Emily Potter
Questions that Convert: Close More Leads with Phil Jones

Questions that Convert: Close More Sales with Phil Jones

Phil M Jones has spoken in nearly 60 countries and worked with over 800 organizations. His podcast, Words with Friends, is in its fourth season, and he’s the bestselling author of Exactly What to Say and Exactly How to Sell, with over 1 million books sold. Phil has crafted a fool-proof list of questions that convert by getting to the root of a prospect’s needs and gently prodding to reveal as much relevant information as possible so you can close more sales.

Listen as C2P’s Founder & CEO, Jason L Smith, sits down with Phil for an exclusive Rainmaker Multiplier On-Demand Podcast to share vital insights and specific questions advisors can use to close more sales.

Everyone’s looking for a witty one-liner, magic words, or an infallible script, but Phil is on a lifelong mission to help people close more sales with the words they choose when talking to clients. He focuses his work on three categories revolving around growth—acquiring new clients, attracting clients to return more often, and convincing clients to spend more money.

Being a holistic financial planner isn’t about closing more sales in a traditional sense. Instead, it’s about uncovering obstacles, empathizing with their needs, and making customized recommendations to relieve their pain points.

Close More Sales with Questions that Convert

Closing more sales often relies on knowing what to say and how to make it count. It’s being intentional with your word choices as well as the tone and timing of your delivery. Preface simple questions with, “Help me understand…,” instead of, “Tell me about…,” and suddenly, you’re not the one doing the selling; they’re talking themselves into hiring you. There’s no easier way to close more sales than that!

  • Help me understand why you believe that it might be a good fit for us to work together.

Questions like, “What is your experience…,” allow you to garner a lot of information quickly—asking, “…and what else?” allows the client to work out their greatest fears in real time, further proving their need for a financial planner.

  • What experience do you have working with a financial professional?
    • What was that experience like?
    • What 3 things have you liked best about working with them?
    • If you could change one thing, what would it be?
    • What would the consequences be if you fail to get that under control?
      • …and what else?

Emotions, especially when you’re talking about love and legacy planning, are key to triggering conversions and closing more sales. It’s important that you make the prospect aware of the financial and emotional cost of not working with you. They should understand that this price can be far greater than your planning and service fees.

The results of not having an inheritance plan structured the right way could be catastrophic for their loved ones. Failing to manage taxes year-to-year can result in a major increase in lifetime taxes.

Everyone sees themselves as open-minded, so give them the opportunity to opt-in. The following line of questioning is more likely to get to a yes than asking in a more direct way.

  • How open-minded would you be…
    • to get together and talk this through properly?
    • to jump on a 20-minute call to see if this is a good fit?
    • to having a meaningful Discovery Call so we can get some real numbers and insights?
    • to me being your financial planner?

Maybe is the enemy of decision. At this point in the sales process, you want to start nudging them toward a decision, one way or the other. Asking if there is any reason you are not a good fit allows you to discover if there are any lingering doubts. Following up with, “Would it help if…,” enables you to address those doubts.

  • Could you see any reason why I wouldn’t be a good fit at this stage?
  • Would it help if…
    • we got together again to go deeper on this and see what a plan would look like?
    • I put this in a plan, so we have something well documented?
    • you had the benefit of being able to connect with us periodically so we can measure progress?
    • you had one fixed monthly payment?
    • somebody else took care of this for you?
    • you knew that you had my support long term as well as being able to figure this stuff out on your own?

At this stage in the journey, they either don’t think they need a financial planner or are unsure if you’re the right one for the job. This is where you will say something like:

“You guys need to amongst yourselves to make sure that you’re on the same page and feel confident about our services, and I doubt you want me in the room for that. If you’d like to sleep on it, we can schedule our next meeting, or I can pop out and give you a few minutes while I return some calls.”

This way, even if they don’t decide today, you have a date set for a decision to be made. To learn more about how C2P can help you close more sales, click here to schedule a free 20-minute consultation.

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

C2P Enterprises Launches ‘A Woman’s Clarity’ Program, Invites Advisors to Special International Women’s Day Event

C2P Enterprises Launches ‘A Woman’s Clarity’ Program, Invites Advisors to Special International Women’s Day Event




(702) 685-7450

C2P Enterprises Launches ‘A Woman’s Clarity’ Program, Invites Advisors to Special International Women’s Day Event

New program helps financial professionals engage female advisors, clients, and prospects through ongoing thought leadership and networking and a newly launched podcast series.

Cleveland – March 2, 2023 – C2P Enterprises, a holding company comprised of four distinct brands, each designed to simplify financial planning for advisors and their clients, announces the launch of their latest innovative program for financial advisors, A Woman’s Clarity. Dedicated to helping financial professionals increase their footprint and successfully engage with more female advisors, clients, and prospects, program participants will gain knowledge through ongoing thought leadership and networking, including a newly launched podcast series, live events, blogs, and more. To subscribe to the A Woman’s Clarity podcast, click here.

To coincide with the program launch, the first special event for A Woman’s Clarity will be held on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8, at 11:00 a.m. EST. The 45-minute session will feature an open discussion format with free-flowing dialogue among panelists and Q&A from the audience. Guests include Carol Ochoa, President of Your Secure Retirement, Deb Cundiff from Hammer Financial Group, and Julie Manning, RICP®, from Keystone Financial Planning. Registration is free and open to anyone in the finance industry.

“With this supportive, empowering, and educational exchange of ideas, we are working to close the loop and help ease the transition into retirement so that more women have the financial confidence and clarity they deserve in every stage of life,” said Kirsten Schlumbohm Vice President of Insurance Sales at C2P and program host of A Woman’s Clarity. “Although this is a female-focused endeavor, A Woman’s Clarity is not exclusive to women. You can expect topics that are specific to the unique needs and pain points women face, but we encourage as much support and input from our positive male allies as possible.”

A Woman’s Clarity aims to help both women and men in the financial services industry reach their full potential by interacting with like-minded, strong, and motivated holistic advisors. Contributors to the program include female leaders from C2P’s network of partners and advisor base who have a shared passion for bringing expertise, tips, and advice to other leaders, professionals, and practitioners in the finance industry. The program’s ultimate mission is to empower women to take charge of their own economic future and educate other financial professionals about the unique challenges facing female clientele. In the podcast’s inaugural episode, Mary Sterk, CFP®, Sterk Financial Services, and Karin Alvarado, CFS, CPFA, New Aspect Financial Services, join Schlumbohm to discuss their professional journeys, including mentorship and building a business in a male-dominated industry.


Kirsten Schlumbohm is the Vice President of Insurance Sales at C2P Enterprises. She has over 15 years of industry experience, in which she has served as an insurance and annuity wholesaler, sales trainer and leader, and financial advisor. In addition to her life and health insurance licenses, she holds her Series 66 and a degree from Iowa State University. Kirsten is committed to empowering people and helping them reach the retirement finish line. She believes in optimizing processes to build strategies out of silos and encourage tighter collaboration.

C2P Enterprises, a holding company comprised of four distinct brands, each in their respective capacity, is designed to simplify financial planning for advisors and the clients they serve. United by the vision to provide planning and financial products and solutions in the best interest of the client, each company offers education, training, resources and tools to meet a client’s unique financial situation, along with access to an array of investment and insurance vehicles to help accomplish their goals. Each organization is committed to fiduciary best interest practices and raising industry standards for a higher quality of holistic financial planning services to families nation and worldwide.

Investment advisory services are provided by C2P Capital Advisory Group, LLC d/b/a Prosperity Capital Advisors, LLC (“PCA”) an investment adviser federally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

A Bucketing Approach to Strategic Asset Allocation

A Bucketing Approach to Strategic Asset Allocation

What is Strategic Asset Allocation?

The bucketing approach to strategic asset allocation began with a Harry Markowitz paper in the Journal of Finance in 1952. It outlined how investors could allocate assets for the highest return with a given level of risk. This would later earn Markowitz a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and redefine how financial advisors optimized investments for their clients.

We’ve come a long way since Markowitz’s early work. Strategic asset allocation has proven to be more valuable than ever. There are plenty of sophisticated measures to craft strategic asset allocation plans, you can illustrate how the client should dispense uncorrelated assets into three segments: liquid funds, conservative investments, and growth assets. Or as we like to call them—the Now, Soon, and Later Buckets.

For many advisors, that’s where the simplification ends. They communicate strategic asset allocation using complicated pie charts of holdings, graphs, ledgers, and complex statistical analysis. All that data may be important behind the scenes, but it confuses the client.

The Bucket Plan philosophy simplifies strategic asset allocation in a way most anyone can understand. The end goal is for the client to fully understand the process and feel confident as they move forward with your recommendations.

Strategic Asset Allocation with The Bucket Plan®

The bucketing approach to retirement investing started to work its way into the financial lexicon in the 1980s. Financial planner, Harold Evensky, developed this strategy to combat the challenge of low-interest rates. The resulting investments didn’t provide enough income for retirees, forcing them to delay retirement, reduce their standard of living, or take too many risks with their capital.

The bucketing concept gained momentum during the 1990s and picked up steam with the dawn of the information age. By the time the recession hit in 2008, the Later Bucket had become a haven for investments to ride out the ups and downs of the market without affecting the immediate income that was being withdrawn from the Now Bucket and reloaded from the Soon Bucket.

Having long-term goals for the Later Bucket helps protect retirees from making rash decisions during market fluctuations and taking deductions on their investments by cashing in during a downturn. Over time, we have adapted The Bucket Plan® to facilitate retirement income planning and provide a viable strategic asset allocation plan for clients in any demographic.

One of the most important things that The Bucket Plan can provide is peace of mind for your clients. Financial planning is a complex process, but The Bucket Plan Philosophy provides a simple, effective way for you to explain, and more importantly, for your clients to understand, the plan you developed for them.

The key to strategic asset allocation is positioning and protecting a mutually agreed-upon portion of your client’s assets to buy a time horizon that allows them to invest the remainder for long-term growth. This structure will provide a reliable income source throughout their retirement.

Now Bucket

A fully funded Now Bucket will give your client a sense of security. This prevents them from having to cash in investments when they need money, which leaves them vulnerable to losses when the market is down, unforeseen taxes, and unexpected penalties. Although there will be little return on these funds, it’s a small price to pay for your client’s peace of mind.

The Now Bucket is safe and liquid money the client can access whenever needed. The amount varies by individual. All parties involved should agree on the amount that makes them feel comfortable. There should be enough for everyday needs and emergencies, but not so much that they miss out on growth opportunities.

Soon Bucket

The Soon Bucket is for conservative investments or income for the first phase of retirement. It is set up for growth to offset inflation but invested conservatively to negate the effects of a major market correction. It also serves as an inflationary hedge, giving your client an extra cushion as the cost of goods and services rises. For clients with a longer time horizon before retirement, it might serve as their opportunity bucket. If a good investment opportunity arises, but the stock market is down, they will still have the funds available.

There are three primary ways of structuring income from the Soon Bucket:

1.      The Bridge Approach

You fund reliable income for a specific period using the minimal assets required to construct the bridge. An example might be a 10-year bond or CD ladder, a period-certain annuity, an indexed annuity with penalty-free withdrawal provisions, or a conservative investment portfolio in which you will be consuming both principal and interest.

2.      Lifetime Income

You fund an annuity to provide lifetime guaranteed income. This can be done through a SPIA, DIA, FIA, or variable annuity. If the annuity payment is going to begin within ten years, we would consider that a Soon Bucket asset. If deferral will be 10+ years, we would generally place that asset in the Later Bucket.

3.      Portfolio Yield

Some high net-worth clients are fortunate enough never to tap into principal for supplemental retirement income and can live off the dividends, interest, or yield produced by their investment portfolio.

Later Bucket

The money in the Later Bucket provides long-term growth and legacy planning. The longer they can wait before accessing these funds, the better the chances for favorable returns.

Legacy planning is not just about leaving money to the children; it protects the surviving spouse. When one spouse dies, the household income usually goes down, while many expenses stay the same, and taxes often increase.

To learn more about The Bucket Plan® and how to implement a strategic asset allocation plan into your holistic financial planning process, schedule a free call with our Concierge Support Team.

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

Cash Flow Analysis: Budget from the Bottom Up

Cash Flow Analysis: Budget from the Bottom Up

The Cash Flow Analysis is a bottom-up budgeting methodology that cuts through the clutter associated with the traditional budgeting process and gets to the critical numbers you need to get started. Nobody enjoys sitting down to put together an entire budget; they are often inaccurate and time-consuming, providing little value to the consumer. Nevertheless, you must be familiar with your client’s cash flow as you assemble their retirement plan. The Cash Flow Analysis will allow you to obtain vital information without an extensive budgeting exercise.

“This tool was built through years of going through budgeting exercises. I had a lot of pushback from clients. I mean that. They just hated it. They dragged their feet, canceled appointments, rescheduled… I remember the one woman saying, ‘That was the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.’ She literally said those words to me. Everyone hates a budget.”

-Dave Alison, CFP®, EA, BPC

The process is simple, start with what the client is living off now. How much are they spending? How much is in their bank account? And the key here is net, net after tax, after all the deductions, everything. As it evolves, you can add a section for new retirement sources to offset the client’s current income. Then either decrease expenses or document increased costs to discern a net number, they’ll need to draw off liquid investible assets.

The Cash Flow Analysis is invaluable whether you’re helping them through the accumulation years, determining what type of disposable savings they have, or preparing them for distribution to decide how much money they’ll need to draw from their liquid investible assets.

There are two levels of Cash Flow Analysis: The Income Gap Assessment for pre-retirees and retirees and the Budgeter for younger clients who may need more data analysis around their income and expenses.Income Gap Assessment

Cash Flow Analysis: The Income Gap Assessment

What if there was a quick and easy way of assessing whether your clients have an income gap or excess funds? With the cash flow analysis, you can discuss the overall financial plan with your clients and determine ways to guarantee their income in retirement.

C2P Enterprises created the Income Gap Assessment to help you cut down on your time spent with each client. This single resource will allow you to skip the long, drawn-out budgeting process in your meetings and get right to the important stuff, saving you an immeasurable amount of time.

The Income Gap Assessment aims to discern the gap between the net income the client is currently living on and the fixed income sources they will have after they retire. It is based on a consumption methodology of budgeting and will provide an accurate amount that they will need to draw off of their liquid investible assets once they retire. This is especially valuable for clients less than a decade from retirement. There are four simple sections to complete to determine their income gap.

Net Income After Taxes

The first section is where you log the client’s net income after taxes. This is the current amount deposited into checking from salary, wages, and other sources of income pre-retirement. You want to determine the difference between their annual bring-home salary and their yearly living expenses. It is important to base this number on the net income deposited into the client’s checking account, not their gross pay. Net pay already factors out tax withholding, retirement contributions, and any employee benefits, such as health insurance, that would be paid through withholdings. You are looking for the net amount that the client has available to spend on an annual basis.

After you calculate the annual net income, ask the client to choose which of the following scenarios most closely applies to them:

  1. Breaking even, consuming all their net income
  2. Saving some money, consuming less than their net income
  3. Losing money, going into debt

If the answer is #1 or #2, the Income Gap Assessment can determine what the client should expect in retirement.

Simply ask the client, “If you could replace the same net income you are spending now when you retire, would that meet your retirement goals?”

This will serve as a basis for the total income they will need in retirement.

If they chose #3 and are losing money every month, you may need to pivot to a detailed budget to determine if they are the right fit for your firm.

Fixed Income in Retirement

The second section focuses on the client’s income after retirement. Between Social Security and pensions, what will their fixed income look like when they aren’t earning a paycheck?

For Social Security optimization, clients may delay one or both of their benefits. This will leave a larger income gap for a short period of time. When this occurs, consider conducting multiple Income Gap Assessments for different periods to get an accurate picture of their cash flow analysis throughout retirement.

Another option is to do one Income Gap Assessment as if all fixed income sources are activated, then ascertain how much you should set aside to cover the delayed income.


You should list anything that might impact retirement income here.

If the client expects to pay off their mortgage, that would decrease their expenses. Ask the client about potential increases from things like income taxes, health insurance premiums, travel expenses, medical needs, etc.

The client may have to allow for additional income taxes in retirement, which can be identified by creating a tax proforma of their withdrawal strategy.

With these three figures, you can derive the income gap that you need to take from liquid investable assets in retirement.

Once you complete the Income Gap Assessment, you will be able to determine the client’s retirement income gap or surplus using the following formula:

Net Income Received in Retirement – Fixed Income + or – Adjustments = Total Income Gap

Income Gap or Surplus

Once you have this final number, you’ll know if the client has an annual surplus or deficit for their retirement. If there is an income surplus, they can expect excess cash when they retire. Knowing this will allow you to help them get even more strategic with their plans, perhaps with additional life insurance, asset-based long-term care, or tax-efficient managed accounts.

The Income Gap Assessment is a viable tool to determine what kind of situation your client may find themselves in once they retire. This will serve as a basis for their total income needed in retirement and create an educational opportunity for you to show them the various ways you can guarantee their income once they retire.

If you expect the client to have an income gap, you should ask them the following question.

“How much of this income gap do you want guaranteed in your financial plan?”

The Cash Flow Analysis Budgeter

The Budgeter is designed for younger clients who are more than a decade away from retiring and still in the accumulation phase of the money cycle, or retirees that need more detailed budgeting information in their cash flow analysis.

The result will give the client an idea of their monthly cash flow analysis. Should they expect a surplus or deficit during their working years? This will help you determine approximately how much they have available to invest. For a retiree, it shows the same monthly surplus or deficit the client will have based on their income needs and fixed income sources.

The Budgeter also has four sections.

1.     Income

This portion of the cash flow analysis lists everything that the client is bringing home net after tax. This includes salaries, bonuses, commissions, Social Security, and pensions. You then add in the pay frequency to annualize the income number.

2.     Tax Adjustments

You should list any necessary tax adjustments here. You can base these on the client’s tax returns from previous years or current projections. List refunds as a positive value on the sheet, and enter taxes owed as negative.

3.     Expenses

The Budgeter looks at the client’s monthly expenses. While not a full budgeting exercise, this portion of the cash flow analysis tracks some expenses, like mortgage or rent, property tax, childcare, or auto payments. This will help you get a more accurate portrayal of how the client is spending their money and help them alter their financial behaviors if needed.

4.     Totaling

Once you total all these categories, you’ll have a better understanding of the client’s monthly and yearly cash flow analysis. If the client has a surplus, there’s an opportunity to create a systematic savings plan for retirement, which could lead to more sales opportunities. If the client has a deficit and spends more than they make, you may need to put a budget in place to get them on track to meet their goals.

You accomplish several things by sitting down with clients and going through these exercises:

  • They have peace of mind knowing they don’t have to change their lifestyle in retirement.
  • You can quickly get to the number the client will need to draw from their liquid investable assets to meet their retirement needs.
  • You uncover opportunities for additional client education and sales.

While there will always be cases where you need to do a complete budget breakdown of the cash flow analysis, utilizing these tools is a simple way to arrive at a net consumable, spendable income, followed by an accurate net amount that they will need to draw from their assets in retirement. Knowing these numbers will assist you in designing a suitable plan for your client, who will sleep better at night knowing that you are working to help them achieve their retirement goals.

Schedule a complimentary call with our Concierge Support Team to learn more about simplifying your clients’ budgeting and holistic financial planning processes.

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time of the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

Convert More Leads: How Financial Advisors Move Prospects Through the Pipeline

Convert More Leads: How Financial Advisors Move Prospects Through the Pipeline

Are you on target to meet your business objectives in 2023? Have you even set those goals yet? Our clients often report a steady influx of prospects but claim they struggle to convert more leads into their sales pipeline.

Is this starting to sound familiar?

You have held several meetings with the prospect to gather financial and personal information, establish their ambitions, and develop a retirement plan that’s right for them. Now it’s time to deliver. Will they be open to your suggestions? What can you do to make your pitches more successful and convert more leads?

Curious about what other wealth managers are doing to increase their lead conversion rates?

We asked some of our top advisors to share their best advice on lead conversion strategy. Here is how they convert more leads.

How do you convert more leads in the financial services industry?

Think of it like building a house. You’re the architect, and the clients are the homeowners.

You and your team have drafted up a blueprint, and now, it’s time to go through it with them. At the end of this meeting, they might decide this is their perfect dream home, and you move forward, or they may ask for an additional bathroom or more storage. That’s okay too! Today is all about presenting the plan, ensuring everyone is on the same page about the outcome, and making adjustments as needed.

Before the meeting, make sure that all your documents are prepped and ready to go. This includes the Family Estate Organizer, investment audits, Social Security analysis, and the holistic financial plan.

When you sit down with a potential client, don’t just lay the plan out in front of them. Go through the bucket plan process, including all the concepts and tools you used to build it; explain your decisions, including how and why you made them.

Encourage them to ask questions and take notes but reassure them that you’re not here to make decisions. They should go home to think it over first. Taking the pressure off at the top of the meeting will help them be more relaxed, engaged, and focused on your presentation.

Use positive, reassuring language and communication tools throughout the conversation. Try to frame your discussion around the future so the prospect can envision what it will be like after converting to a client. For example:

“We will continue identifying tax law changes and how we can save you money in the near and distant future.”

“We will meet this time next year to review your plan and proactively ensure that we meet your needs for the next 12 months.”

Convert More Leads with Concepts & Tools

Ensure they understand key concepts like the Money Cycle, Pyramid of Risk, Order of Money, and Sequence of Returns.

Refer to the Concerns and Priorities Worksheet to show them specific items you have included in their plan to eliminate their fears and optimize their goals. To understand where they want their finances to go in the future, you must first help them see where they stand now.

Use reporting to show where their investments are currently and inquire about which asset classes perform best over time. Since the previous 10 years have been an outlier in terms of historical performance, extend that time to 20 years. This will help you determine how their accounts would have performed in different market cycles. Document the maximum drawdown of their portfolio to illustrate how this can affect their retirement plan if they pull systematic income withdrawals from their investment portfolio.

Consult their Social Security analysis to highlight the dollar value you are creating for them by optimizing Social Security benefits. Refer to the Asset Transition Sheet, a simple roadmap that illustrates where the prospect’s money is, compared to how it will be allocated under the new plan.

The Income Gap Assessment is a viable tool to define your client’s situation once they retire. Will they have an income surplus with excess cash flow, or will they run a deficit? If needed, share their retirement projection to see how their income and account balances will look at key milestones like 5 and 10 years out.

Know When to Walk Away & Clients Will Come Running

Take care not to bombard them with too much information too fast. Suppose details like long-term care planninglife insurance, or Roth conversions were not listed as a primary concern or priority by the prospect. In that case, you may want to save those for a future meeting, even though they are invaluable to the overall financial plan.

After providing the prospective client with the plan deliverables, you may need to ease the tension in the room. Pay close attention to their behavior and non-verbal cues. Are they absorbing the information, or do they seem confused? Either way, reassure them that you don’t expect them to make any decisions today.

The data and information you just covered can often be overwhelming. Toward the end of the meeting, find time to excuse yourself from the room. Say you need to step out for a glass of water, offer to get them something, and walk out.

Leaving the room for a few minutes allows them to think and talk things over without you standing there staring them down. Give them a moment alone before you come back to answer any additional questions, discuss next steps, and hopefully, close the sale to convert more leads.

Learn how C2P Enterprises can help you convert more leads into satisfied clients who will provide referrals for their friends, family members, colleagues, and more! Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our business development representatives today.

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time of the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

Accumulation and Distribution: Understanding the Order of Money

Accumulation and Distribution: Understanding the Order of Money

How do you manage taxes during accumulation and distribution?

There is an order to how your clients should amass wealth and withdrawal funds upon retirement to increase net after-tax cash flow. It’s essential to differentiate how you approach tax management, just as you diversify an asset portfolio.

Recently, in the Win Business Through Tax Management Seminar Series, Dave Alison, CFP®, EA, BPC, said:

“One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is not understanding the Order of Money. When we’re accumulating and building wealth, there’s an order to how we should save that money between different account types. And when we retire, there’s a certain order to how we should take distributions.”


  • Fund goals before age 59.5
  • Eliminate 10% early withdrawal penalty
  • Opportunity fund
  • Eliminate marginal tax traps


  • Early retirement (pre-55) without 72(t)/(q) complexity
  • Blend out income to maximize income and minimize tax brackets
  • Lower withdrawal rates because of tax-free or advantaged income
  • Eliminate marginal tax brackets
  • Legacy planning for surviving spouse
  • RMD suppression
  • Reduce taxation of Social Security benefits
  • Decrease Medicare premiums
  • Ease fear of government policy

Accumulation and Distribution: Phases of the Money Cycle

You know all about the order to how your clients should save their money. If not, here’s a quick refresher:

The first stage of the money cycle is accumulation. This usually starts when the client is young, beginning with graduation gifts, summer job income, allowances, etc. Accumulation continues into adulthood and throughout the working years as they build their life savings. Since there is an expected lengthy time horizon before retirement, they can afford to take more risks with their capital during this stage.

As the client moves toward retirement, they transition into the preservation stage. At this point, they’re financially stable and looking forward to winding down their career, effectively ending the accumulation phase on a significant portion of their income. There’s less time to make mistakes or experience major volatility because they will need funds sooner rather than later.

The last phase in the money cycle is distribution. Distribution is when the client starts to withdraw from the wealth they have accumulated and preserved and starts taking an income from those savings and investments.

But did you know there is also an order to how they should withdraw their income in retirement?

Understanding the Order of Money for Early Retirement Tax Planning

Early retirement tax planning follows the same basic standard as a traditional retirement plan—minimize taxes and maximize capital.

Early retirees will have less time to amass wealth and a longer expected retirement than most. Their plan requires an accelerated scale and pace to make up for the lack of time, with a focus on tax management to maximize their retirement income and make the most out of the holistic financial plan.

Whether your clients are focused on tax planning for early retirement or a more traditional timeline, following the proper order of money for accumulation and distribution can have a major impact on the lifestyle they get to enjoy when they retire.

Accumulation and Distribution for a Tax-Efficient Retirement

The Order of Money divides your retirement income into four different categories.

The first type is tax-free income, the second is tax-favored income, the third is post-tax income, and the final type is pre-tax income.

You should consider all four categories when creating your own retirement income distribution plan.

  1. Tax-Free
    • Company Match
    • Inheritance
    • Gifts
  2. Tax-Favored
    • Roth
    • HSA
    • FSA
    • 529
    • Life Insurance
  3. Post-Tax
    • Brokerage
    • Real Estate
    • Joint Accounts
    • Non-Qualified Plans
  4. Pre-Tax
    • IRAs/401(k)
    • Qualified Plans

Order of Accumulation:

  1. Establish a 1-month emergency fund
  2. Pay off high-interest debt
  3. 401(k) up to match
  4. Fund 3-month emergency fund
  5. Max Health Savings Account (if applicable)
  6. Max Roth IRA (or Back-Door Roth)
  7. Max 401(k) or Roth 401(k) Depending on marginal bracket
  8. 529 Contribution (if applicable)
  9. Excess savings to permanent life insurance and taxable brokerage account

Note: HSAs are especially beneficial because they are triple tax-advantaged. The client gets an upfront deduction, they can defer as those funds grow, and if used for qualified medical expenses, they can take distributions tax-free in the future.

Order of Distributions for Zero Tax:

  1. Social Security
  2. Pre-tax retirement accounts up to the provisional income limits (tax on Social Security)
  3. Roth IRA & permanent life insurance for remaining income

Order of Distributions for Low Tax:

  1. Social Security Income
  2. Pre-tax retirement accounts up to the 12% bracket
  3. Long-term capital gains/dividends up to IRMAA limits
  4. Roth IRA & Permanent life Insurance for remaining income

To learn more about how C2P Enterprises can help you manage taxes for your clients, book a FREE call with one of our business development representatives and ask about the Tax Management Journey training course.

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time of the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

5 Types of Roth Conversion Strategies to Manage Taxes

What are the 5 Types of Roth Conversion Strategies?

Did you know that the correct Roth conversion strategy can have a significant impact on how much your clients will pay in taxes over the course of their lifetime?

Taking advantage of the tax benefits provided by Roth conversion strategies can save your clients on taxes, putting more money back into their retirement.

Roth accounts offer tax-free income in retirement without required minimum distributions. When determining the taxation of Social Security benefits or if higher Medicare premiums apply, it isn’t included in the income calculations.

The 5 types of Roth conversion strategies are:Click Here to Take Your Clients on the Tax Management Journey

  1. Bracket-Bumping Conversion
  2. Market-Timing Roth Conversion
  3. Back-Door Roth Conversion
  4. Mega Back-Door Roth Conversion
  5. SEP IRA to Roth Conversion

We expect taxes to be low through 2025, with higher taxes potentially soon after. Utilizing strategic Roth conversions over the next few years can create an opportunity to help reduce your clients’ lifetime taxes.

Want to go from forever taxed to never taxed?

Contributions to a Roth account are post-tax funds and continue to grow tax-free, so you can keep the government out of your clients’ retirement savings.

When working with clients, be mindful of the tax implications as a whole. It’s common to consider Roth conversion strategies at the end of the year when you have a full understanding of their annual income.

Learn how The Bucket Plan® can help financial advisors increase their profitable business lines.

1.      Bracket-Bumping Conversion

A bracket-bumping Roth conversion strategy attempts to keep converted cash within the client’s current tax bracket, so a conversion doesn’t force any of their funds into a higher bracket.

You can lessen the tax blow and make it more manageable for your clients by spreading conversions across several years to decrease overall taxes.

2.      Market-Timing Roth Conversion

The best time to take advantage of a Roth conversion strategy is when the market is down, causing the client’s traditional IRA to lose value. If impending changes to the tax laws will negatively impact taxes in the future, you can help your clients avoid paying more than necessary by making a conversion before the new regulations go into effect.

Sudden market declines may provide a brief conversion window. Time the market so your clients get the most out of their Roth conversion strategies.

Hint: Now is a fantastic time to help your clients take advantage of the market downturn.

3.      Back-Door Roth Conversion

Back-door conversions should be reserved for your high-income earners. This allows clients to utilize a Roth IRA to save for retirement, even if their annual income exceeds the maximum allotted amount. There are a number of factors to consider when looking at a back-door Roth conversion.

4.      Mega Back-Door Roth Conversion

Mega-back door conversions should also be reserved for your highest-income earners. This is where the client contributes after-tax dollars to a traditional 401(k) through their employer. Then, immediately roll it over to a Roth IRA from their 401(k). There are a number of factors to consider when looking at a  mega back-door Roth conversion.

Back-Door & Mega Back-Door Roth Conversion Strategies


5.      SEP IRA to Roth Conversion

A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) is designated for your clients who are self-employed or small business owners. You can convert this type of retirement account to a Roth IRA, the same as any other IRA. This conversion makes sense if the client expects to be in a higher tax bracket in retirement and wants to take tax-free withdrawals.

How to Use Roth Conversion Strategies to Manage Taxes

The Tax Management Journey® helps differentiate between tax planning, tax preparation, and tax management.

When you build a house, you first need a blueprint or a plan with everything laid out. This is similar to tax planning, whereas tax management is more like the contractors and builders who get the job done. And the person who prepares annual tax returns is comparable to an inspector who comes in on a regular basis to make sure nothing is broken, and everything runs smoothly.

Dave Alison, CFP®, EA, BPC, the President and Founding Partner of C2P Enterprises, CEO of Alison Wealth Management, and creator of The Tax Management Journey®, hosted a recent seminar. In it, he went through each Roth conversion strategy and discussed ways you can adjust your clients’ portfolios to grow their wealth and reduce their tax bill. Click here to watch it on-demand!

Are you optimizing your clients’ portfolios to ensure their taxes are adequately managed and selecting Roth conversion strategies that benefit them? Book a FREE 20-minute consultation with one of our Business Development Representatives to learn how C2P Enterprises can help you get started—no tax background necessary!

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time of the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

C2Pe’s Matt Seitz Updates Barron’s on New Marketing Rule

C2Pe’s Matt Seitz Updates Barron’s on New Marketing Rule

Executive Vice President of Marketing at C2P Enterprises, Matt Seitz, was recently quoted in an article by Barron’s regarding the new SEC marketing rule which went into full effect November 4th, 2022.

Over 3/4 of compliance staff at registered investment advisor firms said the new SEC marketing rule is the hottest topic of the year.

Matt describes the collaborative process of working with Chief Compliance Officer Ryan Warner, CFP®, to identify which elements of the new SEC marketing rule to focus on, like updating the compliance training processes.

Before these new regulations, you could not utilize first-hand accounts from satisfied customers. But that has all changed! Now you can use testimonials to maximize your marketing efforts.

Barron’s quoted Matt, saying:

“We plan to incorporate testimonials and endorsements into our existing campaigns to help illustrate our value proposition and strengthen our brand. The powerful part of the new marketing rule is it allows us to let our clients and partners help tell our story. I also see third-party ratings coming in handy for recruiting new advisors and staff members to our team. People want to know they are joining a strong company with a loyal client base.”

Recently, Matt and Ryan co-hosted a seminar to share their knowledge with other advisors to prepare for the change.New SEC Marketing Rule

Watch the replay to learn about:

  • Disclosures needed for compliance
  • Pros and cons of the new marketing rule
  • Selecting and soliciting client recommendations
  • What to consider when implementing testimonials in your marketing


Matt Seitz is the Executive VP of Marketing at C2P Enterprises; and CMO for JL Smith, an independent retirement planning and wealth management firm. In his role, Matt has spearheaded the digital growth of the company, reinforced branding, and implemented content marketing strategies to drive leads into the sales funnel.

Matt has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience in the professional services and financial services industries, as well as accounting, insurance, and construction. He has degrees in marketing, management, and human resources. His professional philosophy is grounded in relationship marketing—focusing on customer service and satisfaction through data-driven marketing plans with clear ROI.

Matt’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, digital marketing, lead generation, and content marketing, receiving industry recognition for content marketing, video marketing, and lead generation campaigns. He is an author and speaker on a variety of marketing and business development topics.


Ryan Warner, CFP®, is the Chief Compliance Officer for C2P Enterprises. He is responsible for handling supervision and compliance matters for the investment advisory business.

He has more than twenty years of industry experience. Before joining C2P Enterprises, he was a Senior Firm Compliance Consultant for MassMutual and MetLife Financial Services. Ryan also served as Agency Training Director and as a Financial Advisor with MetLife before entering his compliance role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.


C2P Enterprises consists of four individual companies that share one vision: improving the lives of American families through holistic financial planningProsperity Capital Advisors is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) that provides financial planning and holistic wealth management solutions to investment advisors and clients nationwide. Valor Capital Management is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser operating as a portfolio strategist and turnkey asset management program. Clarity Insurance Marketing is a best interest-focused insurance marketing organization that facilitates product screening, selection, and support for all lines of fixed insurance products. Clarity 2 Prosperity is a financial training, coaching, and IP development organization committed to simplifying financial planning for financial advisors while helping them understand best practices for integrating investment and insurance solutions in a single, holistic plan. Collectively, these organizations provide advisors the training, resources, products, and tools to successfully grow their independent advisory firm while serving in the best interest of each of their clients.


How to Build a Sales Funnel by Marketing to Millennials

How to Build a Sales Funnel by Marketing to Millennials

Why should advisors be marketing to millennials?

Because there are over 70 million American millennials, who make up about 30% of the entire population, that’s why.

Also known as Gen Y, millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. They were given this name because their generation came of age during the millennium. This also makes them the first generation to utilize a mobile-first mindset, as many of them were still minors when smartphones were first introduced.

At C2P Enterprises, we guide financial advisors with customizable collateral that boosts their competitive edge. This helps our advisors keep their clients effortlessly engaged no matter their generation.

Why is Marketing to Millennials Important for Financial Advisors?

Your goal is to ensure that the right message goes to the right person at the right time, so you can guide your prospects through the buyer’s journey from prospect all the way to happy customer.

When you delight your clients, they will tell their friends. Imagine how many referrals a millennial could make throughout their life if you attract them now, and they stay with your firm through retirement.

Millennials are 25% more likely to engage with digital marketing than older generations, with online video being their preferred medium.

Did you know YouTube is one of the leading search engines behind Google and ahead of Amazon?

55% of millennials watch videos on multiple devices. So, when marketing to millennials, it should be responsive and mobile-friendly.

92% of millennials reported that digital marketing and online presence were important factors when deciding whether they would submit personal information or fill out a form. They have grown up in a digital age, so if your online presence isn’t up to par with their expectations, they will just move on to the next one.

Use an Authentic Brand and Personal Touch to Build a Sales Funnel

Millennials want to work with organizations that they trust and causes they believe in—74% claimed they would make a purchase if the company supports a cause they personally believe in.

As you build a sales funnel, remember honesty and authenticity are important to 90% of this generation. Don’t keep everything close to the vest. Share your wisdom freely using informative content marketing programs that will attract and convert qualified leads. One-third of millennials utilize blogs for research when they’re considering a purchase.

Sprinkle in some humor—funny marketing programs are the most popular among millennials at 44%, while informative content comes in second at 30%.

85% of millennials are likely to purchase personalized services like a customized holistic financial plan.

And now, thanks to the new SEC compliance rules, you can add a personal touch by utilizing first-hand endorsements and testimonials. You still have to maintain marketing compliance rules which are designed to regulate financial advisor client communications.

For your high-net-worth clients, you can take it a step further. Send them a small, personalized gift to stay top-of-mind and stand out from the competition. The holidays are the perfect time for this; don’t forget a handwritten note!

On an episode of the Rainmaker Multiplier On-Demand Podcast, Bryan Bibbo told a story about a client who mentioned they were planning a trip to Tahiti for their birthday during a call. So, he sent them a travel book on Tahiti.

How to Market to Millennials Using Marketing Automation

As John Del Greco puts it—you want it to feel like the client is hugging you with their eyes when you’re in a face-to-face meeting.

But how do you make that sort of connection with your marketing automation efforts?

When you’re marketing to millennials, it should still feel personal, even if they’re in an automated marketing system within your CRM. It shouldn’t feel distant and cold, but rather warm and inviting.

Use key indicators like pain points to organize them in your CRM and get them into the proper sales funnel. Guide each prospect and lead through a logical workflow that will take them through a natural progression of the buyer’s journey.

How to Market to Millennials Using Social Media10 Digital Marketing Tips to Drive Business in 2023

If you want your marketing automation to work on a younger demographic, you need to make the most out of both organic and paid social media.

Doing so is easier than ever now because of the new SEC compliance rules.

Millennials are 54% more likely than previous generations to purchase a product because a social media influencer referred it, and 25% more likely to buy a product or service because of a social media ad.

If you don’t have the capacity to create your own content marketing campaigns, stay updated on influencers in the industry to see how they’re marketing to millennials.

Use this research to learn how to market to millennials in your own way. Don’t be afraid to repurpose what you learn with your own clients.

What media are top influencers using to build a sales funnel?

How are they authentically marketing to millennials?

Do they have an analogy or metaphor that simplifies a complex concept?

What campaigns are they implementing to move prospects through the process?

How are they using social media to generate leads?

To learn more about marketing to millennials and how C2P Enterprises can help with your marketing compliance, book a free 20-minute consultation with one of our business development representatives.

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time of the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

The Power of Adding a Paraplanner to Your Practice

The Power of Adding a Paraplanner to Your Practice

“A Paraplanner can range from entry-level to experienced. They can be a W-2 employee or have their own Paraplanning business working with multiple advisors. They can be a part of a firm on a part-time or full-time basis, and they are typically back- or middle-office, with strong technical financial planning knowledge.”

-Alex Hopkin, CEO Founder of Simply Paraplanner

A proper Advisor Career Path and Compensation Model details concepts like developing a plan for building up your advisors, creating firm growth, and providing a consistent client experience when managing your practice.

At C2P Enterprises, we’ve spent years refining and developing a scalable career trajectory that reflects the financial industry’s best practices. We’ve accumulated practice management experience and research over decades of observing advisors within our firms.

What is the Difference Between a Paraplanner and the Other Members of Your Support Team?

We demonstrate the Advisor Career Path using a 5-rung ladder that is broken down into three measurable steps, with a detailed scorecard. This leaves no room for misunderstanding.

Paraplanner Career Path

The first two rungs happen backstage, meaning most of their work is done behind the scenes.

Advisors, Lead Advisors, and Practicing Partners all interact face-to-face with clients. We refer to these as frontstage positions.

Paraplanners can help manage investments, tax modeling, practice management, and product recommendations. They mostly remain backstage with little one-on-one interaction with clients.

When is a Good Time to Bring a Paraplanner into Your Team?

Effective practice management requires backstage administrative support. The more your firm grows, the more complex your needs become.

Bringing on the right talent at the right time for the right job is essential to building a successful financial management firm.

As an advisor, you’re busy meeting with clients. You need someone who knows what they’re doing, who you trust to own the backstage work and perform practice management tasks.

What is a Good Compensation Model for a Paraplanner?

The Advisor Career Path and Compensation Model provide a rubric with objectives for your employees that helps with recruiting, payment structure, and everything in between.

At C2P Enterprises, we’ve spent years refining and developing a scalable career course that reflects the financial industry’s best practices as well as the experience and research we’ve accumulated over decades of observing advisors within our firms.

Learn more about our exclusive advisor training courses like Advisor Career Path & Compensation Models.

There are three main types of payment strategies:

  1. Grid Compensation Model
  2. Salary & Stake of Profit Compensation Model
  3. Hybrid Compensation Model

The method you choose should encourage the behaviors you want to cultivate among your team. What behaviors does each model reinforce?

Ensure your chosen payment methodology is communicated correctly and understood by your team. Like the ladder visual, having a documented compensation strategy encourages employee retention, helps corporate culture, increases revenue, and creates a sense of loyalty among the team.

What is a Good Career Path for Paraplanners?Advisor Career Path & Compensation Models

The Paraplanner handles the background work and data analysis to support the advisors and the firm.

Paraplanners with less experience review financial documents, enter data, handle accounting paperwork, and assist with practice management tasks. Someone with more experience can create financial plans, onboard clients, and meet with clients in addition to their backstage administrative duties.

Many Paraplanners have goals and expectations of ascending the ladder to become an Advisor, Lead Advisor, or Practicing Partner. They view this role as an interim position.

This job allows them to learn and build financial plans as they prepare to advance to the next rung. This is merely a stepping-stone as they gain more knowledge and experience backstage in anticipation of moving into a frontstage role. Your firm should have a set career trajectory for these individuals to follow.

One of the best things about the Advisor Career Path is that both the employee and their manager will always know what needs to be accomplished to move to the next rung and ascend the Advisor Career Path ladder.

What are Common Traits of a Great Paraplanner?

Alternatively, some may choose to remain in this supporting actor role for the better part of their career. These employees are happy with their job and content to become subject matter experts (SMEs) for your firm.

Before you interview your next potential Paraplanner, ask yourself the following question.

Do I want a Paraplanner who expects to advance in the near future or someone who wants to remain in that position for some time?

There is no wrong answer; this is based purely on the needs of your firm. But the answer to this question will help guide your hiring process to the right individual.

Common expectations for Paraplanners:

  • Drafts financial plans
  • Focuses on backstage tasks
  • Finalizes deliverables with Advisor before client meetings
  • Active participation in meetings
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 2-5 years of experience

C2P Enterprises provides Advisors and Paraplanners with the tools they need to build the right Advisor Career Path and Compensation Model to attract and retain top talent.

If you are ready to take the next step in growing your business, managing your practice, and building your team, schedule a call with one of our business development representatives today!

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time of the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.

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