Jeff Rose is a certified financial planner with Alliance Wealth Management, in southern Illinois. He also served with the National Guard in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His forthcoming book, Soldier of Finance, combines his military experience and financial planning knowledge to encourage people to take charge of their money and invest in their future. It will be available September 9 in major book retailers. He also blogs about personal finance at Good Financial Cents.
What processes or paperwork take up the most of your time?
Being in the financial services industry comes with heavy regulation which equates to mounds and mounds of paperwork. Without question, the process that takes the most time and paperwork is bringing on a new client, especially one that is transferring accounts from another firm.
The new account process involves meeting with the new client and getting a good understanding of where they've been and what their goals are in the future. We then have to get information to open the accounts as well as get copies of all of their previous statements. After we complete our own paperwork to get the accounts open, we have to follow up to make sure that the accounts get opened correctly and that the transfers come in with no hitches. Once the accounts are established, we'll then need to set up online account viewing and any other special requests that the clients may have.
This process varies on each client and can take anywhere from two weeks on up to a couple of months.
How are technology and social media changing the financial planning industry and how you interact with clients?
Social media has completely changed the landscape of our industry. Previously, I used to mail stuffy newsletters to my clients to "keep in touch" with them. Those boring newsletters have been replaced with automated email messages that include a roundup of my blog posts for the week, YouTube videos where I answer common financial planning questions, market updates, and opinions that I share on Facebook or Twitter.
Not only do I have more interactions with my clients, but it's also MUCH more cost-efficient. Not to mention how much more personable it is.
What technologies have you implemented in your business, and what gains or improvements have you seen?
For me, the greatest technology that I've incorporated is my blog, GoodFinancialCents.com. The blog allows me to use my content and thought leadership to market myself to new potential clients, as well as to educate and keep in touch with existing ones. That content can then be distributed via email, RSS feed, or shared across different social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Since launching my blog in the summer of 2008, my financial planning practice revenue has almost tripled and it also has opened the door to many other business opportunities that I previously wouldn't have been privy to.
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