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Typical Business Plan for a Financial Advisor Essay

A.) Executive Summary:

The role of the wealth manager is not to simply sell a financial product to a prospect. Instead, a wealth manager’s first concern is developing a comprehensive understanding of the client, a client-centric approach to providing financial solutions. Next the wealth manager must match the right solutions to the client’s needs and desires and ensure he or she receives an exceptional service experience. After that, product and service sales opportunities will naturally follow. Making the transition is clearly a trade-off between short-term results and long-term success.

Financial security through goals-based wealth management. As a wealth manager with Merrill Lynch, the emphasis would be on marketing and looking for ways to help clients with a broad array of financial capabilities. The objective is to help clients achieve their goals and dreams, whether it’s living in luxury, providing charitable contributions and/or leaving a legacy for family and friends; consult and advise clients how to best save and structure their investments to reach their goals.

1. What would your specific goals be for new assets under management?

a. Year 1 – 10 Million of Assets Under Management ( 10 qualified contacts per day, 1-2 new accounts per week ). b. Year 2 – 20 Million of Assets Under Management ( 20 qualified contacts per day, 2-3 new accounts per week ). c. Year 3 – 30 Million of Assets Under Management ( 30 qualified contacts per day, 3-5 new accounts per week ).

2. What would your value proposition be to a prospective client?

Financial planning will become a more important part of financial advisors’ value proposition as regulators in key financial markets draft legislation that requires financial advisors to act as fiduciaries with all clients, and wealth management firms seek to differentiate financial advisors’ offerings from those of online brokerages. Emphasis on the client, the benefit not the feature, reassuring discussion and clairity of market uncertainty, effective use of numbers telling prospective clients that our plan holders are able to enjoy the life that they planned- a client benefit focused statistic.

Five competencies, five chances to differentiate:

Provide customized financial planning advice to meet your needs in areas including cash flow management, tax efficiency, asset protection, superannuation and retirement planning, insurance, risk management and estate planning. Manage and administer individual investment portfolios according to individual client risk tolerances, preferences and directions. Protect and grow client’s wealth by utilizing the best available and independently researched investment opportunities.

Ensure no investment opportunities are missed, tax implications are addressed, and fees and costs are minimized Monitor investments closely on an ongoing basis. Obtain investment returns comfortably above market ( to at least cover management costs). Provide timely and accurate recording and reporting. To deliver caring, attentive and personalized service a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor must balance the customer value proposition with profitability, delivering the right offering to the right client segment at the right price.

a. Why should they do business with you?

Customers see their personal wealth management strategy as a lifelong endeavor that influences every financial and practical decision they will make from the immediate to distant future. Even customers who fail to grasp their bigger financial picture are driven by the need to plan for specific monetary events that will impact their lives. In both of these contexts, superior customer service, sound advice and an advisory relationship are valued features not easily copied by competitors.

The core of any successful wealth management offering is the relationship developed between the advisor and the client. Successful advisors develop a relationship with clients by demonstrating that the clients’ interests are the advisor’s paramount concern. In the context of an advisory relationship, the wealth management firm works with the client to develop, implement and monitor a comprehensive wealth management strategy.

To win new customers and retain existing ones, as a wealth management advisor, I must be perceived as competent, dependable and empathetic. Clients must also perceive that they are paying a justified price for the value that they are receiving. Client opinion is formed through a combination of personal experience, word of mouth and marketing. To compete effectively, the wealth management advisor must have a brand like Merrill Lynch that is firmly associated with the qualities demanded of a wealth management institution.

Another major component of successful wealth management is the human touch. Clients respond to charismatic guidance and a high level of attention; they feel valued when their questions are addressed promptly and personally. I have a passion for the financial markets and an overall interest in eating, sleeping and breathing this business. Moreover, I enjoy working with people and am good at communicating my ideas in a coherent and persuasive manner.

I understand that very few clients maintain all of their accounts with a single provider; an integrated view of their overall financial picture is critical if clients are to be able to make informed decisions. Financial advisors, too, should be able to access and analyze customer data efficiently. When information is automatically integrated across accounts and across institutions, advisors can concentrate on helping customers make fact-based and insightful wealth management decisions, rather than focusing on more mundane tasks like assembling statements from multiple sources.

Key Wealth Management Points:

– Perception ( Cash Management )
– Personal Touch ( Protection, Asset Management)
– Integrated Information ( Tax Planning, Retirement and Estate Planning )
– Multichannel Access ( Credit )
– Asset Allocation ( Proper Risk Management )

B.) Customer Analysis

3.What would your ideal client look like?

A substantial amount of old and new wealth needs managing. Factors like increased volatility and uncertainty, the growing number and complexity of financial products available, and increased personal responsibility for retirement planning have made many previously confident investors realize that they do, in fact, need advice. Before embarking on an ambitious and expensive wealth management effort, firms should carefully consider the needs of the customer segment they are trying to target. Designing an offering that matches the competencies that attractive segments value to the firm’s capabilities is the key to successful wealth management.

Ideal Client Profile:

Identifying attractive customer segments is just the first step in outlining a viable wealth management strategy. I would focus on the wealthiest customers, and then take full advantage of their established reputations and relationships. Successful entrepreneurs, professionals, business owners, corporate executives, young affluent individuals who have inherited wealth from older generations, and retirees. Determine what motivates the ideal client, what causes them pain, and why they would be interested in buying from me. Then determine how I am different from the competition and how I want to be viewed by my prospective client. Highlight why I am are different and what value I can offer to my clients.

Characteristics:

– Long-term investment focus – they seek both long-term investment performance and wealth preservation – Fee-based preference for wealth management, including portfolio management and integrated financial planning. – Financial delegators open to delegating the task of portfolio management due to insufficient time, interest and/or knowledge – They respect and follow advice from experienced/qualified professionals – They are willing to share and discuss their financial circumstances and objectives

– They understand that the market’s volatility and unpredictability may temporarily negatively affect the portfolio’s performance – They are committed to implementing a written financial strategy to pursue important goals – Want to leave a legacy for the people they love, instead of a tax burden – Recognizes value in delegating investment research and personal financial planning to a professional. – Wants to be educated on the investments, but does not have the time, and/or does not enjoy managing investments. – Ability to be open to advice from professionals and follow through on agreed upon recommendations – Committed to achieving financial milestones

Ideal Client Activities:

– Enjoy traveling, staying active, and being young at heart – Enjoy spending time with family, friends, community activities, and socializing. – The primary source of growing my book of ideal clients will likely be referrals. – Strategic partners and within centers of influence.

– People tend to know and socialize with people just like them. – Psychographics in addition to demographics (magazines, groups, vacations ) – My book of ideal clients will then evolve over time.

a. Investable Assets

Investment assets starting at least of $250,000- $300,000 Net worth of at least $1,000,000 +

b.Key Wealth Management Issues

Many financial institutions currently view wealth management as an integrated set of products: cash management, asset management, protection, credit, retirement and estate planning, and tax planning. Given that most wealth management products are roughly equivalent regardless of who offers them, clients are less interested in product specifics—assuming they meet certain basic requirements—than in the elements of service that surround the products.

Wealth Management is a process – not a product or a one-time event. The Wealth Management Process provides a long-term strategy for a client’s financial future. Financial advisors need to conduct a thorough financial assessment before making any specific recommendations and build a clients portfolio with an eye on stability and risk management, long-term retirement planning long-term care, life insurance and annuities. It is incumbent upon a Wealth Management Advisor to take a disciplined and structured approach to helping a client to manage these issues. Before embarking on an ambitious and expensive wealth management effort, Financial Advisors should carefully consider the needs of the customer segment they are trying to target. Designing an offering that matches the competencies that attractive segments value to the firm’s capabilities is the key to successful wealth management.

The Wealth Management Process includes the following phases:

Discovery and Data Gathering:

At the beginning of the process, it is important to sit down and discuss each client’s unique values, priorities and goals and help them to define their personal and financial goals, understand their time frame for results, and their comfort level with risk.

– What are the current assets in their portfolio?
– How much do they plan to invest each month?
– How many years will they be investing?
– How much do they expect their portfolio to return over 3 months, 1 year, 5 years?
– What is their current asset allocation?
– What are the benchmarks for their current portfolio?
– How much risk can they tolerate?
– How much money can they invest right now?
– How much money will they need to reach their retirement goals?
– How much money can they contribute each month?

Analysis:

Once the fact finding, discovery and data gathering is completed, the results are then reviewed and a Wealth Management Plan is designed to meet the individual client’s goals and objectives. This step of the process includes such areas as analyzing assets, liabilities, cash flow, risk management, current investments and strategies related to tax issues.


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