How to Avoid Chasing Squirrels With Technology

“When I walk into one these conferences, especially the exhibit halls… I find it overwhelming,” said Matt Lynch, the managing partner of Strategy & Resources. Although new technology can help a firm improve its operational efficiency, Lynch said it always leads to at least some buyer’s remorse.

“More often than not it’s a disruption to the business, at least in the [short] term,” Lynch said, adding that its not the tool’s fault, but the process of implementing change. “It disrupts the ongoing growth; creates friction among teams of employees and managers and senior folks in the firm.”

Lynch said he has data showing that despite an increased spending on technology, there isn’t much improvement in terms of margins. And this can devastate a smaller firm making a large investment in a new tech product.

 

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How to Avoid Chasing Squirrels With Technology
By Ryan W. Neal, Weathmanagement.com, Feb. 10, 2016

 

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The Pressure is Mounting for IBDs

What value will independent broker/dealers be able to offer their advisors in a post-Department of Labor fiduciary world?

Even without the regulatory changes, market realities such as different and increasing advisor and consumer expectations, as well as advancing technology—have forced IBDs to up their game, said Matt Lynch, managing partner of Strategy & Resources LLC.

“IBDs that simply maintain accounts, provide compliance, process trades, etc., are not adding sufficient value and are feeling the squeeze of margin compression more acutely,” Lynch said. For most IBDs, over 50 percent of their business is already fee-based, so that change has already been factored in to most successful IBD business models.

IBDs who are best positioned to weather the storm are those that can demonstrate they help advisors achieve their goals (profitably growing their practices), Lynch said.  “Those whose affiliation proposition is limited to fulfilling the regulatory requirement that a rep has to be registered with a broker-dealer…are likely facing extinction,” he added.

 

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The Pressure is Mounting for IBDs
By Megan Leonhardt, Weathmanagement.com, Jan. 28, 2016

 

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Do You Know What You Do for Clients?

The reality is that we don’t enhance value by improving service, although that is the default for many advisors. Value is more closely linked to the offer and the relationship; it’s connected to leadership.

 

Most of us look at our jobs from the inside out, not from the outside in. We can’t help it; we are immersed in our process and the day-to-day details of what we do. But taking a moment to look at our job from the outside—from the client’s point of view—can be an important wake-up call. You’ll see clients can’t understand every detail of what you do. Nor should they, just as you shouldn’t be expected to understand every nuance of running your doctor’s office.

But with doctors, you understand the effects of being treated. With financial advisors, that may not be the case. It’s up to you to explain it to them.

Eventually your clients, and every other advisor’s clients, will start asking the hard questions. Before they do, you should ask and answer them yourself.

 

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Do You Know What You Do for Clients?
By Matt Lynch, Managing Partner, Strategy & Resources, LLC, and Julie Littlechild, Founder, If Not Now Research, Jan. 6, 2016

 

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The Trouble With The (Multi)Millionaire Next Door

Moving into the high-net-worth space is not the easiest way for a mass-affluent advisor to grow.  

The HNW client brings a need for much more attention to each individual case, and some mass affluent advisors can crash up against the limits of their own knowledge and capabilities, according to industry consultant Matt Lynch of Strategy & Resources.

“The idea that you can go out and buy it, and spread it among an existing group of advisors who are not familiar with that client base—I don’t see that working very well for firms that have attempted it,” Lynch says.

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The Trouble With The (Multi)Millionaire Next Door
By Megan Leonhardt, Weathmanagement.com, Dec. 25, 2015

 

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Successful Transitions: Getting It Right

Journal of Financial Planning

Succession planning is a hot topic these days, as well it should be. We are experiencing a significant graying of the profession and many advisers are considering exit plans. But succession or exit planning should be a long-term process, not an “OMG, I’d better figure this out” moment.

Every financial planning practice has a life cycle; for many advisers it looks roughly like this: survival mode, “Midas” growth phase, first stumble, success, second stumble, sustainability/decline. Each of these phases is an opportunity for the business owner to evaluate the current situation and develop a strategy for moving forward. It may seem like an obvious process, but all too often it’s simply not addressed. Advisers bring their own styles and personalities to their business lives and those characteristics often inform how they run their businesses.

 

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Successful Transitions: Getting It Right
By Matt Lynch, Managing Partner, Strategy & Resources LLC.
Journal of Financial Planning, December 2015

 

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