Happy New Year from everyone at Practically Speaking!  You and I both know that a flip of the calendar page doesn’t really change much. The markets are still on a roller coaster ride. The economy, while still good, seems to be slightly slowing, and we expect interest rates to climb. In fact, in our recent year-end survey, an overwhelming majority of advisors expect a downturn in the market over the next two years.

So, why be excited about 2019?

stop lightBecause complacency is a business killer. When things are smooth, it’s difficult to find the motivation to change or improve.  I think 2019 has the potential to be a great year to be an advisor – many clients and prospects will want advice. It’s relatively easy to be a DIY investor when the markets only go up for 10 years, but when they go down or sideways, everyone can use professional help.

There was little pressure for change for a decade, and I saw many advisory firms cease innovating. I think this year will bring the pressure, higher expectations for advisors to communicate, innovate and step up their games.  In a recent SEI survey, the number one goal/resolution by advisors polled is to attract and attain more high-net worth clients, and to increase clients’ educational events and resources. My guess is that, for once, the current economic environment will force advisors into keeping those promises. We haven’t seen this opportunity in about a decade

Stop it now – 2019

So, I’m excited about this year but I don’t want to kill it with a traditional New Year’s post.  Instead of another resolution post, I think this year, it’s time for a Stop List.

  • Stop doing things that don’t add value to your clients, your office or your staff.  What can you eliminate or outsource?
  • Stop working with that PITA client or clients. There is only so much time in the day, why continue to work with someone who regularly doesn’t take your advice? Remove the negative energy for you and for your staff.
  • Stop saying, “We’ve always done it that way.” Look for new ideas and new answers for your business.

I’m sure you have some more to add to the list. Bottom line during this first week in January 2019, you have (what seems like) a once-in-a-decade opportunity to be proactive, to reach out to clients and prospects, and get in front of them. A volatile market can bring nerves, and new questions, as will the client statements they’re about to receive. Stop waiting. This is a new year with a new agenda and the market is playing right into your goals.

Legal Note

SEI conducted the financial advisor survey online from Nov. 28, 2018 to Dec. 12, 2018. The survey generated responses from 407 independent financial advisors, representing clients and non-clients of SEI. SEI also received responses from more than 59 financial advisors, after conducting the survey at its National Strategic Advisor Conference in October and November 2018.


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Information provided by Independent Advisor Solutions by SEI, a strategic business unit of SEI Investments Company. The content is for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide investment advice or as a guarantee of any specific outcome. While SEI welcomes comments, SEI is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the opinions, advice, or recommendations posted by third parties. The opinions expressed in comments are the view(s) of the commenter(s), and do not represent the views of SEI or its affiliates. SEI reserves the right to remove any content posted by users of this site in its sole discretion.