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Have you started to think about your exit strategy yet? If so, it's absolutely essential that you give serious consideration to how you are going to maximize the market value of your business. A mistake can literally cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Consider the following. Dave and Susan are both ready to exit the wealth management profession. Dave is selling his book of business. The value of Dave's book is based on two factors - the value of the assets that Dave is managing and an estimate of the percentage of those assets that will go elsewhere when the book changes hands. Susan on the other hand is selling much more than a book of business. Over the years, Susan has prepared for this day by structuring and automating the operation of her practice. She has evolved into a management role, while her team operates the practice. Now she is selling a turn-key practice that won't be harmed by a change of ownership. The person that buys Susan's practice is gaining much more than a book of business. They are purchasing a proven and self-contained system. The value of Susan's practice is based on two factors - the value of the assets being managed by Susan's team and the value of the system that Susan has put in place. For many wealth managers (and particularly those that haven't developed a system of their own yet), the system is actually of greater value than the assets under management!

The moral of this story is simple. The value of a turn-key practice far exceeds the value of a book of business. If you want to retire in style, now is the time to begin putting your own system in place.

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