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What Advisers Are Saying: Servicing smaller clients

Phil_Wickenden_pink_2014

Servicing smaller clients (by assets, rather than height) has emerged as one of the biggest challenges this year. That is what advisers have been telling us, or to be more specific, doing it profitably, competitively and compliantly.

But while many recognise the latent opportunities from the mass un-advised (however massive they turn out to be), far fewer have a plan in place.

Rather than rehashing the same old pros, cons, concerns and calls for clarity I thought
I would address the less talked about things that may be holding back progress: Fear, risk, procrastination, comfort… Those old friends. Because waiting for certainty as a pre-requisite to action is a never ending story (minus the Luck Dragon).

Which is why I thought I would share some thoughts garnered from a chap called Marc Chernoff who has looked at some of the things the happiest people on the planet do:

Take risk. Not kamikaze stuff but it is important to always remember that risk is an inherent part of living a good life. Without taking risks, you cannot truly live, you merely exist. Which is why the happiest folk take small risks every day rather than waiting for certainty and guarantees that probably will not ever materialise and if they did will not offer much advantage because every man and his dog will be at it by then.

Embrace difficult. Challenges make life interesting; overcoming them makes life meaningful. Anyway, all things are difficult before they are easy. What matters the most is what you start doing now.

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.

There is no point trying to eliminate fear – it is natural – but 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. If you do not challenge yourself on a regular basis, by taking small steps into unfamiliar territory, you get stale.

The reason life can be so rewarding is precisely because nothing is guaranteed.

However high-net-worth an adviser’s core business, it seems silly to limit the value of that business by focusing exclusively on a dying client bank – to put it harshly.

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 certainly do not let the above three stop you.

Phil Wickenden is founder of So Here’s the Plan

What advisers are saying-6Feb14

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