SAN DIEGO - As markets improve, now is a key time for advisors to take advantage of business opportunities that lie ahead. 

 

As of November, 71% of advisors are adding clients, while only 6% of advisors are losing clients, a significant improvement from previous research.  Tom Bradley, president of TD Ameritrade Institutal, said in his opening remarks Thursday that from 2005 to 2009, RIAs have seen a 39% increase in assets under management while wire house advisors have only seen a 4% increase.

Even more telling, according to Bradley, is that advisors using TD Ameritrade’s practice management program have grown by 19% versus those that have not have only grown 9%.  This is evidence that advisors taking the time to invest in strengthening their business will be more successful.  Communicating these results to a packed room of advisors, Bradley surprisingly said, “I don’t care who you work with, as long as you work with somebody.” 

Bradley stressed the importance of creating a plan in order to grow from point A to point B.

He said, “all advisors have unique needs… we have 40 associates stacked toward this.  It is a major commitment.”  The advisors in attendance seemed to agree with Bradley’s recommendation to utilize some form of practice management support.

TD Ameritrade proved its commitment to practice management support for its advisors by introducing an Advisor Education Center on Thursday. 

Bradley said, “we have 70 sources for advisors and their staff to get up to speed.”  The learning management system will cover investment and planning strategies, practice management, technology and operations.

 

George Tamer, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Director of Strategic Relationship Management, said that “practice management is now a buzzword in the industry.  It’s about business owners running businesses.  They are not ‘practicing’ like in golf.”

With a team of 27 direct reports, Tamer’s group has a 2011 focus of keeping advisors on the right track. 

“It can be months before an advisor can see results.  It’s like a diet – you need to stick with it past January.”

Mike Watson, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Product Management Director, said, “Advisors don’t know what they don’t know.”  He shared how it is easy for them to have blind spots.  That is why TD Ameritrade Institutional is planning on rolling out practice assessment tools later this year, the first of which will be on the topic of CRM.

Mike Byrnes founded Byrnes Consulting to provide consulting services to help advisors become even more successful.  His expertise is in business planning, marketing strategy, business development, client service and management effectiveness, along with several other areas.  Read more at www.byrnesconsulting.com.