If you want to increase assets under management (AUM) for your financial planning or wealth management firm, you need to cater to the needs of their clients and give your customers what they are looking for. Whether you have been in the financial industry for decades or are just getting started, staying one step ahead of the trends can mean the difference between success and failure in this unique world.

It is no secret that the needs of financial planning clients, and the expectations of those customers, has changed markedly in recent years. Younger clients in particular have come to expect, and even demand, instant answers and they rely on a variety of tools to get the information they need. That means practice owners would do well to adapt to those changing expectations and build self-help tools into their operations. (For more, see: Top 5 Strategies to Land Wealthy, Young Clients.)

Practice owners can improve their performance with the younger generation and give them the tools they need to manage their portfolios. Tools like eMoney Advisor allow financial planning and wealth management clients to keep track of their portfolios, track their balances and change their investments without ever coming into the office, while services like WealthBox let practice owners more effectively communicate with their clients.

The Right Tools for the Job

Providing the right tools is one way to increase assets under management and attract younger clients to your financial planning or wealth management practice, but it is not the only way. Young people are increasingly relying on social media for everything from getting the daily news to finding a job, and they are using the same platforms to make their investment decisions and find suitable investment managers.

Reaching out on social media is a smart way to find new clients and service existing ones, and many practice owners are already doing just that. They are sending their brokers to special social media training courses and assigning office personnel to track the company's Facebook and Twitter feeds. They are creating Instagram accounts and boosting their presence on professional sites like LinkedIn. All of these actions can be effective at increasing AUM and building their practices for the future, but compliance is just as important as growth.

Social Media and Regulatory Compliance

Many practice owners have already discovered the dangers of unfettered social media access, finding out too late that posting on Facebook and Twitter can have negative consequences down the line. Many of the same laws that govern record retention for email and electronic communication apply to social media as well, and simply reaching out on those platforms without first seeking guidance can be a big mistake.

Tools like RegEd can help the owners of financial planning and wealth management practices reach out to Millennials and other young people without running afoul of record retention and compliance regulations. Staying compliant has never been more important, and analyzing compliance patterns should be a big part of any social media outreach program. (For more, see: Advisors: How to Find Big Growth.)

Optimize Your Practice

Additional services can be just as useful for building AUM and reaching more young investors. Services like Truelytics help the owners of financial planning and wealth management practices optimize their businesses and maximize their returns for each of their clients.

Reaching out on social media and providing the right portfolio analysis tools are both smart ways to increase assets under management and secure the future of your firm, but they are not the only options. In fact, the easiest way to improve client outreach and improve your performance with young people may already be in your office.

You have worked hard to create a solid base of clients, and you have worked even harder to help your customers succeed and meet their short-term and long-term investment goals. Many of those clients are also parents, and now that their kids are older, they will be seeking professional advice and guidance as well.

Talking to your existing clients about their children is a great way to nurture future relationships and set the stage for success. Even if they are not ready now, those kids and grandkids are likely to think of you when they do start investing, especially if you have provided quality service for their parents and grandparents.

Offering Value

As the owner of a financial planning or wealth management firm, you can further improve your client outreach, and ultimately your assets under management, with a few well-timed offers. The approach practice owners take can be as unique as they are, but the goal is always the same.

Some practice owners offer their existing clients an hour of advice and guidance for their working-age children. This can be a great way to increase AUM and build relationships for the future, and many practice owners have found great success with this approach.

Other practice owners offer gift certificates aimed at young people, while others provide discounts and other incentives for their followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Young consumers have come to expect these special deals and discounts, and the practice owners who provide them stand to do very well in the years ahead.

The Future of the Industry

It is clear that young people represent the future of the financial planning and wealth management industries. It is also clear that those young people will need just as much help and guidance, and probably even more than their parents and grandparents did. The changing nature of work, including the increasing popularity of freelancing and reliance on the gig economy, has created a whole new set of challenges for young people, and the practice owners who can best address those concerns are likely to be the winners going forward.

If you have not already started reaching out to younger clients, now is the time to get started. There are two ways to for financial advisors and wealth managers to increase AUM - attracting more assets from existing clients or building their base of clients. Practice owners who are able to reach younger workers can increase their assets under management, build the value of their brands and secure the future of their firms.

(To read more from this author, see: How the Best Interest Contract Works.)

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