Michael Kitces on How to Differentiate and Grow in a Competitive Environment
One of wealth management’s leading voices shares his thoughts on the fundamental shifts in the industry, the leveling of the playing field and what advisors need to do to compete and thrive.
Few names in the financial services space are as widely known as Michael Kitces. While he’s a partner and co-founder of several wealth management service entities, most know him as the host of one of the industry’s most listened to podcast shows, Financial Advisor Success, and as the publisher of the blog Nerd’s Eye View on Kitces.com, as well as from his commentary in the media and as a keynote speaker.
It’s hard to dispute that Michael is indeed one of the most prolific information machines in the industry, fueled by a genuine passion for sharing knowledge and a lot of persistence.
In this episode, Michael switches to the other side of the table to speak with Mindy about the evolution of the wealth management industry, and how advisors can best position themselves and their businesses to thrive now and in the future.
In the first part of the episode, Michael discusses key aspects of marketing and differentiation, including:
- What it takes to effectively market a firm—and why identifying its unique value proposition is key to attracting and retaining clients.
- Why an advisor needs to determine who his ideal client is—and know-how that drives a strategic plan and target budget for marketing.
- The value of social media and content marketing—and how focus and dedication to providing value are part of his formula for success.
In the second half of the show, Michael and Mindy talk about the evolution of the industry and the impact on advisors and their businesses, including:
- The growth of the independent ecosystem—and how there are options for advisors at all levels, whether they want to build something from scratch or take advantage of varying types of supported infrastructure.
- How the barriers to crossover into the independent world have disappeared—and advisors now have many more options when it comes to service providers, platforms, and middle-office players, making it much easier to go independent than it ever was in the past.
- How the expansion of fee-based models has allowed even wirehouse advisors to run their own “mini-independent shops” right within their firms—and, consequently, better preparing them to make the leap to independence.
The advances and availability of technology in the independent space has led to a leveling of the playing field, and Michael acknowledges how advisors “really don’t have to be captive to a large firm to get good technology. That was absolutely true 20 years ago; it just isn’t today.”
Michael talks extensively about the future of wealth management, and how he sees a continuing fundamental shift for advisors moving from “advice for the sake of supporting product sales to advice for the sake of advice,” ultimately leading to “a whole reinvention or reconfiguration of who’s out there in the advice world and what they do.”
It’s an episode that covers a great deal of ground—solid information for any advisor who is looking to gather insight on the changes in the landscape and use that knowledge to take his business to the next level.
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Michael Kitces is a Partner and the Director of Wealth Management for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm located in Columbia, Maryland that oversees approximately $2.0 billion of client assets.
In addition, he is a co-founder of the XY Planning Network, AdvicePay, and New Planner Recruiting, the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, the host of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, and the publisher of the popular financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website Kitces.com, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning. In 2010, Michael was recognized with one of the FPA’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication and work in advancing the profession.
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