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The year 2017 was eventful, to say the least. President Trump and Congress tried, without success, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. However, the new year-end tax law included the elimination of the individual health insurance mandate. The U.S. economy started slowly but picked up steam as the year progressed. Ten years after its onset, the financial crisis officially came to an end in 2017. The gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3.2% in the third quarter. The unemployment rate fell from 4.7% to 4.1%, while upwards of 2 million new jobs were added. The Federal Reserve, based on the strength of the economy and labor market, began to roll back its stimulus program and raised interest rates three times during the year. The stock market reached several historic highs in 2017. Consumer income rose and purchases increased, but inflation remained stubbornly below 2.0%. Business investment expanded in 2017 and is expected to surge in 2018. The year ended with the passage of sweeping tax reform legislation.


did you know?

A study by Cerulli Associates revealed that while only 15 percent of advisors focus on a niche market, those practices accounted for 29 percent of overall advisor assets. But those numbers are rising, according to the study, with more advisors looking to grow their business by becoming a specialist. While a generalist will see their practice grow in a straight line, experts say that specialists are more inclined to experience exponential growth. Types of niche focus areas include:

  • Professional: doctors, corporations, foreign nationals, industries
  • Life transitions: remarriage, divorce, retirement, career development, loss of spouse
  • Income/asset level: high net worth, mass affluent, middle class
  • Age-based: baby boomers, Generation X/Y

Sources: Cerulli Associates and CNBC

bright ideas
Specialization and Wow!
How Advisors Can Build a Game Plan for Practice Success

In the world of financial services, everyone wants to know the secret to being a top advisor. While no single characteristic defines greatness in this field, at Beacon, we have noticed that most successful advisors do share a common trait—they specialize in their practice. For an advisor wanting to take his or her practice to the next level, specialization might seem a daunting task. You might be saying, “I don’t want to turn away a client just because they don’t fit a certain niche,” but that’s exactly the path taken by some of the most successful advisors we work with today. Here are three of their stories:

Emotional Impact

One advisor we’ve worked with had amassed a clientele of mostly high-net-worth professional athletes who played in the NFL, the NBA or major league baseball. These sports stars were his A clients from a financial standpoint, but when the advisor went through an analysis of his practice, he realized they were a drag on his business from an efficiency standpoint. Upon examining his business not only through a financial lens but also through the lens of personal happiness and satisfaction, he realized that he wanted to work with clients he could connect with on an emotional level and make a difference in their lives. As such, he made the difficult decision to change his focus away from high-net-worth sports clients and instead focused his practice on divorced women. At the time he had around $20 million in assets under management, but within two years, by zeroing in on a specific niche he was passionate about, he has taken his business to $75 million AUM and is ultimately much happier with his clientele.


Another successful advisor we work with found his specialization in working with members of the military. This advisor decided years ago to make military clients his sole focus. To do so, he became an expert in all areas and nuances of a military client’s compensation and retirement benefits. The advisor explained to us that by specializing in one area—military clients—it’s allowed him to run an incredibly efficient practice. His clients require similar paperwork and often experience similar challenges that he is able to streamline due to his expertise. As a result of his referrals within the military community, he now has clients in 30 states and four countries, and he conducts many of his client meetings via video conferencing.

Government Workers

Another of our successful advisors with more than $100 million in AUM focuses solely on working with a unique retirement niche—government employees. Instead of Social Security, government employees have their own Thrift Savings Plan with its own set of specialized requirements. Years ago, this advisor immersed himself in understanding the intricacies of government retirement programs, becoming an expert on government benefits and government rollovers. Today, he finds himself in demand as a speaker and delivers webinars and seminars to thousands of government employees annually.

Wow Factor

In all three advisor examples, they are able to deliver a wow factor with their clients and prospects because they have complete expertise in their chosen topic. Instead of being a jack-of-all-trades, they have become a master of one, and can wow their clients by anticipating needs and answering questions before they’re even asked. The bottom line: they say that specialization has helped them grow their practices exponentially while also creating more happiness and satisfaction in the work that they do.

To learn more about how you can develop a specialization within your practice and wow your clients, contact your wholesaler today!

beacon news

Be sure to visit Beacon’s News & Press page for the latest credibility pieces to share with your clients and prospects, and follow Beacon on LinkedIn for the latest updates as they happen.


Watch Chris Cook’s latest interview with GoBankingRates on MSN Money “Defensive Investing Strategies for Retirees”.



Beacon Capital Management, Inc. is an investment advisory firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additional information about Beacon Capital Management is also available on the SEC’s website at under CRD number 120641. Beacon Capital Management only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or excluded or exempted from registration requirements.

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