As with any business, it is the mission of every advisory firm to provide its clients with successful financial planning. That being said, having a roadmap to follow that will be beneficial for both the client and advisor alike will ensure that success is obtained. This article will highlight various methods that an adviser can follow in order to successfully achieve success with their clients, and then select the best option for their business.
Advisors should always remember that success is not measured by how much money an investor makes, but rather by how well they can keep it. For this reason, part of the advice process should be aimed towards protecting and preserving what a client has worked so hard to attain. There are numerous methods that can be followed in order to accomplish this end.
One of the easiest ways an advisor can provide their clients with this sort of advice is through risk management. A vast majority of investors will tend to make risky investments, which on occasion may result in losses or periods where gains are minimal.
Advisers must always remember to recommend investments based on the client’s time horizon and risk tolerance. Ensuring that an investor only invests in what they are comfortable losing is extremely important. In many cases, investing in a balanced portfolio of mutual funds could provide these benefits far better than investments such as day trading or other short-term opportunities.
Retirement planning is another method that can be used in order to help clients preserve their assets. Advisers should encourage their clients to always seek out opportunities for tax-deferred contributions whenever possible.
For example, if a client is currently employed by a company with an employer-sponsored plan, they may be eligible for 401(k) or 403(b) contributions on top of any other retirement plans available. If a client has the ability to do so, it would be in their best interest to maximize their contributions before looking elsewhere.
Suggest new ideas
Advisors can also use this time to review with clients what they are currently doing for retirement planning and/or suggest new ideas that they may not have previously considered.
For example, many retirees will start withdrawing from their retirement funds early, which could potentially result in huge amounts of fees or penalties that are due at certain time periods. Going over the distribution options available to clients with tax-deferred accounts is another way an advisor can help preserve assets for future generations.
Developing a retirement plan
One of the more effective methods an adviser can use when working with clients is developing a retirement plan. This could be considered the most comprehensive of all options, as it takes into account many factors, including but not limited to:
- Cash flow (annual and monthly)
- Capital spending (for both housing and vehicles)
- Daily living expenses for both personal and professional reasons
- Long term care decisions
- Income taxes
With these factored in, an adviser will have a template from which to work for planning purposes. This way, future decisions that the client makes can be reviewed by their adviser and/or other professionals involved with the account(s), to ensure that they are appropriate for the circumstances.
An important aspect of developing a retirement plan is the means by which it is developed. No two individuals or families may be alike in terms of their goals and objectives, so every plan should be customized to fit their needs and requirements specifically. There are a number of different options available to advisers that want to develop a customized plan.
For instance, some online software packages offer users a way to design their own plans within the program. Other options include using spreadsheets or other computer software, which typically requires more in-depth knowledge of various functions and tasks. There are also professionals who can do this for an adviser, but it will cost extra, so be sure to factor that into your budget when planning.
Regardless of the means by which a customized plan is developed, it will provide the user with the guidelines they need to help manage their finances throughout retirement.
This can include how to best distribute investments across various asset classes so as to allow for sufficient growth without being too aggressive. It could also include suggestions about which accounts are most beneficial for different purposes, such as determining if an individual should consider transferring their money into a Roth IRA.