As more wealth managers enter the fray and algorithm-driven discounters disrupt pricing models for established players, competition in the wealth management industry is heating up. While elite wealth management professionals continue to retain their edge over cookie-cutter competitors, it’s impossible for any incumbent to totally ignore the industry’s recent changes.
If you’re in the early stages of building a private wealth management practice, you need to put yourself in a position to stand out from the crowd. No one else can do this for you — that is, no one you’re willing to hire or retain on a fee-for-service basis.
These six strategies designed by Daniella Rand, Financial Advisor, Managing Director, and the successful founder of The Rand Group in San Francisco will help you in your efforts to distinguish your practice from the competition. Perhaps you’re already following one or two.
1. Hit the Ground Running by putting yourself out there
If you’ve made it this far, you’re no stranger to all-nighters and weekend work.
You’ll need to keep it up a little longer. The best wealth managers — those who eventually rise to the tops of their respective sub-fields — invariably work harder than everyone else during the first five to eight years of their careers.
However, “hard work” does not mean sitting behind a desk all day. Undoubtedly, no one in this industry achieves success without an inordinate amount of palm pressing. Will you do so by cold-calling and prospect meetings, networking, or seminars? Either way, it’s important to work smart, leveraging your people skills and contacts in the best possible way.
2. Keep Your Skills Sharp
You’re required to complete some continuing education to keep your credentials current. Why stop at the bare minimum, though? Clients prefer advisors who know what they’re talking about, after all.
3. Identify a client base you can relate to
You’ll learn early on in your training that identifying a target market is the best path to success. Don’t go in 15 different directions. Pick a group of potential clients that you are passionate about, and that you can relate to. Find a way that is mutually comfortable to get in front of them and demonstrate your value. If it seems to be working, stick with it, and continuously improve your process.
4. Multiply Your Reach and Resources by Aligning With a Respected Global Brand
Go beyond the bare minimum custodial relationship and align with a respected global brand that offers the widest range of financial specialists, products, and services that enable you to optimally and holistically serve your clients. Intellectual capital and top-ranked research is key to be able to leverage while maintaining your own independent research, due diligence, and product selection.
5. Hire Associates Whose Skills and Interests Complement Your Own
If you’ve done any hiring in the past, you know the basics of hiring talented employees. You should also know what it means to hire junior employees capable of filling the gaps in your skills and interests. Even more importantly, you need to hire employees whom you know you’ll be able to trust when you’re out of the office.
6. Build a brand
What are the values and the investment philosophy of your brand and your team? Do they align with that of your clients and your firm? You will need an answer that sets you apart from the competition. The Rand Group, led by Daniella Rand, offers bespoke solutions by performing independent due-diligence to uncover “best in class” products, services, top-ranked research, and financial planning models that allow their clients to exceed their goals.
You’re More Than Just a Number
You know that you’re more than just a number. Do your current and prospective clients share the same view?
At the end of the day, your top priority must be to add value for your clients. That’s what’s going to keep them in your corner. Whatever you need to do to demonstrate that you’re there for them in a way that the robo-advisor down the street won’t be, you need to do it.
And do it consistently.
You can handle that. You’re a professional. And you’ve got too much riding on your practice to turn back now.