Consulting Process and Services
Identifying The Needs & Objectives of Your Practice: Scope of Work
Having worked with 400+ financial advisors over the past 26 years, we have yet to find two advisors with exactly the same approach to business strategy, practice management, staffing, financial planning, wealth management, and investment approach. Naturally there are some common themes across advisors, but we find that each advisory practice has different needs at different points in time. During our initial conversations, we work closely with you to understand your unique approach and objectives, and identify which areas are the most in need of assistance.
Discovery & Evaluation
It is most often the case that financial advisors feel that they "just need a tune up". What we've discovered over many years in this industry is that when it comes to Client Management, they are exactly right: they have a highly-developed roadmap of which services they do and don't provide, characteristics of their ideal clients, clearly defined roles about how Relationship Management is structured, and who is responsible for which role.
But when it comes to Wealth Management, specifically Investment Management (yes, they are different), it is very common to find the opposite is true. Most advisors lack a cogent investment philosophy. Many do not know what they own and why. Few know how their funds are structured and where their un-advertised risks lie. They are usually over-/under-weighted in key regions, sectors or styles compared to their benchmarks. They tend to have tens to hundreds of fragmented stock, bond, annuity, CD and fund positions not currently in their investment lineup. They often do not have a process for, nor are they running, risk-based portfolios. They flip-flop on whether they should benchmark against nominal indexes, or whether risk-adjusted performance should be their goal. They tend to lack consistent security analysis and review. And on and on.
So while advisors justifiably concentrate on client acquisition, guidance, relationship, communication, and retention, we find that most acknowledge another key piece is missing. Many advisors feel they are being unfaithful to clients when it comes to their unspoken vow of expert investment management, and are not sure how to get there.
(Armchair psychiatrist note: this is often why advisors feel guilty about charging appropriate fees).
During this step of the process, we'll lay out what could be called a Play of Your Practice in Three Acts: where you've come from, where you are now, and where you want to go. Then we'll put together a detailed plan on how we're going to get you there.
Beyond First Principles: Specific Services You Can Use
Comprehensive Portfolio Analysis
One of the most effective ways to enhance existing client satisfaction, as well as win new business, is to regularly review and analyze existing portfolios. Portfolios, like businesses, strengths and weaknesses. We frame that analysis to work within investment process best practices, providing you, your clients, and your prospects a comprehensive, independent and conflict-free assessment of what's working and what could be improved.
Customized Model Portfolios
We provide plug-and-play Core and Core Plus portfolio solutions, customized for your platform and custodians. At your discretion, we included the following solution sets:
Index-based, tax-efficient ETF portfolios
Hybrid passive and active equity, fixed income and alternatives
Actively-managed equity and fixed income portfolios with individual equities and/or bonds
ESG/Socially-Responsible (SRI) portfolios (active & tax efficient)
Income-focused portfolios (active & tax efficient)
Special situation portfolios based on your clients' needs
Customization of all solutions for unique circumstances, including low-basis legacy positions, tax sensitivity, estate/succession planning, etc.
Additional specialization available using the funds, managers and products available on your platform and/or custodian(s), including Charles Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, LPL, First Clearing, Raymond James, Pershing, RBC, Wedbush, Ameriprise, and SEI
Actionable Investment Ideas
For all of our focus on long-term planning and investment, we often find advisers and clients want investment ideas which are more opportunistic in nature. We regularly provide those ideas based on changes in economic, political, policy or market environments.
Business Development Consulting
One of the often overlooked benefits of working with IAS is engaging us for individual presentations or larger events. Having had a quarter century of experience presenting in dining, board and conference rooms, we are more than happy to assist you in preparing topics and appropriate collateral.
If you desire to include our customized portfolios on your platform, we will work with appropriate departments within your firm and custodian.
White Label Content
We'll make selected content available for review and use in your practice, working closely with your in-house compliance professionals.