Planning for a profitable 2017

November 14, 2016 by Tom "Tater" Roberts

A financial advisor beginning to utilize financial planning for every client

About the author:

Tom "Tater" Roberts

Vice president, enterprise accounts

Tom focuses on procurement of new enterprise relationships at Advicent — helping them identify solutions and develop strategies to maximize advisor profitability and efficiency. Tom has worked in the financial planning software side of the FinTech industry since 2005 and has focused on helping advisors build more profitable practices through effective financial planning.

How was business in 2016? Did you hit all your goals? Have you started to think about 2017?

As we move into the fourth quarter, most advisors are already making plans for next year, setting goals, and determining budgets for their practices. Advisors are thinking about what it will require to take their business to the next level in 2017.

A common theme among most advisors is to make next year the most profitable year yet. Are you ready to join the ranks of the elite advisors in 2017? Here are three actionable takeaways to ensure that next year is a profitable year for your firm.

1. Commit to utilizing financial planning for every client.

There is no better time to start incorporating financial planning into your practice than 2017. With the DOL rule taking effect on April 10, financial advisors are now required to act in their clients’ best interest at all times. The planning process allows advisors to understand a clients’ risk tolerance and capture a clear understanding of the clients’ long-term financial goals and objectives.

Armed with this information, advisors can build a plan and recommend solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of their clients. Not only will this ensure clients are more likely to reach their goals, it will enable advisors to justify any recommendations they have made simply by pointing to the financial plan of each client and the documentation of recommendations.

2. Take your financial planning to the cloud.

Top advisors understand the value of technology in building a profitable, winning practice. Are you still using a yellow pad or spreadsheet to show a quick financial illustration or plan? It is time for an upgrade in 2017.

Stick to what you do best—planning—and let the experts provide an easy-to-use, comprehensive planning tool that delivers exactly what you need for every client situation — complete with a custom report for each client. It is not only easy to implement, but it will increase your efficiency moving forward and allow you to onboard more clients. If you want to win in 2017, you cannot afford to lost clients by not utilizing the technology available. Additionally, your competition is likely already on the “tech train.” Do not get left behind.

3. Charge for advice.

Statistics show that clients follow through with the advisor’s product recommendations more often than not when they pay an advisor to build a financial plan. Planning uncovers numerous opportunities to do business with a client. For example, think about product sales. Is there a need for life insurance, fixed income in retirement, or long-term care? Do they need to rebalance their portfolio to a more conservative allocation? Your time is valuable — charge for it.

We believe there will only be more downward pressure on commissions in the post-DOL world, and your advice should not come free. Begin to get clients in the mindset of paying you for your advice through comprehensive financial planning. This will become a major revenue source for your practice in the future and you should begin in 2017.

Click here to learn more about NaviPlan, the industry’s most comprehensive financial planning software, from Advicent.