$30 Trillion is Up for Grabs – Are You in the Running?

When it comes to your top clients, you can probably rattle off information about their asset allocation, their favorite type of wine (maybe even their favorite year) and their next vacation destination. But how much do you know about their children? Are you familiar with their interests? Do you know their short or long term goals? If they’re older, are they married?

If you can recall more than just their names, you’re in a better position to secure your future book of business than most of your peers. In today’s financial landscape, connecting with your clients’ heirs has become a pivotal component in your firm’s long term success.

Over the next 30 to 40 years, baby boomers are expected to transfer about $30 trillion in assets to their heirs…assets you’ve worked hard to protect for your clients. And yet, because most of your clients’ children have limited knowledge of the time you’ve invested in preserving their wealth, 90% will drop their family’s financial advisor after the assets have been transferred.

With this disheartening trend threatening your business, you might feel like you’re running on a hamster wheel— constantly working to replace the lost business that stunts potential growth for your practice.

Well get off that wheel! Break the trend by building a relationship with your clients’ children and help solidify your book of business for the coming years. Here are some ways to help you get started:

Talk to your clients’ heirs sooner rather than later.

Don’t waste any time –start getting to know your clients’ children right away. Ask your clients about their children, even if they’re young. Learn about their interests and activities, and also try providing kid or teen-friendly resources like this one to help them understand the importance of financial responsibility. Taking a special interest in them can help you establish yourself as a trustworthy and likeable character right from the start.

Suggest inviting your clients’ children to meetings periodically.

Get your clients’ children involved in your meetings from time to time. They don’t need to sit through the entire meeting, but including them will help educate them on the work that goes into protecting the family assets and will help them understand your value as their trusted advisor.

As your clients age, sit down with their family to help both parents and children understand the financial and emotional impacts of an asset transfer.

Only about 30% of transfers will be successful, with 85% going awry due to lack of communication. Educate the family on what constitutes a successful transfer, and what steps they can take to ensure a smooth transition.

Also, coming prepared for some of the psychological implications that come along with inheriting wealth can help you establish yourself as more than your client’s financial advisor, but their family’s counselor and confidant.

Discussing wealth transfer is also a great opportunity to hold a Dress Rehearsal to ensure your clients and their children are prepared for whatever is ahead. Check out our marketing video for tips on showing your clients the importance of being prepared.

Brynn Dougherty

Written By

Brynn Dougherty is the Senior Manager of Product Marketing and Client Communications at eMoney Advisor. In addition to contributing to the blog, she creates and distributes email communications to current eMoney users. Brynn loves veggie wraps, French accents and 3-day weekends.