Ladies and gentlemen, America is in crisis. From the explosion of Government spending and deficits, before and after the COVID pandemic, to the growing toll that rising inflation is inflicting on everyday Americans, there is a growing sense that life is getting harder, more expensive and that the American Dream is out of reach for most Americans.
How will all of these events impact American families and their ability to put food on the table, send their kids to college, and realize their financial and non-financial dreams? As these uncertainties bombard the psyche of the American family, the need for a financial hero has never been higher.
In other words, there has been no better time in history to be a financial advisor that can help your clients reduce risk, provide a structure for their financial future, and bring optimism back to your client’s lives by deploying a holistic asset ownership framework through the use of protection, income, and growth solutions based on a client’s needs and time horizons.
In a recent survey conducted by NBC News, over 72 percent of Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction.1 Digging deeper into the numbers, over 60 percent of Americans believe that their family income is falling behind the cost of living, with only 30 percent feeling that they are even keeping up. Americans will need coaches to help guide them through treacherous waters.
Amidst a sea of trepidation and fear, well equipped and trained advisors are set to realize a golden age of business growth as clients increasingly rely on wealth advisors to help coach them through an endless set of financial challenges. The challenge for advisors seeking to help more clients during this time of rising uncertainty will be to ensure they have easy access to a wide array of wealth solutions that include life insurance, annuity, and investment products. Those that don’t run the risk of being left behind.
At LifePro Asset Management, we are helping advisors meet the challenges and opportunities offered by this new golden age of financial advice by providing a turnkey, plug and play asset management platform that immediately expands the capabilities of the independent advisor and insurance agent by offering a fully integrated and comprehensive needs-based financial planning platform across investments, insurance, and annuities. We accomplish this by offering:
- A comprehensive asset ownership framework.
- Full service operational teams to support advisor growth.
- Turnkey financial planning and investment support to help close and retain business.
As clients look for advice across their entire estate, advisors will need to apply an asset ownership framework to prioritize how a client accumulates, utilizes, and distributes their assets throughout the course of their life and beyond. Advisors can organize a client’s priorities by building a framework that focuses on the protection, growth and income needs of a household and then distributing funding for each objective based on the goals and time horizon for each of the households’ separate financial goals.
This approach accrues many benefits for the client and their advisor. For the client, it ensures that goals and timelines are steering the direction and composition of the plan vs. having the client’s plan designed around a group of products that an advisor has a particular focus or expertise in. It also encourages the use of multiple strategies that have a narrow focus on a particular objective such as lifetime income or growth vs. products that try to accomplish multiple goals but often fall short across the board.
In addition to being more client centric, applying a needs-based approach to financial planning is also a great business strategy for the advisor. An advisor armed with a comprehensive toolkit can help clients design and deploy a best interest plan across their entire estate, using multiple strategies that make multiple sales while building a stream of recurring revenue and becoming the financial quarterback of the client’s estate for years to come.
For insurance agents and advisors looking to implement such an approach, it requires moving away from the traditional approach of focusing on a specific area of financial advice and toward a needs-based planning philosophy that utilizes the unique benefits of life insurance, annuities, and investments under one umbrella and under the highest standard of fiduciary care.
Helping more clients, growing your business and making more money sounds great on the surface, but to realize those benefits advisors need to invest time and money into compliance, people, technology and marketing to win and retain clients. This can be a challenge for independent advisors that lack the resources and experience required to make a successful transition.
To effectively compete for and win more business during this new golden age of financial advice advisors need to expand their toolkit without absorbing the non-revenue time and cost requirements that come with a growing independent advisory practice. This can be done by affiliating with a firm that takes a full-service approach to advisor support with the use of seasoned teams of client service, compliance, accounting, marketing, financial planning, and investment professionals, and who works hand in glove with the advisor to meet the operational, planning and backend support and reporting requirement needs of the advisor and their clients.
The creation of financial plans, filling out new account application and transfer paperwork and servicing the daily needs and reporting requirements of existing clients takes time away from things advisors enjoy most such as helping more families thrive in an uncertain world, nurturing and strengthening existing client relationships and of course, growing their businesses.
The traditional broker-dealer model deploys a self-service model to their advisor network, meaning the broker-dealers provide a lot of tools and products to advisors but it’s up to the advisor to figure out which tools to use for each situation and then to use those tools on their end to build plans, submit paperwork and conduct trades, all the while keeping up with daily client requests on their existing book.
Further, broker-dealers charge an annual fee to access their platform, then tax advisors again to access tools such as E-Money or other financial planning solutions, and then tax them again on their production. I call it the triple tax model and I think it’s unfair for the independent advisor!
More equitable to my mind is an “eat what you kill” production approach. Having the ability to access a full-service model that gives the advisor access to teams of seasoned professionals, top tier technology and planning tools, along with full trade, billing, and reporting execution, at no upfront costs, can steer more advisor dollars back to marketing, thereby increasing production dollars for all parties involved.
As Americans navigate an increasingly perilous financial landscape marked by soaring deficits, rising inflation, market volatility and an increasing sense that the American Dream is out of reach, the desire and need for wealth advisors is set to soar, ushering in a golden age for the well positioned financial advisor. For advisors to help bring peace of mind to more American families, it will be critical that advisors partner with platforms that have a stake in their success and can ease the burden of advisor independence while strengthening the benefits that come with it.
Regardless of what happens next in this crazy world, we have never been more passionate about the value that advisors deliver to their clients and never has the need for your expertise and advice been so urgently required by the millions of American families across all income levels seeking protection and prosperity in an increasingly uncertain world.
1. ‘Downhill,’ ‘divisive’: Americans sour on nation’s direction in new NBC News poll.
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