I am always looking for ways to expand — expand my book of business, expand my network AND expand my influence.
I have a twofold mindset each time I meet someone new: 1) What is driving you, or what is your “why”? and 2) How can I help get you where you want to go? Whether I get a good night’s sleep is based on how much good I did for others that day. What makes it a great day is when I receive feedback from a client telling me that they feel financially secure. This truly translates into a client telling you that they have inner confidence that they can face whatever the future may bring.
I know that this isn’t new to most advisors. Advisors who put their clients’ interests first and make financial planning and products accessible to anyone who walks through their front door share this common desire to get individuals on a path to financial wellness. COVID-19 has made financial security — or the lack of it — a top-of-mind issue to American consumers. It’s unfortunate that too few American consumers are aware of their ability to access ethical advisors who will provide guidance without upfront fees and asset minimums.
And here lies one of the true problems in our industry: Many advisors mistakenly think that underserved markets equate to underfunded markets, and this just isn’t the case. We have too many entities hyper-focused on the same high net worth clientele with organizations advocating for niche issues. Focusing on only the Wall Street crowd equates to consolidation. There is a concern that if companies and advisors take a narrow focus on listening to and serving only the wealthy that the mass middle and below will be left out of the equation. These groups will be without access to risk protection products or the availability to seek solid financial advice from an advisor who is a nonfiduciary, but instead, holds to an ethical standard of care.
As I step into the role of NAIFA national president, I want to ensure that we are doing everything we can as an association to not make the industry smaller. On the contrary, my presidency will be focused on expansion. How can we expand NAIFA to bring in more like-minded advisors who truly care about access to products and services, and financial security for all Americans? How can we expand NAIFA so that we bring awareness to more advisors as to their critical voice in shaping policy at the state and federal levels? How can we expand NAIFA to work collaboratively with as many organizations in our industry as possible without trying to change them, but to honor their existence in serving niche populations?
The statistics of insurance coverage of the American consumer clearly relay the message that there is much work to do. As we enter into another year of the pandemic, it’s time for advisors to step in and do their part to ensure that the wealth gap and coverage gap do not continue to grow. We need more people coming into financial services who care about Main Street Americans, and we need more advisors to recognize with pride the work that they do protecting individuals and small businesses. Let’s expand in 2022 — expand our thinking, expand our prospecting, expand our clientele to create more financial security for all Americans.