Larry Ginsburg is a veteran in the traditional aspects of financial advice, such as investing, retirement and estate planning.

But the Oakland, Calif.-based CFP and principal of Ginsburg Financial Advisors also makes sure that he has non-traditional areas covered as well.

For example, Ginsburg helps his clients buy cars, and he not only offers his advice, but he will actually intercede and haggle with car dealers himself.

“I typically negotiate for my clients, since they abhor such interactions with car salespeople,” he said.


Once Ginsburg reaches an acceptable deal, he gets an email from the dealer, which he then forwards to his client, who brings it in to pick up the car.

“I don’t know that a lot of my colleagues offer this service in the normal course of business,” Ginsburg said, but he thinks that taking an active lead in such areas helps him be a more valued advisor to clients.

“My view is you’re going to spend money marketing, but my preference is to spend my marketing money on my existing clients as a way of increasing the strength of the glue that keeps them attached to our firm,” he said. “So buying cars for them is one way of doing it.

Advisors may not have the answers for everything, however, Ginsburg said.

“If we’re not the experts, we will get them to experts,” he said. “But if clients talk to us, the first thing is that we can have a candid conversation that will lead to the opportunity to make more informed and better decisions.”

Raymond James advisor Laura Steckler thinks that it is essential to maintain a solid network of professionals to whom she can refer clients for any issue.

So though she doesn’t take on car dealers, she refers clients to a car broker she knows and trusts.

“It’s seamless, painless and very cost-effective,” said Steckler, who is a CFP.

Because much of her South Florida-based practice is about retirement, she positions herself as a “longevity advisor.”

The point is to help clients on wide-ranging age-related concerns, not just standard financial planning issues.

“I’ve tried to build a pretty comprehensive network of professionals that I can refer to,” Steckler said. “I have relationships with health care administrators, home care agencies and geriatric-care managers.”

Steckler’s referral network even includes several handymen.

At the same time, she has counseled clients on how to get chair lifts installed in their homes.

“It’s really a deep pleasure of mine to be able to connect clients to valuable resources in the community that they need in order to sustain themselves,” Steckler said.

And it helps her practice.


“It keeps the clients connected,” Steckler said. “It deepens their relationship to me, knowing that they can rely on me for a wide variety of things, over and above investment insurance and the actual retirement work.”

Paul Hechinger is a contributing writer for On Wall Street.

This story is part of a 30-30 series on smart ways to grow your practice.