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Self Operating Napkin

Savvy Advisors Use a System for Resolving Problems

There are glass-half-empty people and glass-half-full people. They both see the same glass, but some see the negative side of things, others see the positive. People looking at the same situation react differently depending on their outlook in life. Trusted financial advisors and members of their teams need to have a positive outlook so they can overcome challenges faster.

When a problem arises in your comprehensive financial firm, do you view it as insurmountable, or do you see an opportunity to create a solution that makes your business run more smoothly?

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This image is a cropped version of NASDAQ Studio by Luis Villa del Campo, used under

Should Clients See Their History of Returns Since Engaging Your Financial Services?

Don’t you like to check your progress by comparing where you are today to where you were when you began implementing steps to attaining your goals? It’s only reasonable that a client will want to see what their returns have been with you since the inception of your relationship with them as their trusted financial advisor. Put yourself in their shoes. Wouldn’t you want to know this information if you were the client?

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80/20

The 80/20 Financial Advisor

Having studied retail financial advisors for over a quarter of a century, I’ve wondered: how it is that a few hardworking and sincere advisors are highly successful, while other hard-working, sincere advisors are not? Why is it that some advisors are sought after by potential ideal clients, and the rest are not? For our purposes, let’s agree that those advisors offering the most comprehensive financial services are the most highly compensated in the financial services industry and the most indispensable to their clients. The question to explore then becomes, “What are the consistent success habits these advisors have in common?”

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This image is a cropped version of Lohmachen Kloppstock by Vg kirn-land,gierend, used under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Don’t Ask Your Clients to Do Your Job

What is one of the things that clients appreciate most about having your firm deliver comprehensive financial services? Isn’t it that you give them the gift of time? Not that you can change the number of hours in the day. But you can change how your client gets to use those hours. You have the privilege of making a difference in their lives.

We all have a limited amount of time here on earth. Because your comprehensive services firm is handling their financial affairs, your clients have more time to spend with family, friends, faith, fitness, having fun and so on.

So, how exactly can you give your clients the maximum amount of time?

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Resolutions

New Year’s In July: How On-Track Are Your Resolutions?

It seems like just yesterday the clock struck midnight and the page turned on 2013. Yet here are, almost two-thirds of the way through the year. You’re making great strides and achieving the goals set forth in those early months of boundless optimism.

Or, maybe you’re like most of us—the bright horizons got a little cloudy at times, and unexpected distractions took a toll on the resolutions of yesteryear. But don’t worry. Plans change, and course correction is inevitable. There’s still plenty of time to get back on track.

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This image is a cropped version of Das Modekupfer... by D. Fuchsberger, used under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Is Your Administrative Manager Wearing Too Many Hats?

Today was such a frustrating day… your Administrative Manager came to you in desperation. He absolutely cannot find time to implement the comprehensive financial services model on top of his current tasks of filling out paperwork, as well as finishing other action items for clients such as applications, transfer forms, distributions, and so forth. You know something has to change but you’re not exactly sure what it is you’re supposed to do.

This is a recurring problem I’ve seen among new comprehensive financial advisors. It is a mistake to create permanent hybrid positions with your Administrative Manager serving as both a subject matter expert and your support person. In addition, your Administrative Manager should not be the support person for any of your team experts that he or she is responsible for helping you to oversee. Not only does failure to create clear boundaries confuse the issue of who does what, it will also lead to your Administrative Manager becoming overloaded and exhausted. So what role should an administrative manager play?

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Time Wasters

Technically, This Infographic Is A Waste of Time

This infographic from TimeDoctor (via Daily Infographic) would have you believe that, by the very act of reading this post, you are part of the 64% of workers that visit non-work related websites every day during work hours.

But at least you’re not in a meeting—most professionals admit that their meetings are anything but productive. And don’t even get us started on the water cooler effect. So how can you make the most of meeting times?

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Handshake

How to Move a Non-Ideal Client to Your Ideal Client Community

You’ve been working in the financial industry for some time and yet you’ve only just recently begun to offer fully comprehensive services to the ideal clients within your community. One decision facing you is whether you’re going to let some non-ideal clients go or if you’re going to move them over to your ideal client community.

How can you smoothly move a non-ideal client to your community, especially since you’re already doing some work for him or her? How do you ensure that nothing is missed while at the same time not rehashing items you’ve already done?

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Bill counter

How Do You Settle on a Value for Your Client’s Business?

Your client has been a business owner most of his adult life. He delights in starting and selling businesses. As his trusted financial advisor, your firm must keep track of the value of your client’s current business in your progress reports. But how do you determine the value of a business?

When you document the value of the business in your reports, how do you arrive at that number? Just because your client says it’s worth X amount of dollars, does that mean that’s the number you’re going to put into your reports?

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Sneak attack.

What To Say When a Client Blindsides You

You’re right in the middle of the annual progress meeting with your clients, Ted and Lynn Smith, when they drop a number of bombshells on you. For one thing, they’ve recently purchased a home for their son. It blindsides you, because neither you nor your team had any inkling that they planned on such a major purchase. Not only that, they’ve also been withdrawing large sums of money throughout the year to help their adult children out of various “emergencies.”

While initially you may feel frustrated because this changes the financial strategy that you have worked so hard to put together, you must recognize that this is what parents do for their children. It’s not your place to berate them for giving money or possessions to their children.

What this situation does expose is a problem of communication between you and your clients that must immediately be addressed.

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