A strategy built on segmenting retirement income into buckets to ensure that those in retirement achieve the bliss they’ve worked for their whole life.
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A robust, state-of-the-art software tool designed for advisors to build individual
 bucket strategies while implementing a comprehensive retirement plan for their clients.

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Finally, a robo-tool that can handle retirement distribution. Bucket Bliss Robo allows advisors to gather data and engage clients in retirement planning by asking 7 simple questions.

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How secure is your client’s retirement income plan? The Bucket Bliss Index will tell you by measuring the strength and probability of the income plans you build for your clients.

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How Rich People Lose Their Money

During the course of my career, I have talked to many people who are professionally (hence financially) successful who think that because they knew how to succeed in business that they know how to handle their own money, how to invest, or, at least, who is a good advisor.

The problem I see again and again is people don’t know what they don’t know, even rich, successful ones.

You only need to look as far as Hollywood to see how exceptionally successful people have handled their money unsuccessfully.  News stories abound where A-list celebrities with their multi-million dollar earnings go into bankruptcy – they overspend, they overestimated their income potential, they don’t pay their taxes, they hire misguided or money-hungry money managers.  From my vantage point, becoming wealthy through professional success does not equate with skill in handing accumulated wealth.  Career know-how is not investment know-how.

Wealthy people also have a tendency to want more wealth, and they are not deterred by investments that perform better than the market.  They are too easily sold into schemes, because they don’t know how to see through them. So, too, are some financial advisors.   You only have to look back a few years at the Bernie Madoff scandal, and there were plenty of schemes before Madoff, large and small.  The problem, at least in part here, is that wealthy people sometimes earn large amounts of money quickly, and it makes sense to them that the market does the same. It doesn’t.  Other problems are greed, a sense of deserving more than others, some sort of exclusiveness, and in general, impatience.  Investors also want to get into the next hot thing and forget that’s an easy way to get burned. Those companies go down more often than they take off but not before taking off with investors’ money.

Another problem that I’ve encountered is that many people don’t have a good handle on what it means to be a millionaire these days.  A million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to.  Retirement lasts longer and can be expensive if you have to go into a nursing home or require in-home care.  Preservation and modest growth are key when you’re in this position.  Yet, I’ve seen people who don’t think twice about buying that expensive car or villa when that money should be in the market working for their retirement.  That’s when you’re really going to need security, because it’s pretty hard to hold down a job when you’re elderly.  I’m not saying they should drive a beat up car or live in a dump, but they need a voice of reason guiding them to make better decisions.   It’s a lot easier to make money during your working years when you’re young and vibrant than replacing lost or spent money during your old age or just living without after working hard for decades.

Another problem I see too often is wealthy people sometimes don’t know when to retire.  They work 24/7, or so it seems.  They wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they didn’t go to work, and they’d worry they wouldn’t have an income off of which to live.  Well, the latter may be true for some, because wealthy people tend to spend rather than invest.  Perhaps it’s because they don’t know how to invest, after all.

My advice?  Teach your clients to hold onto their wealth.   Teach them to grow their wealth wisely.  Help them create a plan and a destination. Encourage them to seek guidance.  That’s what you’re there for.

Fly safe,

Stephen R. Swensen
CEO and Founder of Bucket Bliss

Tips For Making a Pitch Prospects Can’t Refuse

By: Madison Taylor

One of the hardest parts of business is getting more of it. With thousands of capable financial advisors out there, getting a client who knows nothing about your experience in the industry and your qualifications to choose you can be quite the battle. All you have is one opportunity to make a pitch that shows them why you’re the best choice for fulfilling their retirement income planning needs. Today, I want to talk about how to optimize that business pitch to give you the best shot at success.

Looking the Part

To score new clients, you’ve got to show them why they should choose you when they are looking for someone to help them plan their retirement. To do this, make sure you are dressed professionally, even if you aren’t making a pitch in the office. Be respectful and genuine, and be prepared to answer their questions and give them the information they want. A professional and charismatic first impression can set the tone for the rest of the meeting, and help you make a successful pitch.

Tell a Great Story

When pitching to a client, start by telling a story. If you’ve read “Bucket Bliss” by Last Advisor CEO Stephen Swensen, you know he weaves his retirement planning strategy into a story about a flight that goes wrong. Similarly, your anecdote doesn’t have to deal solely with finance, or financial planning, given you can weave some of those points into it. Stories can move clients to action unlike any other source because stories evoke emotion, and emotion is what drives people to do the things that they do. Create curiosity in your story by starting out with a “you”-centered questions, like “have you ever been lost on a road trip?” Asking these types of questions draws them into the story by helping them remember a time they felt lost. As you continue to tell the story, bring them into by saying, “if you would have been there…” or “Imagine if…” and be sure to enforce their relation to the story by saying “you know what I mean, right?” If they can feel that they are part of the story, and can relate to the struggle, they will see credibility in the solution you are offering.

Building Genuine Relationships

Stop having presentations, and have conversations instead. Make your client feel that this is all about them, and you are there to fulfill their needs, not your own. While visuals and PowerPoint presentations are fabulous in some circumstances, your client is going to feel much less overwhelmed if you can approach the pitch like a conversation between friends. Make your clients feel excellent about themselves, and give them confidence about you and your firm, and what you’re offering them. Ask them questions about their financial needs and tell them how you can help fulfill those needs. Making conversations instead of presentations allows you to be specific and show the potential client that you can cater your services to fit their needs. Another way to build a relationship with your potential clients is to ask questions and get to know them outside of their financial needs. Ask them about their family, their hobbies, and their interests. When sending a follow-up email about something that occurred in the meeting, throw a question about their dog, or the recent golf tournament in which they participated. Asking follow-up questions about their hobbies and interests gives a personal touch to your business.

Next time you go to make a pitch, try implementing just one thing you’ve learned from this article, and then another, and see how it affects your business. If something isn’t working for you, alter it to fit your needs. Making conversational pitches allows you to provide a personal experience for your potential clients, and in no time, you’ll be the last advisor they’ll ever need.