7 Traits of Superstar Advisors

A select group of financial advisors have already reached more than $50 million in assets under management despite having less than five years of experience. This group accounted for just 5.1% of the more than 2,100 financial advisors surveyed recently by CEG Worldwide, but their success led us to ask: What traits and behaviors help set this group apart?

John J. Bowen Jr. digs into recent research in depth in his Financial Planning column, but we pulled out a few of the key takeaways. -- Kayan Lim

1. They have higher AUMs than their peers. 1. They have higher AUMs than their peers.

Amongst the group, 13.9% manage $500 million or more in assets, and another quarter have $200 million to $500 million in AUM. By contrast, only 5.4% of the group CEG calls elites -- more established advisors with $50 million or more in assets -- manage more than $500 million or more.

2. They focus on the affluent. 2. They focus on the affluent.

More than a third serve 30 or more clients with at least $1 million or more in assets -- almost as many as in the elite group of advisors. Further, 22.2% have built practices that serve 75 or more $1 million-plus clients.

3. They are selective. 3. They are selective.

Nearly half of the group -- again, almost as many as among elite advisors -- require a minimum account size for new clients. Among advisors who manage less than $50 million, many fewer require account minimums.

4. They stay close to top clients. 4. They stay close to top clients.

Among these rising superstars, 42.6% contact their top clients at least monthly. CEG's research suggests that there is a correlation between frequency of contact and the amount of assets under management.

5. They work with other experts. 5. They work with other experts.

Affluent clients often have complex planning needs. These superstar advisors know when to get help: 62% report that they rely on teams of experts to address their clients’ diverse financial needs.

6. They get referrals from other pros. 6. They get referrals from other pros.

Obtaining referrals from accountants, attorneys and other professional advisors is challenging for most financial advisors. These rising stars do the best job at getting those crucial introductions, with 77.8% getting either occasional or a steady stream of referrals.

7. They plan for business growth. 7. They plan for business growth.

Finally, it's no accident that these advisors are high performers. Almost three quarters of these superstars have business plans in place -- more than any other sets of advisors. They also lead in marketing planning as well, with 61.1% using a specific marketing plan.

Want to know more? Read the full story here.