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Capturing less wealthy clients can be worth the risk

Servicing smaller clients remains a challenge. Actually, it is inaccurate to refer to this service deficit as a challenge because that assumes finding a way to reach this group profitably, competitively and compliantly is something advisers are bothered about.

They are not. In the main. Although some recognise the latent opportunities from the so-called mass un-advised, few plan to do anything about it.

Rather than rehash the same old pros, cons, concerns and calls for clarity regarding all things lighter touch, I thought I would address the less talked-about things that may be holding back progress: our old friends — fear, risk, procrastination and comfort. Because waiting for certainty as a prerequisite to action is a never-ending story.

Which is why I want to share some thoughts from a chap called Marc Chernoff — a writer and coach who has looked at some of the things the happiest people on the planet do:

1. Take risk. Not kamikaze stuff. Apparently the happiest folk take small risks every day rather than wait for certainty and guarantees that probably will never materialise but, if they did, would not offer much advantage because every man and his dog would be at it by then.

2. Embrace the difficult. Challenges make life interesting; overcoming them makes life meaningful.

3. Accept the possibility of failing. Or even celebrate it as a sign that you are putting yourself out there. If you are too afraid of failure, you cannot possibly do what needs to be done to succeed. In that respect, there is no point trying to eliminate fear — it is natural — rather, learn to live with it.

The key is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Comfort is fine to recharge but it is a dreary place to live permanently.

However high net worth an adviser’s core business may be, it seems silly to limit the value of that business by focusing exclusively on a dying client bank (to put it bluntly).

There are ways of capturing and incubating less wealthy clients. They may not all be right for your business, and they will come with challenges, but do not let the above three stop you.

Phil Wickenden is managing director at Cicero Research

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