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Advisor Resources

Jan 24, 2023 In a tech-driven age, digital marketing is integral to growing and scaling your advisory business. Social media is an important component, but digital marketing strategies encompass much more than that. If you’re not exploring its possibilities yet, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to expand your client base. Being knowledgeable about the different forms of digital marketing for financial advisors can help you decide which ones to implement. Ready to tackle your marketing plan and start scaling your business? Here’s how to get started. Read More...

Jan 24, 2023 Digital marketing is reshaping the way advisors connect with prospective clients. Email marketing is one branch of that and it can be an effective way to communicate with clients while fostering trust. In short, email allows you to put your brand and messaging directly in front of your target audience. Finding success with email marketing for financial advisors hinges on developing an impactful strategy. Read More...

Jan 24, 2023 Finding new clients can take up a significant amount of time and energy in your business. And once you get them, you have to keep them. That’s where client engagement becomes paramount. Engagement is part of an overall marketing strategy and it’s essential for building long-term relationships. When it’s well-executed, financial advisor client engagement can allow you to create consistent revenue from your existing base, while potentially helping you to bring in new clients through referrals. Read More...

Jan 20, 2023 The job outlook for financial planners, professionals who help clients build long-term strategies for retirement and meet other financial goals, appears strong. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this area are projected to grow 15% from 2021 to 2031. Here are the basic stages of a financial planner’s career path, from learning the ABCs of budgeting to running a firm. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform.  Read More...

Jan 19, 2023 The bond market was one of 2022’s big question marks. Last year’s stock market took a big hit. Marked by significant volatility, the S&P 500 ended the year down about 20%. But bear markets happen, and stocks are known for their short-term volatility. On the other side, bonds aren't known for stomach-churning swings. The bond market is generally known for its stability. That’s arguably its biggest selling feature. Investors can often expect lower returns but more safety when they invest in bonds instead of equities. That wasn’t the case in 2022, though. Not only were bonds unusually volatile, but bonds and equities declined at the same time. According to research from Goldman Sachs, this has only happened a handful of times in the past 100 years. All of this raises the question: What will 2023 bring for bonds? Should financial professionals approach with optimism or caution? SmartAsset spoke with Mariam Kamshad, head of portfolio strategy for Goldman Sachs personal financial management, and Guido Petrelli, CEO and founder of Merlin Investor, to discuss. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform.  Read More...

Jan 13, 2023 Financial professionals recently received a reminder that industry overseers are closely monitoring how firms are implementing standards and practices under Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). In mid-January, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an annual report that, among other topics, addresses and reviews firms' compliance with this broker-dealer standard of conduct. The takeaway: It's time to get with the program when it comes to Reg BI. Here’s what securities brokers should know. Read More...

Jan 06, 2023 As 2023 begins, advisors are looking ahead to the policy and tax changes impacting their high-net-worth clients. Those include changes stemming from the passage of Secure 2.0 Act. Read on for the 2023 policy and tax changes that advisors expect to impact high-net-worth clients. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business once you become an advisor, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Jan 03, 2023 For financial advisors, the new year is a great time to take stock and reset. The investment year is over. The tax harvest is in. Contribution limits have reset. And plenty of clients will be looking for a new approach. So what opportunities are there in the coming year? What were some of the mistakes from the past one? How can you improve in 2023? SmartAsset talked to Kristen Anderson, CEO and founder of the financial service for independent workers Catch, and financial planner Treyton DeVore, founder of AllStreet Wealth and Creatorbread, for their thoughts. Here are four New Year's resolutions for advisors to make in 2023. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Dec 16, 2022 If you’re interested in becoming a certified financial planner, passing the CFP exam is a necessary step. The CFP exam is a 170-question multiple choice test that’s designed to thoroughly test your knowledge about financial planning. Preparation is key, as the exam has a reputation for being difficult. Developing a plan for study and knowing what to expect on exam day can increase your odds of earning a passing grade. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Dec 14, 2022 One of the most effective ways to grow your advisory business is to increase the number of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients you serve. Not only do these types of clients have more investable assets, but they may also be more focused on their goals which can make your job as an advisor easier. Attracting high-net-worth clients is often easier said than done, however. You can't simply start hanging around golf courses and yacht clubs to reel in deep-pocketed clients. But fine-tuning your approach and knowing which strategies to implement can help you get closer to your target when expanding your client base. Read More...

Dec 14, 2022 If you're good with money and working with people, you may be interested in becoming a financial advisor. There's more than one way to become a financial advisor, of course, and countless certifications and specialties to pursue. But whether you're changing careers after years of working or just finishing college, there is a clear path to entering this profession. If you're interested, read our six steps on how to become a financial advisor. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business once you become an advisor, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Dec 12, 2022 When looking ahead to 2023, advisors should keep an eagle eye on a range of investing trends and market factors. Nobody has a crystal ball, but after a whiplash-inducing 2022, investing experts are considering the forces that will shape 2023. For more insights into the market trends that advisors and investors should watch for in the coming year, SmartAsset spoke with Connor Spiro, a certified financial planner and senior financial consultant to John Hancock’s Advice Team. Here are the top three on his list. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Dec 09, 2022 Working with professional athletes – whether they play for the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, NWSL, MMA, WWE or another sports league – presents unique challenges. Every athlete has a different career timeline and goals. And every athlete tends to have a different support system. To understand what advisors need to know when working with professional athletes, SmartAsset spoke with several financial advisors who work with clients in the sports world. For these clients, the stakes are particularly high. "The margin of error is incredibly small," says Tyler Martin, certified financial planner, certified private wealth advisor and director of financial planning at Stonebridge Wealth Management. "The difference between a ball and a strike is about the same margin an advisor gets in this space," he adds. "Client experience and execution are crucial." Read on for what advisors need to know when working with professional athletes – and what lessons they can apply to their regular, non-athlete clients. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Dec 07, 2022 Is it worth paying a financial advisor to manage retirement funds if you are confident in your own financial investment strategies? I feel like I have a solid understanding of long-term investment strategies. And as such, I feel the roughly 1% of managed assets that I would pay for any outside advice would exceed the gains I might see. True, it is important to get outside opinions to compare best practices with investments, but the famous Warren Buffett investment bet – in which he pitted a low-fee index fund against an actively managed portfolio of hedge funds – makes me leery of trusting any professional investor.  -Mike You’re absolutely right to ask this question. If you feel comfortable investing on your own, what’s the point of working with a financial advisor whose fee of 1% of assets under management could chip away at your investment returns? I reached out to a network of advisors for their take on this query. They were quick to stress that the services a financial advisor may provide can justify the cost. But many of them also suggested that clients consider whether 1% for bare-bones investment management is worth the fee. "Managing investments is (or should be) only a small part of what financial advisors do for their clients,” says George Gagliardi, financial advisor at Coromandel Wealth Management. “If your advisor is only managing your assets and charging 1%, find another advisor. You are overpaying." Here's how to determine whether it makes sense for you to work with a financial advisor. (Note: The advisors quoted in this article are only speaking for themselves. Your own experience may vary, and not everyone will find working with an advisor worth the cost, depending on their situation.) Read More...

Dec 06, 2022 When providing financial advice on cryptocurrencies, certified financial planner (CFP) professionals have fresh guidance from the CFP Board. The governing organization published a notice recently in response to questions about applying the CFP Board’s “ Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct” to advice on cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related assets. (CFP professionals commit to following the “Code and Standards,” which includes duties related to competency and ethics.) While CFP professionals aren’t barred from – or required to – offer advice on crypto-related products, there are certain duties they must follow. Here’s what advisors should know. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Nov 30, 2022 As the New Year arrives, financial advisors should be looking ahead to 2023, understanding what tax changes will impact clients and what they can do to plan ahead. For financial advisors, the 2023 tax year won't be chock-full of major tax surprises. Still, advisors should update and maintain financial planning strategies to accommodate any tweaks and updates. To understand what advisors should know about 2023 tax tweaks, SmartAsset spoke with Les Williams, wealth strategist and tax specialist with RBC Wealth Management, about five tax changes that financial advisors should know. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Nov 22, 2022 For some reason, financial advisors will frequently tout tax-loss harvesting as an incredible opportunity, skipping over the fact that it is ultimately a consolation prize for having lost value on an investment. There is absolutely a case for tax-loss harvesting and the potential tax benefits that come from it. But like any tax-planning strategy, tax-loss harvesting requires nuance and communication with clients. Here's what advisors get wrong about tax-loss harvesting: Forgetting that not all income (or loss) is created equal Missing that most tax-loss harvesting is a delay tactic Overlooking how tax-loss harvesting emphasizes losses Assuming tax-loss harvesting is a differentiator If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Nov 22, 2022 Before 2022 comes to a close, advisors should kick off discussions with clients on a range of subjects, including retirement, investing, insurance and taxes. For many of these topics, there are year-end deadlines or contribution cut-offs that are important to note. Missing them could result in penalties, higher tax bills and other financial repercussions. Conversations to Have With Clients Watch the SmartAsset webinar below To determine which topics advisors should surface to clients before year-end, SmartAsset spoke with Elliot Herman, partner and chief investment officer at PRW Wealth Management LLC. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Nov 18, 2022 Young Americans are poised to inherit and grow significant wealth. But when it comes to meeting them where they are – notably, on various digital feeds where they tend to take in financial advice via video – financial advisors aren't on the same page. Many advisors may not feel comfortable – or have the compliance blessing – to participate on these platforms. But that doesn't mean they should ignore them entirely. Instead, they can take away lessons from the youth-driven digital advice landscape and hone their marketing strategy to envelope this emerging client base. Here’s what advisors should know about how young folks are growing wealthy, where they're turning for financial advice and how advisors can connect with them. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Nov 08, 2022 USA Today will publish its inaugural "Best Financial Advisory Firms" list in April 2023, according to the digital news organization. The aim is to publish a guide to the top registered investment advisors (RIAs). The company says that results will be created from an online survey, developed by Statista, a market research firm. Here's what advisors should know about the upcoming rankings. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. Read More...

Nov 08, 2022 Personal and professional development are central to your success as a financial advisor. The ability to grow and adapt can help you to better serve your clients and strengthen your business. Reading books about business, finance and self-improvement can aid in developing the skills necessary to reach your goals. If you’re looking for something new to add to your personal library, here are the best books for financial advisors to read now. Read More...

Aug 31, 2022 Losing clients can be a frustrating experience and when it happens to you, you may be left wondering what you could have done differently. There are a number of reasons why clients leave financial advisors and there may be more than one cause at work. Understanding some of the most common reasons why clients choose to move on can give you insight into how to better serve the investors you work with. You can also work with SmartAsset's SmartAdvisor platform to replace your clients or to hit your next stage of growth. Read More...

Aug 31, 2022 A custodian is integral to your advisory firm’s operations as you’ll need a secure place to hold client assets. Working with a quality provider can also help to improve efficiency, which can be instrumental in driving your firm’s success. It’s important to know what factors to consider when selecting a financial advisor custodian. Are you a financial advisor looking to get new clients? Consider signing up for SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Aug 12, 2022 The current  bear market and widespread economic anxiety may have financial advisors feeling squeamish as they watch assets under management (AUM) shrink and clients worry. But upticks in market volatility may have a silver lining: It increases demand for financial advice. According to research from Cerulli Associates, a desire for more financial advice tends to rise among investors following periods of increased volatility. For financial advisors, this trend can present an opportunity to demonstrate value to potential clients and strengthen ties with existing clients. Here’s what advisors should know. If you have questions specific to market volatility, a  financial advisor can help . Read More...

Aug 11, 2022 Clients are becoming more aware of the certified financial planner (CFP) credential, according to the CFP Board’s latest metrics. The Board has endeavored to showcase the CFP mark's value via a public awareness campaign – and has raised fees, in part, to support that mission. Client familiarity with the CFP certification may make it a more valuable credential to advisors. Here’s what to know. Read More...

Aug 09, 2022 Surprise! Surprise? For financial advisors, scoring placement in a “top advisor” list pays off. According to research from the University of Kentucky, being named a top advisor increases assets under management (AUM) and client accounts for individual advisors and their firms. These effects are magnified for smaller firms and newer advisors, the paper says. Here’s what financial advisors should know about the benefits of being "the best." Read More...

Jul 21, 2022 Workplace 401(k) providers are working as matchmakers, hooking up investors with wealth managers and fostering advising relationships that can last into retirement. Financial advisors who can onboard clients before retirement and navigate the transition between the asset-accumulating and asset-decumulating phases may stand to benefit from this trend. Here’s what advisors should know about this client base. Read More...

Jul 15, 2022 Retirees are confused about enrolling in Medicare, according to a 2022 survey from Sage Growth Partners and Healthpilot. Notably, 33% of respondents have a financial advisor, but only 2% use that advisor to help plan their selection. Understanding Medicare can help financial advisors best direct clients in choosing plans, reducing health care expenses and protecting retirement savings. Let's take a look at how advisors can help Medicare-eligible clients. If you're looking for a qualified financial advisor, SmartAsset's free tool can match you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area. Read More...

Jul 14, 2022 For the second consecutive year, investment advisor compliance professionals ranked marketing and advertising as their No. 1 compliance worry. Driving this ongoing angst is a new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) marketing rule, which updates advisor marketing practices, and must be followed by Nov. 4, 2022. Here’s what advisors should know about trending compliance concerns and the SEC marketing rule. Read More...

Jul 08, 2022 Retirees don’t accurately understand their risks in retirement, according to a recent analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The brief, authored by Wenliang Hou, finds a disconnect between how retirees rank perceived risks and their objective exposure to those dangers. Advisors should take note: Understanding retirees’ blind spots in relation to actual retirement risks helps financial advisors serve clients more effectively. Read More...

Jun 22, 2022 Model portfolios, which provide financial advisors with a prebuilt framework for investment portfolio design, are surging in popularity. Assets following model portfolios grew to $349 billion as of March 2022, according to financial services firm Morningstar. That’s an estimated 22% increase between June 30, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Here’s what financial advisors should know about the model portfolio landscape and the pros and cons of these financial vehicles.  A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your retirement needs and goals. Read More...

Jun 16, 2022 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is requesting public input on whether "information providers" – specifically, index providers, model portfolio providers and pricing services – may act as "investment advisers" under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Some industry watchers contend that these financial businesses aren't adequately regulated considering the influence they have on others' investment decisions. Placing these providers under this designation could open the door to new regulatory scrutiny. It could also impact how financial advisors and consumers engage with these businesses. Financial professionals should take note. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your retirement needs and goals. Read More...

Nov 15, 2021 Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be vital to running and scaling your advisory business. The right CRM can make it easier to organize and store data for existing clients while helping to generate new leads. It can also help you to run your business more efficiently and save time by automating certain tasks. Using this type of software could improve conversions and boost revenues. But what is the best CRM for financial advisors? If you’re looking for a new customer relationship management software program, we’ve rounded up some of the best options for financial services. Read More...

Nov 15, 2021 Having a website for your advisory business matters for remaining visible in a competitive landscape. The best financial advisor websites are the ones that are designed to convert and turn casual visitors into loyal clients. “Having a website as a financial advisor is extremely important,” says Nicole Webster, creative consulting with M&O Marketing in Southfield, Michigan. “It’s a great way to establish an online presence and, most importantly, build credibility.” But what goes into a good advisor website, that is, a successful social media presence? These tips can help you build a site that attracts prospects’ attention - and keeps it. Read More...

Nov 11, 2021 Staying attuned to client needs and delivering solutions to help them reach their goals is one of the hallmarks of a good financial advisor. These are skills you may have acquired during your initial financial advisor training and now want to fine tune so you can better serve your client base. Or you may be in the early stages of your career and looking for some guidance on how to be the advisor your clients need. These tips can help you find success on your journey to becoming a better financial advisor. Read More...

Nov 10, 2021 Finding success as a financial advisor matters for growing your business to a sustainable level. But that may mean encountering various obstacles and challenges along the way. This is not unusual in itself but how you approach the bumps in the road can affect the results you’re able to achieve. Wondering how to be a successful financial advisor? Here are some of the most important characteristics shared by advisors with thriving businesses and full client lists. Read More...

Jul 28, 2021 Connecting with prospective clients in the digital age means having a strong online presence. That includes being visible on social media, maintaining a professional website and creating engaging content. If you have yet to formulate a wealth management content marketing strategy, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to grow your audience and expand your client base. Read More...

Jul 27, 2021 Clients are the centerpiece of any successful advisory business; without them, it wouldn’t exist. But they aren’t all alike in terms of their goals, needs and financial situations. This is where understanding client segmentation for financial advisors becomes crucial. Knowing how to segment your book can help you improve your efficiency and profitability. At the same time, it can allow you to better serve your clients’ needs and help them further their financial goals. Read More...

Jul 26, 2021 Finding success as a financial advisor means establishing a careful balance between two core activities: meeting the needs of your current clients and generating leads to new ones. Lead generation is a vital part of scaling an advisory business. And you may be spending a fair amount of time and money trying different tactics to connect with prospects. If so, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting the best return on investment possible. Having some go-to financial lead generation strategies in your playbook can ensure that your efforts aren’t wasted. Read More...

Jun 17, 2021 Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful advisory business. Without a clear strategy for promoting your advisory services, you may find yourself treading water instead of pushing ahead with your growth goals. It's important to take the time to develop a workable financial advisor marketing plan before diving into any marketing activities. Ready to tackle your marketing plan and start scaling your business? Here's how to get started. Read More...

Jun 17, 2021 A website can be an invaluable part of your financial advisor marketing plan and it’s important that it makes a good first impression. This is where having a strong financial advisor bio can work in your favor. When a prospective client clicks through to your website's biography page, they should be able to glean two key pieces of information straight away: who you are and how you can help them. A bio that’s well-written and addresses both of those things succinctly can help to turn a cold visitor to your website into a warm lead. Read More...

Jun 01, 2021 Scaling your advisory business demands a solid marketing and lead-generation strategy. While financial advisor marketing is increasingly focused on digital channels, there’s still a case to be made for just picking up the phone. “Cold calling is one of the oldest, time-tested marketing methods in existence,” says David Wright, executive director of practice development at M&O Marketing in Southfield, Michigan. Wright, who coaches independent financial advisors on how to grow their businesses, says that cold calling can be particularly effective for new advisors who are seeking to generate leads in a cost-effective way. Having some cold calling scripts for financial advisors to follow can make it easier to execute this marketing tactic. Read More...

May 19, 2021 For financial advisors, prospecting is essential to attracting new clients and scaling a practice. Finding and developing leads that may turn into prospects can be time-consuming, however. And if you don’t have the right strategy in place, even finding prospects in the first place can be hit-or-miss. That’s where getting advice from successful financial advisors can help. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best prospecting tips from financial advisors to help you accelerate your business growth. Read More...

May 11, 2021 A solid client base is central to your success as a financial advisor. But without a defined plan for marketing yourself, making connections can be an uphill - and ultimately unsuccessful - slog. “A marketing strategy can single-handedly make or break an advisor’s practice,” says Dan Biagini, chief distribution officer at Foundations Investment Advisors. Whether you’re a new advisor who’s just getting started with marketing or you’re ready to revamp your existing marketing plan, here are five tips that can help with increasing your reach and cultivating stronger client relationships. Read More...