Financial Advisers: Begin with the end in mind.

Listening to Brian Hill, from the Exit Partnership, at PFS Festival this week, one certainly stood out for me. You’re going to exit … walking, pushed or wheeled!

And it would help if you planned for this eventuality now to get the best deal for you, your team, and your clients.

And whilst it’s relatively straightforward to place the asset side of your business, many business owners struggle to offload the financial planning side. Thick service is often seen, mistakenly in my view, as a cost dragging down valuation. It’s tossed aside.

And then, you see that the asset side will pass from the consolidator pillar to the consolidator post, and eventually, your clients get stuffed into active management once again. Hopefully, your buyer is also thinking about values, not just value.

Then we hear about Consumer Duty and how that might impact the asset side of your business. Eighty-seven per cent of advice firms run CIPs (Centralised Investment Propositions). And when you look at investment advisory fees, platform fees, investment fees, and benchmarks against direct indexing … there’s only one direction that’s going to go. And it doesn’t look pretty.

So, you think you’ll outsource investment advisory … and focus on the planning side.

The most surprising discovery advisers had when they talked to me is that the Academy of Life Planning network has recurring plan-based fee advisers making good money.

It’s an empty business model. Wrong! Any business with a solid teachable process and recurring revenues has a decent valuation.

Yes. I agree. Clients aren’t going to pay for a fact find. You can get those in 15 seconds for pretty much nothing with AI.

Proper financial planning is a life plan, a business plan, all assets – not just investable assets, making money – not just saving money already made, tax planning, estate planning, retirement coaching and planning, and concierge service for ancillary needs. Proper financial planning adds proper value. Clients pay for what they value.

Beginning with the end in mind means a strategy to build recurring plan-based revenues in your firm.

Another surprising fact you may not know is that forty per cent of my members are FCA-regulated firms doing just that.

Eventually, the planning business revenues exceed the FCA-regulated business revenues … When you factor in costs, you quickly look for a buyer for the investment advisory part. Perhaps talk to Brian.

That could be your strategy now. Your next plot twist. Plan to sell, if you’re falling out of love with compliance. Begin converting the clients you want to keep to an advice-only financial planning proposition, perhaps subscription-based.

One more thing. What are you going to do with yourself after the exit?

What’s going to get you out of bed in the morning? If you want to carry on doing what you are good at (all those years of study), what you love (seeing people), what the world needs (planning) and will pay for (proper planning). Your reason for being, meaningful project, or Ikigai! Then listen to this …

“Older people with a greater sense of purpose are less likely to develop adverse health outcomes,” according to Lei Yu, a statistician with Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and associate professor of neurological sciences with Rush University Medical Center.

He continues, “Including early mortality, a decline in physical function, frailty, disability, Alzheimer’s disease and clinical stroke.”

Think about what you are going to do post-exit. Learn those skills now. Start moving clients to your future-ready proposition, and live longer and better.

You can book an appointment online in the Shop if you’d like to talk to us about how the network members are doing it.

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