Perspective : Not ready to retire your trading finger?

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11 other areas to outsource to save time and money

Outsourcing unenjoyable or unprofitable tasks is a great way to free up time to focus on what you like doing most: spending time with clients.  The average advisor spends 446 hours each year on investment management (from investment research to trading and implementation)[1], but if you aren’t ready to retire your investment research and trading finger yet, there are other areas of your business you can outsource to save time and money.

11 other ways to outsource

1. Model subscription

Did you know you can still benefit from the minds of professional money managers while retaining investment direction and discretion?  For example, a program like Orion Communities enables you to subscribe to trading signals. When models you follow have trades recommended, YOU decide when, and if, to execute. With new technologies, you don’t necessarily need to hand over the keys to the kingdom to get support.

2. Human resources

Often, business owners’ uncompensated tasks are the most important items to employees, like payroll and health insurance. For independent advisors or RIAs, a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can keep your employees supported and your business compliant by serving as experts on employment and benefits.

3. 401(k)/Retirement

As an advisor, it’s important to practice what you preach to clients, but small employer plans can be expensive and time consuming to implement and manage.  Outsource your 401(k) or Profit-Sharing Plan to a bundled provider to take your hands off onboarding, compliance, individual account maintenance, loan service and more.  For your personal assets, look for an advisor who focuses on serving financial planners and understands your needs.

4. DDQ, RFP and forms

Are you tired of spending hours copying and pasting the same information into multiple databases or forms?  Manual data entry is slow, and mistakes or missed deadlines will cost you opportunities. Have your updates completed quickly and correctly with a data intelligence and analytics provider. A few hours invested into template mapping can automate form completion for account service and help mitigate NIGO (Not in Good Order) requests.

5. IT services

More business is being conducted virtually than ever before. Your practice relies on technology end-to-end, so to aid in preventing costly outages and reputation-damaging security breaches, keep your systems in tip-top shape by partnering with a Managed Service Provider or Managed Security Detection & Response for hardware management, vulnerability scanning and patching, remediation, and emergency support.

6. Online marketing

According to a 2019 survey of 650 financial planning clients[1], most reported infrequent contact from their advisor – and 85% of clients said their advisors’ communication style and frequency mattered when deciding whether to retain their services or refer them to family or friends. Communication matters, so how do you seek to ensure you’re communicating on a regular basis with clients? Create a marketing schedule and utilize email campaigns and LinkedIn automation to craft and schedule content in advance. Each January, schedule posts for your business’ holidays and emails for your clients’ birthdays to free up focus to create content around trending topics that will expand your influence.

7. Appointment scheduling

Does anyone answer the phone these days anymore?  Outsource appointment scheduling using an outside scheduler or give clients the flexibility to schedule their own appointments when convenient for them via a link.  Stop making unwanted calls to leave unwanted voicemails.

8. Gifts & package fulfillment

Clients are the true drivers of any advisors’ success.  Show them you care through welcome gifts, birthday gifts, e-gift cards or a regular hard-copy newsletter. Surely, someone else can stuff envelopes as good as you.

9. Virtual assistant

Should you hire a full-time assistant? Or, do you only require a few hours of help to delete spam emails, make reservations and call the plumber to unclog the office toilet (…again)?  Outsourcing administrative tasks on an ad hoc basis could be a middle-ground. Virtual assistants work with multiple clients, so you only pay for what you need, as often as you need it.

10. Lead generation

Counterintuitively, time spent away from the office can be one of the best ways to drive growth. Developing a network of other professionals, like estate attorneys, CPAs or lawyers is important to drive referral business.  Soon, your best customers will be finding you! Please consult with your compliance department on approved activities.

11. Key pecking

Are you reaping the best ROI from your existing technology stack? Use the “Dictate” function within your phone to send text messages or email while your hands are full.  Or, click the same microphone icon within Microsoft Word to transcribe audio recordings to text for Client meeting notes. For one-off email communications, Outlook’s “Quick Parts” can turn “Happy b” to “Happy birthday today!  I hope you have a great day!”  Leave the pecking to the chickens.

The takeaway

The fact is: There’s only so much time in the day and as an advisor, you have to decide where you want to spend your time. I hope you find some of these ideas helpful. And if you are ready to retire your trading finger, we can help with that too. Read our “Investment Outsourcing Guide” which provides great tips to get you started or give your Frontier sales and service team a call.

[1] Ycharts Survey, December 2019, How can Advisors Better Communicate with Clients? https://go.ycharts.com/hubfs/YCharts_Client_Communications_Survey.pdf

[1] Cerulli Associates, Advisor Metrics 2016. Number of hours assumes a 50-hour work week and 20 days of vacation.

The views expressed represent the opinion of Frontier Asset Management. The views are subject to change and are not intended as a forecast or guarantee of future results. This material is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute investment advice and is not intended as an endorsement of any specific investment. Stated information is derived from proprietary and nonproprietary sources that have not been independently verified for accuracy or completeness. While Frontier Asset Management believes the information to be accurate and reliable, we do not claim or have responsibility for its completeness, accuracy, or reliability. The use of such sources does not constitute an endorsement. Frontier does not have an affiliation with any author, company or security noted within. Statements of future expectations, estimates, projections, and other forward-looking statements are based on available information and the Frontier Asset Management’s view as of the time of these statements. Accordingly, such statements are inherently speculative as they are based on assumptions that may involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Investing in securities involves risks, including the potential loss of principal. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Frontier Asset Management LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. The firm’s ADV Brochure and Form CRS are available at no charge by request at info@frontierasset.com or 307.673.5675 and are available on our website www.frontierasset.com. They include important disclosures and should be read carefully.

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