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Jeff Vivacqua, president of growth and development at Cambridge

Cambridge Launches Retirement Preparedness Tool

The new tool is the third in a series of joint ventures with the independent broker/dealer’s large enterprises.

Cambridge, the Fairfield, Iowa-based independent broker/dealer, has launched RetireTRAC, a new retirement planning and advisor growth tool. The tool aims to help the firm’s advisors assess the retirement preparedness of clients and prospects.

The tool is the third in a series of joint ventures between Cambridge and the large enterprises, or offices of supervisory jurisdiction, that it supports. RetireTRAC was developed in conjunction with Nettuno Group, an Atlanta-based OSJ that joined the b/d in 2019.

Other joint ventures include Spire Outsourcing, an outsourced financial planning service developed with Pivotal Financial Advisors in Fort Worth, Texas; and the firm’s Retirement Plan Advisors program, a joint venture with Retirement Plan Advisors in Chicago.  

Jeff Vivacqua, president of growth and development at Cambridge, said such joint ventures allows the firm to fill gaps in its service model, and rather than going out and finding it from a third party, the tools needed may be right in front of them.

“There are financial professionals that have built tools they may use in their office or their ensemble or their large enterprise, and it was just staring us in the face with a couple of them to be like, you have something that could be used outside of your group, and are you interested in that?”

In these instances, these ventures become standalone companies, separate from Cambridge and those OSJs, with Cambridge propping it up and making the tools available to its nearly 4,000 advisors, for a fee. About 30 to 50 advisors have expressed interest in RetireTRAC, and the firm has given them access to a two-to-four-week free trial.

The tool starts with a five- to seven-minute 20-question assessment taken by the client to assess where they are in their retirement plan or retirement preparation.

“There are a lot of assessments out there to do risk tolerance, investment policy, asset management, separate from financial planning,” Vivacqua said. “That's in a different bucket. This is simply, where does the client think they are today from a retirement preparedness perspective?”

Some of the questions include, “Have you compared your expected retirement income with your expected expenses?” “Do you have an updated estimate and an appropriate Social Security income strategy?” “Do you have a will and appropriate estate planning?” “Do you have hobbies and/or interests that match your desired level of activity in retirement?” and “Do you have a plan to continue to challenge and grow your mental capacity in retirement?” The advisor has the ability to tweak some of the questions to make it more relevant to their business model.

The tool takes those answers and provides a score from 1, being least prepared for retirement, to five, most prepared. RetireTRAC also includes marketing materials and videos that advisors can use to help these clients and prospects improve their scores.

When Cambridge forms a joint venture with one of its enterprises, its help may come in different ways, Vivacqua said. In some scenarios, the OSJ will handle sales and distribution of the tool. In other situations, Cambridge’s internal sales team will handle the outreach. The firm may help with capital to start or expand the technology. Or, it may need to customize the technology for use inside the Cambridge system.

For example, with RetireTRAC, Cambridge had to spend time building it out so each advisor had a unique URL to their business. That was needed so they’re the only ones who can see the information in their systems.

Cambridge is exploring other areas to partner with its large enterprises. For one, it’s considering a lead generation tool to help do-it-yourself investors build trust with an advisor over time. It would likely be a front-end product, where an advisor could deliver certain services from a financial literacy or investment perspective that a DIYer would look for.  

“We think that is important because not everybody can be the Johnny Carson, not everybody's going to be on TV, not everybody's going to be on a radio show, and not everybody wants to do seminars,” Vivacqua said. “For those advisors that are looking for something different, we always look for something else to be complementary to different specializations or segmentation models.”

Cambridge is also looking to partner on a training program to complement its existing internal one.

“We know some advisors have built training programs inside their large enterprises too,” he said.

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