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The 5 Best Niches for Financial Advisors


The 5 Best Niches for Financial Advisors

The riches are in the niches.

Ignore this advice at your own peril. Top financial advisors are finding riches every day by targeting certain niche markets. If you are an advisor who tries to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.

Think about it this way – if you were having heart trouble, would you feel more comfortable visiting a general practitioner or a cardiologist? Many years ago, clients might have had someone to handle everything from investing to planning and insurance, but those days are long gone.

You can niche down into almost any category, but I’ve tried my best to list the ones that make the most sense to me. If you think of any more, feel free to share them, especially if you’ve been successful. Here are some of the best target markets for financial advisors.  

1. Occupation niche

This is my personal favorite, and it also seems to be the category that meshes the best with my private clients. Some financial advisors are career-changers; they enter the financial services arena after many years in another career. Most of the time it’s a no-brainer to pursue people within the former career. After all, as a career-changer, you have two distinct advantages:

  • You have experience in the field. This means you know the psychographics, demographics, and unique challenges of the market.
  • People within that market will take you more seriously. This means people within the group will at least give you the time of day. I’ve found this to be especially true among military vets. Veterans just tend to enjoy having their financial advisor be a veteran too. In fact, whole businesses have been built from that single idea.

If you’re not a career-changer, you can still niche down to a particular occupational group. Here are a few questions to help you brainstorm:

  • What does your parent/spouse/sibling/friend do for a living? This person can give you some insight (and introductions) to the niche in question.
  • What are some occupations that you’ve always been interested in? For example, I have an academic background in social psychology. I could easily work with psychologists, foundations, researchers, etc. because I am passionate about their work.
  • Is there a prevalence of a certain occupational group in your area? I’m writing this post in lower Delaware, where I’m within driving distance of several major hospitals. This area is flooded with nurses and physicians. If I didn’t have a preference for any particular occupational group, I would probably choose those in medicine simply because there’s a large market in my area. This actually goes hand-in-hand with my next niche suggestion…

2. Specific companies

Who are the largest employers in your area? When you find this out, you have a clear idea of the largest markets in your area. In Delaware, some of the largest employers are the University of Delaware, Christiana Health Care System, and Dover Air Force Base.

If I was someone who specialized in working with UD faculty and you were a generalist, I would crush you in that market. Here is how I would do it:

  • I would become well-versed in the university’s health care, retirement plans, benefit packages, etc. and make myself known to everyone on campus.
  • I would create a free report for people retiring in the next five years, and book appointments based on that. I would also figure out if there’s an employee newsletter and get important news/findings from that.
  • I would ask a few employees for informational interviews and ask them about their specific wants/needs. I would figure out the pros and cons of their current 401(k) plans and packages. I would use this information in my marketing to make sure people know that I’m not just pretending to be an expert with them. Plus, the people you interview will start telling their friends about how I’m the person who only works with University of Delaware employees.

University of Delaware has over 3,500 employees. Even if I only converted 3% of the people there, that’s still 105 clients – nothing to sneeze at. If you’re in Atlanta, you can do the same with Coca-Cola. If you’re in Orlando, go after Disney.

Figure out the largest employers in your area and carve out your niche. You can make a name for yourself by offering to do free workshops for them and networking where their employees network. Once you get the ball rolling, you can deliver great value to your clients and get co-worker referrals.

3. Specific products

If you are a cardiologist, you’re not going to have people coming to you for eye surgery. But that’s just fine, because you’re an expert on the heart. Whenever anyone needs something heart-related, you’re the go-to person.

This same idea applies to financial services. You can create a niche out of almost any financial or insurance product you can think of – annuities, life insurance, long-term care, mutual funds, you name it! If you can marry your name to a particular financial product, you will have a tremendous position in the marketplace, which allows you to deepen the public’s perception of you as an authority on that product. Once you do that, doors will start opening for you.

4. Life transitions

Major life transitions often require financial advice. Financial advisors stand to benefit from focusing on clients getting married, divorced, widowed, having a child, and many other life events.

I’ve seen several advisors become very successful this way, especially within the divorce niche. Divorces can get messy, and they bring a lot of distress into peoples’ lives. If you can be the person with tons of resources to make the process as smooth as possible, you will be a godsend to your clients. Your number-one goal should be to secure a healthy financial outcome for your client, but you can also provide books and other literature to help find peace in an otherwise stressful situation.

Due to the nature of divorce, you will likely know about every bank account, brokerage account, insurance policy, and piece of real estate. The natural choice for the client is to move assets under your management post-divorce.  

5. “Money in motion”

Financial advisors stand to benefit whenever there is “money in motion”. This could be retirement, inheritance, changing jobs, or selling a business. In The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Getting More Clients, I spell out exactly how to find business owners who’ve just sold their businesses. This has allowed several advisors to find people right after this majority liquidity event.

It has never been easier to find money in motion. I can literally hop on the internet and skim a dozen industry newsletters in an hour. I can find names of people who are getting recognized in their field and send “congratulations” letters their way. I can hop on LinkedIn and find out who is changing jobs and/or getting ready to retire. I can also canvass real estate records for sales within the last week or so. Most states have a statewide database that you can access from your home computer. You can easily generate a few extra leads each week, but one “money in motion” client is generally well worth the effort.

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