© 2019, The Gresham Company, LLC

Columns

A collection of our favorite columns from more than 100 written over the years for On Wall Street, Registered Rep, Research and comments captured in Business Week, Fortune, Investment News, The New York Times and Barron’s. The theme is consistent – how to achieve better engagement with affluent families and deliver a superior wealth management experience.

Digital Moneyball

The seven habits of a successful digital executive

RIP Organic Growth

Your 2020 Game Plan is Net New Assets

Is the Advice Market Awakening??

Definite signs of life in the year end planning process of advice firms.

Granny's Hurricane Shelter

Plans as "seatbelt" financial planning

It's Time for Leadership, Not Just Innovation

Tech innovation is the easy part — the real challenge is driving adoption

Why a Culture of Compliance is Critical

In an age of heightened consumer demand for fiduciary advice, retaining assets and protecting your firm are complementary strategies

 
Bull Market Malaria and Other Advisory Firm Ailments

The stock market's extended rally may be masking advisory firm problems caused by industry changes

The World is Flat —and Some People Like it that Way

Change is hard, but these six wealth management trends won't wait

A Disruptive Force No One is Talking About ...

These are the business concerns that advisers should be planning for now

The Future of Advice is Hiding in Plain Sight

What are the industry's biggest dysfunction and its biggest opportunity? What business model is most likely to succeed, and what operational trend is most important?

The Four Transitions of Aging

The greatest value provided to clients by financial advisors is “behavior modification.”

Planning Potholes and Banana Peels

Market volatility can pave the way for more important conversations than those about beating the market and reducing your fees

How High-Value Clients Are Revolutionizing Your Business

It's time for a better valuation method for wealth management.

 
Welcome to the (client) Revolution

How clients are transforming wealth management

Your Client has a Car, a Gun — and Alzheimer's

Are you helping clients with the four key transitions in retirement?

How to Survive the Crash

There's an elephant in the room, and it's getting fatter and more awkward every day

Bad Things Happen to Good Clients — and Your Response is Critical

Life happens. Typically when you least expect it, something happens that's neither anticipated nor welcome.

Adoption is the New Innovation

Do firms' shortcomings reflect the fact that they don't have the latest tech tools — or that they don't make good use of the tools they have?

More About Death and Taxes

Clients are doomed to pay more taxes. They need our help.

Death and Taxes: A Conversation We Must Have

It's time for advisers to make uncomfortable topics mainstream.

Advisers and Clients Agree: Life's Better in the Wealth Management Ecosystem

Welcome to the cutting edge of wealth management.

Private Client 2020: The Road Ahead–Capitalizing On Disruption

Implications for advisors and their firms portend more opportunity. Independent of your place on the Private Client Intelligent Experience Maturity Model, five factors contribute to realizing your full potential.

 
The Transformation of the Adviser-Client Experience

The U.S. auto industry has changed dramatically in recent decades. Is wealth management headed for the same type of disruption?
 

Slaying Your Inner Dragons

At one time or another all of us have said or done something that was contrary to our own best interest, damaging to an important relationship or just plain wrong. We kind of knew it at the time, but we went ahead and did it anyway. The question is, why?

Seven Financial Sins of Millionaire Households

Raising five kids in any U.S. metro area means big bucks if you want the best in education — a challenge well known to one affluent family who faced a total bill of about $2 million spread around among private schools, private colleges, books, living expenses and other costs...

Looking Out for Numero Uno

Top advisors know that there is an uneasy balance between helping their clients and protecting themselves. The reality is that providing a high level of personal service and advice to other people is very difficult and demanding.

The Words Not Spoken

If you are like most advisors, you usually approach client meetings in one of two ways: If the market is up, you underscore the recent growth in the client's assets, and the progress made toward the achievement of his or her financial goals.

Beating Recession Depression

At an investment advisor seminar about a month after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the speaker asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they had reached out to clients in the weeks that had passed since that horrible day. Only about one in four of the seminar attendees raised their hands.

The Big Shift

Don’t get too comfortable with the way you run your business. Retiring baby boomer clients want more services than you provide. Is your practice retirement-ready?

Grandma's Got A New Boyfriend

Mother, you must be out of your mind!” Ellen Fulton's eyes blazed with indignation as she put down her coffee cup with a shaking hand. “He's the same age as your children, for goodness' sake! Have your little fling, if you must, but stop talking nonsense. Marriage, indeed! You can't be serious!”

The Price Isn't Right

If you stop to think about it, there are a number of surprising parallels between the medical and financial-advisory professions. Both remedy issues vital to long-term happiness: health and wealth. Both require highly technical knowledge, coupled with personal and intimate service. Both require an initial assessment and diagnosis...

Diagnosing Your Prospects' Pressure Points

Millionaire Hot Buttons

The end of each calendar year provides a natural setting for serious prospecting. Full-year performance and other results are easy to present to potential clients and their accountants, who can quickly make comparisons among competing advisors, retirement plans, mutual funds and managed accounts. So how can you use this moment to capture additional assets and referrals?

Partners In Care

It had been a festive family reunion. Len and Gloria Benton reclined on the veranda of their upscale retirement community condominium and happily rehashed every detail.

Caregiver For Life

After her traumatically brain-injured (TBI) son, Jim, had finally settled down and gone to sleep, Adelaide Newton sat alone in her living room to ponder her current situation.

Scaling Old Peaks

The longest block of Kenilworth Road in our town has so many physicians that it has been jokingly referred to as “Pill Hill.” It is a tree-lined street in affluent suburbia dotted with large stately houses — most designed in the Tudor style — that were built between the two World Wars. They were ideal homes for affluent physicians and their broods in the 1950s and 1960s.

Retirement Roulette

The members of the Cadeucis Colloquium, a discussion group of retired and semi-retired physicians, sat together in Dr. Kaplan's living room overlooking the lake one recent afternoon. Dr. Kaplan finished serving drinks and asked: “Who goes first?”

The Final Reward

A patient fidgeted in his chair in a doctor's waiting room. Impatient as always, he was torn between complaining about being kept waiting and a creeping anxiety about what the doctor might tell him. Approaching 60, he had always been healthy, hard-charging and successful. His marriage was still solid, his kids were launched on promising careers, he still excelled at tennis and he had no “financial worries.” There were, however, clouds gathering on his horizon.

The Rewards of Risk Review

Life is full of risks, and the financial advisor's job is largely to minimize the financial perils their clients face. What the risks are, how they will be reduced and what it will cost to do so must all be taken into account with the knowledge that the task will vary from one household to the next. Nor are the concerns of every generation the same.

Prime Time Risks

Buttoning his shirt at the end of the physical exam, he was the very picture of a clean bill of health: A handsome, fit businessman, who, at 47, was in the prime of his life. Call him Matt Parsons. That's not his real name, but what happened next that day in the doctor's office is based on a true — and too common — story:

Reaching Boomers

The following letter, based on a real life situation with a friend and the friend's financial advisor, offers a peek at issues concerning boomer clients...