6 topics to talk with clients about early in the year

Let’s hear it for optimism! As a financial advisor, I loved the start of a new year. From day one, the firm’s biggest producers and I were on the same starting line. Other advisors might be pessimistic, seeing new goals to be achieved from that same starting line. Regardless of your outlook, you need clients to do business. How are you going to make that happen?

  1. Reasons why clients need more insurance. We had problems with inflation and prices went up, including in the real estate market. Their home is now worth more, and construction and building material costs also have increased. Are they carrying enough insurance on their primary residence? Extend this logic to life insurance, which provides a base for replacement income if someone passes away.
  2. How are we going to take advantage of higher interest rates? The stock market is up. However, the perception is that inflation is abating, and the U.S. Federal Reserve might be lowering interest rates in 2024. This means certificates of deposit will be yielding less on new purchases when rates go down. How concerned is your client about income? What products can lock in higher rates while they are still available?
  3. Where is their annual bonus going? Did your client get one? Shouldn’t that money be directed toward planning for the future instead of on a new home entertainment system? Try to get your client to think of higher goals like planning for retirement or getting closer to financial independence.
  4. Let’s make retirement plan contributions now. This makes so much sense. If your client has cash sitting around and they make annual IRA contributions, they should be made ASAP because whatever income the money earns in interest in their joint account will be taxable, while interest earned in their retirement account is tax deferred. Where do you want this money to be working for you? Inside or outside?
  5. Their annual review. If your client has investments, they should get an annual review. It looks like 2023 was a good year for the stock market. How did they do? How much advice and encouragement did you give them? Thank them for taking your advice. Give them the credit. Hopefully, more money will flow into their investment account.
  6. What changed in 2023? Sometimes the financial advisor is the last to know. Any births or marriages in the extended family? Death and divorce are unpleasant to talk about, but it is good information to know. Is everyone healthy? How are things at work? Any promotions? The answers they provide can be the catalyst for future business.

Now, you have reasons to call every client at the start of 2024. If you already have reasons to call, now you have more reasons.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.

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