“If you can address an immediate concern a client has, for example, late state college planning, you will gain the client’s trust in managing other assets,” John Belles, College Funding Solutions Inc., said at the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association’s (NTSAA) 403(b) Advisor Summit. Such services can be a door opener to build relationships. Belles made the point that most people are more comfortable talking about their child’s education than getting old or dying.
Paul Dyer, United Tax Partner Services, added that if an adviser is selling 403(b) services and not giving tax advice, then he is missing out. Sometimes valuable information about a client to use for retirement planning can be culled from a client’s tax return, he said.
George Webber, from Kades-Margolis, told attendees if most of an adviser’s business is 403(b) services, the adviser needs to diversify his income stream. Webber explained that Kades Margolis has transformed from a 403(b) services firm into a full-blown financial planning firm. “Financial planning is a connection of the dots for clients,” he said.
Advisers should listen to clients and put together pieces of a financial plan based on a client’s values, including an education for children, tax planning and/or estate planning, according to Webber. This is how an adviser creates value for clients.“An adviser’s goal should be to become the CFO of a client’s household, so the client will call the adviser when they think of anything financial,” Webber said. “The goal as a full-service financial adviser is to get [control of] all of a client’s disposable income and investable assets.”