/ by Craig Rosenthal

Your Clients are My Prospects

Your Clients are My Prospects

At one point, every client was a prospect. That prospect took the leap of faith to leave their existing retirement plan advisor and hire you. This is why you must always remember that your clients are not guaranteed.

From cold calls and email campaigns to networking functions, your clients are constantly being marketed to. With every attempt, they need to actively choose you. What actions are you taking to ensure they are hanging up the phone, deleting the emails, and rejecting the sales meeting? Essentially, they are bombarded with opportunities to select a new retirement plan advisor; therefore, are you providing sufficient and meaningful interaction for them to confidently stay with you?

 

Silence is a Killer

As your clients are being solicited, prospecting advisors are creating tiny moments of doubt, poking questions that make your clients stop and wonder, are we getting the best service? Are our fees reasonable? … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Retirement Plan Trends: 3 Ways Advisors Can Keep Clients Informed

 

When you live in an economy with historically low unemployment rates, the competition for top talent can be fierce. From student loan repayment programs to onsite day care to enhanced retirement benefits, employers are becoming more creative when offering incentive plans that persuade quality employees to choose them. It’s an employee’s market. Therefore, employers need to know what employees’ value and retirement plan advisors can help by knowing the important trends and keeping their retirement plan client’s informed.

Here are three ways retirement plan advisors can discuss competitive total rewards practices that recruit, reward, and keep great employees.

Offering an employer match

The average employer match is 4.7% of salary, which is a record high, according to Fidelity.[1] As an advisor, this could be an opportunity to discuss your clients’ current match formula and compare it to the national average and/or industry specific averages. When smart employees are comparing benefits, … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Advisor Business Management Dashboard – Profitability

[Part 4] Efficiency + Repeatability + Scalability = PROFITABILITY

Recap

Can you imagine doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your advisory firm’s profitably? In a time of fee compression and shrinking margins, it seems that the only direction compensation is going is down. However, increasing your firm’s efficiency, repeatability, and scalability is the secret recipe to boosting profitability. In this article, we share how retirement plan advisors can accomplish exactly that.

Profitability

When you add up efficiency, repeatability, and scalability, it equates to profitability.

When the time it takes to run a report is significantly reduced because the data is right in-front of you, it makes for a more efficient use of your time, thus increasing internal profitability.

As you look at your client services, service partners, and investment screening processes, the more varied they are, the more they break down repeatability. Yet, if you use a dashboard … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Advisor Business Management Dashboard – Scalability

 

[Part 3] Efficiency + Repeatability + SCALABILITY = Profitability

Recap

Can you imagine doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your advisory firm’s profitably? In a time of fee compression and shrinking margins, it seems that the only direction compensation is going is down. However, increasing your firm’s efficiency, repeatability, and scalability is the secret recipe to boosting profitability. In this special four-part article series, we are going to share how retirement plan advisors can achieve greater profitability. 

Scalability

After you have solved for efficiency and repeatability, it’s time to scale. Once your internal processes are running like a fine-oiled machine, it’s now possible to bring on 10, 20, 50 or more plans per year – if you want.

Scalability and profitability are not the same. However, it is a lot easier to increase profitability when you’ve solved for scalability.

Say you are preparing for an annual plan review meeting and … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Advisor Business Management Dashboard – Repeatability

 

[Part 2] Efficiency + REPEATABILITY + Scalability = Profitability

Recap

Can you imagine doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your advisory firm’s profitability? In a time of fee compression and shrinking margins, it seems that the only direction compensation is going is down. However, increasing your firm’s efficiency, repeatability, and scalability is the secret recipe to boosting profitability. In this special four-part article series, we are going to share how retirement plan advisors can achieve greater profitability.

Repeatability

Repeatability is the core of an efficient process. Click here for Part 1 – Efficiency of this series. From investments to fee benchmarking, and everything in between, as a retirement plan advisor, your ability to sustain and grow your practice is dependent on being able to perform similar tasks, for multiple clients time after time.

So, when it comes to operating your own business, how repeatable are your internal processes?

Many times when speaking with advisory firms, we … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Advisor Business Management Dashboard – Efficiency

 

[Part 1] EFFICIENCY + Repeatability + Scalability = Profitability 

Can you imagine doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your advisory firm’s profitability? In a time of fee compression and shrinking margins, it seems that the only direction compensation is going is down. However, increasing your firm’s efficiency, repeatability, and scalability is the secret recipe to boosting profitability. In this special four-part article series, we are going to share how retirement plan advisors can achieve greater profitability. 

Efficiency

Efficiency is the power to achieve more by doing less; and as a society, we have become much more efficient. For example, take a look at how you used to purchase office supplies. In years past, many of us would shop at our local office supply store. We got into our cars, drove to the store, wandered the aisles to find pens, paper, and ink cartridges; then we would wait in line to make the purchase, go … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Business Management Essentials

 

Are you wondering why I didn’t call this article Practice Management Essentials? Well, a couple of reasons: 1) you should be running your practice with the same structure as if you were CEO of a small to medium size business and 2) as a retirement plan specialist, you shouldn’t be “practicing” anything – you should have this retirement plan stuff down pat!

All kidding aside, regardless of which theory for organizational structure you subscribe to: People/Process/Technology or Tasks/People/Structure/Technology the goal is to establish a good foundation so you can drive client satisfaction, risk management, revenue growth and more. The end goal should be to make your business efficient, repeatable and scalable so that you and your team can do more with less.

Let’s talk about some of the high-level components that can turn that dream into a reality:

Data

Data when used properly is knowledge, and knowledge is power, so having access to your … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Are Your Plans Overdue for a Check-up?

If your plan sponsor clients are not reviewing their plan reasonableness on a regular basis, then you are missing out on major opportunity to help them mitigate fiduciary risk, improve plan results and protect your business.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 88% of Americans between the ages of 45-64 have seen a health care professional within the last 12 months.[1] So, what does that have to do with retirement plans you ask? Well nothing, but employers often ask, “How often should we do a “check-up” on our 401(k) plan?”

The Department of Labor (DOL) recommends benchmarking about every three years. Of course, there are also best practices which indicate plans greater than $100mm should be benchmarked annually. For plans with assets between $10 – $100mm, they should benchmark every other year and plans less than $10mm every three years. However, benchmarking can also occur as often as needed to ensure … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

Are Plan Fiduciaries Asleep at the Wheel?

Are Plan Fiduciaries Asleep at the Wheel

 

Retirement plan advisors – did you know that almost 49% of plan sponsors don’t know they are a fiduciary to their company’s retirement plan?[1] Is it lack of knowledge? Your fellow peer advisors aren’t providing fiduciary education. Plan sponsors are juggling too many responsibilities from payroll to management. Essentially, many plan sponsors are asleep at the retirement plan wheel, and this needs to change.

Unfortunately, plan sponsors are not paying enough attention to the direction and outcomes necessary for a successful retirement plan. Fiduciary awareness is fading, and participants might be suffering because of this.

With more than 75% of employees living paycheck to paycheck and another 25% claiming that personal finances are a distraction at work, retirement plan advisors are facing an epidemic to provide meaningful financial wellness solutions to plan sponsors and their participants. [2], [3]

It’s time for advisors to push plan fiduciaries to … Read More

/ by Craig Rosenthal

How Advisors Can Address the Top Employer Retirement Plan Headaches

How Advisors Can Address the Top Employer Retirement Plan Headaches

For employers, managing a company retirement plan can bring many challenges. From meeting compliance deadlines to tracking investment performance and fee reasonableness, it can feel like your head is spinning out of control. As mentioned in our last blog article, Steps to De-Risk Your Plan Advisory Practice During 2019, lawsuits have steadily increased over the last decade and can cause unwanted stress and chaos for plan sponsors. Advisors should pay close attention to these three plan sponsor stressors.

Top 3 Retirement Plan Headaches:

Lawsuits
DOL Audit Failures
Missing a Compliance Deadline

Lawsuits

In 2017, 307 criminal investigations were closed for offenses that were related to employee benefits plans. Nearly a third of those individuals were indicted.[1] In the current litigation environment, nearly any plan is subject to a fee claim.

ERISA class action settlements reached nearly $1 billion in 2017.[1] Plan sponsors are … Read More