One major decision for financial advisers is whether to offer full financial planning services or to specialize in a single area, such as investment management.
Not surprisingly, advisers are divided on the issue.
Kasia Marczyk, a CFP and the chief executive and president of Anchor Wealth Management Group in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a full-service financial planner and, naturally, believes in her business model.
“Full financial planning allows you to have a deeper impact on the life of a client,” she says.
“If you work closely with them in multiple areas, you are more able to help them change their behavior, to save more and spend less. You can be more successful than if you just control assets,” Marczyk says.
Full-service planners can delve into all the issues needed to improve their clients’ financial health, she says.
“In a deep fact-finding session, you are able to discover loopholes in their lives that may prevent them from being successful financially,” Marczyk says. “It’s more fun becoming a full partner in their lives.”
Providing full-service financial planning also helps bring referrals, she says.
“People are much more likely to discuss you with their friends when you’re doing full financial planning,” Marczyk says.
Her approach also allows for multi-generational planning.
“If you involve the kids, you get more people in your practice,” Marczyk says. “If it’s just asset management, I wouldn’t talk to the kids.”
At the other end of the spectrum is Mick Heyman, principal of Heyman Investment Counseling in San Diego. He specializes in investment management and, of course, views things a bit differently.
“I see advantages in a narrow focus. I don’t like the concept of cross-selling products to my clients,” Heyman says.
“There’s a feeling you have to keep pushing and selling,” he says. “I feel like I can always look at what’s best for clients.”
And Heyman helps them informally in areas outside money management, too.
“If a client wants a loan and wants me to walk in with them, I don’t care if it’s Merrill Lynch or Wells Fargo,” he says. “I can help them figure out what they really need.”
So Heyman can act as an objective consultant in these other areas.
“If my clients use me as a sounding board, they can get the best person for each service, rather than being concentrated in a single firm,” he says.
An adviser offering full service risks a domino effect when problems arise, Heyman says.
“There are more ways to bring in business when you have all these leaves,” he says. “But if one leaf blows up, you can lose the whole relationship.”
This story is part of a 30-30 series on strategies to boost your practice.
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