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

Craig Ramsey, CLU, ChFC • Bloomington, MN
ClearStep Financial • The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc

One of the major benefits of working for my current firm is a flexible business model that encourages entrepreneurial initiatives. I have extensive experience in the financial-services industry in several capacities. I am able to put that to good use not only in serving my own clients, but also in creating professional partnerships.

Craig Ramsey, CLU, ChFC® Bloomington, MN ClearStep Financial The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc.Everything my firm and I do is rooted in the old-school principles of the “golden rule” and a serve-first attitude. If you put the needs of the client at the forefront, you will likely help them succeed, and that will pay recurring dividends to everyone over the long haul.

I also have this attitude when it comes to partnering with third-party professionals. Spend less time telling them why you are good at what you do and more time figuring out why they are especially good at what they do. If you can do that and make quality referrals, it will pay you back in kind over time.

Right now I am getting more involved with playing matchmaker for new advisors just building their practices and experienced advisors looking to build a sound succession plan and ultimately turn over their practices. I am working with a strategic partner on this effort, and I know we both can speak the senior advisor’s language. We have the experience and a thorough understanding of the nuts and bolts of the industry.

We are figuring out effective ways to spread our message that one should not coast into the sunset and let a business just fade away. I am even doing this in my own practice, recently bringing in a new full-time associate. I look forward to that relationship building over time and perhaps representing my own succession plan.

This becomes a winning situation for everyone involved. An experienced solo practitioner without a good plan can see years of asset building and goodwill disappear if they do not properly prepare for succession. For young advisors, it is a way into a highly competitive industry without starting from scratch. And for clients, they can see an orderly transition and ease into a new relationship with much greater comfort.

Disclosure: Securities and advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA), member  FINRA | SIPC. Craig Ramsey is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of SFA, which is unaffiliated with ClearStep Financial. Supervisory office (414) 545-0404.

Editor’s note: This article first published on January 7, 2016. Mr. Ramsey is affiliated with ProEquities, Inc., as of this update (May 4, 2017).

Photography by Marla Klien

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