6 Smart Takeaways From Women Advisors Forum
by Rachel Elson: built by Kayan Lim
Wealth, widowhood, retirement strategies and practice management tips were all in focus in at the Women Advisors Forum in Chicago in October.
The event drew about 150 female advisors from around the country for a day of education and schmoozing. Four more forums are on tap for 2014, with events slated for Dallas, New York, Chicago and California.
Here are a few of the smartest things we heard in Chicago. To get details on the 2014 forums, visit womenadvisorforum.ning.com and join the Women Advisors Forum community.
And join us for the next Women Advisors Forum in Southern California on November 14!
Images: Tina Smothers Photography
How well are you doing with client service? Advisors should know that for every client who complains, there are probably 26 more who are unhappy but don't say anything, said Stacie Giddings, a vice president for institutional sales at TD Ameritrade.
Are your clients working and taking Social Security? If they have not yet hit their full retirement age, their benefits will be reduced if they earn more than $15,000, said Karen Ireland, practice management director at Pioneer Investments. Ireland also warned advisors about the growing risk of identity theft from scammers creating new accounts -- with other people's Social Security numbers -- at the government's Social Security website. Tell clients to claim their accounts now, she said.
Stop telling people that you're passionate, said Susan Riley-Hayes of Highpointe Wealth Advisors in Sandy Springs, Ga. Instead, she said, tell them why you're passionate. She told attendees of her own humble background to explain why she took so much pride in making her clients more financially successful.
Every time I help someone, I get to re-write how I look at myself, she said.
Talk about their cash flow, and get their credit card statements, said Cindy Conger, of Conger Wealth Management in Little Rock, Ark.
You can't modify behavior until you see the numbers, she cautioned listeners. She also told advisors that the best service they could offer newly widowed clients was help facing disorganization and anxiety.
The most important part of estate planning is not about what happens after the client dies, but what happens after the client is incapacitated, said Connie Stone, a financial planner in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She urges clients to authorize two trusted family members who she can turn to if she has worries about the client's mental competence, she said. Stone also encouraged planners to consider offering bill payment and bookkeeping services for senior clients, and to consider developing a referral network.
Sometimes, in order to delegate successfully, you need to let go of thinking that you could do something better, said Sharon Oberlander of the Oberlander Group in Chicago.
I have not vacuumed in 35 years and I am proud of that, she said (to a wave of applause and laughter).
Register now for the next Women Advisors Forum in Southern California. The one-day event aims to inspire and educate you in your quest to grow your practice; to foster ample opportunities to build your network; and to provide a venue to stay current on CFP Board-approved Continuing Education credits
You can register here. See you in California!