The Top Recreational Activities of Today’s Affluent

The Top Recreational Activities of Today’s Affluent

Strengthening relationships and meeting affluent prospects through these recreational activities requires homework and creativity.

“It’s easy for advisors who play golf,” opined Jeremy with a defensive whine in his tone as he then asked, “What other social activities can the non-golfers engage in with their clients?”

I’ve heard that statement, often posed as a question, hundreds of times. It’s as though financial advisors who don’t golf are at a distinct disadvantage to those who enjoy hitting that little white ball into a hole 18 times over the course of a few hours. As I explained to Jeremy, it’s NOT all about golf, as it ranked 14th out of the 15 recreational activities we researched. 

Maybe that’s why the majority of financial advisors who belong to country clubs get very little, if any, business from their time on the golf course. Obviously, some advisors get a lot of business from golf; but these rainmakers are no different than advisors who get business from their charity work—the commonality is developing a non-business relationship through a shared interest. 

Our 2016 Affluent Research identified the top recreational activities today’s affluent clients enjoy. As you peruse the following, think in terms of your financial advisor marketing strategy as it relates to your affluent clients and referral alliance partners.


“In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time—none, zero.” —Charlie Munger

I know. Reading!?! How can you leverage this to socialize with clients? Book clubs. There are thousands of affluent readers who are involved in book clubs where everyone reads the same book each month, takes turns in selecting the book, meets at a member’s home or a restaurant and discusses the book.

There is a tremendous amount of socializing during these monthly meetings. I know a rainmaker who, in his words, is the pauper of a “Billionaires Book Club.” 

Surprise & Delight Idea:  Send one of your top clients a book that will be read and enjoyed.   

Socializing With Friends

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”  —Aristotle

This is an easy financial advisor marketing tactic for those who’ve taken the initiative to turn their top clients into friends. Relationships are always strengthened when socializing and today’s affluent like to get social. So voila! The options are limitless: intimate events ranging from dinner parties to cooking classes (with clients bringing friends), getting together for drinks, even vacationing together.

Surprise & Delight Idea: Personally invite three affluent clients to an Intimate (FUN) Event. Find out their favorite food or wine to have on hand.


“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” —Anonymous

This recreational activity is not as easy to pull off as socializing, and quite frankly, isn’t necessary to developing a healthy social relationship. That said, wealthy clients love to travel, and few things bond people together like sharing some form of luxury travel. This can take the form of a cruise, cycling through Provence, touring Sonoma—once again, the list is endless.

A word of caution: You better be able to handle the traveling idiosyncrasies of your clients (and be an easy traveling companion yourself). Relationships have ruptured because of disagreements while traveling.

Surprise & Delight Idea: A travel guide for an upcoming trip.


“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” —Bob Marley

Although I’m a supporter of the vintage rock bands who are back on tour and just recently went to a Dave Mason concert (some of you younger advisors might have to google him) full of boomers spending money, music has a broad spectrum. 

My sister and brother-in-law are concert violinists and orchestra supporters; many in these communities are a who’s-who of affluent citizens. Many elite advisors are active supporters of the arts. They serve on boards, support the arts financially, are actively involved in fundraisers, attend performances and socialize with clients and prospects before, during, after and all around these events.

This can take the form of an outdoor community concert series, a local venue with live music, and theater events.

Surprise & Delight Idea: A recording of a favorite artist.

Wine and Beer

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”  —Benjamin Franklin

Actually this activity is often part of each of the previous top recreational activities. That said, wine tastings have always been a big hit with wine lovers, but now craft beer-tasting is the rage with beer aficionados. Sorry, we’re not talking about Bud Light—it’s the craft beer scene that’s got the affluent’s attention.

A word of caution: Keep it between the lines (don’t have one too many), and look out for your guests. You don’t want to be responsible for someone getting a DUI. 

Surprise & Delight Idea: A craft beer six-pack or a bottle of wine will always be appreciated. 

Strengthening relationships and meeting affluent prospects through these recreational activities requires homework and creativity. You must:

  • Have an intimate knowledge of your affluent clients and referral alliance partners.
  • Be proactively sourcing names from your affluent client’s spheres of influence.
  • Determine which client for which recreational activity.
  • Get creative in how you’re going to incorporate an activity as part of your financial advisor marketing campaign.
  • Approach each recreational activity with strategic intent—a game plan that includes follow-up.
  • Always be thinking of an inexpensive surprise-and-delight opportunity.

So where do you stand in getting social with your affluent clients and referral alliance partners? Are you using any of these top five affluent recreational activities? If not, give one or two a try.

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