Scariest. Client Email. Ever.

Jul 17, 2014

It’s half time in the year and many of you are starting to prepare for a semi-annual review for your clients. You may have even completed a review of your own business for the first six months of the year – for many of you, things look good. Because of the market, AUM is up, revenue is probably up and for the most part, clients are somewhat happy. Time to settle down and take the summer off? I don’t think so.

Last week I saw a very interesting blog post from Carolyn McRea at Blueleaf. Time to be fat and happy? I don’t think so. Please enjoy Carolyn’s post.

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Tapping Advisor Technology Thought Leaders: Michael Kitces, Part 2

Jul 15, 2014

This is the second of two blog posts covering my conversation with Michael Kitces. In this one we pushed into the current trends of financial planning. To give you a sense for how Michael operates, our conversation was conducted while he was on a long drive. In total, we chatted for about two hours, during which he became more and more passionate. I only hope there weren’t many other drivers about, as a lot of brain power was focused on the phone, so there cannot have been much left for the road.

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Tapping Advisor Technology Thought Leaders: Michael Kitces, Part 1

Jul 10, 2014

My job gets me out of the office on a regular basis, visiting strategic partners and attending conferences. One of the things I love is meeting the people in our industry. Advisors on the whole are entrepreneurs and as such, have to have big personalities and the drive to survive. Therefore, those who service and advise them have to be the same. In today’s blog post, I have a discussion with a man who clearly fits this description: Michael Kitces.

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When Does Engagement Come After the Honeymoon? In Your Client Relationships

When Does Engagement Come After the Honeymoon? In Your Client Relationship
Last week’s post by Julie Littlechild called “How Fitbit Taught Me to Set Better Business Goals” was one of my favorite posts in quite a while. I really identified with it, as I’ve been wearing my Fitbit® device since March and averaging 13,346 steps per day. Her post was a great reminder that setting the goal was one thing, but having the dashboard and tracking your activities made it more real — and can make you more accountable.

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These Kids Today: How to Make Your Clients’ Children Your Clients

The responses to this blog always amaze me. The posts that I think are no-brainers tend to get a lot of comments from readers. The ones that I think are stronger and would warrant some discussion or feedback? Crickets. Nada. Nothing. No matter what I think is going to happen, I am usually wrong. And what I typically find is that after I see a post published, I am the first to think of an angle I missed. I usually suppress the desire to edit, but sometimes I have to add more to an existing post.

Last week, I wrote about communications in a post called Advisors: Don’t Take a Vacation this Summer from Communicating with Client. I shared an idea that one advisor was doing to communicate to his clients (in this case, me) during the summer months. He wanted to make sure that he could still educate and connect via technology, but he was going to tailor the communication to meet the needs of his client base…

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I Ran Into Your Wife at Starbucks, She Wasn’t Happy

Jun 26, 2014

As we roll in to the summer, I think work/life balance takes on even more significance. I can’t tell you how many advisors that I have met that let the business manage them and not the other way around. To me Robb Brown’s guest post today below is all about R.O.T. What is your “Return on Time” and are you really doing the things that you should be doing? You can’t control the markets and you can’t control the economy. You can control your own behavior and hopefully guide behavior of your clients. Please enjoy Robb’s post.

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Advisors: Don’t Take a Vacation this Summer from Communicating with Clients

Jun 24, 2014

One of the goals of this blog (and our SEI Advisor Network Practice Management solutions group in general) is to share with readers best practices of advisors around the country. In fact, some of the most popular Practically Speaking posts come from conversations, meetings, emails from readers, and advisors who I meet at conferences. This week I didn’t have to go far for inspiration as I just received note from my financial advisor and as usual, I think he nailed it.

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How Fitbit Taught Me to Set Better Business Goals

Jun 19, 2014

It was time to get serious about getting healthy. Armed with the right knowledge and right equipment, I did what most do in this situation…nothing.

“Get a Fitbit.” That was the suggestion of my coach, Caroline Miller, who has a particular gift in helping her clients define and attack their personal goals. That simple challenge had a profound impact, personally and professionally.

It probably took me six months before I took action. After all, I thought, the pedometer is not exactly a fitness revolution. I’m reasonably sure my husband uses one he got out of a Special K cereal box in 1994 and that doesn’t seem to have changed his life. I was wrong. It turns out, this simple, inexpensive tool not only put me on the right track toward a healthier lifestyle, it taught me a thing or two about goal setting.

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Branch Out to Break Out: How Advisors Can Grow Their Business [Webinar]

Jun 17, 2014

A couple of stats caught my attention this week in the “Stat Bank” section of the current issue of the FPA Journal of Financial Planning. (Actually, it caught someone else’s attention who forwarded it to me… thanks, Steve). According to FPA Research and Practice Institute:
•Only 13% of financial advisers feel in complete control of their time
•Only 10% of financial advisers feel in complete control of their business

While the numbers are quite low, they frankly don’t really surprise me. Over the years, I have spent countless hours discussing the “best” use of time in an advisory business and while I get a big nod “yes” or even an “I know” from the audience, most advisors fall back into their comfort zone of spreadsheets, Morningstar reports and CNBC. We know what we should do, but it is hard to break away from what we have always done.

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Your Clients’ Path to Retirement Is Paved with These 3 Guidelines

I often find myself telling my two boys that they make life harder than it has to be. That’s probably true for many of us. Sometimes the problems result from a lack of judgment, a lapse of judgment, or disregard for rules society has put in place to maintain order and protect us from ourselves. We have all been in situations where taking the high road or doing the right thing could have prevented us a lot of heartache and stress.

Just like life, investing has some rules that can help us be more effective investors over time and help us avoid pitfalls. Here are three simple guidelines for investing that you can share with clients that can help make for a simpler path to retirement.

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