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Tough Question About Book Size

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Sep 12, 2008 8:21 pm

I am in an area where there are plenty of guys/teams with $100MM-$1 billion books.  I'm obviously not at that point.  I've got a ways to go.

That being said, when the question comes up, "How much in assets do you manage?", and you're talking to big prospects for you, small fries for those huge groups, what do you say?

How do you tip-toe around that?

Sep 12, 2008 9:32 pm

It’s never come up.

  Geez Sonny, I get asked that question probably 20% of the time with prospects.  Maybe it's because of my age or slightly retarted appearance?
Sep 12, 2008 9:57 pm

I get asked how many clients I handle every once in a while, but nobody has ever asked me how big my book is. 

  I don't see why you would need to tiptoe around the issue.  It is what it is.  The recommendations you make don't change because you have an extra $20 mil AUM.  The only thing that might change, negatively I might add, is the service.    I think if I were to get asked I'd tell them something like my book is not small, in fact it is tens of millions of dollars that I help people manage.  However, my goal is for it to be $100 MM in the next few years.  And I'm going to need your help to get there.  So, let's get down to business.   BTW, the only people who ask me that question are other FAs.  
Sep 12, 2008 11:01 pm

[quote=SonnyClips]It’s never come up.

  Geez Sonny, I get asked that question probably 20% of the time with prospects.  Maybe it's because of my age or slightly retarted appearance?[/quote]   Very funny Snag!   Could you dodge it by saying "every now and then I get asked that question...  My best clients would tell you that they feel like they are the only multi-million dollar account I manage."   I have never been asked.  Maybe since they know I work for Jones they just assume it's pretty small
Sep 12, 2008 11:44 pm

Snags, if the question is coming up, I’d assume that it is because of something that you are saying.

  I don't think that I've ever had that question asked.  Are you presenting yourself as a money manager?
Sep 13, 2008 12:08 am

Here’s one way to possibly avoid having that question come up, establish high minimum investments or set appointments 5-7 days in advance or longer. For example, if I told you my minimum was $1 million or that I couldn’t see you for a week because my schedule was booked up, would you question my asset base? If you look busy, few will question the size of your business.

  However, if your minimum is $1,000 and the prospect can see you in an hour, the question will continue to come up. If the question does come up and you have few assets, simply say, "that it's confidential and your competitors would love to have that information." Or tell them that you hire money managers who typically oversee $100+ billion in assets.    Act like a busy bigshot who doesn't need their money and they will knock down your door.
Sep 15, 2008 3:16 am

The only caveat here is that some potential clients are worried about being a small fish in a huge pond of clients. If you hired an FA, and they said they managed 150mm for 1200 clients, you might wonder how much service you will get, and if anyone is truly watching your stuff. Right or wrong, clients will always wonder exactly how their portfolios get reviewed and how often. Clients don’t exactly know how to ask the question - so “how much do you manage”, or “how many clients do you have” seem like reasonable questions a client might ask to try to make that judgement.