It’s not great to be in your business. Revenues are down. Your clients aren’t happy. You’re dealing with your own stress, worrying about your physical and financial health and the well-being of your loved ones.
It’s difficult to see a silver lining, but maybe there is one.
Before this crisis, I agreed with those who didn’t think an AUM fee based model would last another decade. I feel even more strongly about it now.
You have no control over the market. Why should you benefit when it goes up and be penalized when it declines?
My experience is anecdotal, but an increasing number of my readers ask me to recommend an advisor who charge either hourly or on a flat fee basis. There’s no shortage of candidates.
At some point, you’re going to have to confront this issue. Maybe this is the right time to think about it.
I suspect you are currently using a videoconferencing platform to communicate internally and with prospects and clients.
Here’s what advisors are telling me. They’re amazed at how effective videoconferencing is. Some are considering having their employees work from home permanently. Others want to continue dealing in this manner with prospects and clients.
This makes perfect sense. The savings on office space and travel, and the increase in productivity, could be significant.
Before you implement these changes, I have these suggestions:
1. Ask your employees if they would be amenable to working at home. Don’t make any assumptions;
2. Ask your clients if they would prefer to continue to meet in person or meet via videoconferencing. While you are at it, ask them how often they would like to meet with you (in any format). You may be surprised at their response.
3. Invest in videoconferencing and related equipment (video, audio and lighting). Be sure your setting is clean and professional. Almost every time I videoconference with advisors, the audio is terrible. It’s an easy fix.
4. Subsidize your employees with fast internet, a decent camera and a suitable microphone to prevent getting bogged down with technical glitches.
For over twenty years, I’ve been an investor in the companies behind these websites: https://www.proacousticsusa.com/ and https://www.pureresonanceaudio.com/. They only sell online and have a staff of audio engineers who can help you with your technical questions. Their prices are fair and I can vouch for their integrity. You can see a list of their clients here.
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This article discusses the productivity benefits of working from home.
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