DALLAS — Can advisors support a thriving practice beyond the AUM model?

Absolutely, according to speakers at the annual conference of the XY Planning Network. In fact, there are even opportunities for additional revenue to be gained outside of financial advice.

For example, some opportunities arise from increased digital outreach, explained Helen Ngo, founder and CEO of Capital Benchmark Partners in Atlanta.

Advisors can build webinars that are made accessible at a low price to prospects and those interested in finance, Ngo said. Some advisors have been successful getting hundreds to sign up for such webinars, she noted. “You can make money while you're sleeping,” she said. “It’s just a great passive income generator.”

(Bloomberg News)
(Bloomberg News)

A former Raymond James advisor who started her own practice, Ngo acknowledged that most of her clientele were still on the AUM model. But in the past two years, she gained many of her new clientele by offering hourly fees and monthly retainers.

With some clients, Ngo has even allowed them to set payment plans to keep her services. “We should be diversifying not only how we serve, but also payment structures,” she said.

This message probably comes as no surprise at the XY Planning Network, which bills itself as the leading organization of fee-only advisors who specialize in working with Generation X and Generation Y clients.

A broader approach to financial planning can also help gain new clients, noted Cary Cates, owner of Cates Tax Advisory in Denton, Texas. Cates is both tax planner and a CFP, and he will be adding financial planning to his practice.

“The highest level of service I can provide is by doing taxes and the financial side,” he said. “I see their entire financial life and provide a much deeper level of planning for them.”

Cates also is an adjunct professor of finance at the University of North Texas, which he said provides additional income and an opportunity to further his brand.

Dr. Sanjay Jain, with Executive Wealth Group in Bethesda, Maryland, explained he had found other veins to mine: as a financial coach, as an author and also serving clients’ other needs within his niche.

Dr. Jain noted that fellow physicians consider themselves highly competent, so he provides them with financial education packages with a one-time fee. It invariably leads to a client conversion.

“I tell them, here’s the formula. They always get back to me, ‘Who has the time to research all these funds?’ It becomes too overwhelming.”

Other times, Dr. Jain said, he consults with fellow physicians to help them understand marketing or practice management challenges. “There are different types of advice your niche might require, and from those you can build trust toward financial advice,” he said.

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