Consider the “Invisible Rich.” They have money. They live near you, shopping in the same stores as you. You already know some rich people and many people pretending to be rich. There’s a third level, the rich who prefer to keep a low profile. How do you find them?
Back in 2004 I wrote my book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor.” It’s still available on Amazon. The chapter “Identifying the Invisible Rich” focuses on finding prospects among the wealthiest 2-5% within your local market. Here are some highlights of how you go about it.
High Asset, High Cash Flow Wealth
Plenty of people fit into this category. Senior officers at listed public companies are an excellent example. You know where to find a list of the top ten public companies in your market. Now here’s the surprise: There may be fifty or more public companies in the metro area! Some are small, but they issue stock and it’s traded on an exchange.
How do you find them? One example of a resource is the website for Credit Risk Monitor, www.crmz.com. They sell data, but also make a certain amount of information available through their website. You can view the set of active public companies headquartered in your state and find the local ones. Once you’ve got a stock ticker symbol, getting a list of the officers and board of directors online is pretty easy.
Low Asset, High Cash Flow Wealth
The financial services industry’s favorite prospects are people who already have a nest egg. There are plenty of people earning high salaries, providing them with disposable income, yet haven’t built up big bank balances yet. This category is best described as “people who work for someone else.”
Many professions fit into the category. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers come to mind. How do you find them?
Most professions require state licenses. You know this because financial advisors and insurance agents fit into this category. The website www.searchsystems.net has a collection of 70,000+ public access databases, the majority free to visit. Each state should have the category “Business and Professional Licenses.” Each profession usually has va search feature to verify credentials or find practitioners in your local area.
High Asset, Low Cash Flow Prospects
“Old Money” can be the most invisible wealth category. A retired friend in Naples, FL remarked you often don’t know how rich your neighbors were until you read their obituaries! You don’t need to wait that long. Many wealthy families are philanthropic. They consider giving back to the community an obligation of wealth. They contribute to local museums, cultural organizations and local nonprofits.
These organizations publish annual reports. These often include lists of major donors organized by giving category. Not everyone is listed. You often see “anonymous” under those headings.
The logic is simple: As a financial advisor, you seek out people with assets. Philanthropists have money to give away.
Under the Radar
Wealth doesn’t always fit into defined categories. Here’s an example: Longtime workers in a unionized factory might have put aside substantial assets into their company retirement plan. They live within their means, so there isn’t much money available for investment. If their plant closes, suddenly there’s a pool of retirement assets that can be rolled over elsewhere. They weren’t rich, yet suddenly became a good prospect.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 requires companies to provide advance notice of impending layoffs. Commonly known as WARN notices, these are on file with the state. They can easily be found online. You might have clients or friends at one of the affected firms.
Every financial services firm has rules about what you can (and cannot) do on the Internet. Every website seems to have terms and conditions about data usage. Keep these points in mind:
- Always read and respect the legal and privacy notices on websites.
- Only use websites for the purpose originally intended by the site.
- Find your information from more than one source.
- Always get Compliance approval before starting research or prospecting strategies involving the Internet.
Where Can I Learn More?
For almost twenty years I’ve been delivering training and writing about identifying the invisible rich. Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel Inc. has taken my research and converted it into a series of short, compelling YouTube videos. They will be rolling them out in a webinar on September 8, 2021 at 1:15 PM PST. In addition, Dunham has developed state specific versions to make the research easier for RIAs and other independent advisors to utilize. The state specific research is available through their team of wholesalers. Click here to register for the webinar.