By

Emily Potter
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.

Adjustments

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.”

Pre-retirement:

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

Post-retirement:

  • 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

ABOUT MATT SEITZ

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.

ABOUT RYAN WARNER

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.

ABOUT C2P ENTERPRISES

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.

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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.

Simplify the Way You Talk to Clients

Simplify the Way You Talk to Clients

Keep it Simple When Explaining Concepts to Clients

The golden rule of an effective communication strategy is to simplify the way you talk to clients and go into each meeting with a set purpose and intention.

On an episode of the Bucket Plan On-Demand Podcast, Dave Alison and Greg Hammer discussed proven metaphors and analogies to help explain financial advisor marketing and tax planning to your clients.

Your job when communicating with clients is to simplify complicated concepts and educate them with bite-sized, easily understood content. Avoid using industry jargon and complex financial terms or acronyms. It’s easy to slip into the lingo, but before you know it your client is confused and frustrated.

The more data you gather, the better your decision-making will be throughout the planning process.

Ask open and direct questions to the client and to yourself.

  • Are they a new lead or an existing client?
  • How did they find you?
  • Were they referred to your office?
  • If so, by whom?
  • Did they interact with a financial advisor marketing campaign?
  • If so, which one?
  • How long has it been since you last met with them?
  • What did you discuss at that time?
  • What has changed since then?
  • How is their portfolio performing?
  • Do you have any concerns about their plan you need to address?

Use the answers to these questions and more to guide the meeting.

Explaining the Process to Your New Clients

Plan for the client, not the meeting. Do your due diligence to prepare for each client as an individual because everyone is different. For instance, when communicating with clients, you’ll speak differently to someone referred to you by a close friend versus a cold lead who filled out a form on your website.

  • Get to know them individually on a deep, personal level.
  • Listen more than you talk; allow time to elaborate and space to reflect on their answers.
  • Create a friendly environment so they feel comfortable opening up to you and your staff.
  • Express genuine interest in their dreams and goals.
  • Utilize practical communication tools.

The Bucket Plan is a time-segmented approach to holistic financial planning that categorizes investments into three buckets based on the expected timeline the client will need it: Now, Soon, and Later.

Checking in on Your Current Clients

Life happens 365 days a year, so you should check in with your clients more often. Annual reviews simply aren’t enough. Everyone is different, so consult with the individual and develop a plan for quarterly or monthly calls depending on their needs.

Utilize your digital marketing communication tools to talk to clients who prefer fewer interactions throughout the year.

Additionally, you should be automating marketing campaigns and regular, relevant content. This way, they know you’re actively working for them behind the scenes, even when you’re not in direct contact with them.

Building a Financial Plan that Considers the Impact of Taxes

Unless you are providing financial planning to a current CPA, your clients probably don’t understand the ins and outs of the thousands of pages of complicated federal tax code.

The good news is, you don’t have to break it down for them like that. You can use everyday language to explain the reasoning behind your tax decisions without citing specific SEC rules.

Let’s say you’re going to buy a couch. You know it’s going to cost $2,000, but you’re not going to buy it today, because you’re not going to be ready to move it into the living room for two weeks. You don’t want to walk around it in the garage. So, the question I have is: if you open the paper tomorrow and that couch was on sale for $1,200, what are you doing? You’re going to walk around in the garage for two weeks. You just need to understand that you’re going to pay the taxes; it’s just prudent to pay less. We’re going to buy on sale. That’s the opportunity today with tax planning. It’s buying on sale to mitigate what’s likely going to be higher taxes in the future.”

Greg Hammer, President & CEO, Hammer Financial Group

Building a Better Understanding with The Bucket Plan®

One of the most important aspects of financial advisor marketing is putting the client’s experience about everything else. The Bucket Plan can help you do that and so much more when communicating with clients. It simplifies complex concepts like cash-flow based financial planning or the money cycle so that anyone can understand it.

If you are looking for a better planning process to help your clients understand the value you are creating for their portfolios, look no further than The Bucket Plan Best Interest Process. This FINRA-recognized financial designation offers financial advisors training and materials built to increase client retention and satisfaction. If you’d like to achieve The Bucket Plan Certified (BPC) designation, click here to register!

Ensure any systems or processes that you incorporate come with a smooth transition and simple features. If you have a variety of communication tools that don’t communicate with one another, you won’t be able to effectively implement The Bucket Plan or any other holistic financial planning products.

Schedule a FREE call with one of our business development representatives to learn more about how to talk to clients about tax planning.

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.

Recession Proofing Your Client’s Portfolio with The Bucket Plan®

Recession Proofing Your Client’s Portfolio with The Bucket Plan®

Did you know that the 2010s is the only decade since the mid-1800s that didn’t have a recession? Recessions are part of the economic cycle we all experience. The key is learning how to recession-proof your client’s portfolios so that they don’t experience true financial hardships when the market takes a dip.

The Bucket Plan® simplifies this as it does with the rest of the holistic financial planning process. Using cash-flow based financial planning and concepts like the money cycle and risk assessments, you can communicate with your clients better and put their minds at ease about what the future holds.

The market will always have fluctuations, but with a bit of pre-planning on the front end, you can set your clients up for success regardless of what’s happening on Wall Street.

Building a Recession-Proof Retirement Strategy with the Bucket Plan

The Bucket Plan methodology is used to create an individualized comprehensive financial plan for your clients. This three-bucket approach to holistic financial planning segments the client’s money based on the time expectations of when they will need it.

Flight-to-safety is a recession-proof market trend that occurs when investors sell off higher-risk investments to invest in safer products that are backed by the government. In bear markets, investors often transfer their funds out of equities and into government securities and money market funds.

Flight-to-safety is often accompanied by a demand decrease for assets backed by private agents. Clients exchange lower profits for less risk when there is considerable fear in the marketplace.

Building a Strategy Around Your Clients’ Risk Tolerance

A holistic financial plan is different from any other investment strategy because it is based on both internal and external factors—including dips in the market, risk tolerance, job loss, birth of a child, death of a spouse, change in marital status, etc. It considers how the client’s objectives will continue to evolve and works to recession-proof each phase of their life and retirement.

The client’s risk tolerance is the amount of risk that they are comfortable with compared to how much risk they must face to reach their retirement objectives.

Make sure your clients understand that there will always be times of market volatility, and they shouldn’t react emotionally to downturns. Making drastic changes to investments in the client’s Bucket Plan in response to market dips can affect their ability to out-earn inflation, making for a less favorable retirement fund.

There are times when adjustments need to be made to the client’s Bucket Plan. If their risk tolerance changes significantly, you should sit down with them to re-evaluate what their recession-proof retirement plan will look like.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of The Bucket Plan On-Demand Podcast!

How the Bucket Plan Helps Assist in Flight-to-Safety

Flight-to-safety occurs when the client prefers to buy bonds and sell stocks to diminish the potential losses that they would incur during times of market crisis.

Flight-to-safety refers to an abrupt change in investment behaviors during a time of economic disarray where clients sell riskier assets in lieu of more conservative options. A distinguishing aspect of flight-to-safety is the investors’ inadequate risk-taking behavior, which can disrupt credit and other financial markets.

The Bucket Plan has been defined, refined, and tested to provide a recession-proof retirement.

  • The Now Bucket contains easily accessible funds for planned and unexpected expenses in the first few years of retirement. This bucket achieves minimal returns that likely will not keep pace with inflation, so don’t overfill it.
  • The Soon Bucket is for the first ten years of retirement plus a hedge for inflation. The client will need this money sooner rather than later, so invest it conservatively to offset the client’s increased cost of living in retirement. This mitigates the risk of withdrawing at a market low, as you should not expose this account to extreme market fluctuations.
  • The Later Bucket is designed to house investments for long-term growth in the later stages of retirement. Long-term investments are more aggressive because the client has more time to cover any potential losses.

Become a Bucket Plan Certified Financial Advisor

The Bucket Plan Certified® designation is a FINRA-recognized professional designation, which indicates to clients that you have elevated your skillset to that of a truly holistic advisor, delivering a best-interest planning process and a holistic financial plan.

The Bucket Plan accounts for the client’s income needs, time horizon, volatility tolerance, and tax situation for a one-of-a-kind, product-agnostic, recession-proof financial plan.

Advisors are required to have a bachelor’s degree or at least two years of industry experience, a life insurance license, and must hold at least one of the following:

  • CPA
  • CFP®
  • ChFC®
  • Series 6
  • Series 7
  • Series 65
  • Series 66

Earn up to nine hours of Continuing Education (CE) credits for Certified Financial Planners and up to nine hours of CE for insurance professionals (depending on the state) with The Bucket Plan® 1.0.

To learn more about how to recession-proof your clients’ portfolios, book a FREE 20-minute call with one of our business development representatives today!

Prosperity Capital Advisors provides more than just investments. Are you looking for solutions to simplify and solve the complex challenges and opportunities you face as an investor every day? Prosperity Capital Advisors is committed to looking at the big financial picture and providing congruent and holistic services to you.

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.

Marketing Automation for Financial Advisors

7 Ways Marketing Automation Can Increase Profitability for Advisors

Understanding the Reality of Marketing Automation for Financial Advisors

Marketing Automation for financial advisors helps ensure that the right message goes to the right person at the right time.

“Marketing automation for financial advisors is basically a technology that will help companies, marketing departments, organizations…whoever, to effectively market to their prospects through multiple channels. That covers social media, email…whatever. You make it work for you the best way you can. You just push a button, and it all goes.”

-Suzanne Scheiman, Marketing Manager at JL SmithRainmaker Multiplier On-Demand Podcast

Marketing for financial advisors isn’t scalable without automation. If you want a sales funnel full of new leads, it’s time to invest in the right marketing tools for financial advisors.

Automated Marketing for Financial Advisors Doesn’t Mean a Lack of Personalization

Often marketing tools for financial advisors will come with sample content that you can customize to fit your audience.

“I think people tend to lose that personal touch, thinking that the emails, the connections are going out. You’re keeping your clients and prospects informed on what you’re doing and trying to communicate with them. But you’re not calling them; you’re not following up with them. When you don’t follow up, and you lose that personal touch. You still have to worry about those things because you need to talk to clients personally instead of just sending an email.”

-Suzanne Scheiman, Marketing Manager at JL Smith – Rainmaker Multiplier On-Demand Podcast

Proper Marketing Automation for Financial Advisors Works with Your Practice’s Current Process10 Digital Marketing Tips to Drive Business in 2023

First, segment your list into prospects and current clients. Then take it a step further and categorize them by their needs and pain points.

What stage are they in?

  • Discovery
  • Design
  • Delivery
  • Dedication

Keeping a clean and organized list enables you to schedule and send personalized messages automatically. You can schedule your holiday greeting now, and forget all about it, but your marketing will be there when Christmastime comes.

Implementing the proper automation plan can give you insights into your clients, practice management, and how to market to them more efficiently.

What Should Financial Advisors Look for in a Marketing Automation System?

CRM and Data System

Marketing tools for financial advisors provide the flexibility necessary to schedule campaigns tailored to various audiences to all run independently.

Automated marketing systems for financial advisors allow you to send automatic referral requests and reminders to keep a steady stream of new leads coming into your pipeline.

Your happy customers and their subsequent network of friends, family, and colleagues are the best referral sources to expand your business.

Opportunities for Branding

Automation helps you stay top-of-mind with your customers and makes certain nobody falls through the cracks.

Your marketing follows the prospect from the first piece of content that catches their attention throughout the buyer’s journey, and then it automates regular communications to maintain the client relationship.

Educational Campaigns for Leads and Clients

The right automation software can increase your lead generation, conversion, and overall ROI. It meets the prospect, lead, or client where they are in the sales funnel and guides them through a custom sales journey that focuses on their specific pain points and educates them on how your business can alleviate them.

An Omnichannel Approach to Marketing Automation for Financial Advisors

Following an omnichannel approach to marketing automation for financial advisors ensures all your marketing efforts work cohesively to drive conversions.

Task Management

Manage your projects effectively and efficiently across teams, and schedule automated reminders to ensure the appropriate marketing message goes out at the correct time to the selected audience.

Compliance Review and Customization

Automation can help you streamline your review process with the marketing compliance department. It improves collaboration and transparency across creative and compliance teams. You can automatically audit marketing activities without creating additional manual work for your marketing compliance department.

Reporting on Automated Marketing for Financial Advisors

Automated marketing systems for financial advisors can save time and increase your ROI. You can measure the progress of each marketing message you send. How many people opened it? Who clicked on it? Some even have heat maps to track what people were most interested in.

You can also track a prospect’s first touch point and follow them all the way through the buyer’s journey.

Build Your Practice with the Right Automation Software

Invest Time in Determining the Right System for Your Financial Practice

You don’t have to try a brand-new system with all the bells and whistles. You can start with software you’re familiar with and build from there as your capabilities and needs evolve.

Once you’ve invested in a solution, take advantage of any free training the service provider offers to their customers to get the most out of your system.

Be cautious not to overuse your automation resources or, conversely, not use them enough. Non-marketers often rely too heavily on their technology without doing routine maintenance. Perform regular audits to determine if you need to scale back or up.

At C2P, we help advisors find a balance between being high-tech and high touch with their clients, like when you should personally make a phone call or send a gift versus when you should schedule automatic messages.

To learn more about marketing for financial advisors and how C2P Enterprises can help with your practice management, 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.

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