chalk talk | PLANADVISER June/July 2013

Adviser Planning Alert

Forging your future

By Steff C. Chalk | June/July 2013
Page 1 of 2
Dadu Shin

No one enjoys “being wrong.” Does the risk of that keep you out of the planning process? Is it a comfortable way to disassociate yourself from the results of the future? Does refusing to plan comfortably insulate you from the discrepancy between predicted and actual year-end comparisons?

Most using the moniker of retirement plan adviser are in this business with an eye toward making a difference. The follow-up to that is, “OK. How?” How do you plan to make a difference?

Your business represents a number of interests. Stakeholders consist of your clients and family and regulators. You also have your own individual concerns. The question remains: Do you take an active role in shaping your own destiny by planning your future, or are you merely a casual observer? In observer mode, you watch your business roll into the future, take whatever comes—and then react.

Shape Your Future

There are three primary and easily discernible paths to making a difference for the benefit of your stakeholders: 1) Deliver premium service; 2) Exploit efficiencies that others cannot conceive; or 3) Innovate. Said differently, you can do it best, you can do it more proficiently, or you can do it first. Each can serve as your road map in nudging your business toward your destination.

Your options are countless and limited only by your imagination. The retirement industry seems to be in endless pursuit of the next big idea to free the masses from retirement peasantry. Will behavioral finance be the saving grace for our industry? Will a new brand of education help you differentiate your firm? Are you capable of being substantially more efficient than your competition? Can your team do more with less, thereby boosting your margins from good to obscene?