Lobbying Dollars Focused On DOL Fiduciary Rule Proposal

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Regulatory/Compliance

 

Lobbyist spending is on the rise in the financial services industry, and the bulk is being spent by interest groups that represent the brokerage side, according to an article at InvestmentNews. SIFMA spent $1.9 million on lobbying in the first quarter of this year, the article notes, compared with $1.88 million in the last quarter of 2014. A link to the article follows. Also, staying on top of compliance issues is a constant endeavor for financial advisors. A compliance expert who spoke at NAPFA’s recent annual conference provides a helpful checklist of reminders that advisors need to keep top of mind. One pointer: Watch your word choice on your website. See the story at Financial Planning, below.

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How To Guide Clients Through The Prenup Process

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Practice Management

 

When clients of advisor Kimberly Foss are headed for the altar, she sits them down for the “talk” — on preparing a prenuptial agreement. It’s often not an easy sell. “Many clients initially view it as unnecessary and, well, unromantic,” she writes in a post at Financial Planning. She offers several tips on making the process successful, including starting early — six months is standard, she notes. A link to the story follows. Also, technology is rapidly becoming a deal-breaker for investor-advisor relationships. The 2015 InvestmentNews Advisor Technology Study finds that “nearly 80% of high-net-worth clients under 40 say they would leave a firm that did not integrate technology into customer services, such as online access and mobile apps.” Read more about how top advisors are using technology in the InvestmentNews article that follows.

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51 Ways to Attract New Business

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Financial advisors who consistently market their business – consistently attract new assets. So while it may be tempting to take a break from marketing when times are good, it’s important to find a strategy you like, and stick with it over time. Or mix it up with some new ideas every once and awhile.

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Socially Responsible Investing Appeals To Younger Clients

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Sales & Marketing

 

Advisors who are versed in socially responsible investing may find that knowledge an asset when working with younger clients. A new report from Spectrem Research shows that more than one-fourth of investors under age 45 are at least 25% invested in socially responsible companies, according to a ThinkAdvisor article. Read more below. Also, financial advisors need to dress for success, and that means putting loud, trendy, and flashy apparel back in the closet. An article at WealthManagement.com describes what not to wear — from head to toe. Hint: No suspenders or novelty ties. A link to the story follows.

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Niche Marketing 101: Sample Round Table Dinner Agenda

Marketing

 

Breaking into a new niche requires research. Before you can effectively market to and serve a new niche, you need to talk to members of your niche, find out what makes them tick – and discover what financial challenges they’re experiencing.

 

You need to learn their language. So, why not invite them to a networking dinner and engage them in a lively roundtable discussion?

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Finra Announces Tougher Sanctions Guidelines

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Regulatory/Compliance

 

New sanctions guidelines issued by Finra this week call for tougher penalties against brokers and brokerages that commit fraud or sell unsuitable products to investors, according to an article at Reuters. A link to the story follows. In addition, robo-advisors have caught the attention of regulators, prompting an alert to investors to make sure they understand the risks, limitations and fees of online tools and automated investment platforms before they use them. The alert, issued by the SEC and Finra, provides five tips for investors. ThinkAdvisor has the story, below. Also, advisors may want to review how much control they have over client accounts. Michael Kitces cautions that even having a client’s username and password could trigger the custody rule, which would require additional reporting to clients as well as an annual “surprise” audit. Read more in his post at Nerd’s Eye View, below.

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Overcoming ‘Fear Factors’ In Succession Planning

no-fear

 

Practice Management

 

When advisors avoid succession planning, the reasons could be rooted in fear. Mark Tibergien outlines a list of questions for advisors to answer and discuss to find out what fear factors might be holding them back. For example, “Do I fear I will lose my stature in the community?” His column is at ThinkAdvisor. Also, two more “robo” announcements hit the financial services industry last week. Envestnet announced at its Advisors Summit that it is acquiring financial planning software firm Finance Logix and also unveiled plans for a new digital portal, Advisor Now. See the story at ThinkAdvisor, below. Meanwhile, Vanguard officially opened its Personal Advisor Services — a “robo advisor” — to the public and dropped its minimum investment requirement to $50,000 from $100,000. InvestmentNews has the story, below.

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Niche Marketing 101: Sample Round Table Discussion Invitation

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Breaking into a new niche takes time – but there’s no time like now to get started. And one of the best ways to commence your niche journey is with a round table discussion.

 

A round table discussion entails inviting several members of your niche to a dinner or lunch workshop to gather intelligence for working more effectively with their profession. You will probe what makes this niche tick – and what they need most from a wealth advisor. You’ll also ask them for ideas on reaching out to other niche members.

 

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Be Sure To Act On Client Feedback

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Sales & Marketing

 

Many advisors solicit input from clients but then neglect to incorporate that feedback into their practices. “If you ask for the feedback and then fail to act on it, it is worse than never having asked at all,” notes consultant Stephen Wershing in his blog post at The Client Driven Practice. Wershing offers five ways to keep client feedback top of mind. For example, when you implement a change based on clients’ input, acknowledge that you are acting on their recommendations. Such a move will help improve client loyalty and referrals. Also, how do you get high net worth clients to move all of their assets to you? It can take time, and one chief marketing officer explains: “You have to earn the right to ask for those assets.” An article at Financial Planning provides several ways to encourage clients to consolidate their assets with you. One approach is to explain how it can help them “achieve greater simplicity.” A link to the article follows.

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50 Questions You Should Be Able to Answer About Your Advisory Practice

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If you’ve read the classic book The E-Myth Revisited, you know that working on your business is essential to success. Working on your business is also critical if you wish to create a well-known brand. With that in mind, I came across a great list of questions put together by Wholesaler Mastermind. The intent of these questions was to help financial product wholesalers connect better with financial advisors – but they’re also a great tool for advisors to see how well they’re running their practice.

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