Las Vegas (June 3, 2002) -- Successful CPA financial planners share five essential strategies, a leading consultant to financial service providers told CPA planners gathered here.

According to research conducted by CEG Worldwide, the highest earning CPA planners (defined as those who derive more than 40 percent of their revenue from providing investment products and or insurance products) focus on affluent private clients; use an advanced planning consulting process to differentiate themselves from the competition; manage their practices like businesses; partner with financial institutions; and make a lifelong commitment to learning, chief executive John Bowen told CPAs attending the American Institute of CPAs Advanced Investment Management Conference, during the keynote speech Thursday.

The report, titled "Your Roadmap to Incorporating Investment and Insurance Services Into Your CPA Practice," was based on a January 2002 survey of 1,685 partners from CPA firms.

Some 300 attendees and roughly 100 vendors and speakers attended this year's confab, marking the meeting's highest number of paid attendees, according to chairman Bart Francis.

"There's a significant change in the approach of this year's conference," Francis said, referring to the fact that this year's conference is focused on more advanced planning issues than in the past. "What we set out to do was approach things from a business perspective, and then take a look at what we saw as technical areas that either there were changes that occurred or we felt there had been insufficiently covered."

This year's agenda included topics such as alternative investments, single stock risk management, and hedge funds.

--Melissa Klein

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