teenage girls, “the average figure is an astounding 4,050 text messages a month, or eight each waking hour,” the article reported.