There exists a financial advisor training program that stresses the benefits of working only with the super affluent.  How it defines “affluent,” I think is up for interpretation, but at the very least the creator stresses the need to raise your average revenue per client, rather than simply add new clients.  Replace the guy who pays you $2,000 a year with one who pays you $7,500.  That’s an easier way to triple your revenue than bringing on three times your current client base.

To achieve this goal, the company offers a number of seminar systems to attract the wealthy.  Very expensive programs I might add, but another discussion for another time

The math behind the philosophy is sound.  More revenue from fewer sources makes sense.  But focussing on a considerably smaller market in terms of headcount is not.

From what I can gather, most of the advisors attracted to this program have client bases made up primarily of middle to upper middle-class folks.  Dual income couples with combined incomes under $200,000.  The goal is now to replace those people with those making closer to $1 million a year.  Trade out the two school teachers for the cardiologist.

Of course, rich people know other rich people, so eventually, you’re known as the advisor to the super wealthy.  Right?

I like it.  I also like the idea of winning the lottery.  Unfortunately, it won’t work for most who try it.  Only a handful will win,  but they’ll gladly offer testimonials to the idea, convincing others to join in.  Most will spend A LOT of money trying to unsuccessfully attract the same group of people a lot of other advisors target.

Let’s get back to the math.

It’s simply a numbers game.  There exists far more middle of the road clients than ultra wealthy.  Although, how we define “wealthy” is important.

My highest earning client is a high powered executive who has less than $100,000 in her portfolio.  She makes in excess of $1 million a year and spends just about every penny of it.  She lives in an affluent area, drives a Jaguar, and goes to Italy regularly for a little “me time.”  Despite numerous lectures from me about the difference between affluence and wealth, she continues to live for the moment.  It won’t end well.

One of my largest clients in terms of portfolio size lived for over 40 years in a mobile home park.  He never made more than $60,000.  He drives a ten-year-old car and follows every word of advice I give him.

I hate generalizations, but in this case, the math will bear me out.  There exist A LOT more people like my mobile home client than seven digit cardiologists.  Perhaps not to that extreme, but those who define what Tom Stanley called The Millionaire Next Door.  They are down to earth, self-made people who understand the need to save.  Many still live in the first house they ever bought and define having made it by the fact they have no mortgage.  More importantly, these people have a fair amount of anxiety about their financial future.  Despite their success at saving, they still worry they might run out of money before they die.  So they seek someone who can help them achieve peace of mind in matters of personal finance.  Many have never worked with an advisor before.  This is my client base, with whom I average almost $1 million of AUM per because I manage all of their money.

Oh sure, I do have my share of cardiologists for clients, but even those are not typical.  They’re savers and very nice people.

Maximizing revenue per client is essential, but it’s achieved more easily by NOT by shifting your target market.  Rather, it’s much more easily achieved by maximizing your revenue per existing client.  I’d much rather have 100% of the business my “average” client has than 25% of the “ultra rich.”  Not only does this usually translate into more AUM, it also comes from a client who is far more enjoyable.  Again, I generalize, but I personally find I have more in common with the person who came from nothing than the one with an entourage.  Plus in my market (and probably yours), the ultra rich are not as easily accessible.  The millionaire next door is literally…next door.

Best of all, my “average” client does not require a super expensive marketing program to find and attract.

Yes, there are some advisors who have very successfully cracked the code on wealthy clients.  In many cases, they are highly skilled and highly connected and live in cities where the affluent likely to hang out.  They are rare, and the number of seats at their table is very small.  Go for one if you must, but if building a profit based business is your goal, I suggest you consider the millionaire next door.  He’s more easily found and a lot more fun to be around.  But, but sure to have a system that attracts 100% of his businesses.  If you’re going to settle for just a piece, then maybe you should join your local polo club and hope some crumbs fall your way.

To discuss a system that gets you 100% of their business every time, give me a call:  513-563-7526.  Or visit AdvisorArchitect.com.