Meyer has discovered the boost one can get from technology but, even more important, some of the newer technologies on the advisor market today. In addition to mainstays like PortfolioCenter (portfolio accounting) and ProTracker (CRM), Meyer uses Tamarac ("a game-changer for us") and Assemblage. Representing two newer classifications of software, Tamarac facilitates portfolio rebalancing and Assemblage automates the process of compiling and sending quarterly reports to clients. Both are newer technologies offering compelling efficiency results to those advisors who have tried them.

If you wonder how much a lifestyle firm can grow, Meyer proves the sky is almost the limit when the right technology is employed. His assets under management are currently $287 million residing with 220 clients, and he says he's still on a modest growth path. "Two hundred fifty to 300 clients would be challenging. From a service standpoint I could handle it but not without sacrificing the relationships," he admits.

When away from the office, Meyer stays in touch with clients via his BlackBerry, letting his assistant check his voice mail. "On vacation, I always take a laptop and BlackBerry so I'm always available. But I can't remember having had a client emergency while away, although I know it could happen."

At his level of practice, Meyer's net annual compensation exceeds $500,000.

What DuVarney, Keil and Meyer all have in common is, first of all, the conviction that one's business model should follow one's desired lifestyle, not the other way around. They also have the know-how to pull it off. It's not magic, though it may seem to be to those advisors toiling away in larger firms who aren't in control of their own lives.

Want to transform your practice along these lines? Use technology wisely and keep your priorities straight and you too can have a comfortable and fulfilling "lifestyle practice."


An independent advisor since 1981 and journalistic voice since 1993, David J. Drucker, MBA, CFP, is a frequent speaker at industry events.  To learn more about his availability for your next event, contact him through

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