It is customary this time of year to pause in our pursuit of the “next big thing” in order to better appreciate what we have already. Before you set your business goals and resolutions for the new year, consider stopping for a moment and giving thanks for the people, circumstances and opportunities which contributed to your success in 2018 and are providing the foundation on which you can continue to grow your business in 2019.
We might begin with the obvious: your clients for, without whom, your business would be non-existent. As a fiduciary, clients place their trust in you. When they hold fast to your advice despite frightening market turns and make it to the other side unscathed, still on track with their financial plan, it can make being an advisor feel like the best job in the world. Often, clients you’ve served for many years can become like extensions of your own family. Even the “difficult” clients you’ve helped have potentially served to shape you into the experienced, skilled financial advisor you are today.
A look at current industry statistics might also give you additional cause to feel grateful. According to a poll from the Investment Advisor Association*, the number of federally registered investment advisors and the assets they manage continues to grow. The number of SEC-registered is up 3.3% since last year with AUM showing a 16.7% increase. There has arguably never been a better time to be an independent registered investment adviser. Robb Baldwin, founder and CEO of TradePMR, a custodial and brokerage-services provider dedicated to serving registered investment advisers (RIAs) shares this belief, “After twenty years, I’m still grateful for the RIA opportunity, which I believe continues to be the best business opportunity in the financial services space. I’m privileged to get to run and operate my own business and to help our advisers grow and prosper theirs.”
With this prosperity, can also come a desire to give to the less fortunate. TradePMR recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of their company in 2018 with a unique initiative designed to show their appreciation for their community while helping those in need. In their year-long “20-for-20” initiative, more than twenty community service projects were led and staffed by Trade PMR employees. These altruistic efforts benefitted charitable and community service organizations in the areas of health, education, family services, pediatric cancer research, mental health, women’s issues, breast cancer research and animal causes.
Do you know which, if any, of these categories of charitable organizations are important to your clients?
While it’s nice to send your clients a holiday card to express your appreciation for their business, you might consider this season of reflection and gratitude as an opportunity to reach out to clients directly to talk about their philanthropic goals. For example, your clients might appreciate the reminder that for many non-profit organizations, end of year tax-deductible donations could make up that organization’s primary source of income for the entire year. But be wary of assuming that your clients want to give merely as a tax-savings strategy. The act of charitable giving can be driven by a wide variety of very complex psychological factors. As your client’s financial advisor, you can play a helpful role in identifying which giving opportunities best align with their passions and concerns.
And that conversation might lead to a lot of other people having reason to give thanks this holiday season.
* Think Advisor; September 6, 2018; https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2018/09/06/number-of-rias-and-their-aum-continue-to-climb-iaa/
Trade-PMR, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC