You often hear about advisers struggling to describe and quantify their services in such a way as to attract and retain customer clients. The issues include the need some see to differentiate their business model from others; the need to support their fee structure; and the need to show clear value to the clients.
One item you may be overlooking in this analysis is the value you provide in the arena of regulatory compliance. It should not sound scary or obscure, after all one of the foremost examples of this area of practice is exemplified by the accountant income tax preparer who helps his or her customers comply with a huge pile of laws and regulations. Given the pervasiveness of government regulation, it is almost imperative that advisers provide and clients receive advice in this area.
For example, as a financial adviser, you daily provide expertise and assistance to your clients in handling the regulatory burden that falls on all of us. No doubt, you advise clients on their decisions to save in tax deferred and tax exempt retirement vehicles – all of which are heavily regulated. A client’s future decision-making on the source, timing and amounts of withdrawals from these vehicles similarly is affected greatly by regulations you help the client to understand and obey.
Along with taxes, death is a certainty and your expertise, working in concert with estate planners, can help clients preparing for their eventual demise and ensuring their wishes are carried out and loved ones cared for to the best of the ability of the professionals involved.
Other common areas of advice where financial planners assist their clients include Social Security, business succession, divorce, disability, special needs, education and many more. If you consider these areas at all, you can see that each is heavily impacted by regulation and government controls, knowledge of which is essential to navigating the options and making useful choices.
Making sure that your client customers understand that this – regulatory compliance –is another aspect of how you can and will help them succeed financially will in turn show them some of the value of your comprehensive service.