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You Need Workflow! 6 Steps to Do It

Consultant Erin Kincheloe teaches FPA Retreat 2015 attendees how to create workflow.

Consultant Erin Kincheloe teaches FPA Retreat 2015 attendees how to create workflow.

It may feel daunting, but creating a true workflow can greatly improve your planning firm’s efficiency. Erin Kincheloe of All About It Consulting, provided some words of relief to the planning professionals in attendance at FPA Retreat 2015 when she said, “Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.”

During an education session on Thursday morning, Kincheloe and Julie Cochrane, Junxure’s director of consulting and training, walked attendees through a six-step process of developing workflow. Attendees did hands-on work developing ideas for how to systemize their processes and create workflow, heading home with actionable steps to implement.

Playing off the well-known six steps to financial planning, here are the six steps to workflow development:

1. Define and establish stakeholders and goals.

2. Gather data and determine expectations for next steps.

3. Analyze and evaluate current status of process.

4. Develop and/or refine process.

5. Implement and present process.

6. Monitor process.

Schulaka Carly_resizedCarly Schulaka
Editor
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, CO


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Planning Professionals Happy with Jobs, Less So with Pay

Download the 2015 Trends in Adviser Compensation and Benefits at www.OneFPA.org/2015CompensationStudy.

Download the 2015 Trends in Adviser Compensation and Benefits at http://www.OneFPA.org/2015CompensationStudy.

Although 44 percent of financial planning professionals are very satisfied with their jobs, only 26 percent are very satisfied with their compensation. Perhaps that explains the next stat: 26 percent of staff say they plan on leaving their firms in the next two years.

These are some of the key findings from the 2015 Trends in Adviser Compensation and Benefits Study by the FPA Research and Practice InstituteTM (RPI) and Financial Advisor IQ. These findings were revealed at FPA Retreat 2015.

The study surveyed 694 planning professionals across the country, including advisers across all business channels, sizes and models, with a margin of error of +/- 3.72%.

Key Findings Include:

  • Median compensation (from all sources) ranges between $50,000 and $249,000, depending on the role.
  • Firms use a range of compensation structures, including bonuses and incentive pay, and these are likely to differ by role to drive different behaviors.
  • 63% of respondents offer incentive pay based on new revenue, 56% based on new assets and 32% based on client satisfaction.
  • 77% of firms offer some form of benefits, but benefits packages vary widely.
  • 60% of firms anticipate increasing their investment in compensation in the next 12 months, and 22% say they will increase their investment in benefits.

Compensation Snapshot Total Median Comp: (including base, bonus, incentive, and “other” pay; “other” could include such things as options or cashed-out equity)

CEO/president: $249,000
Senior adviser or planner: $170,000
Junior/associate adviser or planner: $60,000
Non-adviser management: $81,000
Support staff (technical, admin): $50,000

Download the full study at: www.OneFPA.org/2015CompensationStudy.

 

Schulaka Carly_resizedCarly Schulaka
Editor
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, CO

 


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Do You Have the 6 Keys of Leadership Success?

Ana Dutra, CEO of Executives' Club of Chicago, addresses the crowd at FPA Retreat 2015.

Ana Dutra, CEO of Executives’ Club of Chicago, addresses the crowd at FPA Retreat 2015.

Good leaders are a lot of things. They’re not just smart, they also have a certain motivation to grow and learn new things, and they’re also good at—to put it quite frankly—not “freaking out,” according to Ana Dutra, J.D., CEO of the Executives’ Club of Chicago and founder of Mandala Global Advisors.

Dutra shared the following six factors of leadership success with attendees of FPA Retreat 2015. Do you have what it takes to succeed?

IQ: Successful leaders are smart. “I’ve never met a dumb CEO,” said Dutra.

Technical: Do you have the technical skills to do the job? Do you know your stuff?

Motivation: How much do you want to grow your planning practice? How motivated are you to do it?

Experience: “Been there, done that” gives a great deal of comfort to any client, according to Dutra.

Learning agility: How do you solve a problem you’ve never seen before? What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Dutra told the planners in attendance at FPA Retreat 2015 that a common cause of leadership failure is “freaking out when you don’t know what to do.”

Emotional: Do you have the emotional resources to deal with ambiguity and complexity? Those are two challenges faced by financial planners every day, Dutra said.

Schulaka Carly_resizedCarly Schulaka
Editor
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, CO


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What’s Your Communication Style?

Hugh Massie delivers a presentation on behaviorally smart client engagement at FPA Retreat 2015.

Hugh Massie delivers a presentation on behaviorally smart client engagement at FPA Retreat 2015.

Understanding your communication style, and of course that of your client, is integral to successful planner-client relationships.

Hugh Massie of DNA Behavior International spoke at FPA Retreat 2015 Tuesday on “behaviorally smart client engagement.” He explained to the planners in attendance that there are four basic communication styles:

Goal-setting. For these types of clients, planners should provide discussion and opportunities.

Lifestyle. For these clients, planners should provide fun, openness and graphics.

Stability. These clients will appreciate security, being asked about their feelings and being provided with instructions.

Information. For these types of clients, planners should provide analysis, research and details.

Once you understand and can recognize the four basic communication types in your clients, the next step is to know, engage, and grow:

Know who the client is – discover the client’s communication style, decision biases, goals and learned behavior.

Engage so you know how to relationship manage the client –communicate on the client’s terms to increase emotional connection.

Grow to strategize the specific solutions you offer the client – reframe information and navigate decision biases.

This slide, shared by Massie in his session, summarizes the four communication styles:

Massie2

Schulaka Carly_resizedCarly Schulaka
Editor
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, CO


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Let the Good Times Roll: FPA Retreat 2015 Underway

From networking and circle gathering to a backdrop of saxophone music, to learning how to hone the skill of “seeing” from Fred Mandell, this year’s FPA Retreat is underway at Château Élan in Atlanta, Ga.

Check out a few photos from the event.

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Find the full schedule of events here. And pose for the photographer the next time you see her and perhaps you’ll see your photo in our next post.

Ana2Ana Trujillo
Editorial Assistant
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, Colo.


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Hone the Skill of “Seeing”

Fred Mandell welcomes FPA Retreat 2015 attendees.

Fred Mandell welcomes FPA Retreat 2015 attendees.

In a world of fast-paced change and uncertainty, “creativity” can be your strategy for finding success and maintaining sanity. According to artist, author, life-change expert, and FPA Retreat 2015 keynote speaker Fred Mandell, creativity is the 21st century meta skill. Break that meta skill down into a portfolio of supporting skills, and one of those—perhaps the most critical—is “seeing.”

Mandell explained to the sold out crowd gathered just north of Atlanta at Chateau Elan, that there are four strategies to “seeing”:

mandell

FPA Retreat 2015 attendees get creative in Fred Mandell’s session on Tuesday morning.

Step back from the canvas. Move yourself some distance from your daily life or work to gain a fresh perspective. Doing this is critical, Mandell said, not on an annual basis, but on a regular basis. Go on a personal retreat, he said. Go someplace that gives you an opportunity to reflect or gain perspective.

Turn things upside down. Mandell opened his session with an assignment for the 300+ planning professionals in attendance: draw the image displayed without thinking too much about what you’re drawing. The image was an upside down horse, and attendees were surprised at how well they could the draw it. The idea here is to radically shift your perspective; turn the premise of your thinking completely around.

Pay attention to negative space. Tune in to the thoughts, feelings and data you tend to avoid, deny or undervalue. So-called negative space defines its subject as much as the subject defines itself, Mandell said. Negative space is not a “bad thing,” it’s just out there!

Cultivate the mid of a child. Remember the spirit of play and spontaneity? Allow yourself to return to what gave you joy and energy without pre-judgment into the way we look at things, unbound by rules.

Here’s to a creative and productive FPA Retreat 2015!

Schulaka Carly_resizedCarly Schulaka
Editor
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, CO


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Use Risk to Build Trust with Clients

Riskalyze’s Aaron Klein kicked off the first full day of sessions at FPA Retreat 2015 Tuesday morning by delivering a presentation on using a four-letter word to build trust with clients. No, not that four-letter word. Klein was taking about risk.

His message to the advisers in the room was simple: we often do things simply because “that’s the way we’ve always done them.” Stop talking about risk and setting return expectations with clients the way perhaps you were trained. Instead, get clients invested within the bounds they are comfortable with and they will be more likely to stay invested for the long haul.

How do you do that? First, define risk tolerance correctly. According to Klein, the “true” definition of risk tolerance is:

“How far can my portfolio fall, within a fixed period of time, before I capitulate and make an emotionally charged poor investing decision?”

Although Riskalyze offers advisers software, based on the Nobel-prize winning economic theory “prospect theory,” Klein told attendees how they can help clients determine their risk tolerance using real dollar figures, real portfolio balances, and a white board.

Klein says properly understanding risk tolerance is a huge opportunity for advisers: “Show prospects they’re invested wrong. Prove to clients they’re invested right.”

Schulaka Carly_resizedCarly Schulaka
Editor
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, CO

 

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