Posts

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

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The financial press has been filled with articles about RIA transactions.  I’m happy for the industry but I think we need evaluate how we got here.  My blog this week will examine why RIAs are growing and selling at an unprecedented pace,  One of my RIA friends observed that we got here by positioning ourselves versus the ills of Wall Street.  I’m not as PC as my friend so I will take a hard look at how RIAs need to pick on somebody there own size.  RIAs have a stellar reputation of always doing the right thing for there clients.  We don’t need to be a bully to grow and ultimately sell our practice.  Here are some ways we are picking on our competition.

Wall Street
Clients and their advisors know that Wall Street has many conflicts of interest.  Selling against that fact seems to have run its course.  The breakaway advisors I follow after they realize that a fiduciary standard does NOT pay well start to adopt Wall Street conflicts to narrow the pay gap.  My April 2016 article is worth  …

No Free Lunch

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As we have discussed in the past monthly summaries the number of Podcasts is exploding.  That is the good news but the bad news as discussed in the Wall Street Journal is that the free model with limited advertising is not working.  Specifically podcast listeners are not buying enough products from the sponsors of the shows to pay the bills.  Several popular podcast are signing up name brand (read wealthy) companies to sponsor the podcast and pay the bills.  This reality coupled with the fact that most podcasts hit the wall at 12 episodes has caused us to tweek our monthly categories to include monetary support and frequency.  This “pivot" should improve our summery. Please share your opinions through the comment field.  

Funded
HBS has the dough and they are releasing numerous podcasts that I have found very helpful.  My current favorite is Cold Call.  I know we hate that term but the podcast covers case studies from HBS and the presenters are actual HBS professors.  I might have …

Elasticity

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Last week’s tumultuous market moves caused me to revisit an old economics concept of elasticity of demand. Don’t worry there won’t be a test at the end of our post, but we want to examine several real world concepts that impact the wealth advisory world.  Unfortunately the academic concepts and other rules of thumb aren’t helpful in the real world.

Fees
Most business relationships start and continue with a fee analysis.  The only guaranteed fee reduction is to cut out the middleman.  Once the client identifies the Middleman we can start focussing on the fees that matter.  ETFs and The Internet have been effective disrupters of the Middleman.  The challenge for clients and advisors is that indiscriminately cutting fees can leave us with a poor solution.  We need to understand what is provided for each fee so we don’t end up driving a car that runs but is embarrassing.

Tariffs 
The trade war with China was one of the many reasons for the market selloff.  Whether the President is correct or …

Hacked

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Technlogy is a double edged sword.  Technology has made our lives easier but as we bought more smart phones we also became more vulnerable to being hacked.  The Russians and other hackers have attacked our elections and recently have attacked our businesses.  These hacks are news worthy but until we are personally hacked it is someone else’s problem.  I have been hacked but the credit card monitoring software caught the hacker before they could buy a car using my identity.  While it scared me it confirmed Jamie Dimond’s statement that hacking is our country's greatest risk.  Banks will contunue to invest in solutions to combat hackers and we will need to trust but monitor our accounts.  Our monthly  review of our favorite podcats will continue.  Hackers be damned!

First Person
We are moved by the real world podcasts that summarize the experiences of real people from the first peson perspective.  Real trumps fiction and actual stories move us.  Our favorite is Room 20.  First pers…

Mars

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We recently celebrated the Fiftieth anniversary of our “Giant Leap” trip to the moon.  Watching the CBS coverage of the event was informative but the commentators, while they were impressed by the accomplishment, they were also asking what is next?  Mars was the logical answer.  Fifty years later we have not been back to The Moon and Mars is only referenced in movies and John Gray books. Our country also pays lip service to other important items like gender equality.   This week we will examine why these struggles continue and hopefully break the glass ceiling once and for all.  The solution seems obvious but we must be missing something.  The items we have identified will be discussed and hopefully they can solve this issue and we can move on!  It should be easier than going to Mars.
Teachers
I recently spent time with a family friend who has recently retired from teaching.  I asked her how we could improve our education system and she did not hesitate to answer.  She believes we need …

Person in the Mirror

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Michael Jackson's song Man in the Mirror still plays in my head eventhough it was released in 2007.  This week we will examine what we can learn from The King of Pop as we create our social media profile.  We won't be writing about how to write a hit song, but we will examine some tools that we have at our disposal.  There are a few warnings, but we also list some best practices.  We will start with the warnings and end with best practices.

Echo Chamber
WARNING!  Social Media can become an echo chamber that sends our ideas back to us creating a false sense of agreement.  Followers and Likes feel good but they can create an echo chamber of feedback and a false sence of importance.  Statistics show that most people who like your posts don't even read them!  Software that tracks time spent on your post is money well spent.  We use Hub Spot.  Don't use these facts as a reason to NOT use social media.  Use it and complement it with tools to evaluate its impact.  We ALL beli…

The New Podcasts are Coming

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When compiling my monthly list of podcasts I was surprised to read that there are 540,000 podcasts!  At last count there are only 114,131 mutual funds.  The large number of podcasts has caused us to adjust our ranking to look at Established Authors and First Person Accounts.  We and our clients have adopted podcasts for our commutes and our walks. Advisors  need to be aware of what they are listening to and not rely on Apple.

Authors
It's not surpriing that jornalists and authors have found their way to the podcast neighborhood.  Both professionals are expert at research and writing.  Two skills that many bloggers and podcasters lack.  Our favorite, this month is Bethany McLean best selling author and Forbes columnist.  Her podcast Making a Killing is worth a listen.
First Person
Nobody can tell an emotional story better than an interview with the person who experienced the event.  Podcasts are perfect for this reality.  Our favorite is Man in the Window.  Warning this podast will …