It is no secret that the greatest wealth transfer of all time is likely to happen within the next few decades. Around 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day (1), which means this aging population is set to pass down up to $68 trillion to their millennial heirs. This event is not something to ignore because of the impact it may have on your practice’s future. Here are three practical steps you can take now to help build a prosperous, intergenerational practice:
1. Keep track of where the funds will flow.
2. Be proactive with things you can control.
3. Create efficiencies through digital automation.
Keep Track of Where the Funds Will Flow
What separates great athletes from the rest of the pack is not rudimentary skills, it is anticipating where the ball is heading, not where it is now. For the greatest wealth transfer of all time, it is estimated that a $68 trillion ball of wealth is going to be passed onto the next generation of clients either within or outside of your practice (2). Thanks to the Amazon Effect, the next generation of clients is going to expect financial advice on their terms. You may encounter clients that are fee conscious & DIY “experts” merely seeking transparency and a more collaborative approach to solving their unique problems. It has been proven that millennials have less wealth and a time and money losing proposition for many practices. These smaller accounts can be more difficult to manage without integrated technology platforms. Typically, there are high asset minimums for managed accounts and high fees for brokerage solutions; making it difficult to offer investment solutions that are in millennial’s best interests. By having an actively managed solution with the potential for profitability down to $1,000 in each client’s assets, you can easily provide a collaborative approach through financial planning for a fee that makes sense for your time spent.
Be Proactive with Things You Can Control
Gather next generation clients by being proactive with things you can control. This idea sounds simple, but also time consuming. Consequently, the strategy for this is to use a K.I.S.S. principal that the Navy utilized in the 1960’s (3) Keep It Simple, Stupid. With technology and social media, opportunities exist. It can be as simple as sending a congratulations card or perusing social media 10 minutes every morning ready to extend a helping hand when life happens. Here are a few quick tips you can implement immediately:
- Make sure your clients do not keep you a secret. Ask them if their children and friends know about you and how you prepared them for the unexpected life experiences. Whether or not you get “yes” as an answer, make sure to follow-up with a “would you like to go out to dinner, play golf, or even go wine tasting.”
- Connect with your clients and their children through social media. The value of social media is similar to prospecting during the “golden days” of cold calling and door knocking; except you have over 300 million active users available at your fingertips without the crooked neck and sore feet. By connecting with your clients’ children, you can obtain useful contact information to add them to drip marketing email content campaign, stay informed of major life events like a job change, or even celebrate life’s peaks.
- Hold family meetings when appropriate. Use estate planning or charitable gift giving to start these conversations. Bringing the family together not only helps your clients convey their life’s wishes, but it also showcases how you and your clients collaborated to accomplish goals.
- Build service tiers into your practice that delineate meeting length and frequency.
- Build transparent fee structures that promote account consolidations.
- Promote events to have younger client’s network with your more affluent clients. This idea is a useful technique to show that you are in it for the long haul.
Create Efficiencies Through Digital Automation
Lastly, the reality is you need to be efficient with your time and money so that you can continue to focus on the clients that provide your practice income and opportunities. For efficiency, utilize technology that will attract the next generation’s clients. Technology doesn’t replace the experience of an advisor; it supplements the experience and allows you to focus on providing the high-level strategies that will maximize the benefits for your clients and your business. Since RobustWealth was built by advisors, for advisors, here are a few ways our platform can help prepare your firm for the future needs of your clients:
- Offer self-directed or white glove onboarding that can take less than 5 minutes to complete and can be completed through an introduction email.
- Build a customizable client experiences through segmentation.
- Highlight your client’s goals when they log-in through personalized risk and target date glide paths.
- Create dynamic fee management schedules and bill processing.
- Utilize analytics and performance reporting to identify which clients need more handholding during market uncertainty.
- Managed accounts with a low barrier to entry that will provide a taste for the level of service you provide to your platinum clients.
- Automate back-office tasks so you can refocus your energy on building relationships with your clients.
If you haven’t already discovered steps to implement, or a reason why you need to plan for the greatest transfer of wealth, take a look at your book of business and the reasons will be self-evident. You already know the amount of wealth that is going to be changing hands in your practice’s future.
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1- WFMJ (2020, March 13) What the Great Wealth Transfer Means for the Economy. Retrieved October 8, 2020, from https://www.wfmj.com/story/41895053/what-the-great-wealth-transfer-means-for-the-economy
2- WealthEngine. (2019, December 02). WealthEngine Releases First Annual Millennial Wealth Report. Retrieved September 19, 2020, from https://www.wealthengine.com/wealthengine-releases-first-annual-millennial-wealth-report/
3- The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English, Tom Dalzell, 2009, 1104 pages, p.595, webpage: BGoogle-5F: notes U.S. Navy “Project KISS” of 1960, headed by Rear Admiral Paul D. Stroop, Chicago Daily Tribune, p.43, 4 December 1960.
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