Financial Planner Practice Management Tips

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With investment management fees going to zero faster than the speed of light, financial planning is the future of financial advice. Use these financial planner practice management tips to gain control and avoid running around like your hair is on fire. This episode we have Matt Regan, President of Wealthcare Capital Management, who has some of the answers to questions about how to do this.

I’m going to give it to you straight with no fluff. Are you ready?

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and financial advisor marketing consultant. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics which is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

Financial planning practices can be a hot mess.

Financial planning has a bright future, according to industry thought leaders such as Bob Veres. But let’s be real.

Financial planning can be hard to scale; you’re earning hourly or flat fees vs. the more scalable AUM fee for assets managed that you make if you are managing client portfolios.

In my travels as a financial advisor marketing consultant, I’ve seen alot. Some financial planners are so disorganized you really have to wonder if it is really doing that much good for either the clients or the advisor.

  • I’ve seen advisors running around like their hair is on fire.
  • I’ve heard of advisors shoveling snow, going to the DMV with clients, driving four hours to go to a family event for a client.
  • I’ve seen planners take it to the extent that they are no longer being compensated for their time.
  • I’ve had financial advisors haggle with me over the $35 a month cost of my membership service. No offense, but are you serious? And you’re serving affluent people? What would your clients think if they saw that?

Do you really think that clients don’t notice the stress it causes you when you’re running a business that doesn’t pay you what it should? And how do you think it makes them feel about what you do?

This improves credibility?

How do you deliver maximum value as a financial planner without running yourself into the ground?

It has to do with the extent to which you are able to streamline and organize the operations of your practice. One of the most valuable practice management tips for financial planners that we could possibly give is to look into maximizing the value per hour of the work you do for the clients; and automate, outsource, and streamline all other lower value-adding texts within your practice.

Ah, and now about financial advisor technology tools can help us with that? We’re about to get into it.

But first – automation vs. “the human touch”

I’m all for the human touch and going above the call. The personal attention is, to be honest, why most advisors have a business. However, here’s what can happen if you don’t pay attention to yourself first and what all of the time is costing your business.

You can get trapped.

The experienced financial advisor makes around $90k a year according to some financial planner salary measurements. Many make more, some make less. Nothing wrong with $90k a year at face value, but at that level of pay you are vulnerable given this is a serious kind of business. Lose a client who trashes you to the country club, security breach, new technology emerges. Now all of a sudden you could actually be out of business.

Or worse.

Let’s be real: the margins matter.

Financial planner profit margins, scalability, and fees

If you are not running a business the scales well enough so that you can grow faster than your costs are, then you are in trouble. And with the technologies available to you, there’s no reason why you can’t. In the podcast linked at the top of this page, Matt Regan, President of Wealthcare Capital Management, and I discuss:

  • What is considered light planning vs. heavy planning?
  • What is goals-based vs. cash flow financial planning?
  • Charging for planning on a stand alone basis vs. bundling it
  • Hourly fees, asset based fees, retainer fees
  • Where advisors get into profitability problems with financial planning, and how to avoid it
  • The three things advisors can do to improve the efficiency of their financial planning

Enjoy the show!

Sara’s upshot

Did you listen to the podcast on financial planner practice management tips? Was it helpful?

If yes…

Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.

This is a book about financial advisor LinkedIn messages which contains scripts you can use to get new prospects.

You could also consider my financial advisor social media membership which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.

The Sara Grillo membership is a social media program for financial advisors - but only the cool ones.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll at least join my weekly newsletter about financial advisor lead generation.

See you in the next one!

-Sara G

Resource mentioned in this show:

Kitces, Michael. (2017, October 16th). 2017 Financial Advisor Compensation Trends And The Emerging Shortage Of Financial Planning Talent. Retrieved from


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