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The Christmas break…


This is a wonderful time of the year when we get to spend quality time with family & friends, recharge those batteries or pick up that book we never had a chance to read during the year, or (everybody’s favorite) – ‘chill-out’.

Taking a break from the day-to-day routine is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what went right and not-so-right for your business in 2017. And most importantly, what you should do about that in 2018.

However this translates for you over the festive season, here are five things we hope you can find some time for:

1. Consider your vision for the next 3-5 years: both for your business and yourself personally. How do you see the new education requirement playing out for you for example? Do you see yourself continuing to actively advise clients or will it be time to take a step back?

  • Only 35% of Australian practices have a documented 3-5 year plan.

2. Objectively assess where your business stands today in terms of its:

  • Performance
  • Clients (satisfaction, segmentation etc)
  • Staff (satisfaction, performance review status etc)

And to be in no doubt – ensure you benchmark against the market, for an independent and objective view.

3. Consider your aging clientele: this has been a consistent message from us over the past year. According to our database, 54% of planners’ clients are aged 60+, and they continue to rate down the ‘range of services’ their adviser is providing. 

Are you currently addressing your aging clients’ needs such as estate planning, aged care, and annuities? How about their interests in philanthropy or ethical investing?

If you’re not, perhaps this is a good time for you to consider if you need to import these skills directly or possibly align your business with a like-minded professional who has the expertise in these areas?

4. Don’t become ‘The Isolated Adviser’: below is a link to an article written by a good friend of ours in the USA, Chris Holman. “Research shows that loneliness is trending upward across the board in our society, wreaking havoc not only on personal health and happiness, but business productivity and profit.” The basic thrust of Chris’ research is that although advisers are entrepreneurial, ambitious and independent (in the ‘non-regulatory’ sense) they may also have characteristics that can get them into trouble as they work so diligently to build their business. Chris has compiled a list of 20 “causes of isolation”. How many of these causes affect you? And what can you do about it?

Click here to read: The Isolated Advisor

This topic struck a particular chord with us, consider our latest Future Ready VII analysis:

  • 20% of Australian principals are today currently part of a “study group” that meets regularly.
  • Almost one in four (22%) expressed an interest in joining such a group in the future.

5. And if you’re looking for an easy to read ‘success’ story over the break, check out “The Score Takes Care of Itself”: it tells the inspiring story of how legendary NFL head coach, Bill Walsh, took the ‘cellar dwellers’ of the NFL (the San Francisco 49ers), to the Super Bowl within just three years, and then went on to win in 1981. The 49ers won three Super Bowls during Walsh’s ten years as head coach – success!

For your consideration.

Unless stated to the contrary, all statistics/profit drivers have been derived from the latest analysis of the Business Health Data Warehouse, Future Ready VII.

Our favourite questions for the end of the year…

Q1: What didn’t you do in 2017, but wish you had?

Q2: What won’t you be doing in 2018?


Things we really liked in 2017


It’s always a privilege to meet and work with practices and to see how they operate, what they do well, what they’ve learnt and so on. Here are a few of our favourites from 2017:

  • Foyer/reception area had a wifi code for guests to utilize while they waited for their meeting.
  • Using their CRM alert to advise if an ‘A’ client hasn’t had a contact from the firm in 90 days.
  • This practice developed their own flyer – Tips on How to Prepare for a Life Insurance Medical. Developed because one of their clients had a big night out, then went to the doctor’s the next day!
  • Annual Fiduciary Forum – this SME focused practice puts together each year a one-day conference event for their business owner clients to update them on their legal responsibilities. They also invite their centres of influence and are supported in their efforts by a couple of product manufacturers.  
  • One forward thinking principal, in helping prepare his staff for potentially acquiring equity in his practice, required them to attend a series of general courses on what being an owner actually meant, the tips and traps.   
  • From Texas – this adviser asks each new client to provide the names of three references, prior to the onboarding process.
  • In each client newsletter, this practice includes an article under the heading – ‘The Big Dreams We’ve Made Come True’. Says it all really!


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Our Best Wishes for the Holiday Season

Please accept our very best wishes for Xmas 2017. We sincerely hope that you’ll be able to spend plenty of quality time with family and friends. Enjoy! We have appreciated your support this year and look forward to doing it all again with you in 2018!


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