1. Constructing a Competitive Edge
2. Cultivating Your Market for Planning Candidates
3. Communicating With the Candidates Who Need You Most
4. Engaging Candidates in the Financial Planning Process
5. Understanding the Maze of Financial Problems
6. Cash and Debt Management Solutions
7. Income Tax Solutions
8. Stock and Bond Solutions
9. Managed Money, Mutual Fund and Annuity Solutions
10. Will and Trust Solutions
11. Insurance and Employee Benefit Solutions
Constructing a Competitive Edge
The financial planning process involves the coordination of efforts among a team of financial advisors. The result of this effort is a set of recommendations consistent with all of the client’s needs, attitudes, goals, and resources. When delivering financial planning services, your primary value as a lead advisor is not based on the level of your technical proficiency in all the financial specialties, but rather on your ability to manage and coordinate the efforts of your client’s Team of Advisors. To do this effectively, you must have a global understanding of what each type of advisor’s licensing and education allows them to do, how they are typically compensated and how the form of compensation affects their advice, and the level of continuing education required to maintain their expertise. To prepare you to take on the lead role on a client’s team of advisors, this session will help you evaluate your own strengths and limitations as well as those of each member of your team.
Cultivating Your Market for Planning Candidates
There are two core requirements to successfully delivering financial planning services: the client must trust the advisor and be emotionally committed to the financial planning process. There are no shortcuts to building this level of trust and commitment–no one-liners, sales scripts, or secret tips. Relationship- and trust-building requires a time commitment from both you and the client. Without trust and emotional commitment, the planning process typically breaks down because the client is not motivated to provide complete financial disclosure or does not take action on the recommendations. Your challenge is to streamline and focus the trust-building process. This session provides you with the foundation to quickly and ethically build trust and credibility with prime planning candidates in your target markets by using the “Eight Steps for Market Penetration.”
Communicating With the Candidates Who Need You Most
Every target market has ideal candidates for financial planning services: business owners, including self-employed professionals; executives; high-income sales professionals; women; and ageing baby boomers. This session shows you the best ways to interact with planning candidates in your target markets and how to pre-assess the most probable “emotional needs” for these candidates based on their age, gender, and occupation.
Engaging Candidates in the Financial Planning Process
Here, the “art” of facilitating the planning process is contrasted with the “science” of creating financial plans. You’ll cover the methodology and scripting that you need to efficiently facilitate the “Nine-Step Financial Planning Process” for your clients, and will view a video role-play depicting the process. Not only do you learn how to profile and collect data from clients of all wealth classes, but you also learn how to manage expectations and keep clients on track when life events alter their circumstances.
Understanding the Maze of Financial Problems
Problems that are commonly identified in financial plans are examined in this session. Without presenting solutions or planning strategies, this session lets you explore these problems and the consequences of not correcting them. Additionally, you’ll discover that financial decisions are interconnected–one decision almost always affects another–and that, for the client, the primary value of a comprehensive financial plan is its role in the overall strategic coordination of their financial affairs.
Cash and Debt Management Solutions
Cash and debt management problems are often the most critical financial planning issues for most clients. Many advisors and clients make the mistake of equating financial planning only with investing, retirement planning, estate planning or college funding. These are all examples of planning strategies–strategies that will not be implemented unless the client can find the money to save and invest. The conclusion is that successful implementation of a financial plan begins with cash and debt management. This session presents ways for you to identify possible funding sources for the recommendations in your client’s financial plans. A financial advisor who suggests funding sources will have a higher implementation rate than one who does not. By becoming more of a “financial architect,” you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
Income Tax Solutions
In this session, you’ll discover that income tax is the single largest expense of most of your clients, and that “mistakes, errors, and omissions” when preparing annual tax returns is the number-one reason why clients pay too much income tax. You’ll learn how to identify possible tax planning strategies that can be discussed with the CPA on the client’s Team of Advisors. By working effectively with a CPA to formulate strategies that may lower the client’s income tax liability, you’ll also help your clients create funding sources for the recommendations outlined in their financial plans.
Stock and Bond Solutions
Stocks and bonds are the core securities that underlie most managed investment products such as mutual funds, managed accounts, and annuities. By gaining a thorough understanding of the stock and bond markets and the economic factors that influence the value of these securities, you are better equipped to analyze, compare, and contrast various managed products to determine which most appropriately meets the investment strategies identified in your clients’ financial plans. If you are not currently a licensed Stockbroker or RIA, this session helps you communicate effectively with the investment specialist on your client’s Team of Advisors.
Managed Money, Mutual Fund and Annuity Solutions
This session deals with managed money–essentially, portfolios of stock and bond investments. You’ll explore the similarities and differences among the three types of professionally managed investment alternatives: mutual funds, money management services, and annuities. You’ll learn to analyze, compare, and contrast various products within each group to determine which most appropriately meets the strategic objectives defined in your clients’ financial plans. Additionally, you’ll find effective methods of communicating the inherent value of problem-solving capabilities provided by these investment alternatives. If you are not currently a licensed Stockbroker or RIA, this session helps you communicate effectively with the investment specialist on your client’s Team of Advisors.
Will and Trust Solutions
Here you’ll explore the primary tools used to implement estate-planning recommendations — wills and trusts. You will discover the three reasons why everyone needs a well-constructed estate plan, and that the key to estate planning is how clients choose to own their assets. You will learn what a will can and cannot do, and the characteristics of 22 trusts. Finally, you’ll discover how life insurance is used in estate planning. If you are not currently licensed and trained in estate law or insurance, this session will help you communicate effectively with the estate attorney and insurance specialist on your client’s Team of Advisors.
Insurance and Employee Benefit Solutions
The final session deals with solutions offered by insurance and employee benefits. Since many corporations offer benefits such as insurance, retirement plans and employee stock options, clients often seek help in either choosing or designing a suitable benefits package. In this session, you’ll become familiar with the general issues involved with life, health, disability, and long-term care insurance, and will learn the differences between group and individual policies. In addition, you’ll explore various types of employer-sponsored retirement and deferred compensation plans. Annual contributions to these plans are limited, which can make it difficult for clients to accumulate sufficient retirement savings. Since additional retirement programs may be necessary, several types of IRAs are addressed in detail. Lastly, you will learn about the new minimum required distribution (MRD) rules and the nuances of employee stock options.