RIA Central Digests for 09/02/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

Why not try this cost-effective marketing approach: Offer a service or solution that prospects will pay for, and then upsell them to your “full solution.” Michael Kitces presents this idea in his blog post at Nerd’s Eye View and uses the example of offering an individualized Social Security analysis for a flat $200 fee. Even if participants don’t choose to work with the advisor on an ongoing basis, the advisor still gets paid for the limited solution –for marketing his/her expertise, in other words. Read the details below. Also, advisor Dave Grant, the founder of NAPFA Genesis, writes about some younger advisors (as well as a 70-year-old) who have leveraged the Internet and their own social circles to generate referrals. One advisor, for example, uses her writing skills to partner with content websites – and get her name out. The story is at Financial Planning.

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How to Market Your Business Like Neiman Marcus

A popular fashion blogger recently offered some marketing advice that can apply to any high-end business. The story goes that in the middle of the roaring twenties, Neiman Marcus devised a brilliant strategy to market its luxury goods to Texas oil and cattle millionaires.

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RIA Central Digests for 08/28/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

A lawsuit filed against Financial Engines for alleged patent infringement could have implications for financial institutions that offer or are considering offering computer-based advice, say lawyers quoted in a story at ThinkAdvisor. Employers that use such advice under their plans may want to keep a close eye on the pending lawsuit as well. A link to the story follows. Also, NASAA recently formed a new Committee on Senior Issues and Diminished Capacity, which will examine elder financial abuse. Officials cite the dangerous combination of aging boomers (many with diminishing mental capacity), complex investment products, and retirement savings accounts that are attractive to fraudsters. A story at InvestmentNews notes that the topic of elder investment abuse has become a high priority for regulators.

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RIA Central Digests for 08/27/2014

Practice Management

 

BNY Pershing is working on closing the generation gap through a program that pairs up executives with a “reverse mentor.” For example, Mark Tibergien, chief executive of Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC, works with 25-year-old Kayla Flaten, his millennial mentor. Marketing strategist April Rudin, in a column at RIABiz, describes the workings of the program and what mentors and mentees have learned so far. Also, a well-instituted onboarding program can boost employee retention, enhance customer service, and save time. An article at Financial Planning outlines what should take place before the hire, the first week, the first month, and during a three-month span. The authors include tips on effective teaching techniques for new hires.

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RIA Central Digests for 08/26/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

As you head off to industry conferences, be sure you’re looking beyond the goal of fulfilling continuing education credits. Kristin Harad, marketing trainer for advisors, recommends you first look inward and ask yourself a series of questions that will help you determine your next marketing steps. Set three objectives, she advises. One should be related to marketing. See her post at the Journal of Financial Planning’s Practice Management Blog for examples of measurable objectives or challenges. Also, why not put football season to work in your practice by sponsoring a fantasy football league? Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols of the Oechsli Institute describe how to build relationships by creating a league composed of key clients, prospects and COIs. They provide a helpful step-by-step process tomake sure you score a marketing touchdown. See their column at Wealth Management.

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RIA Central Digests for 08/21/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

Wrap accounts are being scrutinized by the SEC and will be an examination priority this year, according to a compliance expert quoted in a recent story at InvestmentNews. Research firm Cerulli Associates notes that wrap product assets jumped 25% from 2012 to 2013. For details on concerns regarding flat-fee wrap accounts, take a look at the InvestmentNewsstory that follows. Also, the growth of online investment management firms begs the question: Is a robo-advisor a fiduciary? Lawyers say yes. They are regulated just like independent advisors; they register with the SEC and are held to a fiduciary standard, notes a story at Reuters, below.

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RIA Central Digests for 08/20/2014

Practice Management

 

If you have a “scarcity” mindset, you believe in protecting your limited resources. If you have an “abundance” mindset, you want to maximize your potential and your resources. Michael Kitces describes how these two mindsets impact the behavior of clients as well as advisors. Advisors with an abundance mindset often are often the ones who volunteer, give back, and even network for referrals, Kitces writes. He suggests that those with a scarcity mindset take another look at how such a viewpoint can be “a self-limiting factor.” His post at Nerd’s Eye View has prompted quite a few comments. Also, motivating your team — and yourself — is an ongoing and critical process. Dan Richards outlines some of the research surrounding motivation and job satisfaction, including a formula that spells out the elements of a motivating job. His column is at Advisor Perspectives.

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Do We Still Need Rotary Clubs in the Digital Era?

Source: Wall Street Journal

These days so much of what we do is online. We use Facebook to connect with our friends living next door – or thousands of miles away. We share business referrals and make endorsements on Linked-In or by email. A recent Wall Street Journal study showed 43% of people never “unplug” from their technological gadgets – ever!

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RIA Central Digests for 08/19/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

If you’re not satisfied with the referrals you’re getting from centers of influence, it may be that you’re looking at COI relationships as a way to grow your business rather than what they should be: a way to provide a higher level of service to clients. JulieLittlechild explains how to assemble a COI network and how to get referrals by providing “active reassurance,” e.g., showing and reinforcingthe value you provide to them – as well as potential clients. Read the details in her blog post at JulieLittlechild.com.Also, creating videos to reach clients and prospects can be done with the help of a production company or through a do-it-yourself method. An article at InvestmentNews delves into both approaches. Monument Wealth Management, for example, used a production service to develop videos for the firm, which now has a YouTube channel with 20 different videos, the article notes. A link to the story follows.

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RIA Central Digests for 08/14/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

“Candy store” is the name for a hacker’s most lucrative targets, which include the high net worth, financial advisors and others who not only have large holdings, but connections and valuable information to go after. An article at ThinkAdvisor outlines the characteristics of a candy store, gleaned from a guide published by credit and identity-monitoring company Privide, and provides advice on how advisors can better protect themselves and clients. A link to the story follows. Also, in recent weeks several retail firms have disclosed disappointing earnings linked to regulatory and compliance issues. Is it a trend? Some industry executives say regulatory agencies have become increasingly aggressive. Read more in an article at InvestmentNews.

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