Finding clients before designations

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Sep 9, 2006 10:58 am

As a newcomer to the FA area, but not the financial industry, I was wondering...


I am already Series 7 licensed, so my training program will also involve me acquiring the 66 and Insurance licenses.  Within the two-year program, I will also be sitting for the CFP designation, and my own personal goal is to eventually gain my CFA charter. 


The question is, how does one obtain new clients' confidence (ESPECIALLY strangers), before obtaining at least the CFP?  More importantly, why would a client chose someone at my firm who is not designated v. one that is?

Sep 9, 2006 11:00 am

If you think you're gonna gain people's confidence with a bunch of letters after your name, you are dead in the water.

Sep 9, 2006 11:11 am

For those who have not been following along--Knucklehead is proud of the fact that he was not smart enough to pass Series 7, that he screws everybody he can with high juice annuities, and that he will never be able to get a CFP because he doesn't have the requisite background.


That he denigrates anything and everything that bears the earmarks of a successful financial professional is not unexpected.


Pay attention to nothing--as in NOTHING--he has to say.

Sep 9, 2006 11:22 am

He's already forgotten much more than you'll ever know.

Sep 9, 2006 11:57 am

Wildcat, it has been my personal experience that the subject of designations almost never comes up.  The best way to instantly have credibility is to get referrals from well respected people.

Sep 9, 2006 12:28 pm

I generally concur w/NASD's assessment above about

knucklehead/dirk...except that his comment above does ring

true.

Sep 9, 2006 1:45 pm
anonymous:

Wildcat, it has been my personal experience that the subject of designations almost never comes up.  The best way to instantly have credibility is to get referrals from well respected people.


I disagree, and I think their imporance is going to become even more critical in the coming years.


We're reading about the "group" Bill Singer is trying to start to open the business up to the bandits and thieves.


A very similar grassroots effort could be started to develop the image that the only people who can be trusted are those with CFP designations.  I am amazed it hasn't happened already.


Saying that not having a CFP is not a disadvantage is akin to trying to prove a negative--when you don't get a deal you are rarely told that the reason was because you didn't have something.


But when you do close a deal it may very well be because your business card said CFP after your name.  People do notice your card, they notice things like titles and professional qualifications.  Only those without such things on their cards will swear that they don't matter.


What I've never thought was very good is "Assistant Vice President," which seems more like an insult than a reward.

Sep 9, 2006 6:48 pm

I agree...to some extent the personal finance press pukes are already pushing the CFP as minimum standard gospel...they may not be the best people to give advice, but people read it.  All things being equal, it's obviously better to have a respected designation.

Sep 9, 2006 7:01 pm

What I've never thought was very good is "Assistant Vice President of Paperclips," which seems more like an insult than a reward.


Forgive me for the editorial license...I just couldn't help myself...


Agree with your premise...assistant vice seems a redundant insult...

Sep 9, 2006 9:39 pm

I have a CFP tm  and am a  CFA and I have found both of the
designations useful.  The CFP tm helps with the general HNW retail
business, especially when working with estate and tax planning
issus.  The CFA has been valuable in that we target large assets
pools and we run private portfolio's.  Discouraging the pursuit of
such designations is just not right.    

Sep 9, 2006 10:08 pm
rightway:

Discouraging the pursuit of such designations is just not right.


Ida know, Philo thinks that guy used to be a genius.

Sep 10, 2006 12:41 am
Indyone:

What I've never thought was very good is "Assistant Vice President of Paperclips," which seems more like an insult than a reward.


Forgive me for the editorial license...I just couldn't help myself...


Agree with your premise...assistant vice seems a redundant insult...





You rock!

Sep 10, 2006 7:39 am
joedabrkr:
Indyone:

What I've never thought was very good is "Assistant Vice President of Paperclips," which seems more like an insult than a reward.


Forgive me for the editorial license...I just couldn't help myself...


Agree with your premise...assistant vice seems a redundant insult...






You rock!


You two yo-yos would kill to have my deal.


I'm sixty-one and drawing a rare defined benefits pension of close to $300,000 per year--in addition to my (so far) excellent run with Google strips, straps and straddles and a semi impressive 401(k) that I let my wife fool around with.


She keeps telling me about the Fortune Brands she bought at 36.  When she does I ask her how the Boston Chicken is working out.


What you boys have to remember is that I'm the expensive overhead that you whine about--but see if you can arrange your life in such a way that when you're my age you'll be able to have a pension that pays you more than you're making now.  You should be able to do that, right--after all you're world class financial advisors, right?


A bit of news based on a dinner conversation last evening.  The wife is coming around to the idea that we leave the Big Apple--Hilton Head or Amelia Island are attractive, but we like to travel so much we will probably just buy a condo somewhere so we can simply close it up and hit the road most of the year.


Atlanta more than likely--got lots of friends there and from what I hear they have an airport.


She, more than me, hasn't wanted to leave because of things she does--minor league patron of the arts type stuff mostly--but we both especially love our bus ride up to 96th and B'way and our stroll back to midtown several nights a week--even in the dead of winter.  Well, in winter we ususally get off the bus in the 80s 'cause that wind can rip you a new one on certain days.


Sometimes we ride the subway to Christopher Street, have dinner in the Village, and stroll back up Sixth Avenue to Midtown.


We both worry that if we get away from the walking we won't get enough exercise--but I keep reminding her that those walks almost always involve stopping off somewhere for an ice cream, or a chunk of something that tastes good but is the epitome of "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."


Have you ever walked though Central Park in a gentle rain?  Nothing beats it.  New York is a fantastic place when you don't have to ask yourself if you can afford to do what you'd like to do--and I'm not talking about putting on a tux every weekend and going to some big deal.


But when there's thirty live theaters going within a ten minute walk of your house--well, your apartment--and there's Central Park, and Lincoln Center, and Rockefeller Center, and the Yankees, and tennis, and pizza on every corner what is there not to love?


But we've been here long enough--like the swallows there comes a time to go home.


NYC real estate is still hot as fire--we should be able to sell our place up here and buy a place down South for what we made in profit alone in the city so nice they named it twice.


Yep, being in charge of ordering paper clips was a horrible gig.  You should be so lucky.

Sep 10, 2006 9:08 am
NASD Newbie:
joedabrkr:
Indyone:

What I've never thought was very good is "Assistant Vice President of Paperclips," which seems more like an insult than a reward.


Forgive me for the editorial license...I just couldn't help myself...


Agree with your premise...assistant vice seems a redundant insult...






You rock!


You two yo-yos would kill to have my deal.


I'm sixty-one and drawing a rare defined benefits pension of close to $300,000 per year--in addition to my (so far) excellent run with Google strips, straps and straddles and a semi impressive 401(k) that I let my wife fool around with.


She keeps telling me about the Fortune Brands she bought at 36.  When she does I ask her how the Boston Chicken is working out.


What you boys have to remember is that I'm the expensive overhead that you whine about--but see if you can arrange your life in such a way that when you're my age you'll be able to have a pension that pays you more than you're making now.  You should be able to do that, right--after all you're world class financial advisors, right?


A bit of news based on a dinner conversation last evening.  The wife is coming around to the idea that we leave the Big Apple--Hilton Head or Amelia Island are attractive, but we like to travel so much we will probably just buy a condo somewhere so we can simply close it up and hit the road most of the year.


Atlanta more than likely--got lots of friends there and from what I hear they have an airport.


She, more than me, hasn't wanted to leave because of things she does--minor league patron of the arts type stuff mostly--but we both especially love our bus ride up to 96th and B'way and our stroll back to midtown several nights a week--even in the dead of winter.  Well, in winter we ususally get off the bus in the 80s 'cause that wind can rip you a new one on certain days.


Sometimes we ride the subway to Christopher Street, have dinner in the Village, and stroll back up Sixth Avenue to Midtown.


We both worry that if we get away from the walking we won't get enough exercise--but I keep reminding her that those walks almost always involve stopping off somewhere for an ice cream, or a chunk of something that tastes good but is the epitome of "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."


Have you ever walked though Central Park in a gentle rain?  Nothing beats it.  New York is a fantastic place when you don't have to ask yourself if you can afford to do what you'd like to do--and I'm not talking about putting on a tux every weekend and going to some big deal.


But when there's thirty live theaters going within a ten minute walk of your house--well, your apartment--and there's Central Park, and Lincoln Center, and Rockefeller Center, and the Yankees, and tennis, and pizza on every corner what is there not to love?


But we've been here long enough--like the swallows there comes a time to go home.


NYC real estate is still hot as fire--we should be able to sell our place up here and buy a place down South for what we made in profit alone in the city so nice they named it twice.


Yep, being in charge of ordering paper clips was a horrible gig.  You should be so lucky.



Thanks for sharing that with us. I feel a lot closer to you.

Sep 10, 2006 1:49 pm
knucklehead:

Thanks for sharing that with us. I feel a lot closer to you.


You're welcome.  If I  had known how much you care I would have invited you to mass today--I did the collection plate drill.  We could  have used a generous soul such as yourself.


http://www.actorschapel.org/

Sep 10, 2006 2:15 pm
NASD Newbie:
knucklehead:

Thanks for sharing that with us. I feel a lot closer to you.


You're welcome.  If I  had known how much you care I would have invited you to mass today--I did the collection plate drill.  We could  have used a generous soul such as yourself.


http://www.actorschapel.org/



My dad is Jewish and was asked to do the collection basket-on-a-pole at St. Patrick's in NY. He was glad to help, but noone told him that making a dontation to the basket is voluntary, so he just kept standing there until people gave in and threw something in the basket.

Sep 10, 2006 2:44 pm
knucklehead:

My dad is Jewish and was asked to do the collection basket-on-a-pole at St. Patrick's in NY. He was glad to help, but noone told him that making a dontation to the basket is voluntary, so he just kept standing there until people gave in and threw something in the basket.


Damn Knuckle, it sounds like your father is even dumber than you.  Who could not know that making a church offering is voluntary?


Do you know your mother, or were you found on the steps of a Temple?

Sep 10, 2006 5:10 pm

Nasty, it all sounds nice, but really, I'm fine.  I've just opened my solo(K) and will dump about half the max in this year, and start maxing it out next year, assuming a very modest amount of growth (I know, I know, the bottom is falling out and next year I'll be destitute).  Will I have $300K/year in retirement?  Don't know.  I'm comfortable that I'll have more than enough.


The AVP of paperclips was something I just couldn't resist and besides, it wasn't really directed at you.  I think even Joe acknowledges that you were probably at a rank of VP.

Sep 10, 2006 8:51 pm

All,


Appreciate the comments.  One more question for those in the camp that think a designation is a benefit in gaining clients...


Assuming it takes me from now to the normal period to gain my CFP (and the CFA is three years off, by nature), what's a proactive method, in your opinion(s), to building a book of business pre-designation?

Sep 10, 2006 9:41 pm
Wildcat_02:

All,


Appreciate the comments.  One more question for those in the camp that think a designation is a benefit in gaining clients...


Assuming it takes me from now to the normal period to gain my CFP (and the CFA is three years off, by nature), what's a proactive method, in your opinion(s), to building a book of business pre-designation?



If you need to be a cfp to build a book, how can you build a book without being a cfp? Now that I think about it...how did I build a book without being a cfp? Oh, yeah. I remember...I worked hard, figured out what people and wanted and sold it to them. Gosh, I'm smart.