Advisors and Clients Walking past Each Other on Sustainable Investment
Did you know that more than $12 trillion in assets under management are engaged in one or more strategies of sustainable investment in the United States? This comprises more than 25 percent of the professional managed assets across the country and is a 38 percent growth from 2016 figures.
Three Highlights from the MarketCounsel Summit
MarketCounsel’s Summit, held earlier this week in Miami, lived up to its reputation as the “all-star game” of financial advisor conferences, attracting top-level executives from throughout the investment industry. Here are three highlights from Tuesday’s sessions.
Identifying and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
MarketCounsel is known as the “adviser’s advisor.” It is the leading business and regulatory compliance consulting firm to the country’s preeminent entrepreneurial investment advisors. It delivers comprehensive, regulatory compliance solutions. It works with startup investment advisors through its RIA Incubator program, and it offers outsourced compliance department capabilities through its RIA Institute.
All Asset All Access, December 2019
Research Affiliates discusses why they believe value investing is still alive and well and explains how changes to the display of expense ratios seek to enhance clarity for investors.
The Best Content to Drive Engagement
Where can I find the best content to drive engagement? I’m not looking to provide market commentary. It would be great if I could customize it with our brand but not have to rewrite any of the content.
Will Outsourcing Improve Profit Margins?
I’m not interested in letting most of my staff go. But I am also not up for adding to staff and therefore expenses.
Quiet Your Ego
If your ego is too loud, it stops you from reaching your goals and having a happier, more fulfilling life.
College Planning: Is the ROI in the College or the Major?
Over the course of 20+ years, families have been bamboozled into spending trillions on top-end colleges, while overlooking the fact that it's actually the academic major that is far more important.
A Primer on Retirement Plan Compliance
The purpose of this article is to better acquaint plan sponsors and service providers, like BDs and RIAs, dealing with 401(k) plans with the requirements they must understand and adhere to under ERISA.
The CFP Board Steps Up (Almost)
As we mark the golden anniversary of the creation the undertaking we know call “financial planning,” the CFP Board took a decisive step to enforce a real fiduciary standard by requiring disclosure and informed customer consent of material conflicts.
The Impact of FINRA’s Ruling on Advisors as Trustees
FINRA’s proposed rule 3241 seeks to mitigate conflicts of interest that may arise when an advisor assumes certain types of fiduciary obligations for a client. It places addition scrutiny in cases where an advisor serves as the trustee or beneficiary for a client.
How Financial Planning Can Become a True Profession
There are many prerequisites to becoming a true profession. Have we satisfied those requirements? And if so – do we desire to take the next step – seeking true status as a profession through legislation?
What Advisors Don’t Understand About Prospects
Few of us realize the anxiety-ridden mindset that drives prospects to seek a financial advisor. If they did, they would structure their initial meetings very differently.
My Advisors Have “Gone Rogue”
I have a team of five who do analysis, trading and help craft investment strategy for the firm. But a couple of our advisors insist on implementing their own investment philosophies.
Equities Gained Ground Globally in November
The S&P 500 is up more than 25% year to date and has notched 26 record highs since January.
Is Your Conference Room a Torture Chamber?
Many of you are planning an office move or renovation next year. Here’s a morsel of advice as you dial up your Corcoran realtor: Get an office without a conference room.
How the Holiday Spirit Can Generate More Clients
Let this “season of giving” inspire your marketing strategy in 2020. Being generous to your prospects is an extremely effective way to turn them into clients.
Why Advisors Shouldn’t Write Economic Commentaries
My guest today, Sara Grillo, has written that she would rather piece her own ears than read another economic commentary written by a financial advisor. That is the question we are going to explore today. For sure, your clients are interested in understanding the key trends and developments in the economy, particularly as it pertains to their investments. But should you, as advisors, be writing those commentaries?
Diversity and Inclusion in the Advisory Profession
According to a recent report by the consulting firm Cerulli and Associates, women make up only 16% of financial advisors – and that percentage is fairly consistent across all channels – brokers, banks and independent RIAs. Sheryl Garrett and I explore the issues around diversity and inclusion in the advisory profession. Why are there so few women and minorities in our profession? With an aging population of advisors due to retire in the next decade or two, what will the next generation of leadership among advisors look like? And what can be done to provide better career path options for women and minorities?
Unlimited Time Off?
During the interview process, a job candidate I liked very much talked about another offer she was considering and mentioned one of the benefits was “unlimited paid time off.”
A Noisy Barrier to Communication
It’s difficult to put your ego aside and focus on the other person. I confront this every day. But sometimes I fall into a vicious trap that advisors, as well, must avoid.
5 Factors for Healthcare Organizations to Consider When Choosing an Ocio Provider
As the clock ticks toward 2020, the overall economic picture remains muddled. Ongoing trade tensions and slumping global growth have cast a cloud of uncertainty over the globe, and forward-looking return expectations continue to look less than impressive.
Training the Investor Brain: Managing Emotions and Building Your Business
What can advisors do to be more transparent or communicate better?
Stop Licking the Lollipop of Mediocrity and Make 2020 Your Best Year Ever
Here’s how you can radically accelerate your success, get back your time and freedom and build a wildly successful practice and life that you love.
Five Big Ideas to Gain an Unfair Competitive Advantage in 2020
Let’s look here for a handful of unfair advantages to gain over the competition in 2020. These are things that are not hard to implement, which will help you become more efficient, gain new clients or stand out from your peers.
A Major Insurer Exposes the Weakness in the CFP Board’s Standards
The CFP Board had noble intentions with its new standards that became effective last month. However, its handling of conflicts falls so short that absent significant new guidance the credibility of the standards is in serious doubt. This is clear from the recent publication of a major insurer’s eye-opening disclosure intended to address conflicts.
Go See a Therapist
Therapists and accountants are valuable resources. They have confronted the issues we experience during our lives. But that’s not why I’m recommending you see a therapist.
Introducing the One-Page Website. Cut!
I would derive such immense pleasure from lighting a match to the website of every single advisor in this profession and watching it burn down to the ground.
The Illusion of the Value Factor and Alpha
Despite decades of academics and practitioners promoting the “value factor,” it generates marginal to no long-term alpha. Four reasons have slowed the transition from the accepted “value” regime (low price to something) towards a more robust and realistic true value regime (worth measured independent of market price and focused on the value of future cash flows).
Please Stop Saying Everyone Is so Bearish
Throughout this 10-year bull market, investors have been overly cautious toward equity markets and ignored “new highs”. Now in this late-cycle market environment, investors are piling into cyclicality, private equity and venture capital. It’s time to stop saying everyone is so bearish.
During Q3 2019, “haven” assets were strongest among the primary asset classes. This followed a similar pattern from the second quarter.
Climbing the ESG Learning Curve in Emerging Markets
ESG integration is best used as a tool to improve portfolio returns and/or reduce risk. While usually thought of as a company-level concern, material ESG data can be very useful at the country level as well, especially in emerging markets. ESG signals are only as good as the quality of their inputs.
Helping Clients Who are Worried About the Market
Clients are nervous. Things have been good for so long and, as one client told me, when she asked us to move most of her assets into safe instruments, “What goes up will eventually come down and possibly come down really hard.” We don’t agree.
Because you’re an expert on all things financial, you may believe you know what’s best for others – in their financial lives and otherwise. But it’s unlikely you do. The culprit is your inability to communicate effectively, as these “bloopers” illustrate.
Venerated Voices™ Q3 2019 Rankings
Advisor Perspectives has announced its Venerated Voices™ awards for commentaries published in Q3 2019.
Evaluating the Performance of ESG Funds
An ESG mandate fulfills the noble goal of aligning investors’ portfolios with their personal values and beliefs. But new research affirms what financial theory predicts: Those investors will incur a penalty in terms of risk-adjusted performance.
Advice and Resources for Getting Started with ESG/SRI Investing
If you’re an advisor looking to differentiate your practice from others, consider this article to be your first step toward a better understanding of impact investing.
Should You Buy the Saudi Aramco IPO?
This is an absolute monarchy we’re talking about, after all, and so global investors should not expect to have any shareholder rights. Aramco’s board of directors will have a fiduciary duty to MBS and any future monarch, not to investors. This has some serious implications.
NewsLetter – November 2019
Read Harold Evensky's latest Newsletter.
Don’t Believe Your Own Press Releases
I like to think I’ve learned from my mistakes, of which I’ve made plenty. Recently I reflected on what’s worked and what hasn’t. Here are two rules that have endured.
How to Prep for Client Meetings
How do I get my financial advisors to understand they don’t know everything about their clients?
Revisiting the Six Traditional Ways to Find New Clients
In my previous article, I talked about how important it is to know who you best serve and what types of people and personalities are right for your firm. Now, let’s determine how to reach those people and grow your firm.
How to Meet New Clients During Your Kid's Soccer Practice
When I was an advisor, I had tremendous success meeting prospects while my kid was swinging on the jungle gym. Here’s the method to use to meet new clients while your kid is at soccer practice (or tennis, basketball, etc.)
The Risk Mitigation Advantage in Active Fixed-Income Management
Why active has the potential to outperform passive in fixed income.
The Tough Truth About a Profitable Practice
Growing your practice isn’t just about good marketing. If you’re looking to make a better impression outwards, look inwards first at the foundation of any future growth – your profitability. The need to achieve profitability is something that most business owners take for granted. But for financial advisors, achieving that goal is especially important, as my guest, Jim Palumbo, explains.
What's Behind the Surge in RIA M&A Activity?
Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the wealth management profession has reached record levels this year, highlighted by mega-deals such as the acquisition of United Capital by Goldman Sachs. Indeed, the total AUM of deals more than doubled since 2018, according to some reports. My guest today is David DeVoe, who will help us understand what is behind that trend, whether it will continue and what advisors should consider if they want to position themselves for a sale.
3 Emerging Europe Stocks We're Bullish On Right Now
The U.S. stock market has been hitting new all-time highs thanks to lower rates, positive earnings surprises and optimism that a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war comes sooner rather than later. But don’t let that distract you from exciting things that are happening in overseas markets, specifically in Eastern and Emerging European countries.
Are Your Clients Ready for Higher Inflation?
For most of the last 20 years, advisors could safely ignore inflation and the risks it poses to their clients’ fixed-income holdings and earning power. But inflation is too dangerous a risk to disregard. What are the chances of an upward spike in inflation and what would that mean for clients?
The Importance of Finding Your Ideal Client
Not everyone in your local area will be a good fit for your business. You need to strategically think about who you serve best before you go knocking on every door in town.
How to Recession-Proof Your Practice
Advisors can recession-proof their clients' investment portfolio in their sleep. But how can you recession-proof your practice to avoid excessively focusing on needy clients, suffering lower profits, or losing a big client or key employee?
Combating Sexism in the Office
As a senior woman in the investment industry, I am consistently appalled at how my male colleagues think nothing of talking about a woman’s physique, “beauty” or personality in my presence.
Inexpensive Technology That Can Transform Your Practice
Most advisors tell you they are “tech savvy” and utilize the latest technology. That may be true, but I have a couple of suggestions you may not have considered.
3rd Quarter Commentary
Listen... do you hear that? A bubble is popping. No, we aren’t talking about the stock market... well, at least not the stock market you’re probably thinking about. Generally, public companies have the economics to back up their lofty valuations, even if those valuations are, well, lofty. It is the market for private companies, specifically those backed by venture capital (VC), that looks truly bubblelicious.
Where the Davis Funds is Finding Great Opportunities
Chris Davis is chairman of Davis Advisors, a firm founded by his father that has followed the same value-investing discipline for its 50-year history. In this interview, Chris discusses the exceptional opportunities he is finding among the financial stocks, how financial advisors can add the greatest value and the biggest changes he has seen over his career.
How to Attract 70 Ultra-High Net Worth Clients
Many of you read my article about the “70 deep model,” which explained the paradigm for a practice serving 70 or fewer clients with deep, high-touch service that commands a higher price. Here is how to develop those relationships.
China’s Disturbing Vision
But surely, we can work a trade deal? One that protects intellectual property and opens up the Chinese market to American companies? That seems to be the narrative that markets are looking for. But it may not be the narrative we get…
Templeton Global Macro: An Update on our ESG Scores
This update contains a brief background on our ESG philosophy as well as an update on our methodology, notably including an improvement we made to adjust from overweighting S and G factors in previous iterations to an equal weighting of each of the E, S and G factors going forward.
Three Keys to Building a Digital RIA Experience
When it comes to digital strategy in the wealth management industry, return on investment is totally dependent on how often clients keep coming back to a RIA’s client portal.
Does Niche Marketing Cost You Clients?
What’s the value of niche marketing? Does it limit you and make you more narrowly focused than you should be?
The Perils of Not Discussing Taxes with Clients
If you’re committed to helping your clients achieve their financial outcomes, don’t avoid discussing taxes.
How to Position Portfolios for the Next Recession
Guggenheim’s macroeconomic team is predicting a recession by mid-2020. We discuss the underlying drivers of this forecast, the steps the Fed can take to address a weakening economy, and how advisors should allocate for the period ahead.
First Eagle: The Timeless Advantage of Value Investing
The First Eagle Global Fund (SGENX) reflects the teachings of Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett. In this interview, the three managers of the fund discuss a number of topics, including why they hold a large position in gold, why the market will favor value investors on a long-term basis and their views of ESG investing in the context of the companies they own.
If You’re Not Long, You’re Wrong
I remain bullish going forward despite signs that the world could be facing its worst economic slowdown since the financial crisis. The reason for my bullishness is simple: Bad news is good news.
A Long Road to a Limited Trade Deal, Canada’s Economy Will Decide Elections, ‘Nobel’ Ways of F
Deep U.S.-China divisions make a ‘phased’ deal our best hope for trade progress.
Is It Okay to Display My Success?
Clients have started commenting on the connection between my new, expensive car (which I am excited about) and their fees.
An Unexpected Way to Generate Leads
As a financial advisor turned digital-marketing consultant, I know how hard it is to get leads and new clients. That is why you’ll be surprised at this simple way to quickly generate more leads.
Charisma Does Not Make You a Good Advisor
An article in the New York Times guided those who want to be charismatic. It’s an interesting subject, but the goal is wrong. Here’s why.
Five Lessons Packaged Target-Date Solutions Can Learn from Customization
As defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors know, the US Department of Labor recommends considering both packaged and custom target-date strategies when choosing a solution. As we see it, packaged solutions can learn a few things from fully customized target-date solutions, which are generally used by large and megasize plan sponsors.
Equity Investment Outlook
During the third quarter, the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index (S&P 500), posted a modest 1.70% gain, while the U.S. economy enjoyed a continuation of the recovery begun in 2009. Both achievements were remarkable...
The Role of Fiduciary Duty in the Impeachment Process
On September 24, the specter of impeachment became a reality, as the House began its official inquiry. The case for impeachment may involve whether the president breached his fiduciary duties, so it is appropriate to reflect on the relationship to the advisory profession.
Market Review Q319: The Bursting Bubble of BS
Several rumblings in the quarter raised concerns about an imminent market crash. Another distinctive possibility is that the bubble of "airy promises" and overly optimistic growth expectations is bursting.
Dusting off the “fire extinguishers”
Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are critical safety devices. But investors in every cycle ignore the markets’ warning signals regarding risk. Rather than ignore the warnings, we are dusting off and priming the traditional portfolio “fire extinguishers”.
Q4 Investment Outlook: No Rest for the Weary
As we look ahead to the closing months of 2019, most of the year’s volatility drivers remain in place. With that in mind, we believe now may be the time to adopt a more defensive posture without deviating from your long-term strategic asset allocation.
The emerging financial planning profession is not about building empires, tricky investment strategies or sales. It is fundamentally about tens of thousands of financial planners who are toiling diligently, privately on behalf of their clients.
My Response to Ken Fisher: We Can Do Better as a Profession
Time has come for change. Let’s take a hard look at the abolition of silence, the role technology can play, our values and identity as a profession and who we allow to lead us.
Should Your Support Staff Meet with Clients?
Should my support staff and younger advisors meet with clients?
You’re Asking the Wrong Questions
Here is a very counter-intuitive – but powerful and respectful – way to convert a prospect into a client.
Harmonizing DB and DC: Part two - Investments
Learn the potential benefits of a harmonized investment approach to your organization's DB and DC plans.
All Asset All Access, October 2019
In this issue, Research Affiliates discusses why its contrarian philosophy may add value over the long term and how the growing likelihood of a global economic slowdown is affecting positioning.
My Expense Budget Was Slashed!
We’re being asked to cut expenses across the board. In our world, we have to take clients out to dinner and spend money to make money.
The Culture Shock Facing New RIAs
Wirehouses and banking institutions, particularly those that emphasize product sales over a collaborative office culture and positive client experience, create a stressful atmosphere. Advisors leaving that environment must prepare for the culture shift and surprises that awaits in their transition.
Say “No” to Saying “No”
We lead busy personal and professional lives that place heavy demands on our time. But it’s a mistake to quickly say “no” to something that might not offer immediate benefits.
Advisor Economic Updates Stink
I’d rather pierce my own ears than read another advisor-written economic update piece. Advisor economic updates stink.
Weaponizing the Dollar: The Nuclear Option, Part II
In Part I, we reviewed the U.S. current account problem, examined how the persistent deficit affects the economy, and discussed how the U.S. current account deficit is tied to American hegemony and ways the deficit could be addressed.
How To Build a Great Practice and Take 100 Days Off Per Year
What holds advisors back from building the business they ideally want is not their environment or skill set. It is the “mindset.” Stephanie Bogan explains how advisors can overcome the obstacles that prevent them from building a thriving practice and leading a joyful and fulfilling personal life.
Gold: The Unimpeachable Commodity Investment
History shows that presidential impeachments have had minimal impact on markets. We believe there are bigger risks to consider, including a potential German recession and record global debt. Against this background, gold can help improve a portfolio’s risk-adjusted returns.