Telemus Capital, a Michigan-based RIA with $3.2B in AUM, utilizes a unique financial life management approach to offer customized life cycle planning for clients throughout the key stages of their lives. While they do offer a full range of wealth advisory services, including investment management, Telemus’ hallmark is the holistic planning approach it utilizes to gain a deeper understanding of its clients’ entire financial lives to create a fully integrated plan for achieving their short- and long-term goals.
It has proven to be a successful approach, propelling the firm to the top tier of RIAs nationally in 14 years. But, having hit the proverbial growth wall with competition in the RIA space hitting a fever pitch, Telemus realized it needed an edge to break through by differentiating itself among its target market.
Telemus Capital Goals
Telemus needed a solution to achieve three critical goals:
Further, differentiate their firm.
Increase client engagement.
Grow outside referrals and prospects.
A case in point is the massive amount of attention the 80 million baby boomers are receiving from the financial services industry – and rightly so because there are trillions of dollars of assets at stake.
Naturally, this type of attention attracts a lot of competition. But since the entire industry is developing strategies targeting retiring baby boomers, it is more difficult for a firm to differentiate itself.
If, as an example, a retirement planning strategy is the cost of entry into the Baby Boomer market, independent advisors will find it difficult to differentiate themselves because most advisors can claim the same expertise. Unless they can delve much more deeply to create a strategy that uniquely positions it in the market, advisory firms will appear as a homogeneous blur to Baby Boomers.
Focusing on Advice Solutions
Historically, offering customized advice solutions from a trusted, independent, credentialed advisor has been an effective way to differentiate in a competitive arena filled with commissioned salespeople masked as advisors.
However, going forward, not only do advisors need to more clearly describe the value they provide, but they need to deliver a genuinely unique client experience, providing services and solutions that change the conversation and elevate it to a level that can’t be matched by other advisors.
Solution: Telemus Implements Lumiant HALO
Telemus selected Lumiant's HALO Assessment Planner from several possible solutions to provide its advisors with the edge they need in a very competitive space.
Telemus advisors have used the HALO Planner to launch goal-based conversations about longevity & health with over 500 clients and prospects.
During that time, they have built their expanded services with HALO into a true competitive advantage by helping advisors bring up critical issues their clients care about but have never before discussed with a financial professional.
HALO is the convergence of science and financial planning to create personalized projections about clients’ longevity, health, and elder care needs and costs.
HALO is an engaging client experience that can be completed in minutes. The results are shared in a comprehensive, personalized report with projections to protect plans from health and elder care costs.
Built by trusted experts with expertise in computational genetics, data science, and health IT. HALO pinpoints a client’s risk so the advisor can help them plan for it.
How HALO Works
Its guided or self-guided assessment process creates the opportunity to engage clients with an entirely new conversation about their financial future while capturing key data to better understand and target the needs and concerns of their ideal audience.
For the first time, clients are able to better understand their priorities and needs with more accurate planning for future costs. Specifically, HALO helps advisors and clients:
Plan for your most active and healthy years in retirement.
Plan for longevity in a personalized way.
Determine how many years of eldercare (in-home care/ care facilities) you may need and what the estimated costs could be.
Estimate out-of-pocket healthcare costs throughout your lifespan and how those costs may change during your different life stages.
Telemus Capital Results
With Lumiant HALO, Telemus reported:
Increased engagement between advisors and clients with higher-quality conversations.
Has helped start better conversations about health and care costs.
"HALO helps Telemus be better financial planners. We now have information about the longevity of our clients that allows us to be more accurate with our financial projections. HALO has also made the insurance discussion (long term care and second to die) with our clients easier and more from an advisory instead of sales approach." Lyle Wolberg CFP®, Partner, Telemus Capital
How Telemus Differentiates with HALO
Client check-ins and touchpoints are a great opportunity to start the conversation about health planning. Telemus uses two approaches to get started depending on the client.
The first approach is to have a client take the HALO assessment prior to a meeting. At the meeting, the time is used to discuss the results and what they mean to the client’s financial plan, leading to a discussion of planning options.
The second is to use the meeting to take the HALO assessment together, which deepens the client conversation and allows the advisor to capture client concerns in real-time. This allows the advisor to highlight how planning can address each concern.
Using HALO, Telemus received more accurate healthcare cost and mortality projections, personalized to the client, leading to an increase or reallocation of assets to support the more realistic (higher) costs of elder care.
They were also able to increase revenue, assets under management or increase insurance coverage while keeping the client’s best interest front and center. This increases near-term revenue, long-term client portfolio viability, and trust.
Fostering Engagement + Generating Opportunities
Telemus placed the HALO assessment link on their website homepage as well as other landing pages to allow visitors to take the assessment. HALO is able to capture the key contact information and send it directly to Telemus for follow-up.
As a result, they now have a backlog of qualified leads: potential clients who are concerned about health and care costs in retirement and have demonstrated they are motivated to do something about it.
Capitalizing on Recognition
Telemus actively promotes the importance of longevity and health planning, which has resulted in local TV news stories and a feature in U.S. News & World Report focused on their work with the HALO Planner. The news coverage has been great for brand building which in turn has resulted in new client leads from viewers who saw the stories and then went to Telemus' website to take the HALO assessment.
By having prospective clients fill out the HALO assessment directly on their site, they continue to grow their client list and have a direct line to those who are ready to take the next steps for their retirement and legacy planning.
Better Targeting with Better Data
Understanding Prospective Clients Through Data
The HALO assessment also provides firms with rich and insightful client data. Firms can use the data to spot trends and needs among their clients and prospective clients, which in turn helps them better understand what types of products and solutions their firm should focus on offering.
Telemus has been able to gather additional data about its target audience through website engagement. The data tells us that the average age of a prospective Telemus client is 55 and they are slightly more likely to be female. The average age that most of their potential clients wish to retire at is 63 and more than half of them exercise regularly, while nearly all of them are non-smokers.
This data leads to better targeting and understanding of who their ideal audience is and what they are interested in talking about.
To truly differentiate, advisors need to actually deliver a genuinely unique client experience that elevates the conversation to a level that can’t be matched by other advisors.
Meaningful Health Conversations
HALO brings science and financial planning together to reveal critical aspects of a client’s financial future they never considered before with the eye-opening ability to accurately predict future healthcare costs.
HALO helps advisors create financial plans that account for each client’s unique health circumstances, making health and care cost planning a cornerstone of wealth preservation
If you’re ready to learn more about how Lumiant's HALO Planner can help you differentiate your practice and have deeper client conversations, please schedule a consultation today.