It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Early in my career, I saw many advisors take off very strongly by becoming very involved in trading. They saw their role in working with international clients as brokers. They felt that to have a successful business they needed to be buying and selling often, thereby generating commissions. Your income became dependent on whether you were able to execute a trade. This also led to being commoditized by the perception that if you didn’t produce returns that were significantly better than market averages, you weren’t going to grow.
By thinking in terms of developing relationships with your clients and learning the issues that matter to them, you can establish a better relationship and a steadier, more reliable income stream. As a registered investment advisor, I am paid a fee based on the assets I manage. I don’t have to worry about the next trade, and I have the freedom to make the best investment decisions without having to generate the next trade to get paid.
Wealth management is more important than portfolio management.
Clients often come to us with a need that is driven by their perception of what we do. Initially, a common reason for a client to approach an advisor is to manage their investments; to put together a portfolio of securities that can perform well and, hopefully, outperform the markets.
In fact, they are looking for a trusted advisor to guide them, not only in the construction and management of the portfolio, but in making sure their needs are holistically considered and addressed. As an example, having the proper legal architecture may be more important than beating an index. Additionally, they may need help to ensure the portfolio is aligned with jurisdictional issues, such as taking advantage of tax treaties and the proper use of securities to minimize estate taxes in the US.
Run your business like it’s your business.
Something that has improved and changed the way I work is that I no longer feel like I work for a firm. It was clear to me that my long-term goal was to establish close relationships with my clients. I developed a mantra after about the 10th year in the business: ‘He who is closest to the client wins.’
Having a business that is focused on clients and doing things as if I were self-employed led me to have a mentality of embracing the client and doing everything for them in order to establish the loyalty that I needed to achieve professional job security.
Take care of those around you – they’ll take care of you.
In the early days of developing my business, I was everything: advisor, marketer, assistant and head of operations. As your business grows, you start to delegate and need staff to help you. By developing an attitude of teamwork, you can gain the support of many who affect your business.
It’s very important to make people who affect your business feel like they are a part of your team, and that your success is in part due to their involvement in your business. Paying attention to those you meet and showing them they are an important part of the firm’s growth leads to a sense of pride and greater enjoyment from everyone. This greases the wheels of daily business activity.
Your clients reflect who you are.
I wish I had known this early on. Your clients tend to reflect who you are. I think this comes from like-minded people coming together. If you are detail-oriented, you will find a greater degree of affinity with those who are detail-oriented. If you have an engineering mindset, the chances are your clients will have an engineering mindset.
This isn’t to say that others will not find your advice valuable, but from a marketing and target-market standpoint, you would have a greater degree of success if you pursued like-minded prospects. This can be by professional affinity or personal orientation.Miguel Sosa is the founding partner of Premia Global Advisors, a Coral Gables, Florida-based RIA that specializes in offshore clients. Prior to founding Premia in 2016, Sosa worked for over 30 years at Merrill Lynch as an advisor.
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We hope you have enjoyed this week’s market summary. If you are an investor seeking a new financial advisor, please feel free to contact us at 786-646-9140 to speak with our financial advisor, Miguel Sosa. Miguel has worked over 30 years in wealth management as a financial advisor in Miami, FL and has worked closely with global clients to help them manage their investments and achieve their financial goals.