Author Archive | Pathfinder Team

Service That Matters

According to Gartner the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, 64% of people think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. It’s no surprise that expectations are climbing both in technology but also in personal service. In the age of the robo-advisor phenomena, I find this stat especially interesting. While there is no doubt that some investors will naturally trend towards the “do it yourself” approach. There are […]

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Entrepreneurial Mojo

What can a 13-year-old fashion plate, a taco maker, a motorcycle helmet salesman, carpenter, grocery store owner and fifth generation beer manufacturer share in common? Six sage pieces of advice that made them successful entrepreneurs. Last Saturday’s NY Times arrived on my doorstep and one particular article caught my eye. “6 Entrepreneurship Lessons From Family Businesses” told the story of how each person with an idea and family support realized their dream and what they learned. As Financial Advisors, some sharing the business with family members and others not, these six […]

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Collaborative Leadership?

At first glance, these two words seem to make sense. Good leaders listen to their team, leverage their expertise and consider their suggestions. After all, isn’t that what the adage, “There is no ‘I’ in team” means?  But, too much collaboration can lead to ineffective management. Over the years, I have managed numerous teams of various sizes and capabilities, and now as a consultant working closely with executives daily, I have insight into many team models. No matter the make-up of the group, one concept remains true. A real leader, […]

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Time to Re-Brand? Ask Yourself These Questions First

Several times throughout the year, we hear questions about hiring a marketing firm—usually on the heels of a lukewarm seminar turnout or a lackluster referral stream. Here are a few questions to consider before engaging an expensive marketing and graphic design firm to revamp your website or design a new logo and brochure. Do my website and other marketing material reflect exactly how I bring value to my clients? Do I have a defined referral strategy that includes communicating to my current clients a description of my ideal client, as […]

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FPA Webinar Recording Available

“It took me a couple hours to listen to because the content was so valuable I had to keep pressing pause to type my notes!”  That was feedback for Susan’s recent FPA webinar, Preparing for Family Transitions.   In this session, Susan explained that advisors may see themselves as providing multi-generational planning, relatively few market themselves that way. Click here to access the FPA’s recording of the webinar, and learn how to engage non-financial spouses and adult children of older clients, with the goal of preserving and growing assets.

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Growing your Practice? Who is YOUR Ideal Advisor?

Very often our team works with advisors who have decided that to grow their business, they need to expand the team. Thus begins the conversation about recruiting and where to start.  We recommend a few basic first steps. First, describe the ideal advisor that you would want to work with and the attributes that will make them the right addition.  What type of background, experience, investment philosophy and client service model do you envision this person needing to be the right match? Next, what is the vision for your firm? […]

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Transitioning Parents

No adult child wants to talk about “what-if’s” with their independent parents. And no parent wants to admit to him- or herself or children that they might need help someday. Financial planners can often be the catalyst for starting these conversations and managing the outcomes. But sometimes, they miss the mark. Last fall, I had a “family meeting,” where I discovered my parents’ financial advisor was not as engaged with them as I believed acceptable.  With my sister and brother included, we discussed a myriad of topics including the dynamics […]

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Susan to speak on FPA webinar—July 15 at 2:00pm EDT

While many advisors may see themselves as providing multi-generational planning, relatively few market themselves that way. Join Susan as she discusses Preparing for Family Transitions, a webinar presentation for the Financial Planning Association, on Wednesday, July 15 at 2:00pm Eastern. This session will include a case study of a practice – what they were doing, what they did, and what they are doing now to meet this challenge. We’ll also describe what you can do to package what you are probably already doing, help your older clients prepare for their […]

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Selecting Your Target Market

Our team works with advisors in various stages of growth in their business.  After we review the profitability and comb through the numbers, we inevitably ask the following questions: Where are you seeing the most traction in your market? Are these the most profitable markets for you? Are you penetrating the target markets or niches you chose effectively enough to stay on that path? How did you choose them in the first place? These questions are key elements to consider because, as Susan recently wrote in The Key to a […]

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No Way to Run Your Business!

I recently joined a roundtable study group session with 12 financial advisors where I facilitated a marketing and business development discussion.  These small business owners were smart, successful, innovative and passionate about helping their clients.  As I looked around the table, I noted that every person was between 50-65 years of age, so I asked the question, “What’s the plan for your retirement?” Not one had an actual plan. There were two who had identified a sales assistant or junior advisor in the firm that they felt would take up […]

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