“In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment”. ~ Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin would love financial advisors today. In October 1838 Charles Darwin thought of a way in which one species could change into another. He noticed that individual members of a species vary. Furthermore, all animals are competing to survive. If the environment changed in some way, say if a new, faster predator appeared than any herbivores that could run slightly faster than other members of its species would be more likely to survive and reproduce. Any herbivores that ran slightly slower than most would be more likely to be eaten. Slowly a new, faster herbivore would evolve. This was later called the survival of the fittest.
Industry disruption is constant
In the current world of financial advisors, there is a storm of change. The three major changes Charles Darwin would observe is regulatory, technology and business models. Not only technology changes but major regulatory change is forcing the biggest change we have ever seen in the financial advising business; how advisor business models are changing and evolving. Being on the road and seeing different advisors in different locations I see the changes first hand. Let me explain my observations.
What does a Future ready Financial Advisor look like?
Financial advisors more than ever are adapting to change and adjusting their businesses. To be prepared let’s give an example of what a future-ready financial advisor looks like.
First off, picture what this advisor’s practice will look like in five years. From a technology point of view, they will understand what robo advising can do for small clients and embrace robo advising by having their own account to see what their competition delivers. Most advisors I talk to don’t see them as a threat but a possible opportunity.
They will have a technology platform that engages clients and they will have a better understanding of social media to service clients, not to market to clients. This will be a by-product, not a focus. The future-ready advisor will not be ignorant of social media because it is here to stay.
A future-ready advisor will have a clearly documented value promise converting all aspects of comprehensive planning including tax, estate, risk management, insurance, and investment planning. They will have it in writing, so clients can answer three simple yet critical questions. What do I get, what does it cost, and how will you keep me on track? They will be so confident in their script that they would not be afraid to present it on the ABC.com network show “Shark Tank”.
Future-ready advisors fees are totally transparent, and their pricing model will align interest with their most profitable clients, creating what Steven Covey would clearly recognize as a win-win scenario. (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey Simon & Schuster; Anniversary edition. November 19, 2013)
Lifestyle is critical to future success.
They will also be future ready by taking at least 6 to 8 weeks off per year, so they can create their ideal lifestyle for themselves. As more than financial advisors, also real-life financial coaches, they must lead by example and make sure they are living a balanced life and not be working past capacity, as so many advisors tend to do. They have clearly figured out the three keys to success are a number of profitable clients, annual revenue from profitable clients and number of weeks off per year.
80% of the time with ideal clients and ideal prospects.
Future-ready advisors will spend 80 percent or more of their time finding or working with profitable clients. They realize that taking on non-ideal clients only eats into their lifestyle and is not profitable in the long run, even if it means referring them to another advisor.
Finally, future-ready financial advisors have clarity around their future, their lifestyle and ultimately their business value.
Future-ready advisors run a very valuable business and know what it is worth and continue to find ways to build equity in their business. They will have teams that they work with to service their clients. Comprehensive teams including tax estate risk insurance and wealth management strategic partners. Their pricing model will be innovative and not old school. The client experience with the advisor of the future will be consistent and comprehensive. Advisors of the future will spend their work time on their working passions, which is spending time with profitable clients and building processes to improve their ideal client experience and outcomes. They will be more passionate than average advisors.
Future-Ready Financial Advisors focus on the Five T’s
Technology, transparency, time off, total revenue per client and transferable value.
Are you ready for the future? How can you be an advisor of the future and get ahead of regulatory changes, technology changes and have a business model of the future? Ask Charles Darwin about the strongest advisors in our business today. If they do not adapt to change, we know where they will end up.
Finally, if you have not heard about the singularity and the effect of the change in the future, check it out here. It may be the single biggest breakthrough that will change lives.
Future Ready Financial Advisor Checklist
- Technology and Robo-Advisors
- Regulatory, Transparency and value promise to articulate fees and what clients receive
- The business model of future. Fewer clients more value per client.
- Investment Management and processes
- Collaborative approach and less principal dependency
- Practice Management Benchmarking and client feedback
- New ideal client acquisition with annual client segmentation
- Key client attrition and an ideal client experience process with 10+ touches per year
- For a copy of our guide “Future Ready Financial Advisor” and our practice management checklist.
Comprehensive practice management
What is the probability of success in reaching your business goals with your current business plan? 70-80%? Does it cover all areas of practice management? If you would like a questionnaire on practice management to help you answer this question, go to my website.
If any of this resonates with you, let’s have a brief discussion on what’s holding you back from accomplishing more in 2019? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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