Episode 70. How much better are financial planning clients? An interview w/ Bill Williams of Ameriprise

Jun 30, 2023

We have a fantastic guest joining us. Bill Williams, the Executive Vice President of Ameriprise Independent Advisors. Bill brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, representing over 8,200 independent financial advisors who generate over $5 billion in annual revenue for the firm.

Bill shares his journey, starting as a financial advisor back in 1989 and eventually transitioning into a leadership role. He opens up about the challenges and benefits of being a leader in the industry, giving us a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed.

Bill reveals some fascinating insights from surveys conducted by Ameriprise, showing that advisors who incorporate planning into their practice have better client engagement, handle more assets, sell more insurance, and have three times better client retention. Clients are craving a holistic and comprehensive approach to financial advising.

But here’s the catch – many advisors are hesitant to charge for comprehensive planning services. Bill acknowledges that asset management is easier to sell, as clients are accustomed to paying a small percentage of their assets under management. However, he emphasizes the importance of separating asset management from comprehensive planning. Managing money is just one aspect of the services advisors provide. Comprehensive planning involves personalized attention, meetings throughout the year, and addressing all financial questions and concerns.

Many advisors are afraid to charge for planning because they’ve never done it before. But he urges advisors to recognize the value they bring and be willing to offer comprehensive planning to their clients. If they don’t, clients may seek these services elsewhere, potentially leading to a loss of business.

Bill further emphasizes that relying solely on investment management as a value proposition is risky. With do-it-yourself firms improving their asset management offerings at lower prices, clients may be tempted to switch. That’s why it’s crucial for advisors to step up their game and provide comprehensive planning services that truly differentiate them.

We’re grateful that Bill joined us on today’s show. Here’s his bio page at Ameriprise.

Bill Williams Bio

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