The beginning of a new calendar year offers the chance to reflect on successes over the past year and areas for improvement moving forward. As an advisor, you’ve likely already reviewed investment plans with clients and are kicking off strategies for the coming year. But being the best you can be for your clients means being your best self first. New Year’s resolutions are the traditional method of self-encouragement to do so, and although they may be slightly different than a classic “get in shape” resolution, New Year’s resolutions for RIAs are just as beneficial.
New Year’s Resolutions for RIAs
Some financial advisors are ramping up plans to become more competitive in 2020, or some may be at a crucial step in scaling an advisory business. Though, many goals for the year will be the same for all: streamline workflow to become more efficient, attract new clients, improve business practices, and make more money. Obviously, because of the nature of economic cycles, it is impossible to plan your business strategy around it, but making independent resolutions is crucial to sustaining momentum into the new year, regardless of the market. Here are some such suggestions, open for customization, that can ensure you start 2020 on the right foot.
Balance Action and Planning
It is no surprise that planning and setting goals are an important part of running a successful business. Focus your time and attention on specific goals that are important to you and your firm; track and review your progress regularly. However, on the other hand, be prepared to take immediate action on some ideas that you didn’t plan. Strive to identify an action item at every meeting or new ideas from a conference that you can implement immediately.
Even an advisor at the top of their game can benefit from continued education. Continuing to learn doesn’t mean you have to go back to school to learn new skills or strategies, you can continue learning about pertinent industry trends. Choose a topic that is of interest to you or your clients’ accounts and read up! You can set Google alerts or other news aggregates to show you relevant stories, or do your own research. Maybe set aside twenty minutes every morning for reading and learning. You can also learn about alternative ways to lead your team, grow your business, or explain complex concepts to your clients.
Improve Client Understanding
Learning new ways to communicate with clients can improve their understanding of investment strategies as well as your understanding of their needs. Client views on cash management, risk analysis, or diversification may not be as accurate as you think. Throughout the year, frequently provide information via multiple channels (like email marketing or social media) in addition to one-on-one contact. This year in particular, you might also communicate with your clients their options for the potential end of the bull market. Finally, you can improve your clients’ understanding of additional services you might offer, too.
Utilize New Technology
By reviewing your past year of business, you may be able to identify some ‘pain points,’ or parts of your business processes that can be more streamlined, and most likely there is a technology that can help with that. It may be that a current technology at your firm can be better utilized, or it may mean that your back-office is ready for an update. Features like those offered by the Blaze Portfolio software are designed to automate tedious tasks and free up valuable time for investment advisors. Other helpful technologies for investment advisors can assist with customer acquisition and administrative tasks.
You can only offer the best to your clients if you are at your personal best. Whether you’re already accustomed to it or not, add restorative time to your weekly calendar. Spending a minimal amount of time on your personal goals (via a three-day-weekend or maybe taking a long lunch once a week for workouts) will help you to stay focused and motivated for a longer period of time during the workweek.
These five suggested New Year’s resolutions for RIAs may not be 100% suitable for every advisor, but the general idea remains – focused intent on goals for yourself and for your business are the best way to streamline trade management and keep momentum as we venture into the year 2020.