Does what you think matter?

You are in charge of getting your head right. If you don't, this might not be a great time to be a financial advisor-for you.

So, how does this make it a great time to be a financial advisor? Because, sadly, many financial advisors will not get their heads right. They will continue to stare at the computer screen or watch the news waiting for a sign that it's OK to get back in the pool. Therefore, if you are one of the advisors, like Barry, who decides to do the work required to be successful you will end up with many, many new ideal clients. In fact, Barry is hoping that things don't turn around too soon. In the first quarter of 2009 he added 25 ideal clients with a total of $44 million of assets. The business hasn't really changed at all. The advisors who are asking for referrals, making follow-up calls, and seeing the people are getting new clients. Those who are not, are not.

And don't think Barry is living a workaholic lifestyle either. He has two children under the age of 13, plays tennis several times a week with his son, doesn't miss one of his daughter's dance recitals, works out regularly, and is more proud of his family than his business.

In the March 2009 issue of Women's Health, Rachel Bertsche and Jennifer Merritt wrote about the "Hottest Jobs Right Now" and, you guessed it, one of the hot jobs is financial advisor. They write, "Due in part to the struggling economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers personal financial planning to be one of the ten fastest-growing careers."

On October 3, 2008, the Wall Street Journal ran an article citing research from Prince & Associates that 81% of investors with over $1 million are so dissatisfied with their advisor that they plan to take money away from that advisor or change advisors completely. Of those surveyed, 86% are actively telling their friends to avoid their advisor. I suspect this may be true for people with less than $1 million to invest as well.

Of course, we know that not all of these people will change advisors, but it's interesting how seriously they are considering doing so and how receptive that makes them to being approached by another advisor, especially by referral.

At our academy last weekend one of our advisors, Tom, said, "A year ago I would call referrals and many of them told me how happy they were with their financial advisor and that their plan was right on track. I'm not hearing that when I call them today. Now they want to talk to me." Tom has 92 of his target 100 ideal clients.

It really is a great time to be a financial advisor, and it's an even better time to be a full-service financial advisor. If you've put all your worth in an investment-based value proposition, then when investment performance is down your worth in the eyes of your clients falls. Worse, your self worth declines. And you'll probably have to do more than just a little tax and estate planning to bridge the gap.

As an advisor, you need to expand your value proposition so that clients judge your value (and how much they are willing to pay for your services) by more than investment management and performance. On April 21, Financial Advisor magazine is hosting a Webinar  where we'll discuss how you can do just that.