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Independent advisory firms plan to increase digital marketing budgets this year

March 15, 2019

Over the past 10 years, independent advisory firms have slowly integrated new technology solutions into their business models. Most firms now have their core tech stack in place: 85% are using a CRM system to manage customer relationships; 83%...

Boost your reputation with content marketing

March 11, 2019

Getting new clients is all about reputation. Reputation is your most important asset. Doing a great job for your current clients is, of course, the best reputation builder. But to stand out, you need to do more, whether that's an article in...

I started a firm in 1993. Here's how I'd build one in 2019

March 5, 2019

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a group of advisers about how to grow their practices. One of them said, "Scott, it's different for you because you have such a large staff." Granted, maybe some business strategies are a little easier for me...

Leading to last: Growing an advisory firm so it will continue on

February 28, 2019

Over the past decade, succession planning has become an increasingly potent issue for many RIA firms — including ours. According to Fidelity's benchmarking study, 60% of RIAs either have no succession plan or have one that isn't ready for...

For Wells Fargo Advisors, finding new clients becoming difficult

February 12, 2019

Wells Fargo Advisors is having a tougher time finding new clients, according to a senior executive at Wells Fargo & Co., despite the fact that the bank is sending $10 billion in client asset referrals annually to its wealth management group....

Cetera new facial recognition technology to improve risk questionnaires

February 4, 2019

Financial planning technology took center stage at this year's T3 Adviser Conference, but it was Cetera Financial Group's demonstration of new facial recognition technology that really stood out in terms of a "wow" factor." For my money, Cetera's...

Advisers see more clients seeking second opinions

January 23, 2019

In the latest sign that financial planning is gaining professional status, clients are increasingly seeking second opinions. Some advisers attribute the trend to clients' growing awareness of fiduciary duty, while others say it comes with market...

Welcome to the (client) revolution

December 19, 2018

It's time for a better valuation method for wealth management. Most criteria today rely on objective data points — assets under management, number of accounts, product mix or fee-based revenue. They're important measures for sure, but limited...

Tax reform can be a growth engine for your advisory firm

December 13, 2018

Business 101 teaches us that in order to grow a business, you need to continually iterate, providing products or services that solve problems and meet the needs of consumers. For millionaire investors, one of the things we found that they needed...

Morgan Stanley wants its advisers to be top of mind for Alexa

December 11, 2018

Morgan Stanley wants to modernize how prospects find its advisers — and that means getting in good with Siri, Alexa and Google. The wirehouse announced Tuesday a partnership with Yext, a publicly traded technology company, offering online...

Here's where elite 401(k) advisers are focusing their energy

December 5, 2018

Elite retirement plan advisers, the ones most specialized in retirement plans, are primarily focusing on referrals and financial wellness to grow their practices and better service clients. Based on new research conducted by The Retirement Advisor...

Stop asking for referrals. You're better than that

December 3, 2018

At the Schwab Impact conference in Washington, I was on a panel discussing client experience. One part of the discussion caused quite a stir in the media, both traditional and social. While sharing our thoughts about wealth management, I made...

Is artificial intelligence the next bitcoin?

October 12, 2018

Bitcoin has fallen almost 70% from its peak last year, from around $20,000 to roughly $6,500 currently. Breathless commentary about how bitcoin could become the next global currency has given way to sentiment that it's just another disappointing...

New FPA survey reveals characteristics of top advisers

October 3, 2018

Building better relationships with clients is never a bad thing. But the most successful financial advisers also are able to leverage technology to dissect and solve client problems — and then dish out the tough love of delivering straight...

Helpful hints on working with nonprofits

September 27, 2018

If advisers are thinking about developing a niche of advising nonprofit organizations, the first thing one veteran adviser suggests is to take an interest in the objectives of the group. "Have an interest in or be aligned with the mission of...

What advisers get wrong about investors

September 24, 2018

Investors are a diverse group — much more so than standard tropes might suggest — and this diversity has big implications for financial advisers, ranging from how they search for clients to the financial recommendations they make, according...

Advisers drawing in clients with charitable approach

September 17, 2018

Financial advisers need to broaden their approach to marketing and embrace new business development ideas if they want to grow, and incorporating philanthropy is one tactic that many advisers are finding success with, according to a practice...

Salesforce expects CRM to boost cross-channel referrals

September 17, 2018

Salesforce's latest update to Financial Services Cloud, the version of its client relationship management technology tailored to wealth managers, introduced new features, analytics and integrations that the company said will bridge the gaps...

How to offer the ideal hybrid digital adviser

August 27, 2018

The digital era of financial advice is so new that the landscape is still largely uncharted for many firms. While there are some success stories, there isn't really an authoritative road map on how to best implement a digital advice strategy....

5 principles that set apart top-performing advisory firms

August 7, 2018

Independent advisory firms represent $5 trillion in assets under management, and the independent model continues to win considerable market share. According to Schwab Advisor Services' 2018 RIA Benchmarking Study, for firms with over $250 million...

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