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September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. Read Part 1 of our 2-part series.

Life Insurance Awareness Month: Part 1. It’s an exciting time to be in life insurance. (Yes, you read that right.) Although the old adage that life insurance is “sold not purchased” may still ring true, life insurance product innovations over the last 15 years have piqued the interest of consumers. Especially since insurance distribution channels 1 have moved beyond captive agents and now include stockbrokers and investment advisors in addition to independent insurance agents. The numbers prove the point. As of Q2 2017, sales were record-setting, particularly for indexed life. ‘Indexed life second quarter sales were $485.0 million; a figure
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Back-to-School Season Is the Perfect Time to Reach Out to Your Clients

Your clients look to you as their expert when it comes to all things financial, and college planning is no exception. Here are some approaches you can take this fall along with some facts to have at your fingertips when you’re meeting with clients.   Relay facts about the cost of college. See the research we did last year (Planning for College Has Never Been More Important) which showed that 42 million Americans carry $1.3 trillion in college debt. The average tuition and fees in 2015-16 were $9,410 per year at four-year, in-state public institutions, while room and board were
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Millennials Are Saving, But For Financial Freedom, Not “Retirement.”

Millennials–people between the age of 18 and 34–are the largest demographic group in America as of 2015. And according to a recent study by Bank of America’s Merrill Edge, they are also saving more money than any other group, with 36% of them stashing away 20% of their salary. But it’s not for “retirement” per se. They are saving money so they can “live their desired lifestyle.”   If you haven’t been actively pursuing this group, you might want to consider it. Millennials need your help beyond robo-advice. Research by UBS has suggested that millennials have become the most financially conservative generation since
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Categories: Blog Posts.

6 Client Retention Actions You Can Implement in Your Practice

The battle for client retention is won—or lost—within the first two years of acquisition, according to a recent article in ThinkAdvisor. The article’s author says that out of their typical yearly client attrition rate of 7%-10%, they discovered that 45% of these clients were leaving within the first two years of coming on board. Implementing some simple customer service and support models and processes reduced their account closures. Keeping even just a fraction of that business can mean a lot to a financial advisor’s bottom line. The author found that “a simple 2% increase in customer retention can create as
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Categories: Blog Posts.

If You Want Total Client Engagement, We’re Bringing It.

Total Client Engagement for Shurwest Financial Advisors Most independent financial advisors and RIAs understand the value of engaging with their clients, but aren’t sure they have the time or resources to do it well. We’re changing that. We’ve partnered with one of the nation’s leading practice management experts, Duncan MacPherson, to give you the Total Client Engagement advantage over your competition. Total Client Engagement, powered by Pareto Systems, is an actionable, proven process that enables you to quickly and predictably: Competitor-proof clients Gain their full empowerment Create referral-generating advocates This turnkey, plug-and-play process: Fits in with your new client onboarding
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Guaranteed Income Riders Can Help to Offset Some Long-Term Care Costs

As you probably know, one of the top fears of people entering retirement is that they’ll run out of money.1 One way to help cover this “longevity risk” is with a guaranteed lifetime income annuity rider. As with all annuities, the guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer. But income riders also offer suitable clients the ability to offset some of the unexpected costs associated with health care, another top concern, particularly in the later years of retirement. For an annual fee – generally averaging about 1.0%, depending on the carrier – as
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Categories: Blog Posts.

FIA 101 – A Primer On Fixed Indexed Annuities

FIAs: An insurance product with the potential to earn interest.   Create a stream of income. When you purchase an annuity, you are signing a contract between you and an insurance carrier that will provide you with an agreed-upon income stream in exchange for a lump sum of money. Fixed annuities are appealing to retirees because they provide a predictable source of income, and the annuity’s guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer. Social Security does not count the income stream from an annuity as earnings—they do not lower your Social Security retirement
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Categories: Blog Posts.

5 Things Every Financial Advisor Should Know About Websites

At Shurwest, we have extensive experience building websites for financial advisors. Here are 5 things we want you to know. No one uses Yellow Pages anymore. Even if a client or potential prospect knows you and your firm’s name, they will be searching online using Google* or another search engine to find you. And getting you to the top of a search engine results page—even for your own name or company name—is not a given. It takes the right website structure and ongoing work. *Google is used more than 60% of the time compared to all other search engines. Mobile
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Keeping Clients through the Generations

While financial advisors know the importance of working with the entire family in retaining and managing their wealth through the decades, they may need improvement in terms of how they actually interact with them. A research study conducted last fall by Everplans in partnership with Cerulli Associates pointed out some of the issues. Fully 95% of the financial advisors surveyed said they had a relationship with their clients’ spouses, and they estimated a 75% chance that these spouses would retain their services when their primary clients passed away. But is this really the case, or were the financial advisors being
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Categories: Blog Posts.