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Implementing the Wealth Management Index: Tools to Build Your Practice and Measure Client Success


Praise for Implementing the Wealth Management Index

"Implementing the Wealth Management Index seems to me to be a great way to tame the challenge of communicating and managing dozens or hundreds of financial issues in a client's life.?As a bonus, you get to look over the shoulder of one of the profession's leading thinkers as he evaluates his firm's internal management processes and thinks about how to approach virtually every aspect of the financial planning service." —Bob Veres, Editor, Inside Information

"Ross Levin has always been a thought leader in the financial planning business, and has always been incredibly generous with his insight and wisdom to help other planners and advisors who are trying to grow their businesses. The first edition of The Wealth Management Index was a breakthrough piece of thinking on how to deliver value to individuals and families. This version is a great enhancement to the original text because it incorporates even more practical ideas in an even more complex world. I urge all advisors, whether they're with independent or employee-owned firms, to get this book, take many notes, and implement the great ideas that Ross is offering up." —Mark Tibergien, CEO, Pershing Advisor Solutions, a BNY Mellon company

"A towering figure in the financial planning movement, Ross Levin understands that investors' goals go far beyond financial success. Implementing the Wealth Management Index updates his seminal work with even more actionable advice on how individuals can make smart money management their means to a more rewarding life." —Don Phillips, Managing Director, Morningstar

"With consumer trust in the financial advisor community still on the mend, and a legislative and regulatory environment focused on accountability and transparency, a guide that can bend advisors' businesses in new, client-centered directions is perhaps more timely and relevant today than ever. Implementing the Wealth Management Index is a compelling and practical model that espouses laser-like focus on client objectives and solutions using a transparent, balanced approach."
—Sean R. Walters, CAE, CEO/Executive Director, IMCA, Investment ManagementConsultants Association

"Ross Levin gives us not merely a revision, but a new vision of how to build a successful practice and help your clients progress toward meaningful goals." —Marv Tuttle, CAE, Executive Director/CEO, Financial Planning Association

"Ross delivers in spades on his promise of turning concept into practice. I loved the originalissue of The Wealth Management Index and this update is even better. This is a must on the shelfof all practitioners; however, don't just buy the book; read and implement its ideas and watch your business grow." —Harold Evensky, President, Evensky &Katz; coauthor of The NewWealth Management

"Ross hopes this book is a blessing to the planners that read it. I say it's a true blessing to theirclients. This book makes us all better." —Marty Kurtz,

Ross Levin, CFP®, is the Founding Principal and President of Accredited Investors Inc., and a nationally recognized expert in financial planning. He was named one of the five most influential people in financial planning by Financial Planning magazine and as one of the twenty-five most influential individuals in and around the advisory profession by Investment Advisor magazine. A much sought after speaker on financial matters, Levin has appeared in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, the New York Times, Newsweek, Barron's, and Money magazine, as well as on television and radio shows such as NBC Nightly News, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and American Public Media's Marketplace Money. Levin was the first recipient of the Financial Planning Association's Heart of Financial Planning Award.

Introduction xi

CHAPTER 1 Turning a Concept into a Practice 01

The Format 02

The Wealth Management Index Overview 03

The Wealth Management Index 04

Conclusion 11

CHAPTER 2 Building and Operating a Practice 13

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? 13

Partners 21

Broader Ownership 23

Conclusion 32

CHAPTER 3 Growing Your Business 33

Quantitative Prospect Metrics 33

Behavioral Types of Prospects 35

The Prospect Meeting 39

Questions 42

Other Questions 46

Next Steps 47

Conclusion 49

CHAPTER 4 Developing Staff 51

The Client Team 51

Leadership Pipeline 52

Conclusion 52

CHAPTER 5 Training Staff in Using the Wealth Management Index 65

The New Hire Process 65

Conclusion 83

CHAPTER 6 The Work Plan 85

Pre-meeting 85

Post-meeting 87

Agenda 92

Conclusion 92

CHAPTER 7 Objective Setting 95

Asset Protection 95

Disability and Income Protection 98

Debt Management 103

Investment Planning 105

Estate Planning 107

Conclusion 112

CHAPTER 8 Scoring the Wealth Management Index 113

Spreadsheet 114

CHAPTER 9 Asset Protection (Preservation) 117

Components 119

Have You Articulated a Life Insurance Philosophy? 119

What Are Your Concerns Regarding Risks of Large Losses from 128

Medical, Long- Term Care, Property/Casualty, and Personal or Professional Liability Issues?

Have You Defi ned and Protected Your Business Interests? 138

Conclusion 142

CHAPTER 10 Disability and Income Protection (Protection) 145

What Are the Income and Lifestyle Needs and Wants of Your Family 147

Currently and Prospectively?

Have You Evaluated All Current Sources of Income and Potential 159

Changes to These Sources?

Are You Fully Utilizing All Benefits Available to You? 168

Conclusion 189

CHAPTER 11 Debt Management 191

Have You Established Your Philosophy Regarding 192

Using Savings or Credit?

Is Your Type of Debt Appropriate Given Your Wealth-Management 196


Conclusion 201

CHAPTER 12 Investment Planning (Accumulation) 203

Have You Developed an Investment Philosophy? 205

Have You Determined the Mechanics for Managing Your Portfolio 222

and the Evaluation of What Success Looks Like?

Conclusion 228

CHAPTER 13 Estate Planning (Distribution) 231

Have You a Philosophy on Wealth Transfer? 232

Have You Articulated Your Charitable Philosophy or Mission Statement? 244

Have You Planned For Incapacitation, Elder Care Issues, 248

and Final Planning Needs?

Conclusion 251

Epilogue 253

About the Author 255

Index 257