You run a respectable wealth management practice with a hard-earned stable of clients, but you’d like to further expand your book of business. Over the years, you’ve found that retail investors can be slow to grow their portfolios — particularly during volatile markets. Plus, retention can be an ongoing struggle, and the availability of free trading platforms doesn’t help matters. You want to diversify your offering with business that’s more scalable, stable and tends to require fewer acquisitions before making an appreciable difference in your bottom line.
Prospecting can be an arduous, hit-or-miss task, with time-consuming campaigns often resulting in just a few bites — some might even compare the difficulty with panning for gold. Increase your odds of success and make your efforts more productive by avoiding these missteps.
It’s the scenario every advisor fears. A long-term client calls out of the blue. You think they’re just checking in, but when they mention how they’ve appreciated your work over the years, you begin to realize it’s a prelude to bad news. Then they drop the dreaded phrase, “We’ve decided to move in another direction …” And just like that, the client is gone.
Over the last two years, approximately 150 ERISA lawsuits challenging purportedly excessive retirement plan fees have been filed in U.S. federal court. However, more than a dozen of those cases had been put on hold pending a recent Supreme Court case — Hughes v. Northwestern University — examining the plausibility of a breach of fiduciary duty claim by current and former university retirement plan participants. In January, SCOTUS delivered its opinion, ruling that the petitioners, originally dismissed by a district court and upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, did in fact plausibly state their claim. It vacated the Seventh Court ruling and remanded the case for further review.
For more than 15 years, institutional investment consulting firm Callan has released an annual survey designed to uncover industry trends and help sponsors gauge their retirement plan offering relative to others. And while the organization offers numerous insights in its 2022 Defined Contribution Trends Survey, responses from more than 100 sponsors revealed that maintaining a sharp focus on fees will be the top priority for plans in the coming year.
You may have started your career as a wealth manager and picked up a couple of small retirement plans along the way from clients who run businesses of their own. But now you want to expand your practice and begin servicing more — and larger — plans. Here are some tips to sharpen your sword as you train to be a retirement plan ninja.
Isn’t it great when things work well together? Maybe it’s the way your desktop and mobile ecosystem synchronizes across all your devices and applications, simplifying and optimizing their utility. Or perhaps you have a service provider who thoroughly understands your business and integrates seamlessly with the organization. That kind of well-oiled, frictionless fusion can enhance productivity and make your life a whole lot easier.
The retirement plan space is exciting, challenging and highly competitive. The rewards can be considerable, but it can also take significant effort to achieve and maintain them. One of the best strategies for doing just that is to clearly define your value proposition and differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are three ways to position your advisory offering to set yourself apart, build your professional brand and grow your book of business.
You’ve built up a respectable wealth management practice over the years. And many of your clients are professionals who run companies of their own. One day, a business owner you advise approaches you about taking on their 401(k) plan and you’re intrigued. You’re excited to expand into this new and exciting practice area. You’ve always been passionate about helping clients achieve a successful retirement, and this is another way to do that. Yet there are ERISA compliance issues to contend with, participant education and engagement considerations and all your additional fiduciary duties — particularly when it comes to keeping fees reasonable and transparent. Didn’t you just read about another excessive fee lawsuit in the Wall Street Journal?