Lynn McIntire, a principal with Raymond James Financial Services and co-owner of Cadent Capital in Dallas, sent an email recently to a client.
In her message, McIntire asked the client, who has been with Cadent Capital for three years, to once again transfer paperwork about her investable assets outside the firm’s management.
McIntire told the client, as she has in previous years’ messages, that she needed the paperwork so that she could have full picture of her wealth for an upcoming scheduled planning session.
The client responded by asking her to move all the assets under the firm’s management.
“I was not surprised,” McIntire says.
Her email tactic had aligned closely with a well-tested strategy that she has deployed to get clients to move 100% of their investable assets under her firm’s management.
McIntire engages in full comprehensive wealth management relationships, she tells clients at the outset of their relationships.
That means that McIntire wants at each planning session to prepare modeling with all their assets, not just the ones under her management.
That requires that clients transfer documentation about all their assets, she says.
“Over time, the clients begin to realize their other advisors are not asking for this type of detail and are not doing this kind of comprehensive planning,” McIntire says. “You earn their trust and they eventually say, ‘You just manage all my assets.’”
Such an outcome never occurs overnight, McIntire says.
Her “gut” estimation is that it takes three years for most clients to tire of the hassle of transferring outside documentation to move all assets under her management.
Jonathan J. Robertson, an advisor for Columbia, S.C.-based Abacus Planning Group Inc., uses annual reviews of clients’ tax filings as an opportunity to bring more of their investable assets into the firm to manage.
“We review all of our clients’ tax returns. We see their capital gains and losses,” Robertson says.
“Either we know where there that is coming from or we don’t,” he says.
Robertson then asks clients about specifically the capital gains or losses from assets not managed by Abacus Planning Group.
“We’ll say a lot of times, ‘Can you tell us more about that?’” he says.
Because Abacus Planning Group advisors also calculate the tax impact of all the investments that the firm manages, Robertson may then contrast that analysis with what tax impact analysis is or isn’t done by managers of the outside assets.
Such a comparison often highlights the deficits of the other asset managers’ approach and leads the clients to transfer the assets to their Abacus Planning Group-managed accounts, he says.
“‘Oh, yeah,’ the clients say, ‘When we came on board we didn’t want to bring all the assets, but now we do,’” Robertson says.
The income tax review “gives us a better holistic picture,” he says.
Miriam Rozen writes about the financial advisory industry and is a staff reporter for Texas Lawyer.
This story is part of a 30-day series on how to prosper as an advisor.
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