With robo-advisors now so easily available, client retention can be a battle. If you want to stay relevant, build long-term relationships and provide value that clients can’t find elsewhere, think about the three most important things to every client. It’s usually their health, wealth and kids. Take the time to create personalized resources that equip your clients to educate their children on financial best practices, and you’ll stand out from the crowd while also cultivating stronger client relationships.
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Children who don’t have a firm financial foundation become adults who struggle to pay bills, budget well and invest wisely. Though many parents spend thousands of dollars to send their children to the best schools they can afford, those schools rarely teach children how to wisely budget or invest money so that responsibility must fall to the parents. While there are hundreds of available resources to help parents coach their kids financially, the sheer quantity is overwhelming, and they don’t have time to vet each source. This presents advisors with a huge opportunity to help clients educate their children on financial best practices. My clients are always pleasantly surprised and grateful that I take the time to invest in their children and help them instill financial independence.
Knowing exactly how to educate client’s children can be tricky. On one end of the spectrum, you can sit down with a client’s 11-year-old to talk about money, but that can be time-consuming and ineffective. On the other hand, you can simply pass along a book or two to your client, but that feels impersonal and isn’t giving them the tangible personal expertise you have to offer. By creating your own lesson plans to share with parents, you can remain efficient, provide a personalized touch and be top of mind whenever they use them.
Our lesson plans contain tips and strategies on ways to teach your children financial best practices with simple financial themes such as saving, spending, donating and investing. Customize your lesson plans according to age for the most impact, such as pre-school, elementary, etc. since a 6-year-old saves much differently than a 16-year-old. For example, in our lesson plan for a 6-year-old, we encourage parents to start teaching their child how to save by buying them a piggy bank. In our high school lesson plan, the guidance is for parents to help their teenager set up a savings account at their local bank.
Take some time to compile your own helpful tips and tricks, and explore some great external resources, like John Lanza’s “The Art of Allowance” or Jolene Godfrey’s “Raising Financially Fit Kids.” One of my favorite tips to include in our lesson plans helps parents teach children about their impact on household bills. For example, anytime your children are energy-efficient and save money on the electric bill, let them keep that difference. One of our clients found that after he implemented this rule in his house, his electric bill plummeted $30! Not only does this teach children the value of the dollar, it also encourages them to take ownership in the household.