Own Your Clients. With firms like Fidelity and Charles Schwab ramping up to pursue the same clients advisors covet, the time is now to decide whether status quo brokerage relationships are a safe bet going forward.

Envision Your Future. Wright merged operations with a Denver-based bank's trust department to create a new entity and acquire trust and custodial services. Are you set up to serve baby boomers' growing needs and the $5 trillion in wealth they are expected to have?

Get Real With Fees. Within the next decade, Wright says, clients will expect you to offer an all-inclusive fee of 1%. Is your firm prepared for that watershed mark?

Put Clients First. Some consultants suggest exploiting a niche. Thirty percent of AMG's clients are high-level business executives. Both Wright and his partner, Mike Bergmann, continue working with clients so they know their needs and challenges firsthand and can refine their firm's business strategy accordingly.

Consider Alternatives. AMG offers energy, real estate, venture capital and other fund-of-fund and direct-equity investments to clients at relatively low minimum investments. Executives say the alternatives have offered vital returns and risk management since 1986. Wright advises: If you're shopping for similar investments, find a "best of breed" manager with longevity.

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