The Reason Personal Finance Is Suffocating

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By Douglas A. Boneparth

I’ve been a student of the personal financial services industry since I was seven years old. On the weekends, my father dragged me to his office to file statements and company bulletins. Obviously, going paperless wasn’t an option in the early nineties. At 41, he was a budding financial advisor with IDS American Express, which he joined in 1991. He was attracted to their focus on financial planning and not just selling financial products, although there was plenty of that as well.

I grew up watching my old man (he hates being called that) build a successful financial planning practice by utilizing the standard book-building tools of the day and a ton of hard work. Tapping personal networks, buying quality leads, organizing lunch events, leveraging corporate alliances and even the occasional cold calling were all viable options to bring prospects in the door and—with the help of a solid sales script—convert them into clients.

How nice it must have been to actually win at this classic numbers game. Most still think they can. But how many calls did you receive this month from a certain firm’s new hire asking if you need insurance or if you have time to grab a cup of coffee?

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