Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Janice Hammond • Burien, WA
Sunrise Financial Services • First Heartland Capital

v11-i06-Advisor-350px-4We host many events centered on financial education throughout the year to attract new clients and to build relationships with current clients. Our team member in charge of community relations and events does an excellent job at coordinating our marketing and educational programs. Our clients and their families gain value from the important information we provide and the opportunity to get to know our firm’s philosophy and team.

To help educate and develop our relationships with current clients, we hold periodic lunch-and-learn seminars and bigger events about twice a year. We frequently invite experts on specific financial topics or representatives from one of the investment firms we work with to present. We also encourage our clients to bring friends or family members if they think the topic might be of interest to them. If our presentation appeals to a guest and they become a new client, that is just an additional benefit.

Though many of our new clients come in through referrals, we also find financial workshops effective in attracting clients. We hold these events at upscale restaurants in the area, sending invitations to individuals matching certain demographic qualifiers. We might have 25 attendees per event, and about half are couples. The program for our dinner workshops varies depending on the audience, but the overall structure is the same. I give a short presentation about our firm and about issues that most concern people thinking about retirement. Here are a few examples of topics we discuss:

  • Are you worried about the future of Social Security?
  • Do you want to optimize your Social Security benefits?
  • Are you interested in solutions designed to provide income streams for retirement?
  • Would you like your assets to transfer to beneficiaries in a tax-advantaged way?
  • Are you interested in protecting your assets and want to move to a more personalized investment strategy?
  • Are you concerned about the current market environment affecting your retirement?
People are particularly interested in that last point. I explain that even though the stock market is at all-time highs, history tells us that another major bear-market correction will come. I then discuss the extremes of investing approaches that many people take, from overly aggressive to far too conservative.

Finally, I explain that there is another way to approach an investment strategy, which is built around a client’s specific goals and objectives. This approach is driven by the returns they need for retirement, not the returns the market chooses to give them. It is a risk-managed portfolio strategy that uses a high level of asset-class diversification and seeks a greater measure of downside protection.

When I ask people if they are interested in learning more in a follow-up meeting, with no obligation, the interest level is very high. Our conversion rate leading to a first meeting sometimes runs as high as 50% of the attendees.

Disclosure: Securities offered through First Heartland Capital, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through First Heartland Consultants, Inc. Sunrise Financial Services is not affiliated with First Heartland Capital, Inc.