When Jean Luc Picard, the captain of The Starship Enterprise, decided the next destination and speed, he would tell his helmsman to “make it so.” That is really what our prospective clients want from us. They want us to make it so. They really want to be the captain of their own ship no matter how large or small. They just want us to navigate.
Your ability to get the captain to his or her destination will determine the success of your practice. What capabilities does your practice exhibit? Are your resources capable of getting your clients to their desired destination? Every prospect is different, but their basic goals are much the same. If retirement is a targeted event, the prospects’ resources will, of course, determine much of the outcome.
However, many clients could improve their asset size if you at least have the ability to do so. Many advisors lower the clients’ expectations so much that they just give up and accept a fate of underperforming, while other advisors are helping their clients’ assets grow. Remember, as an advisor, registered rep or insurance agent, our job is to help them reach their destination, period. An insurance license may allow us to protect principal, but it may not allow us to advance them into a more secure position, with more assets due to growth. The strength and capability of a practice will definitely affect prospecting. Always remain open to methods of improving performance.
Many insurance agents have found that a securities license allows their practice to gain more clients through greater value. The series 65 license allows a producer to legally offer advice on investments. As an investment advisor representative, you will be able to reach those who wish to remain in the market for potentially greater performance. Many agents have acquired the series 65 just so they can talk about securities from a negative viewpoint, so they can sell more annuities. I don’t believe that serves a majority of the clients well. I know that it is blasphemy among annuity salespeople, but taking a very honest and realistic assessment is important.
By affiliating with an excellent investment advisor who manages assets in a way that consistently beats market performance, you will have a very marketable practice. If an RIA is matching or just keeping slightly ahead of the market, he’s not valuable. There are advisors that beat the market by as much as 10 percent consistently on average, including spike years and down years. They may be hard to find, but they are out there. You need an advisor who is enthusiastic about taking on new reps. If they seem indifferent, maybe they don’t care enough.
Some states allow a solicitors agreement. In that case you can refer business to an RIA and even receive a fee. This arrangement requires a great working relationship with the RIA and the solicitor must stay in his lane and not give securities advice. Let the RIA give all the advice. The insurance agent will be comfortable knowing that his client will be protected and the conservative portion of the assets can be placed in an annuity. The referred client stays in the family and everyone comes out a winner.
Splitting assets between securities and annuities can be a great combination. Using 100 minus age as a model usually makes for a good starting point, and most clients will like that split. A 65-year-old will have 65 percent of the assets in an annuity and 35 percent in securities if total assets are under $500,000. With larger asset sizes, the greater portion may be in securities with the RIA. The client now has secure, moderate growth and an excellent opportunity to grow with suitable liquidity. Remember, the client is the captain. This makes a great story and a great marketing opportunity.
Just make sure your clients arrive safe and secure. Make it so!