How Just-In-Time Advice Deepens Relationships
The growing focus on clients with assets over $2 million risks missing opportunities with clients the next level down, with assets of $500,000 to $2 million. Helping the children of mid-size clients is a powerful way to strengthen relationships, but only if advice is offered at the right time.
That was the message from an advisor named Bob who responded to How to Get the Attention of Wealthy Prospects on getting in front of affluent clients concerned about leaving a legacy:
How to win multi-million dollar clients
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As you pointed out in your article, most clients with $1 million don’t make leaving an inheritance for their children a priority. They are more focused on their own financial situation.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about their kids succeeding financially. For the past decade, I have suggested to clients that my associate sit down with their children heading off to university to draw up a budget and to discuss the use of credit cards and also student loans. I’ve received terrific feedback on this; while parents recognize that it is important to talk about this topic, the conversation can also be awkward – and they are often delighted to delegate this to my associate. When she began having these talks, she was 28. About three years ago, we switched these over to an associate in his 20s who had just joined us, so the age gap with the kids going into university is relatively close.
I recently attended a morning conference on financial literacy at the University of Toronto, where I have taught for many years. The speakers described the cost of gaps in financial literacy and pointed to a study by the SEC indicating that many investors lack a basic grasp of core financial concepts.
While not limited to those under 30, these gaps are especially pronounced among the young. Much work has been done on how to address this, with one solution to mandate financial literacy classes in the school system. But there are big flaws to that approach. A Wall Street Journal article, The Smart Way to Teach Children About Money, outlined why traditional financial literacy education fails.
One key reason is the gap between when training happens and when it is needed. In his talk, the University of Colorado’s John Lynch pointed to research on how quickly the benefits of literacy education disappears. Even 24 hours of education has no impact after 20 months, if not used before then. That’s why Lynch advocates “just-in-time” training, when people get education when they need it – for example, when applying for their first credit card or buying their first car or house.