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5 ways to make 2013 your best year yet

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I believe that there has never been a better time to serve the retirement and wealth planning markets.

The aging of the baby boomers represents a mind boggling amount of wealth that, upon retirement, will usually come under the full control of the retiree.

As we move forward in 2013 we also face tremendous market turmoil and uncertainty. With the increasing federal debt and budget deficits and an aging demographic needing entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, our country faces enormous fiscal challenges. Consumers are also fed up with the “status quo” of Wall Street.

See also: Why you shouldn’t trust Washington or Wall Street

Tax reform also appears to be imminent and necessary as we attack the problems of our growing debt. In my opinion, we‘ll never see taxes any lower than they were across the board in 2012, and we will most likely see taxes increase in the future, perhaps dramatically. (Note that this article was written prior to any resolution of the fiscal cliff.)

All of these market forces have converged to form incredible opportunity for advisors who can differentiate themselves from the rest. Clients are looking for answers. They are uncertain of the future and they want guidance they can depend on. Clients are fed up with Wall Street, and they desire to minimize taxes over the long run.

How can you “stand above the crowd” in this crowded industry?

1. Educate, educate, educate. Simply explain things to people in real language, in a way they can understand. Show them things they’ve never heard before. Don’t use industry jargon. You don’t want to sound like the Tom, Dick or Harry at every brokerage firm, bank or insurance agency.

2. Always work off of the client’s agenda. Never work off of your own agenda. The client should see that you have but one goal: serve their needs at their level.

3. Be great at what you do. We must have expert knowledge of the financial issues our clients face, and we must truly know the products we use to help our clients meet their goals.

4. Treat clients with the respect they deserve. Don’t talk down to them. Show them through your words and actions that you care for them and understand that they are the boss. After all, it’s their money.

5. Always put the client’s needs ahead of your own. Even if it means less money for you now, I believe that always acting solely in the client’s best interest will prove to be the most profitable practice in the long run, and it will lead to a much higher level of happiness and satisfaction in your own life.

Whether the goal is guaranteed retirement income, tax savings or controlled market growth, we have the ability to make a huge impact on our clients’ lives. The opportunity in front of us is almost limitless for advisors poised to capitalize on these market influences.

For more from Jim Brogan, see:

How well do you know your client?

Serving your clients with life insurance

How to boost your brand with community service


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