Welcome! My name is Dan Finley and I am president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions, a financial advisers business consulting and coaching service based in the Twin Cities, Minn. area. My involvement with FPA has allowed me to serve as an expert for their Practice Management Center as well as contribute regularly as an author for their Practice Management Solutions magazine. I am excited to have been asked to offer some of my thoughts and insights to you via this blog medium about best practices in the financial services industry. My first post that follows is about one positive way to handle your relationships under management by crafting your 60 Second Market Story and sharing it with your prospects and clients.
I don’t think it is any shock to anyone when I say that within the last 24 months we have experienced a very historic time in the financial markets. From market pull backs to market rallies (off their annual lows), to news of the White House’s $700 billion plan to “rescue the financial industry,” to news regarding the fall from grace of Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and AIG. This in addition to the steady stream of mergers and buyouts such as Merrill Lynch with Bank of America, or A.G. Edwards being bought out by Wachovia, who soon after was bought out by Wells Fargo. It is no wonder why today investors feel more and more confused and hesitant!
As a result, now more than ever investors need to know one thing. What is your, as their financial adviser, opinion of the markets?
During a weekly group coaching session, I had asked each adviser what their 60 Second Market Story was, and surprisingly each of them was ready to share their opinion of the historic news, the current market situation and what they would or were already doing.
Were all of my group coaching members’ opinions correct? Who knows! The point was not to find a correct opinion amongst the group, but rather to prove that they had an opinion at all. Why? Investors need to know that you, their adviser, understands what is happening and can provide some type of direction for them.
What is your 60 Second Market Story? Are you able to explain what the market is doing and why? Or, are you like a deer in headlights wondering what is going on and what to do next?
If you are looking for direction, craft your 60 Second Market Story by thinking of it in three parts: beginning, middle and end, or as past, present and future. Here is an example:
“The market had been reacting _______ because of _______, ______, and _____; as a result, it is ________. Now, I don’t have a crystal ball, but going forward I believe we will see this market_______ in the future because of ______, and as a result I recommend that we ________.”
The key to crafting an effective 60 Second Market Story is to keep the story simple, have reasons to back up your beliefs and give the client direction as to what they should do next.
It is also important to note that you must preface your recommendations with the fact that markets are not stagnant. They can and will change based on additional information that may not be currently known. One thing is certain though, prospects and clients alike find comfort in knowing that you have an informed opinion and that you can explain it to them in your 60 Second Market Story.
Daniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.