ACP Blogs

ACP Blogs
If you’ve been following our blog, you know the central role the retainer model plays in our community philosophy. ACP member Chip Simon referred to the retainer model as the “heart and soul” of his practice and detailed how ACP shaped it immeasurably.  We are fortunate to have built a system that fosters excellence, trust, care, and community in the financial space, and the retainer model is a significant part of that practice.  Today, we are going to dive into the retainer model, extracting three central tenets it provides our advisors and the clients they serve. Information for our blog today came from an ACP member feature podcast on The American Institute of CPAs, Personal Financial Planning Division. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the full episode here ...
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What’s your niche? You’ve probably heard this question at conference tables, Zoom meetings, coaching sessions, and more. Developing a niche can help you hone in on your ideal audience and build a strategy that best serves them. The further you can refine your niche, the better you know your audience, and the more tailored and custom your services can be.  Think about it like this. If you were shopping for luxury home decor, you’re likely not going to Target to find it. Target captures a different niche than Crate and Barel or Restoration Hardware. Each of these companies isn’t trying to serve everyone; they create specific products, experience, marketing efforts, etc. to reach their target buyer.  The same is true for your financial planning practice. Our blog today was ...
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Succession planning is a meaningful step for any business owner. For advisors, the ability to find, hire, train, and inspire someone to take over your practice can seem like a daunting task. We are delighted to bring you a post that delves into the success a couple of our members found when building a succession plan and also seeing it through. Using the ACP System as a foundation for training and building a practice, they found that the community, resources, and education with ACP paved the way for the smooth transition as well as company growth.  The insights in our blog post today come from our webinar series and features ACP member Jacob Kuebler, owner and senior financial advisor at Bluestem Financial. The path to Bluestem Financial Jacob wasn’t always ...
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At the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners, tax is our middle name. We are a group of comprehensive, fee-only advisors who are committed to working in a client’s best interest. Many of our members apply a tax perspective to their planning, adding increased value to clients’ financial landscapes. This tax focus has led many CPAs and tax professionals to our doors. Running a successful CPA practice is no small feat, and adding a financial planning component can be difficult. But with the right resources, tools, and support in your corner, you could find that holistic planning enriches and enlivens your practice as well as the client experience. Today, we are going to show you how the resources and community at ACP can help you successfully launch the financial planning arm ...
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Change is hard. It can be uncomfortable to shift the way you do things or how you approach a situation. Even a small change like taking a new route to work can seem frustrating. Diverting from the norm might not always be easy, but it can bring about some of the most important and valuable experiences of your life.  Here at ACP, our advisors come from all aspects of the financial industry. Some started careers in sales, investments, and insurance, but, inspired by the drive to provide more value for their clients, they went in search of something more. That leads them to us. One type of transition we see advisors make a lot is moving from an assets under management (AUM) financial model to our retainer-based model. This is a significant shift, one that requires advisors to adopt ...
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Virtual work has become a mainstay in our society. Advisors have long been leaning into virtual work as a way to enhance their own lifestyles. With more and more people conducting business online, it provides a new avenue for advisors to work with clients remotely. Working remotely carries an important weight, especially now in the time of COVID-19. The virus forced nearly all businesses that could move to a virtual setting to do so overnight. This means that many people are navigating this space for the first time.  Given the importance of this topic, we wanted to bring you an article today that delves into the top things you need to do to build a virtual practice that both you and your clients will love. Information for our blog today was gathered from our webinar featuring ...
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Financial planning is a growing industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for financial services will grow by 7% through 2028, which is faster than average. With so many financial planners in the world, how can you stand out from the crowd? The best way to attract, retain, and develop strong client relationships comes down to one simple idea: value.  The value you provide clients is an integral component of a successful financial planning practice. But how can you clearly demonstrate that value to clients? That is what our team is here to help you learn today.  At ACP we know that delivering optimum value plays an important role in every aspect of your business. From client relationships to fee structures and marketing collateral, identifying ...
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Financial planning is a diverse field populated with professionals from all walks of life, educational backgrounds, and professional experiences. Each person’s journey to financial planning looks different, which enhances the services and experiences they bring to the field and future clients.  Here at ACP, we know that the path of a financial professional can be winding, but that’s what makes our field so unique. We are all on a path to grow and provide exceptional service and value to our clients; that growth can take us places we never thought possible.  Many of our members began their careers in some facet of the financial space, whether it be insurance, investments, or other sales/commission roles. But there are a number of other professionals whose careers didn’t begin ...
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We are living in extraordinary circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way we conduct business, interact with colleagues, friends, and loved ones, and has altered human behavior on a global scale.  It is more than a financial downturn, it is a global health crisis that has impacted health, safety, and, of course, finances across the globe. Advisors and their clients have had some concerns over business and financial recovery, which is exactly what we want to talk about today. We are here to show you that our ACP system provides added security for advisors and their clients during these unprecedented times. How does it work? That is what you will find out. The information for this blog post was curated from our ACP Insights Webinar hosted by two of ...
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Transition is always difficult in business. Whether you are adapting your business model, service offerings, or changing lanes altogether, the transition can bring about some hard yet necessary and ultimately rewarding developments.  Here at ACP, we see this often especially with people who began as a tax-only practice and want to expand their service offerings to include financial planning. With the high volume of traffic and workload of tax responsibilities, many CPAs are wary of adding financial planning into their already busy practices. But as many have found, financial planning not only enhances the quality and service provided to clients but also the tax work itself. Can a tax practitioner transition into a full-service financial planner and how can they do it successfully?  ...
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For decades, commissioned advisors have known that the fee-based financial planning model has gained popularity among clients and advisors alike. But the daunting task of making the switch has left many uncertain about leaving their commission lifestyles behind.  Here at ACP, our goal is to empower, teach, and guide advisors in our fee-only, fiduciary model, which not only better serves clients but also provides advisors with a business plan that works. Leaving the world of commissions isn’t easy, but we are here to help you make the transition. You need passion, hard work, diligence, and a strong sense of community, all of which ACP has in spades.  We are so excited to bring you a blog post that dives into the way we support advisors on their unique journeys into the fee-based ...
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When people hear the phrase “financial planning” a few things probably come into mind: managing assets, investments, portfolios, etc. So much public perception of our industry, and sometimes the reality, is that financial planners and investment managers are one in the same.  We at ACP know a different story.  Our organization was built to show a new way to approach financial planning, an approach to embolden advisors and bolster clients, with the purpose of putting the interest of the client first.  This story vastly differs from media depictions of Wall Street hotshots and investment managers. We seek to cultivate a community of advisors whose goal is to improve the lives of their clients by taking a holistic, comprehensive approach to financial planning .  We know ...
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ACP has built its organization around dynamic, like-minded advisors who have a drive to deliver optimum value to the clients they serve. Our commitment to our fee-only fiduciary standard is what has held us and our advisors together for over 25 years. This has been our founding principle and it has allowed us to grow a wonderful community.  Our members are passionate, highly trained, motivated professionals who come from all walks of life and all types of financial planning backgrounds, bringing diversity in knowledge, education, and work experience.  Being a member of the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners provides access to a wealth of tools, resources, education, and support. But why take our word for it? Let’s turn it over to our members who have provided testimonials on how ...
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You’ve taken the plunge to go into business for yourself. Congratulations! This will be an incredible adventure—one filled with ups, downs, and everything in between.  While there are so many amazing aspects to owning your own business, there are also some important changes to be aware of. In your old office, you probably had an array of coworkers and peers to help form a community. When you are in business for yourself, that community seems to evaporate overnight.  A strong sense of community is an essential component for a successful business owner. But how can you find community when you go into business for yourself? What tools and resources can help you build lasting relationships that will, in turn, make both you and your business prosper? We will explore all of this ...
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When most people think of taxes, they think of the frantic rush to file returns by the tax filing deadline. They think of confusing tax law, rushed explanations from tax preparers, and the fear over the status of their return. Will they owe or will they get a refund; this seems to be the top concern on the minds of clients walking through your doors.  But what if you as an advisor can help change that narrative? What if you were able to transform taxes from a once-per-year filing chore into something different, something planned and understood? What if you could help your clients understand how the financial decisions they make throughout the year inform the taxes they pay? What if you could have the chance to save your clients far more money than ever before? Our advisors ...
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For many business owners, striking the balance between a profitable business and a healthy lifestyle seems like an insurmountable feat. Most narratives about lifestyle-focused practices become synonymous with lackluster business success.  But does an emphasis on lifestyle have to be exchanged for a notable reduction in revenue? Is there an alternative to choosing between business and personal success? How can you structure a well-balanced life and a practice that provides a solid living? Here at ACP, we believe that building a profitable practice and living a life you love can and should be one and the same. But that doesn’t mean it comes without hard work, discipline, and tenacity to help get you there.  Our blog post today is based on our podcast episode, The Profitable ...
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Here at ACP, our community of advisors has a particular way of looking at household financial planning. Even though we all serve many different clients with varying demographics, household incomes, financial profiles, and goals, we come together on a core set of beliefs that fuel our practices.  Today, we want to illustrate ACP’s seven core concepts for approaching financial planning with clients. These concepts were developed by Bert Whitehead who in 1995 presented them to a group of four other professionals with the intent to change the way we approach financial planning: from institutions to people.  Bert knew that as it currently stood, the financial planning industry didn’t cater to the needs of the real people who walked into his office each day. He, like others, noticed ...
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Financial planning reaches far beyond investments. It’s more than paperwork and numbers on a balance sheet; it’s about understanding and optimizing the full scope of a client’s financial horizon. We at ACP know financial planning to be a rich field with great depth and reach, but that isn’t the case for every client who walks through your doors. Sometimes the financial world can seem segmented to them, with a professional dedicated to just one area of their plan: insurance, investment, estate planning, taxes, etc.  While each area is important individually, how they inform, complement, and function together is the best way to get a comprehensive look at a financial picture. Financial planning means something different to every advisor, and for our community of advisors ...
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