January is often a time of optimism. It’s a new year. A new page. A fresh start. Let’s assume you have gotten those annual reviews scheduled. At three per day, it will take seven weeks to cover 100 clients! If your book is larger, do the math. It’s a great business opportunity.
1. The report card.
Clients love them. It demonstrates accountability. You provided advice. Now you are saying: “Thanks for following it. Here’s how we did.” Fortunately, the stock market cooperated. Review their performance versus a blend of appropriate indexes.
Business opportunity: Highlight their returns relative to the degree of risk they took. You gave good advice. You have new ideas. You present them.
2. Asking for new money.
Bonuses might look very different this January. You were a good advisor, holding their hand during the rough times and encouraging them to stay invested.
Business opportunity. Remember those new ideas you presented? You want fresh money to implement them. You like everything they own. You don’t want to sell any of their current holdings.
3. The big question.
How are they doing in their march towards retirement? You measure progress towards goals. An advisor in New England uses a “family index” as a performance target instead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P. Has the 2020 stock market propelled them closer?
Business opportunity: This is a feel good moment. You might mention early retirement is a possibility id they keep growing their retirement assets. What about assets held away? Could those be gathered and put to work here?
4. Rebalancing the portfolio.
If the stock market did well, it’s likely equities are now overweighted. We need more fixed income. What can you offer that is consistent with their risk level, yet pays more than the local bank?
Business opportunity: Since you don’t want to sell any stocks if you can avoid it, this is an opportunity to bring in outside funds to join their other fixed income investments. There are sectors that might be overweighted too.
5. Where are we globally?
The US stock market isn’t the only game in town. Does your client have sufficient exposure to international markets? You would likely use money managers or mutual funds.
Business opportunity: Your client likes international investing, they just might not know it yet. Their eyes might glaze over if you talk about individual European countries, but mention a few luxury brands and their ears perk up. You mean those companies have stocks too? You can show the top 10 holdings of the managers or funds you suggest.
6. Gather those assets.
It’s been said HNW investors have an average of three financial advisors. Are those other folks providing the same attention to detail? Looking at the big picture of making progress towards the client’s life goals? Treating them as an important client?
Business opportunity: If not, this is a good opportunity to make the case for consolidating those assets here.
You are on top of things. You are paying attention. Your client is happy. They Zoom a lot with their friends. Who complains a lot? Feels they aren’t getting attention from their advisor? Whose advisor retired or changed firms?
Business opportunity: How about an introduction? They will likely feel they are doing a friend a favor.
Many of these ideas might be standard operating procedure for you. Are you including all seven points? Do you keep your client’s attention? Do you bring up the business opportunities?
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