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How to Give Clients Peace of Mind This Summer

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Get ready to explain a principal preservation strategy for retirement plans, if the summer stock market doldrums return.

Experienced investment advisors know that it is much harder to hold their client’s attention during the summer months.

When the weather gets warm and the kids and grandkids are out of school, advisors struggle for their clients’ attention. Even the most routine investment-management decisions become a bother when “summer mode” takes over.

In Minnesota, where I’m based, summer months include time spent at our world famous cabins. Everyone is the state has access to a summer cabin. Most native Minnesotans have access to multiple cabins on any summer weekend.

If I had a nickel for every e-mail that I received from a client’s smart phone that stated “at cabin,” I would already be retired. (Of course, I would retire to my cabin.)

My top investment-management priority is to let my clients enjoy their all-too-short summer months with family and friends. And to do that, I provide my clients with investment piece of mind.

Interest rates are around all-time lows. The stock markets are around all-time highs. A summer 2013 reversal of either of these markets could move multiple investment positions in the wrong direction. 

My client e-mail and phone communications include a reminder of the logical, organized and disciplined game plan that’s in place. There are stop losses, for instance, in order to preserve hard-earned investment gains.

Those communications contain the disclaimer that the stock and bond market risk-management game plan includes all the individual company retirement-plan account positions in the client household.

Protecting the Next Egg

Advisors that I network with around the country realize that the company 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) retirement-plan accounts are the largest and most neglected investment positions in their client household financial assets.

More and more advisors are going through the process of including individual company retirement-plan accounts in the asset they manage for existing clients.

Advisors who provide company retirement-plan advice have seen their client assets under management explode. They have also enjoyed great prospecting success with other key executives who also work at their client’s companies.

Bill Good taught me in 1986 that the best prospecting lists are the ones “on which wordof mouth can occur.” Twenty seven years later I am teaching that same timely prospecting strategy to other advisors.

Stock markets are sure to fall some time. And history reminds us that stock markets fall at a much faster rate than they rise.

Interest rates were supposed to already have risen by now.  The next great fixed-income investment management decision is coming.

This summer, your client contacts need a game plan for a falling stock market and/or rising interest rates.

Make sure that the individual company retirement plan accounts are part of that game plan.