Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road…Dag Hammarskjold
Goal setting is a fundamental precept of many successful financial advisors. It is also a standard component of traditional coaching approaches. Whether or not one uses the existing goal setting models such as SMART Goals, or PRISM Goals, or some other framework; the goal-setting process is a critical marker on the road map to success.
As a stark demonstration of the catalytic effect of goal setting, ClientWise recently undertook a study in collaboration with our Australian research partner, Business Health Pty. Ltd. The participants in this study were 125 top-performing financial advisory teams who attended the recent Barron’s Team Summit. Among the questions within the survey, was this one:
Do you and the other members of your practice set clear goals and priorities periodically, and then reflect back on them at the end of each quarter?
The results were unambiguous:
- 10.4% responded, “No, we rarely set goals.” This group reported an average of $79,459,928.00 per team member.
- A majority, 50.4%, said, “Sometimes.” This group reports $113,646,756.00 per team member.
- 39.2% were definitive in their response, “Yes, we always set goals.” This group led the pack with $118,532,325.00 in AUM per team member.
The definitive goal-setting group had accumulated 49% more in assets versus the group who never set goals. Tellingly, even setting goals “sometimes”, led to 43% more assets than not setting them at all.
Note that the survey question wasn’t just, “Do you set goals?” There are three additional layers to the question.
- Setting clear goals
- Setting goals periodically
- Reflecting on these goals periodically
As such, it is the goal-setting process and framework that is equally important in the achievement of your objectives. One more critical factor is that the goals and the goal-setting process are top-of-mind. This happens by attending to the goals on a periodic (i.e. quarterly) basis, as opposed to a one-time exercise that happens in November, December, and January or whenever…and is ignored for the rest of the year.
We trust this helps.