Why a Mind Shift is Key to Changing Your Behavior


Changing your behavior is much more possible when you change your mind.

Are you ready to do more in your career? I’ve you’ve wondered what you can do differently to grow your business and help your clients secure a better retirement, it starts with a willingness to change. It’s one thing to want to do more, and another thing entirely to make the changes necessary to make a change that sticks. It starts with changing your mindset.

Any big change, either personal or professional, requires determination. In this issue of High Performing Practice, I want to share a major life change I made, and how I was able to change my mind, and therefore my behavior, for an outcome I didn’t think possible.

About 5 years I earned a promotion from a large company. With that promotion came an increase in pay. And, like any good planner, I decided to up my disability income protection. It was through that underwriting process I discovered that I was a diabetic. So, for the last 20 years, I’ve been managing my diabetes with medication with exercise and for the most part, I’ve maintained a manageable a1c number.

But over the last five years, as I’ve gotten older, my metabolism changed. One of my doctors presented an alternative way to treat my diabetes, a new program to try. But to be part of this program, I had to go watch about 22 videos and be interviewed by a couple of medical practitioners. During one of those interviews, they asked me what my goal was. And I talked about how I wanted to get back to having a good lifestyle while controlling my diabetes.

And that’s when they stopped me dead in my tracks. They aren’t interested in controlling my diabetes. They are interested in reversing it. That was the first time that any medical practitioner had even talked to me about reversing diabetes because for the longest time diabetes was thought of as irreversible. But I’m now in the process of reversing my diabetes, not just controlling it.

For me to embark on their rigid program required a complete mind shift.

When it comes to your business, a similar mind shift can deliver unimagined success.
To change my behavior and start reverse in my diabetes versus just controlling required me to change how I think about the condition, and to believe in possibilities I didn’t know existed. The same applies when helping our clients. Until now, when we work in our clients’ best interests, we’ve been focused on building up assets and then spending those assets down and managing that risk through asset allocation.

What we’re finding through research, though, is that that can still have a significant amount of risk because of the sequence of returns. We don’t know how long each client will live. We’re misusing Social Security. And we’ve lost guaranteed income hand-over-fist in the form of corporate pensions.

We need a mind shift when it comes to how we generate retirement income. Income Alpha can facilitate a new way of thinking.  If you’re ready to change your thinking, contact us on your next retirement income case.


Transformational Tactic

Shifting your mindset to a new way of income planning can improve your clients’ outcome while turning your business into a High Performing Practice.

Secrets of Success from the NBA


It’s August, and the NBA playoff season is in full swing. It’s a little later than anticipated, but it’s finally here. I’ve been waiting impatiently, and I’m beyond excited that it’s finally here. So, what does the NBA have to do with financial planning? I’m glad you asked.

Just like any successful franchise or business, the NBA has established a process. Think about successful college teams and coaches. They follow the same basic steps for each practice and each game. But they’re also not afraid to adapt.

Think about your clients. Although their individual paths might be different, the ultimate goal for all of your clients is to plan for a secure retirement. And you can follow the same basic process with each client to get them headed toward that goal.

A key point to remember is that having a process doesn’t mean abandoning creativity.

It starts with a different way of thinking and acting when it comes to retirement and planning – for both you and your clients. Our Income Alpha approach is one way to change that behavior. This strategy uses a variety of different products and services to achieve results with a higher probability of success.

It’s easy to look at a process and think “If I do the same exact thing for each of my clients, I’ll become stagnant. I’ll get into a rut.” But even with a process, you need to be prepared to adjust for individual clients. Having a process allows you to be creative and provide solutions that apply to the uniqueness of each situation.

I was a student basketball manager under the legendary coach Bob Knight in 1987 when we won the national championship. To achieve that goal, we played several different teams that were very physical — very athletic—and that did not really match our strength. These teams forced us to think differently about our strategy. They force us to adapt. And so, each week, we had to plan differently for those 80 minutes of game time. The team we faced in the national championship was great at rebounding. We had prepared differently, but the process of preparation was the same. We adapted, but we didn’t throw the process away. We used it as the catalyst for our next victory.

That process and preparation are just as important in financial planning as they are in basketball. They are vital elements when transforming your business to a High Performing Practice. You need to establish a process that your clients are comfortable with and that makes you easy to refer to the next person. This will speed up the process and give you time to look creatively at appropriate solutions for each individual client. Process is just the actual fundamental aspects of how you conduct your client engagements. If you follow that process and make it repeatable, you will take your business to the next level. And soon you will look back and see that you’ve built a High Performing Practice.


Transformational Tactic

Use a repeatable process to grow your practice and attract referrals. You’ll save time, allowing you to customize solutions for individual clients.

Your Go-To Strategy for a Secure Retirement


Spend less. Save more. It’s good advice when planning for retirement, but how many of our clients are actually practicing it? Unfortunately, most Americans aren’t saving enough. We are seeing a huge transition from the workforce to retirement. And if your clients have not saved enough, it can be hard to help secure their retirement.

In addition to saving less, we continue to misuse Social Security and there’s a possibility that we could see as much as a 24% reduction in Social Security in the year 2034 or 2035. We’re also continuing to lose defined benefit plans with guaranteed income options. And we’re living longer, with many Americans hitting age 90, 95 or even 100. With advances in medical technology increasing life expectancy there’s a lot of pressure on our assets under management to help our clients retain their lifestyle. Even more important, most financial plans show clients only living to age 92 or 95 and then zeroing out their assets under management.

But I suggest that there is a more secure way to plan for retirement income.

It starts with a different way of thinking and acting when it comes to retirement and planning – for both you and your clients. Our Income Alpha approach is one way to change that behavior. This strategy uses a variety of different products and services to achieve results with a higher probability of success.

With the Income Alpha strategy, you:

  • Achieve more income
  • Operate in the best interest standard
  • Realize tremendously higher legacy value than with other planning options

An Income Alpha strategy can change the way that you plan for retirement income with your clients. You’ll build assets under management, ensure a secure retirement, and move your business to a High Performing Practice.


Transformational Tactic

Consider adopting an Alpha Income strategy for a secure retirement for your clients and more success for your business.

Don’t Get Left Behind


Blockbuster. Kodak. Circuit City. What do they have in common? In addition to being companies that the next generation will only know about as a history lesson, they are also companies that got left behind. And it’s because they didn’t innovate.

Think about it. Blockbuster was replaced by Netflix and Redbox — both companies that embraced new technology and offered innovative solutions to meet clients’ needs. Kodak stuck with film when clients were ready to go digital. And Circuit City, a technology company, chose out-of-the-way locations, didn’t embrace the gaming boom, and missed out on in-store promotions. In other words, they just didn’t have effective leadership. Each of these companies was an expert in their industry. Yet none of them kept up with innovation.

Your challenge, then, is to avoid becoming an obsolete brand in the financial services industry.

We are experiencing a huge shift from the workforce to retirement. Your clients need you now more than ever. And they won’t stick with you if you aren’t keeping up with new solutions. They need different services now than they did during their working years. It’s time to think about income and not just focus on the rate of return. Look at new ways to create income more efficiently.

In only 15 minutes you can take the Income Alpha challenge.

You’ll provide your clients with a higher probability of success, more income and a larger legacy. And you’ll experience more growth in your business. It’s time to innovate. To think ahead and get in front of the competition. An Income Alpha strategy is an excellent way to do that. Ready to get started? Just reach out to our Annuity team to get started at 800-589-3000. And, to learn more about what Income Alpha is, check out our case study. Starting the Income Alpha challenge is your next step to turning your business into a High Performing Practice.


Transformational Tactic

Call today to put an Income Alpha strategy in place.

Strategies for Growth — Both Now and In the Future


Your clients aren’t the only ones transitioning to retirement.

Our industry is also experiencing a shift as many advisors think about transitioning their book of business to the next generation or to an outside financial planner. With so much transition, how do you drive value to your business? How do you maximize it and increase revenue?

As we’ve talked about before, increasing clients and assets under management are the first options that most of us consider. And it’s true that increasing clients and AUM will increase growth. But there are some other effective options you should consider.

Let’s start with cross-selling. Expanding your portfolio to include life insurance, asset-based solutions, annuities and other products that produce a recurring trail of renewals. Just like diversifying client portfolios, you can diversify your streams of income, and you can do it by tapping into your existing clients.

In addition to providing a stable base for your revenue, cross-selling will also help build your brand, which is the second solution I want to discuss when it comes to growing your business. More than anything else, YOU are your brand. You are the reason your clients chose your business. When it comes time to pass your business along to the next generation that brand will be a big part of the value. You don’t want your clients to feel abandoned. Planning ahead to include a two- or three-year consulting agreement with the new owner after you sell can help with the transition.

Before you begin any transition, think of where you’d like your business to be in five-10 years. More and more clients are retiring as we witness the greatest shift from workplace to retirement our country has ever seen. Most Americans are relying on their accumulation of assets over the last 30 to 40 years — accumulation that won’t just be AUM after they retire.  

So, when a potential buyer for your book of business is projecting the value of their recurring revenue, they’re going to see a steady accumulation. An Income Alpha strategy can help. (Check out a case study here.) It allows you to look at how guaranteed income might be able to help you sustain your book of business and increase the value of your recurring revenue by as much as 23% to 36%.

Cross-selling, planning for transition and a sound growth strategy are all effective ways to not only grow your business to a High Performing Practice, but also add value to your clients. It’s a chance to set both you and them up for success.


Transformational Tactic

Grow your business and add value to your clients now. It’s the perfect way to start planning for your own transition into retirement when then the time comes.