RIA Central Digests for 07/29/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

One way to differentiate yourself from other advisors is to offer time-saving webinars that demonstrate your expertise and value. An article at Financial Planning provides a step-by-step guide to creating an effective webinar. Step one is to choose a compelling topic. Also, Dan Solin suggests a remarkable, yet simple, method to help boost your conversion rate with prospects, and it’s based on psychological research on stimuli. Are you ready for it? Coffee! Read more about the power of caffeine in Solin’s column at Advisor Perspectives.

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RIA Central Digests for 07/24/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

ASalt Lake City broker’s promotional efforts, which included a radio show, book, billboards, and Facebook page,produced unintended results when they caught the attention of FINRA. According to a story at Reuters, FINRA saidBruce Lefavi violated rules of communicating with the public, including making “exaggerated, unwarranted and/or misleading claims.” A link to the story follows.Also, in a move to reform the arbitration process, FINRA has unveiled a new 13-member task force that will look into “improving transparency, impartiality and efficiency,” according to a story at InvestmentNews. Read the details below.

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RIA Central Digests for 07/23/2014

Practice Management

 

Taking note of how other advisors communicate with clients can be helpful in re-evaluating your practices. Michael Kitces summarizes some of the key findings in a recent study on “Trends in Client Communication,” put out by the FPA’s Research and Practice Institute. He points out some of the more intriguing results: 71% of advisors report that they segment their clients to some degree, and 85% conduct client meetings in their offices. Read more in his post is at Nerd’s Eye View. Also, when you talk with clients about assets, it can’t hurt to bring up digital assets. A story at InvestmentNews explores the need to establish ownership documentation for digital possessions as well as the need for contingency plans in case an owner dies. See the link below.

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Building a Billion-Dollar Practice…From Scratch

tinyofficeWhen financial advisor Ken Moraif began his career in Dallas in 1988, he had just a handful of clients and an office barely big enough for his desk, three chairs, and a few extra inches to spare.

 

Twenty-six years later, his practice, Money Matters, comprises nine offices in four states, employs dozens of financial advisors, and serves roughly 4,000 mass affluent clients with more than $2 billion in assets.

 

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RIA Central Digests for 07/22/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

Changing the name of your firm can come with a steep pricetag, but the result of rebranding – removing the emphasis on the name of the founder, for instance – can benefit recruiting efforts and firm mergers. Be sure to think it through, however, before you proceed. A story at Financial Planning gives some examples. Also, encouraging clients to create an ethical will, that is, a document that passes on the personal values and lessons of one generation to the next, can help build rapport between client and advisor. Keep in mind that an ethical will (not a legal document) is not for every client. A story at ThinkAdvisor discusses the process of introducing the idea to clients and provides questions for them to mull over as they begin writing. A link to the article follows.

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RIA Central Digests for 07/17/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

Four years ago (July 21, 2010), the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act gave the SEC the power to formulate a fiduciary-duty standard of care, and thus, the planning began. Since then, however, things have bogged down considerably, both with proposals from the SEC and from the Department of Labor. An article at InvestmentNews traces the activity (or lack of it) to where fiduciary rule-making stands today. Also, Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is calling for a full committee hearing to consider proposals to boost the number of advisor exams. One such proposal is her bill that would authorize the SEC to collect fees from advisors to help fund exams. The story is at ThinkAdvisor, below.

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RIA Central Digests for 07/16/2014

Practice Management

 

Clients want holistic financial planning and advisors want to provide it. But there’s caveat for advisors: comprehensive planning requires added resources and personnel. An article at Financial Planning describes the growing interest in holistic planning and gives advice from advisors who have taken that route. Also, growth and profits for RIAs have hit an all-time high, according to Schwab Advisor Services’ 2014 RIA Benchmarking Study. Participants in the study reveal that referrals from clients and businesses are their top strategies for driving organic growth. Read more in the story below from ThinkAdvisor.

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RIA Central Digests for 07/15/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

Means of communication between advisors and clients could change considerably — at least in some areas — in the next five years. Video conferencing, texting, and online services are all expected to become more prevalent, but there’s some discrepancybetween advisors and investors on just how much they expect to rely on these methods, according to results of an InvestmentNews Research survey. Still, both advisors and investors say telephone calls and in-person meetings will remain popular. Keep this in mind as you plan your marketing and sales strategies. See the InvestmentNews story below. Also, summer can be a perfect time for sizzling marketing events, but be sure you’re planning more than just a “party.” You need to have clear marketing objectives — and know how to keep events stress-free, friendly, and lively. See tips from Gail Graham, a chief marketing officer, in a story at Financial Advisor.

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5 Keys to Getting Big Referrals

Referrals

Client referrals are among the most valuable leads your business can generate. They’re more cost-effective than other lead acquisition strategies; they seek you out as a result of providing excellent service to your existing clients. They’re also more qualified than other leads or prospects, because the referrer has instilled in them an important degree of inherited trust, and thus doing some of the selling for you.

 

But while there’s no magic bullet that guarantees a steady stream of qualified referrals, there are several things you can to do to improve your chances of creating advocates who are ready to refer.

 

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