Advisors need to determine where they can add the most value in helping clients achieve their financial goals. Surmounting this challenge is central to a successful business strategy.

When evaluating and explaining their own value, advisors should consider these five questions:

  • How do we measure advisor value added?
  • How can advisors better communicate their value-added message?
  • Should advisors worry about the threat from online or “robo” services?
  • How can advisors serve not just the wealthy, but also average folks?
  • Which activities should advisors outsource?

I will offer some answers to those questions. First, I will define a categorized menu of the areas in which advisors can provide services. This particular menu focuses on the retirement stage, which requires a wide range of services.

General planning

  • Affordability of retirement and when to retire
  • Estimating retirement expenses
  • Debt management, including credit cards, mortgages
  • Social Security timing
  • How to structure an overall plan, including systematic withdrawals, floor/upside or time segmentation (buckets)
  • When to adjust spending as conditions indicate

Investment selection

  • Individual stock and bond recommendations
  • Stock and bond funds and investment manager recommendations (including choice of active or passive approach)
  • Alternative investment recommendations
  • Individual securities trading

Investment allocation

  • Basic asset allocation, including matching the asset allocation to spending flexibility and adjusting the asset allocation for risk tolerance
  • Strategic adjustments to allocations, both short term and long term
  • Rebalancing
  • Asset location decisions and withdrawal sourcing

See full article on Five Opportunities for Advisors to Add Value by Joe Tomlinson Advisor Perspectives