Results 101–150 of 156 found.
Three Reasons why Robo-Advisors are a Huge Benefit to the Advisory Profession
It's time to change our thinking about the so-called robo-advisory firms that are moving into the financial planning landscape. They are going to be far more beneficial to the planning/investment advisory profession than any innovation in recent decades. Let's explore three ways these firms are changing the planning ecology, and note that all of them are not just positive, but significantly positive.
The Tool that Will Transform Firmwide Financial Planning
Alex Murguia, founder and CEO of InStream Solutions, may be the most creative visionary in today's advisor software ecosystem. And like all people who think outside the box, sometimes he discovers that his best ideas have far better uses than he intended.
The Five Biggest Ways Your Practice Needs to Change
Telling you to brace for change, over and over again, isn't exactly helping you make concrete plans. With the constant demands on your time, it would be helpful to know: What are the new realities to which you must adapt? Where are the transitions going to impact your practice? What old ways are you going to have to abandon, and what new ones will you have to adopt? Here's my list, including five that are either urgent or high-priority changes.
What is "Fee-Only?" Is the CFP Board Taking the Right Approach to Defining it?
Which is more important to your advisory practice - your CFP designation or your fee-only status? Before you answer, consider this: Your CFP mark says very little about whether you adhere to a fiduciary standard, and less about your mode of compensation. Those issues are at the forefront of an ongoing controversy pitting the CFP Board against a prominent advisor, and there is little sign that its outcome will resolve the ongoing debate about how to define a fee-only professional engagement. If anything, it raises more questions than answers.
Ranking the Top 10 "Differentiators" for Advisory Firms
If we have a clear idea of what foregrounds one advisory firm ahead of others, then we can deliberately cultivate those characteristics. The problem is, nobody has ever compiled a comprehensive list of differentiators, much less ranked them according to importance. So, to fill that obvious void, I've ranked the top 10 differentiators that I've personally seen advisors use in their positioning and marketing.
Ten Reasons the Advisory Business is Unlike Any Other
The business dynamics that an advisory firm faces are so fundamentally different that any small business owner, dropped into your executive chair, would feel like she had been transported to another planet. To see how exceptional your business climate really is, let's take a quick tour of some of the differences between an investment advisory firm and a typical member of the business landscape.
What an Elite Group of Younger Advisors Has to Say
I recently served as a facilitator for the annual NexGen conference, this year held on the campus of Augustana University in Moline, IL. I was able to gain insight into the very different way that the financial planning landscape looks through the eyes of younger advisors just starting their careers - and in many cases, from the bottom end of a planning firm's organizational chart.
Six Questions for the Future of the Planning Profession
A few weeks ago, I asked for your help as we created the scenario learning session for the Insider's Forum conference in September. We're going to map out some possible futures that you can prepare for, using as raw material the crowdsourced thoughts and ideas that you provide to us. Here are six questions that have been raised and addressed about the future in the first round of our exercise.
How to Help Business Clients Unlock Wealth
Is there a way to help your business clients diversify their holdings, take some risk off the table and create a side investment portfolio that will sustain them if their business runs into trouble? Is there a way you can help your clients find capital when they need it most?
How to Avoid Hidden Costs in Your Bond Allocations
The supposedly safe move to shorten bond maturities in anticipation of rate increases has been very costly over the last three years - and there’s no reason to expect the next three will be any different. Here’s a way to quantify those costs and position your portfolios in a way that makes money in a variety of interest-rate scenarios.
Crashing Through the Insurance Industrys Wall of Silence
A cash-value insurance policy is essentially a mutual fund investment account that pays annual term-insurance premiums on behalf of the policyholder each year, so theoretically you should be able to get the same disclosure on the funds and on yearly payment for life insurance protection, the way you do on any of the term insurance websites. Heres how you can do that for your clients.
Five Technology Trends that are Reshaping the Industry
Recently, I spent a couple of days at the annual T3 conference - the financial planning professions version of the Consumer Electronics Show. The conference brings together tech vendors offering planning software, CRM, portfolio tracking, rebalancing and trading, outsourcing, hosting and screening. Here are five trends that will help all of us put the new technology into perspective.
Do-It-Yourself Practice Valuations
More firms are looking to grow through acquisition. Indeed, this pathway to growth has been incredibly vibrant in the last 12 months. But the biggest impediment has been unrealistic expectations and valuations. Here is a tool that addresses these valuation challenges - and it comes at exactly the right time for the profession.
Looking Back at the Advisory Profession 20 Years from Now
Ive powered up my time-travel hardware to take a clear look at the year 2034. Ive received budgetary approval to make a long-distance phone call into the future, and conduct a real interview with a successful advisor in that time period. Yes, it was expensive. But nothing is too good for our readers.
Ten Predictions for Advisors in 2014
Nobody can predict the markets. But it is possible to forecast the challenges that financial advisors and planners will face in the next 12 months, or at least provide a warning system for impending threats. Here are my top 10 issues to think about as we enter 2014 - offered with humility and respect for the world’s ability to surprise us.
The Price America Pays for Global Leadership
Americas political debates inevitably default to finding ways to contain our federal deficits, and our investment debates focus on whether were facing a secular bear or bull market - and how to maneuver within that environment. I had never imagined that these two debates could be related until I heard a presentation by Bill OGrady, of Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, MO at the Insiders Forum conference in Dallas.
The Advisory Professions Best Web Sites
His firm has created more than 2,000 websites for financial advisors. Bart Wisniowski, founder and CEO of Advisor Websites, has the best seat in the house to watch the rapidly evolving state-of-the-art in website design and feature sets in this age of social media, video blogs and smartphones. In a recent interview, Wisniowski not only talked about the latest developments and trends that hes seeing; he also identified some of the advisory professions most interesting and creative websites.
Why Deficits Don?t Matter
Stephanie Kelton, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri/Kansas City, believes that the root of our deficit problems can be found in a fundamental misunderstanding ? shared by Democrats, Republicans and mainstream voters alike ? about the government?s balance sheet. She argues, plausibly, that the whole idea that we should control the deficit at all is costing our nation trillions of dollars in lost output. The result is lost income, savings, wealth and prosperity.
The Key Succession Issues for an Advisory Practice
Succession planning has moved to the top of the practice management priority list for tens of thousands of advisory firms. As the average age of founder/advisors creeps ever closer to traditional retirement age, the profession is asking itself a lot of hard questions about how to keep these businesses alive ? and take care of clients ? after the founder retires.
Achievement Awards Announced at the 2013 Insiders Forum Conference and Leadership Forum
The first annual Insiders Forum conference attracted more than its share of industry leaders. But two of its more prominent attendees received special recognition for their contributions to the financial planning/investment advisory profession.
The Price Clients Pay for Worst-Case Forecasts
Clients and the world at large give inordinate attention to downside scenarios, and nobody is calling our attention to the much larger upside of our business and investment landscape. The human brain amplifies this effect, because it is hardwired to notice threats much more than opportunities. I recently spoke with Dennis Stearns ? an advisor who happens to be an expert in scenario planning ? about the role planners need to play to counteract media-driven negativity.
Envisioning the Planning Firm of the Future
Virtually all advisors operate with a value proposition built on bettering their clients financial future through management of their assets. But trends in the workforce and capital markets will force advisors to rethink those assumptions and, if Richie Lee is right, the planning firm of the future will adapt a four-factor service model that places much greater emphasis on helping clients maximize their human capital.
Woody Brocks Challenge to Krugman and the Keynesians
A polarizing choice confronts policymakers. Either they side with Paul Krugman and the Keynesians, and advocate for aggressive fiscal measures to stimulate Americas economic growth rate, or they align themselves with the so-called austerians, who argue that budget cutbacks are necessary to eliminate deficits. A third option is rarely discussed. Its most outspoken proponent, Horace Woody Brock, says that America should continue to borrow, but spend wisely ? and develop new policy instruments that would eliminate asset bubbles and stimulate economic activity.
Six Reasons You’re Charging the Wrong Fees
My research has explored the spectrum of advisory fees in considerable detail, and has allowed advisors to compare their fee structures with professional norms, evolving trends and the input of advisors around the country. Here are the six biggest oddities I discovered ? each of which is a clear sign that advisors are not charging as much as they should.
Breakaway Brokers: What the Data Really Say
For the past 15 years, and especially since 2008, few assumptions have been accepted as widely or confidently in the financial services world as the idea that brokers are leaving the wirehouse environment in increasing numbers ? and taking their clients with them. Underlying that assumption is another: that the trend is accelerating, and will continue to do so until the brokerage industrys retail footprint has been severely diminished. The more extreme projections see the entire brokerage asset gatherer/sales model following Lehman, E. F. Hutton and Bear Stearns into extinction.
The Most Underappreciated Threat to the Advisory Business
Financial advisors have often heard the warning that their investment management services are going to become commoditized ? so often, in fact, that you can forgive them for ceasing to pay attention. But if you dont believe that an online algorithm can replace the sophisticated advice offered by a flesh-and-blood advisor, then check out the Wealthfront USA website.
Four Bold Innovations that will Revolutionize Financial Planning
What it would be like for an advisor in the 1980s to be magically transported to our 21st century? The changes would be dazzling: the Internet and social media, exchange-traded funds and Morningstar data, Skype conferences and the virtual cloud, plus a few million mobile device apps that do everything but vacuum your house.
The Most Important Practice Management Challenge
The future of the advisory business is all about people, according to Philip Palaveev. No matter what happens with consolidation and pricing, he says, no matter what role technology plays, the most successful firms of the future will be those which excel at retaining, motivating and organizing their people.
Comparing Advisors to Jim Cramer: Measuring your Professional Alpha
Jim Cramer, Suze Orman and other so-called investment pundits and gurus are constantly telling consumers that they can do a great job of managing their portfolios on their own. Let's look at what the research has to say about the various investment performance benefits that advisors should be able to give their clients during the accumulation phase of their lives ? excess returns above what do-it-yourself investors could obtain on their own. I call those excess returns 'professional alpha.'
Getting the Most from Your Investment Committee
Investment committees are a little bit like fingerprints: they come in all shapes and sizes, and no two are exactly alike in form or function. So advisory firms that have investment committees ? or are considering creating one ? can learn a lot from one another. My research has identified some best practices for this flexible management tool, by comparing notes among advisors on how they are managing their IC teams.
The Ten Key Benefits of Investment Committees
In this first part of a two-part report, I'll identify ten core purposes that investment committees serve in different types of firms, ranking them in order of the number of responses I received. If your investment committee is serving all ten purposes, based on the survey, you're among a select minority - which means that many advisors may find new ways to use this versatile new tool in their RIA practices.
The Fallacies in Today?s Retirement Plan Assumptions: Putting the Hedonic Pleasure Index to Work
Are you dramatically underestimating your clients' retirement lifestyle expenditures when you use Monte Carlo software? If you stop and look at a number of important assumptions hidden in the current models, you'll suddenly have a lot less confidence in the retirement plans you?re mapping out for your clients.
Building Portfolios that Beat their Benchmark: Measuring Nanometers with a Yardstick
Using tools he co-developed with the Nobel-prize winning economist Bill Sharpe, one advisor has found that he can reliably outperform an appropriate benchmark. His work proves it is possible to build a portfolio knowledgably. You just need the right tools to get the job done.
How to Change the Regulatory Debate - Before it's Too Late
After almost a decade of lobbying, arguing, and posturing, the long fight on Capitol Hill over who will regulate RIAs and how to define 'fiduciary' is approaching a close. Within the next six months, there will no longer be any real excuse to put off a decision, and new players, both in Congress and at the SEC, will be eager to start fresh.
The Key Obstacles to Succession Planning
At every financial services conference, you hear complaints about all those clients who never managed to get around to implementing the fancy, creative, tax-saving estate plans that their advisor created for them. But are financial planners any better?
The Profession's Faulty Assumptions: A Top Ten List
In the financial planning profession, we make a lot of assumptions about the world in order to run spreadsheet models, retirement projections and sufficiency analyses, and generally determine how much a client should save and invest for the future. But many of the industry-standard inputs into our models are (how can I say this delicately?) garbage. Here are my top ten garbage inputs, with an explanation of how we might possibly improve on them.
The Alternative to AUM-Based Fees: The Total Profitability Retainer Formula
Many - perhaps most - advisors are overcharging a few of their clients and undercharging the rest. In other words, a small number of investment advisor clients are subsidizing the services that the others are receiving. Here's a way to address that.
Why Are Advisory Fees Lower Than They Have To Be?
How much should you charge for your services? Is there any way to objectively calculate a fair price? Doctors, lawyers and accountants all charge relatively similar prices for their services. Why does the financial planning profession have fees that are all over the map?
The Bargains in Europe's Great Oversell
When was the last time we saw negative headlines drive valuations as low as they have in Europe? Evermore's David Marcus, who succeeded Michael Price as manager of the Mutual European Fund, says this period of obsession with Greek debt, bank restructuring and single-digit P/Es may be known as The Great Oversell.
How to Respond to the Bachus-McCarthy Bill
I recommend that everybody contact your elected representatives and tell them that the proposed Bachus-McCarthy legislation would be detrimental to the small businesses in their district or state. Below is a sample letter for you to send to your elected representatives, and a press release for you to send to your local paper and press contacts.
Suppose you were somehow able to convince 40 advisors, who are all well-known thought leaders in the profession, to gather in the same room for a six-hour brainstorming session. The goal: to identify the single most important thing that the financial planning profession should be thinking about now. What do you think they'd come up with? Fasten your seat belts, because this may be the most important report you'll read all year.
The Information Risk Premium: A New Danger to Client Portfolios
Michael Aronstein, who manages the Marketfield Fund, connected two dots that most of us are aware of intuitively, but may not have consciously considered. As Bob Veres writes, Aronstein says that the primary challenge for investment advisors, financial planners and money managers today, which is different from the challenges you faced in the past, is the sheer amount of attention that investors are now able to pay to the ups and downs in their portfolios.
Results 101–150 of 156 found.