What services are the affluent looking for from financial planners and wealth managers? What services do they want? If you could learn how to attract affluent clients, would you spend time re-inventing your practice to be more attractive to them? If you could swim upstream and grab a share of the affluent market, would you be willing to do the work? I certainly hope so.
This blog post contains several strategies for how you can position your practice to work with the affluent. Nothing that is worthwhile is easy. You will find no quick and easy, “snap your fingers” solutions here. There is work to do. So while I offer some great content here, please recognize that you need to invest in your practice to garner a share of this market. But first, you must understand what the affluent are looking for in a financial planner and investment manager. Once we understand the needs, we can fill them.
Save them time
Main components of the affluent are wealthy business owners, independent professionals, and key corporate officers and they spend a great deal of time at work. That’s why they have amassed such a large amount of money. They are tied up in their business interests and fully committed to success. As a result, they have little time for long meetings and exhaustive research. Do as much as you can for them – they are willing to pay the price.
Low risk, tax advantaged solutions
According to several post 2009 studies of the affluent and their investment philosophies, a far larger percentage consider themselves conservative nowadays. In fact some statistics say from 9% pre-2009 to 45% post 2009. They are concerned about losing their wealth and they have seen it happen. So offer a wide variety of custom solutions that are low risk and tax advantaged.
One stop shop
Affluent clients want you to be not only the investment manager of their financial assets, but the relationship manager for their entire financial situation. Their complicated lives need simplification and organization. Develop a system for communication with their Estate Planning Attorney, CPA, P&C agent, Life Insurance agent, business consultant, and any others. Offer this service, and you can capture more business from the affluent.
Services for the business owner
Successful entrepreneurs (in business five plus years, annual business revenue above $500,000) often need assistance with their qualified and non qualified plan investments. They want help with educating plan participants, staying in compliance with 404c requirements, investing the business profits, and investing their own income from the business. That’s why I am in favor of targeting this specific niche.
For the ultra high net worth segment (UHNW $5million to $25 million), the family office is a sought after service. Russ Allan Prince is the expert on the family office and what it entails, but essentially wealth management firms with family office structures only accept clients with assets over $5 million dollars. The family office often takes care of financial planning, budgeting and bill paying, charitable giving, estate planning, and even business and wealth transfers.
To attract the affluent, you must have a professional office with excellent staff, proactive servicing, regular client review meetings, and the issues addressed above.
Other issues I will be covering in additional posts are:
- A world class brand and website
- A comfortable office environment – not a board room
- A client service experience unlike any other
If you are unfamiliar with growing a practice that targets the affluent, please request a consultation with me to discuss working on re-inventing your practice.