Prospecting Teachers

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Oct 26, 2006 11:35 am

I know this will probably not be popular, but does anyone have any ideas or advice on prospecting teachers for 403(B) business?  My thoughts are that it is an underserved market, it is a large and captive audience, there are some assets there, and that it is a way to get to their spouses also.

Oct 26, 2006 11:42 am

they have no money--look elsewhere


look you need people with investable assets who won't mind paying you.  people like teachers can manage their own amounts.


look for money.

Oct 26, 2006 12:16 pm

DEFINITELY not an underserved market.  About 8 years ago I was working with an agency whose focus was public school employees.  There are so many people pitching 403b's to teachers many schools are limiting access, or having "preferred providers" who are sponsored by districts or local unions.


If you DO elect to get into the teacher market use the 403b as a foot in the door and go after the spouses.

Oct 26, 2006 1:15 pm
vbrainy:

they have no money--look elsewhere


look you need people with investable assets who won't mind paying you.  people like teachers can manage their own amounts.


look for money.



I've met several advisors who did very well pitching teachers.

They target schools in suburban communities, where the teachers are usually the secondary wage earner for the family. 

It's not a source of HNW leads, but it can help if your focus is upper middle class.

Oct 26, 2006 1:36 pm

I agree a bit with Jeff C - view the teacher market as a loss leader.  Where there are teachers - there are kids.  Working with school districts on educating people on the value of time in the market - 529 plans - costs of college - etc, will attract a net of prospects who you can then pick out the HNW individuals.  It's a long, slow, process - but heck - what else are we going to do?

Oct 26, 2006 5:12 pm
apprentice:

I agree a bit with Jeff C - view the teacher market as a loss leader.  Where there are teachers - there are kids.  Working with school districts on educating people on the value of time in the market - 529 plans - costs of college - etc, will attract a net of prospects who you can then pick out the HNW individuals.  It's a long, slow, process - but heck - what else are we going to do?


Poor people are attracted to 529's and other college savings programs. HNW's pay out of their checking accounts, like my grandfather did for my dad, my dad did for me, and I will do for my son.

Oct 26, 2006 5:43 pm

The only thing worse than teachers are engineers!  Yes, plenty of them have real money but they will put you through HELL before and after the sale.  My rule of thumb - give them the benefit of the doubt - make a great presentation, if they can't make a decision, I will only call them back once.  Both groups are immediately suspicious of anyone who tries to earn their business.



How's that for generalizations?  Tell me I'm small minded, tell me I don't know how to sell, tell me I must not be doing the right thing - fine.  PM me and I'll give you lists of teachers and Engineers to prospect.  You'll end up blowing your brains out.

Oct 26, 2006 7:16 pm

FX I have dealt with both extensively. Teachers are the dumbest people with a college degree, kind of ironic I think. Engineers are tough but once you figure them out they are pretty intelligent.



I ask my engineer clients to bring their spreadsheets to our meetings, kind of funny but it gets them excited.

Oct 26, 2006 8:14 pm

seriously, stay away from teachers unless you desire low net worth time wasting clients then go get'em.

Oct 26, 2006 9:20 pm

I've been shut out of the local school systems (preferred providers) and I could not care less.  These accounts are generally tiny when enrolled and build slowly.  However, I've rolled several teacher pensions over into retirement VA's (teachers love safety) and it's profitable business...typically $150K-250K per transaction.  Oddly enough by the time these people retire, the guy who busted his butt selling the 403(B) is long gone...usually starved out of the business...

Oct 26, 2006 9:24 pm

Additionally, if there's a group of people who are incapable of making a decision, it's teachers.

Oct 27, 2006 11:39 am

I have done well prospecting university professors and administrators. I have found those who have been there for 15 plus years and have never gotten proper service and advice. Usually, the majority of assets are with TIAA-Cref, and most have several other TSA or MF 403(B)7's. After doing comprehensive retirement planning and consolidation of retirement assets, they all end up having assets well north of 300K. I have one client with 870K, and several others with assets in the 500K range. Also, the referral stream has been great. Get a dept head as a client and they will usher you in for their monthly dept meetings and from there you identify and pick off the good prospects.


Just my experience though.

Oct 27, 2006 11:46 am

Blarmy - what are you talking about?  Teachers and professors get great advice.  The wonderful, useful, valuable, teacher's union tells (not recommends, or advises - but tells) the teachers to invest in the highly risky, growth oriented, fixed portfolio that returns 4% - 6% annually.  Those portfolios also avoid those evil, greedy, big, corporations that are only interested in raising the homeless population to serve their best interests of million dollar retirement funds.

Oct 27, 2006 1:49 pm

Exactly...


TIAA Cref is god's gift to educators... It is the ONLY financial firm that is perfect...


I love meeting with clients of theirs. We have a piece that we show re: TIAA Cref, and how bad their funds are. For example, on 7 of their funds there is at least 40% overlap, and some as high as 80%! That, coupled with the great service/advice- its a slam dunk when you get a foot in the door...

Oct 27, 2006 2:49 pm
NOFX:

The only thing worse than teachers are engineers!  Yes, plenty of them have real money but they will put you through HELL before and after the sale.  My rule of thumb - give them the benefit of the doubt - make a great presentation, if they can't make a decision, I will only call them back once.  Both groups are immediately suspicious of anyone who tries to earn their business.



How's that for generalizations?  Tell me I'm small minded, tell me I don't know how to sell, tell me I must not be doing the right thing - fine.  PM me and I'll give you lists of teachers and Engineers to prospect.  You'll end up blowing your brains out.



At least engineers have money.  It is surprising how much crap I will put up with when they have money.


Paying a Financial Advisor is just not for everyone.

Oct 27, 2006 4:21 pm

Folks listen.........teachers don't have money! let EDJ have them, Go after real money.

Oct 28, 2006 2:15 pm

Hey do you work out of Clairemont? Because I just got ACAT docs for about 400K from you guys.


An American funds 403B- $357K in Investment Company and about $43K in Bond Fund. Client is 64, about 2 years away from hitting the magic 30-year mark for her CALPERS pension and retirement, and her EDJ guy said she was 'conservative'.


WHAT A JOKE.....

Oct 28, 2006 2:16 pm

Sorry- forgot to mention that whopping 16K in the money market fund- that makes all the difference in the world right there......

Oct 28, 2006 3:21 pm

I didn't know you could ACAT 403b's...How about a change of rep

Oct 30, 2006 10:51 am

90-24 403(B) transfer. Moving the 403B from American to our RSA account, then going to reallocate when the funds arrive. Of course, there are no fees because the funds are A-shares. Which,