All experienced advisors know that asking great questions to their best clients can uncover more assets to manage. With the stock markets now off of the recent highs, great client questions could not come at a better time.
This is the third in my series of articles on how advisors can begin to manage their client assets in company retirement plans. The series of articles began here.
The Retirement-Plan Menu
First, ask your best client if he or she would be interested in a second opinion on the menu of mutual-fund options in their company retirement plan account.
From my experience, any client that you have had a long investment advice relationship with would be more than happy to gain a second opinion from you on their current company retirement plan investments.
With the last few months’ stock market volatility, how hard would it be right now to ask the client if they would be interested in improving the investment performance in their company retirement plan account?
Once you have a copy of their current company retirement plan holdings, you need to also ask for a copy of the entire company retirement plan menu. This gets a little trickier. As you would imagine, even your best clients don’t spend a great deal of time navigating their company retirement plan provider web site.
If your client fumbles this request, ask him or her to call their Employee Benefits department to secure an e-mail copy of the entire company retirement plan menu.
My company began providing individual company retirement plan advice by accident over 13 years ago. During a routine telephone conversation with a client, I somehow managed to ask a question that has completely changed my advisory practice since that fateful day.
The client on the phone with me was a long-time, stock-and-bond client. I was working at a broker dealer in those days, so the investment advice relationship was strictly stocks, municipal bonds, and zero coupon bonds for his girls to attend college.
My technical research database provider, Dorsey Wright & Associates, had just expanded their daily price chart database to include mutual funds at that time. For whatever reason, I asked this client for a copy of his new law firm company retirement plan menu at Fidelity.