Streamlining

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BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

I have a pretty open schedule today, and I have been using it to think of what I can do to improve and build my book.  Here's what I have come up with for myself.
1)  Sell more insurance (besides annuities).  This really has been the redheaded stepchild of my business, and if I am going to keep up my revenue while taking less and less upfront, it seems like the only way to go.
Any ideas on ways to incorporate more life sales into what is primarily a investment centered book of business?  The obvious answer is just to ask, however, I am looking for specific practices by some of the more seasoned folks on here like myself who actually have clients and have been in the business.  You know who you are.
2)  Simplfy my product offerings.  I have probably 7 or 8 annuity providers on the books (that I have sold, not agent of record switch), lots of different MFs, indiv stock and bond (would love to be out of that business entirely), and various other investments (REITs, etc).  I really need to cut that back to be more efficient, as well as lower my stress levels.  I always try to find the product that BEST fits the client, but the amount of information I go trough in any given day/week can be overwhelming.
Right now I use a lot of the Accessor C Shares, although I'm not crazy about the internal expenses, and the fact in systematic investments the 12 month CDSC clock is constantly resetting on new assets.  I suppose I should look at MF wrap programs...but I am open to other ideas.
Thanks!
 

pretzelhead's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-23

BankFC wrote:
I have a pretty open schedule today, and I have been using it to think of what I can do to improve and build my book.  Here's what I have come up with for myself.
1)  Sell more insurance (besides annuities).  This really has been the redheaded stepchild of my business, and if I am going to keep up my revenue while taking less and less upfront, it seems like the only way to go.
Any ideas on ways to incorporate more life sales into what is primarily a investment centered book of business?  The obvious answer is just to ask, however, I am looking for specific practices by some of the more seasoned folks on here like myself who actually have clients and have been in the business.  You know who you are.
2)  Simplfy my product offerings.  I have probably 7 or 8 annuity providers on the books (that I have sold, not agent of record switch), lots of different MFs, indiv stock and bond (would love to be out of that business entirely), and various other investments (REITs, etc).  I really need to cut that back to be more efficient, as well as lower my stress levels.  I always try to find the product that BEST fits the client, but the amount of information I go trough in any given day/week can be overwhelming.
Right now I use a lot of the Accessor C Shares, although I'm not crazy about the internal expenses, and the fact in systematic investments the 12 month CDSC clock is constantly resetting on new assets.  I suppose I should look at MF wrap programs...but I am open to other ideas.
Thanks!
For insurance my answer was going to be "ask."  Incorporate it into your initial meeting.  When you are gathering info, ask them what type of insurance they have, how much, etc.  If they don't have any ask them why not.  What would happen if they were to unexpectadly leave us?  What would ma do?  Great quote I read over at TGP was along the lines of: Would you want to be the one remembered for leaving your family destitute, or the one who took the necessary steps to secure the family's future.  (That's not quite it, but you get the point.)
 
You need to trim down your VA providers and MFs and STICK TO THEM.  If you haven't looked at Russell Funds http://www.russelllink.com, take a look at them.  They manage the money for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation--it's an easy sell and a great story.  C-Shares also don't have cdsc.
 
 

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

pretzelhead wrote:BankFC wrote:
I have a pretty open schedule today, and I have been using it to think of what I can do to improve and build my book.  Here's what I have come up with for myself.
1)  Sell more insurance (besides annuities).  This really has been the redheaded stepchild of my business, and if I am going to keep up my revenue while taking less and less upfront, it seems like the only way to go.
Any ideas on ways to incorporate more life sales into what is primarily a investment centered book of business?  The obvious answer is just to ask, however, I am looking for specific practices by some of the more seasoned folks on here like myself who actually have clients and have been in the business.  You know who you are.
2)  Simplfy my product offerings.  I have probably 7 or 8 annuity providers on the books (that I have sold, not agent of record switch), lots of different MFs, indiv stock and bond (would love to be out of that business entirely), and various other investments (REITs, etc).  I really need to cut that back to be more efficient, as well as lower my stress levels.  I always try to find the product that BEST fits the client, but the amount of information I go trough in any given day/week can be overwhelming.
Right now I use a lot of the Accessor C Shares, although I'm not crazy about the internal expenses, and the fact in systematic investments the 12 month CDSC clock is constantly resetting on new assets.  I suppose I should look at MF wrap programs...but I am open to other ideas.
Thanks!
For insurance my answer was going to be "ask."  Incorporate it into your initial meeting.  When you are gathering info, ask them what type of insurance they have, how much, etc.  If they don't have any ask them why not.  What would happen if they were to unexpectadly leave us?  What would ma do?  Great quote I read over at TGP was along the lines of: Would you want to be the one remembered for leaving your family destitute, or the one who took the necessary steps to secure the family's future.  (That's not quite it, but you get the point.)
 
You need to trim down your VA providers and MFs and STICK TO THEM.  If you haven't looked at Russell Funds http://www.russelllink.com, take a look at them.  They manage the money for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation--it's an easy sell and a great story.  C-Shares also don't have cdsc.
 
 

I appreciate the response, and I will look at the Russell Funds and TGP.
However, what do you mean C shares don't have a CDSC???  They definitely do have a 1% back end charge if liquidated within 12 months.  If that isn't a CDSC, please inform me what one is!

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

BankFC wrote:
1)  Sell more insurance (besides annuities).  This really has been the redheaded stepchild of my business, and if I am going to keep up my revenue while taking less and less upfront, it seems like the only way to go.
Any ideas on ways to incorporate more life sales into what is primarily a investment centered book of business?  The obvious answer is just to ask, however, I am looking for specific practices by some of the more seasoned folks on here like myself who actually have clients and have been in the business.  You know who you are.2)  Simplfy my product offerings.  I have probably 7 or 8 annuity providers on the books (that I have sold, not agent of record switch), lots of different MFs, indiv stock and bond (would love to be out of that business entirely), and various other investments (REITs, etc).  I really need to cut that back to be more efficient, as well as lower my stress levels.  I always try to find the product that BEST fits the client, but the amount of information I go trough in any given day/week can be overwhelming.
Right now I use a lot of the Accessor C Shares, although I'm not crazy about the internal expenses, and the fact in systematic investments the 12 month CDSC clock is constantly resetting on new assets.  I suppose I should look at MF wrap programs...but I am open to other ideas.
Thanks!
From the standpoint of Life Insurance, I've taken a few steps.  1.)  Educate myself a bit so I feel more comfortable and am more likely to see opportunities.  TGP is a good source for this 2.)  I've incorporated it into my client review routine to ASK people about their current life coverage and offer a review, and 3.) I've struck up a relationship with a local GA who is very helpful with case design.  I don't know if you have the option of #3, but it has been very helpful to me.As far as simplifying your "inventory" in your book, it's a HUGE help.  I've been working on that for about 6 months, and in a certain sense it will probably be an ongoing project for the rest of my career.One of the things I did was to look at the various asset allocation providers I've been using and I committed to using just ONE as exclusively as possible for the next 12 months.  Interestingly enough, that company ended up being accessor, and your posts had some influence on that because I'd never heard of them before.I've been working to relentlessly clear out non-core holdings.  I use the old Dunwoody technique and tell clients: "I do not follow this, I did not recommend it(or I did recommend it but now I think you should get out) and if you want to keep it YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN."  I also use only 2 VA providers.  Each of them has numerous features and contracts that give my clients and I all we need.

Mike Damone's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

BankFC,
1) Next time you call your client to set up the annual review appointment, tell them to bring in any existing life insurance policies they may have for a review.  Also, look for any clients that are having life changing events (purchased a home / business, just had a kid, etc)
2) My life got easier now that I only use two fund families, mostly two vas and two different life products.
 

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

My life got easier now that I only use two fund families, mostly two vas and two different life products.
Exactly. There is too much info out there for us to manage... I have a mutual fund matrix I use, and ALL new money goes into it. Also, I look at existing accounts and replace them when necessary with these options. By cleaning up your book it allows you to be more effifcent, and you can truly track the progress/performance of thses managers.
Better to do that with 30 MF positions than with 90.....

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

Joe,
Glad I could be some small help to you.  Accessor is a good firm, they were just featured on MSNBC recently because of their access to Pictet Asset Management, who is otherwise all but unavailable in the USA. 
Mike,
Appreciate the response.  Which two families are you using if you don't mind me asking?
 

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

Blarm, thanks for the reply.  I used MFA Selects at ML as well.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

pretzelhead wrote:You need to trim down your VA providers and MFs and STICK TO THEM. That's really the key in a nutshell.  With all the whoresalers and junk mail and promotions out there, not to mention offers of lunch meetings and golf outings, it's so easy to waste time and energy 're-considering' new options.  And there's always that inclination to look for 'the best' when it is almost impossible to predict what will be 'the best'.  The key is to figure out what will be 'pretty good' for a long time and stick with that, and not waste a lot of time on reconsidering or sitting around with wholesalers.  Buy your own lunch and read a good book, or visit with a client, or just relax.  It's worth the ten bucks it will cost you to not have to listen to a wholesaler drone on and on, load you up with product info, and then expect your business.

MLPFS's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-16

Russell is a true c-share.  It pays the broker .25 upfront and each quarter after.  Which is why there is no cdsc.  The broker has not been paid anything, so there is nothing to go back and get.  Russell is a little expensive though.

Mike Damone's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

BankFC wrote:
Mike,
Appreciate the response.  Which two families are you using if you don't mind me asking?
For Funds, I use mostly Franklin Templeton and some American Funds.   Far from original, but my clients have been more than pleased.
For VAs, Jackson National Life L-Share and ING GoldenSelect Landmark which are both 4 year products.
For Life, I use Genworth and ING and once every blue moon Symetra.
 

azdawn's picture
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Joined: 2005-04-16

BankFC,
If you have older annuity clients still in good health, you can use the life insurance conversation as a way for them to leave some tax free money to their heirs to offset the taxes on the deferred interest in the annuities.  Since they're already comfortable with insurance companies, it avoids the "no FDIC" conversation.
Dawn

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

Blarm, thanks for the reply.  I used MFA Selects at ML as well.
I actually use C shares for the majority of my MF business... Although I do like the rebalancing feature of those products...

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

blarmston wrote:
Blarm, thanks for the reply.  I used MFA Selects at ML as well.
I actually use C shares for the majority of my MF business... Although I do like the rebalancing feature of those products...

Why use the C shares when you have access to a platform like MFA and MFA Selects?

AllREIT's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-16

joedabrkr wrote:That's really the key in a nutshell.  With
all the whoresalers and junk mail and promotions out there, not to
mention offers of lunch meetings and golf outings, it's so easy to
waste time and energy 're-considering' new options.  And there's
always that inclination to look for 'the best' when it is almost
impossible to predict what will be 'the best'.  The key is to
figure out what will be 'pretty good' for a long time and stick with
that, and not waste a lot of time on reconsidering or sitting around
with wholesalers.

To some extent I agree with that, and to some extent I disagree. At some point what you say ends up becoming GFA/CIB for everyone .

I think one of the area's where an advisor (and not an asset
gatherer)  adds value is in fund/stockpicking and making somewhat
more indepth asset allocation choices. Plus a portion of your value
proposition is that you are well educated about whats out there.

I've had prospects come to me with portfolio's full of covered call
funds, knowing a little about that plus how to explain kurtosis risk
(eat like a bird, crap like an elephant), makes it very easy to begin
sowing seeds of doubt.

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