Last week, I said I was going to talk about PreciseFP’s Custom Template Development Services this week. And I will, but I’d first like to address the biggest problem advisory firms are currently facing: rising wages.
Although due for an update, Kitces’ 2017 Financial Advisor Compensation Trends study showed how compensation, from paraplanners to lead advisors, was on a significant upward trend. In 2017, an average salary for a paraplanner was $65,000/yr. In that same year, advisors in the top quartile in terms of salary were making more than $250,000/yr. Finally, top practicing partners earned a whopping $500,000/yr. Keep in mind – those numbers are already nearly 4 years old.
Given the fact that advisory staff are by no means inexpensive, and salaries continue to skyrocket, should firms not be trying to at least delay, or even avoid, new hires? They can if they leverage technology effectively.
I’ve preached more than once how PreciseFP reduces the cost of creating a financial plan by as much as 40%. That savings is realized by getting advisory staff out of the data entry game and by streamlining the data gathering process. Why on earth would a high paid advisor or paraplanner spend 2 hours of their time entering data into their financial planning tool? Then there’s data entry into the CRM. And don’t forget the time spent getting advisory agreements signed, risk tolerances assessed, IPSs crafted and signed… These are all essential steps in onboarding and servicing your clients. But should you or your staff be spending hours a week doing them? Or should you think about letting PreciseFP do them for you?
I would argue that your time is best spent doing client-facing activities, not administrative, behind-the-scenes tasks that you get zero credit for and that ultimately eat into your profitability. Advisors like Michael Whitman understand this. Not only does he use PreciseFP to gather data that is then shared with eMoney, his financial planning tool, he uses our Pipelines automation to bring in new prospects, show them where they currently stand, and then show them why and how they can benefit from working with his firm. You can read more about it in the Journal of Financial Planning’s “The Pandemic’s Impact of Fintech” (Michael is on page 49).
Which brings me to our template development services. Should you be spending time creating PreciseFP templates when you can have our team do it for you? Did you know that for only $299, we’ll create almost any template you need? And we’ve been around the block a time or two when it comes to creating templates that are eye-catching, user friendly, and engaging so that clients love using them. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for saving a buck or two. But this is another example of how you should recognize where your time is best spent and when it makes sense to outsource.
Don Whalen, CFP®, CEO