The Million-Dollar Financial Advisor

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-11-02
  • Publisher: Amacom Books
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


The best financial advisors are well equipped to succeed regardless of market conditions. Based on interviews with fifteen top advisors, each doing several million dollars worth of business every year, The Million-Dollar Financial Advisor distills their universal success principles into thirteen distinct lessons. Each is explained step-by step for immediate application by veteran and new financial professionals alike. The book also features two complete case studies. First there is the "best of the best" advisor whose incredible success showcases the power of all the book's principles working together in concert. The second is an account of a remarkable and inspiring career turn around and demonstrates that it's never too late to reinvent oneself. Brimming with practical advice from the author and expert insights from his interview subjects, The Million-Dollar Financial Advisor is a priceless success tool for any and all financial advisors.

Author Biography

DAVID J. MULLEN JR. (Englewood, CO) is the author of The Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice as well as a 30-year industry veteran and former Managing Director at Merrill Lynch, where he trained more than 500 financial advisors. The success rate of his advisor training programs have been significantly higher than the industry average.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Lessons
Lesson #1: The Top Advisor Mindsetp. 23
Lesson #2: The "Leverage of Size" Principle
Lesson #3: Professional Developmentp. 50
Lesson #4: Specializationp. 61
Lesson #5: Relationship Focusp. 72
Lesson #6: Marketing Best Practicesp. 82
Lesson #7: Professional Referral Networksp. 113
Lesson #8: Nonprofit Organization Involvementp. 131
Lesson #9: Long-Term Orientationp. 144
Lesson #10: Creating a Teamp. 154
Lesson #31: Wealth Managementp. 167
Lesson #12: Commitment to Servicep. 179
Lesson #13: Time Managementp. 194
Putting the Lessons into practice
Taylor Glover: Lessons from the Very Topp. 209
Henry Camp: Going from Good to Greatp. 227
The Asset Challengep. 239
Indexp. 267
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.



I HAVE ALWAYS had an insatiable curiosity about the methods successful

people use to reach the pinnacle of their industry. I am particularly

interested in the financial services field, because this is where

I have made my career.When I started in the business back in 1980,

my goal was to create my own million-dollar practice, but I had

absolutely no idea how to do it. I read all the literature at the time

about how to be successful, but there didn’t seem to be any blueprint

for me to follow. Even though I was motivated to succeed, I knew

that the odds were against me: Only one percent of those who start

in this business ever reach the million-dollar business level.


So began the long, challenging journey toward my goal. I spent

the first six years of my career as a financial advisor, starting in

1980 with a large, national financial services firm in my hometown

of Athens, Georgia. I was 25 years old and had absolutely no idea

how to build a financial services practice. I didn’t know anyone

who had more than $20,000 to invest and had never sold an intangible

product before. I was as green as they get, but I did have a

high level of motivation to succeed. I soon recognized this business

was much more difficult than I had expected and that I was in

for the biggest challenge of my life. Through hard work, perseverance,

and a little luck, I began building my business, growing it

bigger every year.

While developing my practice, I realized that I wanted to help

others thrive as well. I was given my first opportunity to help other

financial advisors back in 1984, when I was promoted to the level of

producing manager in a large, national financial services firm in

Atlanta. I took my best accounts with me and threw myself at the

challenge. I was in charge of motivating a group of unsuspecting

financial advisors. What I lacked in managerial experience I made

up for in energy and enthusiasm. I began to teach the lessons that I

had learned to those reporting to me, to great results. In just two

years that office cumulatively grew by almost 30 percent.

Then, in 1986, I passed the firm’s assessment for managers, and

my dream of having a full-time career helping other financial advisors

came true. Over the next 20 years I had managerial responsibilities

in Denver, Newport Beach, Minneapolis, New York City,

and Atlanta. In every location I was sent I saw the same thing: I realized

that there was much to be learned, but saw how little was

shared. So I started to collect and refine a set of best business practices

for this industry. These lessons are featured in my first book,

The Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice, which provides the fundamentals

to guide any financial advisor to a million-dollar business,

no matter where you are in your financial services career.

Learning from the Masters

If my first book is the equivalent of a college degree in financial services,

then this new one is the graduate course. The first book was

designed to be a tactical blueprint for success, but the next step was

to focus on the proven lessons that could be learned from many of

the top advisors in the industry. The combination of these two books

should provide instruction as well as the motivation needed to help

you reach your goals. These lessons can be incorporated at any stage

of your financial career; in fact, the earlier they are understood and

followed, the better.

During my 20-year management career, I was privileged to meet

some of the very best and brightest in the financial services industry.

In fact, I recruited, hired, and eventually worked with more than

100 individuals who were “million plus” financial advisors. Through

this experience I was able observe the best practices of these top

financial advisors and compare them to the best practices I had

developed. I was surprised to see how much more I still had to learn.

Then I realized the challenge most advisors face: They simply don’t

have access to individuals they can learn from. There is little flow of

information downward because top advisors are extremely focused

on their own practices.

However, I was able to interview 15 professionals who have personally

exemplified what it takes to be at the very top. Through my

personal and professional relationships with them, I was able to

observe and interview them, asking them the questions that I know

you would want to ask on exactly how they were able to become so

successful. I had also worked directly with most of these advisors for

years and was able to watch them, in many instances, practicing

these lessons “live.” The combination of the interviews, my personal

interactions with these professionals, and my knowledge and experience

is what separates this book from all others.

The Million-Dollar Financial Advisorprovides a rare glimpse into

the best practices that make these top producers so successful. All of

the information in this book was acquired through in-depth interviews

and, in many cases, years of observations while working with

these top advisors. I am confident that this wealth of information

makes this book unique.

Each of these top advisors’ achievements went beyond a milliondollar

practice. In all cases these exceptional men and women became

successful “the old-fashion way.” No one handed them a book of business

or gave them special treatment: They all started at the bottom

and built their multimillion-dollar businesses from scratch. In all cases

they started with nothing. With no related experience, they made the

same mistakes all rookies make; they had to reinvent the wheel. In

each case, however, their motivation, determination, goal focus, and

hard work carried them through each obstacle that they faced to get

to the next level. My purpose was to discover the principles of success

that they all had in common and translate that into “lessons” for readers

to take their business to the next level.

You now have access to these top advisors. All of them have shared

their insights graciously and openly. You will learn from their mistakes

as well as their successes. And while it does not guarantee a multimilliondollar

practice, it can certainly raise your level of productivity. For

example, I would often send the advisors in the offices that I managed

to visit with higher producers in the same company, and I was always

pleased by the significant lift in returns that would result.

The Million-Dollar Financial Advisorwas written for financial

advisors who want to take their business practice to the next level.

The information I obtained from my extensive interviews has been

organized into 13 distinct lessons that these top advisors followed.

The guidelines should be used as a checklist to compare yourself

with the best in the business. In some cases the lessons should be

a confirmation of what you are currently doing right; in other

cases, they will identify a gap in your business practice that needs

to be developed. What’s more, this book provides the specific steps

that you can take in order to implement the lessons.

The careers of our top advisors have spanned from 7 to 40 years.

They have thrived during bull markets and survived during the bear

markets. Their lessons have withstood the test of time and are applicable

in any market environment. As we’ve seen from recent economic

events, markets have and always will change, but the lessons from these

top advisors stay the same. The lessons from these top advisors will

guide you to the top, too, no matter the current market conditions.

I have also included two complete case studies that are of particular

interest. First, you will meet Taylor Glover, whom I consider to

be the most successful financial advisor I have ever met. From my

interview with him, you will learn how the “best of the best” built his

business and how he advanced from a newly minted advisor to the

No. 1 producer in his firm. This case study also illustrates how all of

the lessons work together and what the results can be.

A second study illustrates a unique financial advisor who has

turned his career around. Henry Camp teaches us the value of hard

work and incredible perseverance and should serve as an inspiration

to anyone who desires to become a multimillion-dollar financial

advisor, no matter what career stage he or she is in.

The final chapter offers a specific challenge: to use these lessons

and drive your practice to financial success. By implementing these

lessons, you will understand how to significantly increase your

assets and your business. The Asset Challenge serves as an example

of what the implementation of the lessons from the top can produce.

Some advisors will exceed the goal and others may not reach

it, but those advisors that follow the tactical strategies outlined in

this chapter on a consistent basis will take their business practice to

the next and higher level.

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