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5 time management tips for financial advisors

Here’s one piece of advice I wish I had listened to earlier in my career: The life of a business depends on the way its stakeholders manage their time. 

On any given day, we advisors have a variety of responsibilities, tasks, and client requests competing for our attention. And that’s before we factor in family, self-care, keeping up-to-date with market activity, and finding time to decompress. The only way to grow time affluence is to be extremely disciplined with your time, leverage technology, and set proper expectations with clients and stakeholders. 

For emerging advisors, this is no small feat. At this stage, you’re likely spending the bulk of your time figuring out how to do independent financial advising. You’re probably out speaking to prospective clients to demonstrate your firm’s value proposition, creating financial plans, ideating on content, managing investments, and ensuring that your clients are satisfied. With all of the demands of growing a firm, strategically managing your time might feel overwhelming.

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With the benefit of hindsight and after conversations with advisors, I’ve compiled a list below of the best ways to buy back time and focus on your best work: 

1. Build a routine 

You don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants while running your business. Whether you’re working four-hour days or eight-hour days, every moment of your work day should be accounted for and blocked out on your calendar. Your routine should include the time periods when you prepare for and meet with clients, create and review financial plans, do outreach, and monitor email correspondence. The more granular you can get with your routine, the better you’ll be able to track the performance of your activities, find growth opportunities, and be productive throughout the course of your day. 

2. Leverage technology 

There has been chatter in the industry about the best technology for an advisor’s stack. Simply stated, the best technology is the one that helps you to be more productive, provides a great client experience, and allows you to save time. Be wary of shiny-object syndrome when it comes to the latest pieces of wealth technology. Remember, you make the technology work—the technology doesn't make your business work. Focus on the few essential pieces that will allow you to scale quickly with cost-efficiency. 


3. Hire up

There are some things that technology just can’t do. Your time is best spent with clients and focusing on the activities necessary to bring in your next ideal client household. All else should be outsourced. Hiring up will help you

to concentrate on your most pressing revenue-building activities. By offloading the administrative tasks, email correspondence, scheduling, and content scheduling and release, you’ll truly be able to reinvest time into other development opportunities for your business. 

4. Get comfortable saying “no”

One of the most common time management problems for advisors is that once they’ve set up their routine, acquired the right technology, and hired their first assistant, they become too flexible with the infrastructure that they’ve put in place. That shiny new piece of software? Wait for it. That side project that seems “interesting?” It doesn’t align. Taking on clients that don’t fit your niche? Stop it. You must say “no” to get the ideal “yes.” Keep your eye on the prize and focus on impactful, firm-building activities that will move you closer to your goals. 

5. Communicate expectations

Managing time only works when you effectively communicate your plans with your family, teammates, and friends. When this is done right, you’ll be able to meet expectations, enhance your focus on scheduled assignments, and leverage infrastructure to carry out the fundamental tasks needed to build your firm. Be sure to remember that communication is ongoing. By frequently communicating with your internal and external stakeholders, you can gauge the effectiveness of your time management and pivot, if needed, to increase client satisfaction. 

With these tips, you’ll be able to get the best of your professional and personal life while building the practice of your dreams.

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