At 39 years old, I’m younger than most financial advisors in the industry. Yet my clients turn to me for decades’ worth of knowledge and experience across every aspect of personal finance — from asset management to retirement and estate planning. I’m able to meet and exceed my clients’ demands and expectations because I’m wise enough to know that I cannot do it alone.
I am a strong believer that a “teaming” or joint-work approach enables me to better serve my clients. Working with other professionals whose areas of focus complement my own maximizes the benefit that I bring to a client. I have 16 years of experience in this industry, and the expertise I have gained in that time is certainly valuable to my clients. But 100+ years of combined experience and understanding serves them better.
The industry continues to lean toward a model that favors comprehensive financial advice. For those financial advisors striving to provide holistic financial planning for their clients, teaming is a must. While every advisor works to be knowledgeable in all aspects of financial planning, we all inevitably have strengths and weaknesses and it can be all too easy to lean on our strengths and overlook our limitations. When this happens, our clients suffer.
A great example of the benefits of teaming can be demonstrated through a recent client case of mine. This client worked in financial services and was capable of managing his own wealth, but like most people, was too busy with his own day-to-day demands to devote much time to fine-tuning the details of his financial plan. He had what he thought was a complete retirement plan in place, but he asked me to take a look through for any loose ends.
I tapped into the expertise of different specialists and asked them to join me in giving his plan a once-over. Together with an estate planning specialist, a stock option specialist and a few other financial planning professionals at my broker-dealer, we discovered some inconsistencies between what the client intended from his financial plan and what it was actually accomplishing. He, understandably, had not been able to keep track of each and every law or market change that impacted his plan. When all was said and done, our team helped him reorganize his approach to accumulate more from which he could draw income during retirement.
This is just one example, but I’ve found that teaming always has a positive effect on my clients’ retirement plans one way or another, particularly with high-net-worth clients and baby boomers. As boomers approach retirement, the size of the generation, the enormous amount of assets they hold, and their unique planning needs as the “sandwich generation” mean that boomers require specialists in every topic.
As an advisor, you don’t need to have the answers to everything, but you should work with a team of specialists that does. I aim to have my clients turn to my firm and me as resources for comprehensive financial planning that spans every aspect of their financial lives.
Teaming with other professionals benefits my clients greatly, but it helps me as well. I have the opportunity to learn from my peers and develop professionally. And every advisor knows that excellent service is the best marketing tool. Through teaming, I can better serve my clients, which ultimately strengthens my practice by deepening my relationship, building stronger client retention and generating new referrals.
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