Our Top Blogs of 2023 for Independent Financial Advisors

5 min read
December 18, 2023

Over the past year, we've published articles written with one purpose in mind: to help independent financial advisors be successful. As 2023 comes to a close, we rounded up our top 10 most-viewed blogs published this year. From RIA compliance best practices to using behavioral marketing tactics to get more clients, this list is loaded with one helpful resource after another to send you into 2024.

Enjoy, and happy reading!

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#1. 3 Behavioral Marketing Hacks to Get More RIA Clients

When I was a kid, I had a friend named John. John and I were as close as could be—and what unified our friendship was the love of strategy-based video games. We played them all—particularly the 90’s fad at the time, Pokemon. The only problem our friendship endured was that when we faced off in those games, he beat me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It wasn’t enough that I couldn’t win—I didn’t know how he did it. Time after time, he’d vanquish me in our battles, and I began to feel inferior. 

You see, I didn’t know this at the time because we were just kids, but John was a certifiable genius. One of the smartest people I’ll likely ever meet. I’m nowhere near that level of intelligence, but in my angst, I found a way to level the playing field. I began to start winning… with the use of cheat codes and glitches built into the game. Eventually, being overwhelmed with a mixture of guilt and satisfaction, I showed John my secrets to success. There were no hard feelings, but it certainly made the competition more intense. This is when I first remember learning the value of hacks, which in digital marketing, can make or break careers. 

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#2. RIA SEO: Keyword Strategies for Financial Planners

SEO might be one of the most daunting marketing acronyms you’ll come across. SEO for financial advisors can be even more complex. Likely you’re a financial advisor and business person first and a marketer second, which is why the thought of learning a whole new field of expertise might make you hesitate. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’m XYPN’s resident SEO nerd, and I’m here to help you get started. A strong SEO strategy is built around the right keywords that are relevant to your RIA, and I’m going to walk you through selecting and using them.

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#3. Top Myths About Starting an RIA That Need Debunking

I recently had the pleasure of representing XYPN at the Kingdom Advisor Conference in Orlando, Florida, and FPA National in Seattle, Washington. The post-COVID, in-person energy was undeniable. People were happy to gather and were proud of their work. Personally, what struck me was that nearly every person I met had either heard about XYPN or was interested in learning more about our impact. It was quite a significant change from my first XYPN conference experience in 2014 when most folks turned up their noses to the idea of expanding access to financial planning, not to mention in a fee-only, fee-for-service way.

Back then, many folks weren’t interested in working with young people on a fee-for-service basis and didn’t believe it could be worthwhile. But nearly a decade later and 1,700 advisors strong at XYPN, we know that expanding financial planning is not only viable and profitable, but it’s also the right thing to do and it’s what many of you are called to do.

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#4. Is Your Non-Compete Binding? Helpful Tips for Transitioning Advisors

New year, new firm? Whether you’re changing firms or starting your own, there are many things to consider and do. If notifying or bringing your clients with you is on your checklist, add this task first: Check employment contract. 

When advisors start a new job with a broker-dealer or RIA, likely the last thing they’re concerned about is leaving it—or reading the fine print on their employment agreement regarding terms they may be bound by if they depart. So, it’s understandable that, should that day come, they find themselves unaware of the restrictions placed on them when it comes to notifying their clients or bringing them with them. 

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#5. 5 Top Growth Takeaways from XYPN's 2023 Annual Benchmarking Study

Seven years ago XYPN started conducting an annual benchmarking survey of its members to provide data-backed firm journey analysis for fee-for-service financial planning firms. With each year, the resulting Benchmarking Study has painted a clearer and more intricate picture for planners looking to map out their own firm journeys during their implementing, building, and scaling phases.

The survey focuses on revenue and expenses, client services, sources of clients/business, and pricing. Each piece of information is tracked year-over-year to show trends and provide fee-only financial planning firm owners with key metrics which they can measure their own businesses against.

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#6. Own Your Niche: Inbound Marketing for RIA Owners

We’re big fans of niches here at XYPN. We champion them on XYPN Radio, tout them when speaking at conferences, and praise them on our blog. CEO and Co-Founder Alan Moore extensively covers the topic of “niching-down” in talks, podcasts, and one of our more popular webinars. Niches are important to identify, and even more valuable if you can own them entirely. In short, it's invaluable to establish and dominate your niche as a financial advisor. Sounds great, right? So just how do you go about doing that?

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#7. Automation and Productivity: 5 Tips for Independent Financial Advisors

Raise your hand if you've ever wondered how you can boost your productivity and become more efficient. 🙋 If it often feels as if your to-do list never ends with administrative tasks and compliance management, on top of your regular client meetings, you’re not alone! 

That’s why we invited XYPN members Raquel Hinman, CFP®, and Michael Reynolds, CFP®, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™ to share tips and tools they use to increase productivity in their firms.

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#8. Launching Your Own RIA: What Transitioning Advisors Should Know

From a failed succession plan to wanting more autonomy, freedom, or ROI, there are many reasons to leave your current firm and launch your own independent RIA. 

But the question is, how do you know when it’s time to actually make that leap and leave your job to pursue entrepreneurship, and how do you ensure a smooth transition along the way?

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#9. 3 Tools You Can Use to Turbocharge Your RIA's Marketing Funnel

If you’re thinking about diving into marketing automation for your RIA, or building out a marketing funnel for your financial planning firm, you’re in the right place. Part of a robust marketing funnel is a tech stack that does 3 things:

  1. Gives you time back in the day
  2. Automates important touchpoints with your leads
  3. Doesn’t cost more than it’s worth. 

Points 1 & 2 are no-brainers, but #3 can be a bit of a head-scratcher. If you’re evaluating marketing tools for your business, then I’m here to de-mystify the process. Here is a list of platforms with pros, cons, and some personal recommendations. 

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#10. Corporate Transparency Act: What State-Registered Investment Advisors Need To Know

Unless your firm is registered with the SEC, your business is likely subject to the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) reporting requirements under the Corporate Transparency Act. This post dives into key details and what you need to know as we head towards 2024 to ensure you’re compliant. 

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Thanks for revisiting the best of 2023 with XYPN. Stay tuned for more in 2024! 

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