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4 Lessons Advisors Can Learn From High-Net-Worth Clients – That Apply to Regular Clients


Advisors often work with high-net-worth clients and are able to understand the expectations wealthy clients have about managing their finances. The good news is that some of those takeaways can be applied to clients who are not high-net-worth individuals.

Read on to understand four lessons advisors can take from high-net-worth clients – and how they can be applied to any client.

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Almost Everyone Needs an Estate Plan 

SmartAsset: 4 lessons advisors can learn from high-net-worth clients that apply to any client

Estate-planning practices apply to every client, no matter their tax bracket, says Renee Fry, co-founder and CEO of Gentreo, a company that provides estate-planning document services.

“Financial advisors should take the example of their high-net-worth clients and apply estate-planning principles to all their customers, regardless of income bracket,” Fry says. “Every person has an estate, regardless of their income level, and thus, everyone should have a plan in place to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes.”

Proper planning can help advisors build a bigger client base. “By doing so, advisors can help ensure their client’s financial security, build long-term trust and differentiate themselves from their competitors,” Fry says.

Outside Advice Is Valuable, Even When Clients Are Knowledgeable

Some clients may be titans of business or professional heavyweights, which has helped them benefit financially. “But that doesn’t mean that they know how to budget, how much insurance to have, how to invest or what to do with their wealth in terms of estate and charitable giving,” says Amy Jo Lauber, a certified financial planner and founder of Lauber Financial Planning.

Lauber also says that non-high-net-worth clients, especially those looking to improve their financial situation, often have more financial awareness than those who are wealthy.

“I find people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck are much more aware of their financial situation because they need to be,” Lauber says.

Index Funds Can Be a Foundation for Client Portfolios

“You do not have to have millions of dollars to own a piece of the largest 500 stocks in America,” says Stephen Maggard, CFP with Abacus Planning Group. “Putting $1,000 into an index fund that tracks the S&P 500 will spread your dollars among America’s 500 largest public companies. And it’s not expensive to do.”

Non-high-net-worth clients have the opportunity to take advantage of index funds that have affordable expense ratios, Maggard says. “These funds are a great way to capture market returns without paying an arm and a leg.”

Combining Money With Financial Planning Is Powerful

“The lesson I feel high-net-worth clients can teach all clients is money doesn’t buy happiness. But financial planning does,” says James Parks, CFP with Parks Wealth Management.

For high-net-worth people, neglecting to combine their millions of dollars in assets with good financial planning can spell trouble. And for folks with less money, the lesson is the same.

“Create and follow a financial plan to meet your goals and dreams,” Parks says. “Budget in fun travel plans, retirement income and college funding. And spend time on the activities you enjoy versus watching your portfolio reach some arbitrary number.”

Bottom Line

SmartAsset: 4 lessons advisors can learn from high-net-worth clients that apply to any client

Advisors work with a variety of clients, ranging from high-net-worth clients to average-income clients. Despite the differences in the size of their bank accounts, everyday clients can benefit from some of the same strategies advisors implement for high-net-worth clients.

Tips for Growing Your Financial Advisory Business

  • Let us be your organic growth partner. SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is a holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Sign up for a free demo to explore how SmartAsset AMP can help you expand your practice’s marketing operation. Get started today.
  • Expand your radius. SmartAsset’s recent survey shows that many advisors expect to continue meeting with clients remotely following COVID-19. Consider broadening your search and working with investors who are more comfortable with holding virtual meetings or spacing out in-person meetings.

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