The Future of Advice

Ten Traits Of Successful Advisors

How the emergence of the fee-based channel is driving new innovation, disrupting the status quo and transforming the future of the industry

Excerpts from the new study from NationwideAdvisory Solutions, Advisor Authority 2018: The Future of Advice. Read the full report here.

Change is a constant in our fast-moving industry and innovation continues to surge at an unprecedented rate, driven by the power of consumer demand, advances in technology, the rapidly expanding digital economy and regulatory reform. The race is on—and there is no turning back. The most successful advisors—those who earn more or manage more AUM than their peers—are already a step ahead. To keep pace, all advisors must adapt—or be left behind.

 

Change As Ally

You can win by recognizing that the very same trends that are driving change in our industry are not your obstacles—but are your allies. This is one of the most important findings of our latest Advisor Authority Special Report on successful advisors. As we studied the characteristics of top performers—how they build and run their practice, leverage technology and serve their clients—our findings reveal that they are true change agents with the skill to adapt in ways that drive their success. We believe that advisors at every level can learn from these actionable insights to build a more successful practice and establish a viable franchise for the future.

As markets are moving faster and the world around us is becoming increasingly complex, we have made it our mission to help advisors at every level tap into the tremendous potential of the independent fee-based channel, by continuing our annual Advisor Authority study, now in its fourth year. Conducted for us by The Harris Poll, Advisor Authority surveys more than 970 advisors nationwide, including the most successful who are setting the trends in our industry, as well as over 800 individual investors, from the Mass Affluent to the Ultra High Net Worth. Based on these findings, we will continue to provide you with an ongoing series of Special Reports in the months ahead, exploring the many issues and innovative solutions that matter most to RIAs, fee-based advisors and their clients.

Nationwide Advisory Solutions got its start as Jefferson National, a company built from the ground up with a singular focus on serving RIAs and fee-based advisors. We believe in the tremendous potential of the fee-based channel to drive new innovation, disrupt the status quo and transform the future of our industry. We have never stopped in our efforts to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges you face—and the solutions that you need to succeed. We will continue taking the pulse of RIAs, fee-based advisors and their clients, to establish benchmarks and provide you with the actionable insights that are so important for your success.

the push for new clients remains a top driver of profits for successful advisors. To drive greater growth and build a strong base for the future of their practice, successful advisors are targeting Generation X and Millennial investors

1. BE A TECH INNOVATOR
One factor which sets successful advisors apart from all other advisors is their focus on technology. They make it a practice management priority, use it to improve efficiencies and accuracy, enhance client relationships, attract the next generation of clients—and ultimately to drive profitability.

2. HARNESS THE COMPETITIVE EDGE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The most successful advisors are adapting their practice by adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI). They use AI to transform every aspect of the customer experience, from the front-end to the back office, opening the door to a new category of client, offering a new universe of products and solutions—and ultimately gaining an edge over the competition.

3. PUT CLIENTS FIRST
Successful advisors know that putting clients first is the foundation for a thriving practice. It all begins with a fiduciary standard. By aligning with their clients’ best interest, successful advisors earn their trust, deepen the advisor/investor relationship—and bring more assets under management.

4. TARGET AN EMERGING MARKET OF NEW CLIENTS
Year-over-year, the pursuit of profitability is a top priority—and the push for new clients remains a top driver of profits for successful advisors. To drive greater growth and build a strong base for the future of their practice, successful advisors are targeting Generation X and Millennial investors.

5. BE A MARKETING INNOVATOR
The most successful advisors are more likely to have a strategy to attract the next generation of investor. Go mobile, use social media and work with every member of the family to build a foundation for the future.

6. RETAIN HEIRS
The most successful advisors are far more likely to have an actionable strategy in place to retain clients’ heirs—and to retain their share of the $30 trillion that Baby Boomers will transfer to the next generation.

7. TAKE ACTION ON TAXES
Taxes continue to be the single biggest investment expense many clients will face, especially the High Net Worth. In response to new tax reforms, successful advisors are adapting their approach to tax-advantaged investing and expanding their services to drive more tax planning business.

8. BE BULLISH ON M&A
Successful advisors understand how to adapt to industry trends like M&A to benefit the growth oftheir firm. They are optimistic about the impact of M&A and consolidation as a way to tap into greater resources.

9. BEAT FEE COMPRESSION
As fees “race to the bottom,” driven by consumer demand for lower costs and transparency, increasing use of technology and increasing competition, there are significant pricing pressure on all advisors. Successful advisors are better prepared to adapt—by putting clients first, seeing tech as an ally and focusing on the best ways to create a competitive edge.

10. PLAN YOUR SUCCESSION
Successful advisors understand the importance of establishing a succession plan for their firm. To ensure their firms are not tied to a single generation of advisors—or a single generation of clients—they develop and promote talent to cultivate a future generation of leadership.