By Cyril Tuohy
With the nation in the midst of football season, what better way to create the next generation of wealth advisors than by training them to grow into financial quarterbacks?
In the financial planning game, uprights aren’t in the end zone and performance statistics aren’t the only criteria by which the passers will be judged. This is a game more complex than football — if you can believe that — where the end zone is reaching a financial goal line. A win means meeting a retiree’s needs, whether that means living modestly in a one-bedroom rental or spending lavishly on a mansion.
The financial quarterback model is outlined in an SEI white paper published last month titled “Creating the Next Generation of Wealth Managers: The Financial Quarterback.”
SEI provides asset management and investment processing for institutional and personal wealth management.
Al Chiaradonna, senior vice president of SEI Wealth Platform, North American Private Banking, said in a news release that wealth managers are most productive when they develop “effective strategies to achieve life goals.”
Indeed, a survey out last month of 300 advisors by Natixis Global Asset Management also found that goals-based retirement planning was becoming more important for advisors than simply beating benchmark indexes.
Like a quarterback who needs to decide whether to pass or run, or exploit the weakness of a defensive line during a play, financial advisors need to know how to manage assets for returns that will deliver the quality of life a client is looking for.
The rise of digital advice algorithms where computer-generated asset allocations are designed to match the benchmarks is likely to be playing a part too, as evaluating long-term strategies on a quarterly or annual basis can be done by machine.
“With the abundance of digital strategies, pure investment and return advice is not enough — wealth managers must leverage the human factor to stand apart,” Chiaradonna said.
Advisors who learn to integrate benchmark performance and other investment strategies with astute tax and estate planning and well-planned Social Security withdrawals exhibit the signs of a bona fide financial quarterback, SEI said.
Good quarterbacks are molded through good training and experience, so it’s up to senior managers to guide the future leaders with more than just a “pep talk,” Chiaradonna said.
Managers looking to nurture quarterbacks need to “dig into the psyche of a wealth manager” and develop best-practice strategies, he said.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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