Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards

Practice Management > Building Your Business

Does it pay to be a multi-generational advisor?

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

There is no shortage of advice about the type of practice you should build and the clients you should serve. It seems like every industry expert has an opinion, meaning that you’re left to cut through the clutter and figure out for yourself who to work with and what exactly you’ll offer them.

In August, I will be speaking at the Advisor Network Summit in Las Vegas on the topic of being a multi-generational advisor. While nobody (including me) can tell you what’s best for you and your business, I would like you to consider a focused way of thinking that has proven to be very meaningful to me and to the many others I’ve helped. While these ideas won’t necessarily “turn your world upside-down,” they should give you some much needed clarity in a seemingly unending search for the right niche.  

Let me start by saying this: Contrary to the typical belief, being a multi-generational advisor is so much more than simply working with clients of all ages. Being a multi-generational advisor is about preparing one generation to properly equip the next.

Did you get that? This point is really important so I am going to say it again: Being a multi-generational advisor is about preparing one generation, (yes just one) to properly equip the next.

Being a multi-generational advisor is about creating a dialogue that goes beyond the money, shaping entire families in a way that creates a true, long-lasting legacy. While you may be focused on one generation, if you’re not considering multiple generations in your practice, you’re missing one of your highest purposes in wealth management.

So what is the purpose of wealth management, anyway? To put it simply, the purpose of wealth management is to connect people’s priorities and objectives with their financial assets. Sure, money is a part of that, but really, we are just using the money as a means to a greater end, an end that looks like a life well lived and full of purpose and service to others. Your job, as an advisor, is to facilitate that connection.

When people come to see you to discuss their financial lives, what do they most often state as their highest priority? From my experience, and I would guess yours as well, it’s their family. Of course, family-oriented clients repeatedly ask advisors to help their children to “get off on the right foot, financially.” As a result, the direction our conversations take often point toward their children and grandchildren.

So, when they ask if we can help the next generation, if we simply say: “No, we will only work with you and other people with over $500,000,” it seems a bit disingenuous, doesn’t it?  Especially after we’ve spent all that time asking great questions, providing great service, and building deep relationships. Limiting that service to just one generation in a family seems shortsighted and selfish, does it not?

Yet, on the other hand, if we say yes to every person who wishes to open their first Roth IRA, will we really be able to make a living ourselves, not to mention help the kind of people we are best-equipped to serve? Probably not.

So, with these two ideas tugging against us in contrast against one another, it leaves a looming predicament for us: How can we become great advisors that serve the next generation, without diluting our core service offering and taking our marketing off-message?

I’m afraid it’s not pretty if done haphazardly and without a clear strategy. After all, we’re well aware — or at least should be aware — that we must niche in order to be seen as an expert. If we try to be all things to all people, then what does our business begin to look like?

It may seem like we’ve just backed ourselves into a corner. But, I think I have the answer. If you think that understanding how to approach this dilemma could be a game-changer for your practice, consider joining me at the Advisor Network Summit in Las Vegas, August 5-7.

To give you a sneak peak, in my talk, I will show you how technology, marketing, and smart strategy can be leveraged to transform the trajectory of your practice, not just for your clients, but for the many generations to follow.

You don’t want to miss it.


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.