ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

Most Recent Articles

Ranking the Top 10 "Differentiators" for Advisory Firms by Bob Veres

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.

Most Recent Commentaries

Democracy in the Twenty-First Century by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

The economist Thomas Piketty’s forecast of still higher levels of inequality does not reflect the inexorable laws of economics. Indeed, the main question today is not really about capital in the twenty-first century; it is about democracy in the twenty-first century.

Growth by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week I will respond to the second part of David Brin’s letter. Please note that David and I characterize our conversations as joyous deliberations, excited parry and thrust in the realm of ideas. I especially appreciate David because he forces me to think about many of my casual assumptions, although in a battle of wits with David I often feel as if I’m bringing a knife to a gunfight. (Every writer needs a few David Brins in his life. Sometimes I think I have more than my share.)

Abenomics, European Style by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Two years ago, Shinzo Abe’s election as Japan’s prime minister led to the advent of “Abenomics,” a three-part plan to rescue the economy from a treadmill of stagnation and deflation. It now appears that the European Central Bank has a similar plan in store for the eurozone.

Sound Familiar? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Stocks seem likely to continue their upward momentum although volatility could increase with Federal Reserve interest rate uncertainty combined with midterm elections and geopolitics. An improving economy, decent valuations and a still-accommodative Fed leave us confident that dips should be viewed as buying opportunities. Conversely, Europe is looking worse and we would be cautious in adding new cash at this time, concentrating additional international exposure instead on China and to a lesser degree Japan, always with a diversified portfolio in mind.

Anticipate Before You Participate: Patterns in Trading by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The primary unit of time measurement for high-frequency traders might be the microsecond, but for normal retail traders, it’s vital to know the best months, days and even half-hours of the day to make market transactions.

Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Flexible labor markets are key to recovering from recession; Wage trends present a challenge for the Fed; Bank settlements are sizeable, but the benefit to housing has been limited

Why 2K? by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

This week, the S&P 500 stock index crossed the 2,000 mark for the first time (this figure and other historical returns referred to in this article do not include dividends). Round numbers always get the media’s attention, so avid market-watchers already know this. But why? Why, just six years after the financial world seemed to be ending, are we celebrating a milestone that at that point seemed a generation away?

Lucara Diamond Stock Sparkles, Reports Another Strong Quarter by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Often it seems that gold gets all the fun when I write and speak about precious metals and minerals. But Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond has been turning heads here at U.S. Global Investors lately for a number of reasons, the most notable being that it continues to report stellar returns.

Can Retirees Still Use a 4% Withdrawal Rate? Practical Applications of Monte Carlo Analysis by Wade Pfau and David Blanchett

Some advisors remain critical of Monte Carlo simulations, instead preferring to use analysis based on rolling historical periods or specific pre-defined scenarios. We believe Monte Carlo is a superior tool for measuring the uncertainties in long-term financial planning. As an example, we use it to predict the likelihood of a successful 4% withdrawal rate under today's market conditions.

How to Raise Sensitive Issues with Clients by Dan Richards

Important issues - so-called elephants in the room - threaten the financial futures of clients and their families. Clients and advisors normally recognize these issues, but because they are emotionally charged, they are difficult to discuss. Here are three steps to talk about these subjects.

Use Your Fingerprints to Gather More AUM by Daniel Solin

A colleague of mine calls it "assumicide" - trying to convince a prospect to say yes by offering a careful and exhaustive presentation of a proposal's assumptions and merits. There's a more powerful route to yes, however: using heuristics to align yourself with your prospect.

A Marketing Strategy to Reach Millennials by Melanie Cressman

Millennials are a hands-on generation in every aspect, including finances. How can financial advisors connect with them?

Helping Clients Redefine Retirement by Beverly Flaxington

Sometimes I fear my clients do not know what retirement will look like to them and so planning for it, financially or otherwise, is challenging. It's why I believe they need an advisor, but I want to be sure I am doing the best I can for them in these discussions.

Career Center by Various

Find career opportunities for firms that seek to add financial advisors and planners to their staff. Read more to find out how to post opportunities at your firm.

Your Clients Don't Care About You by Megan Elliott

Conversations with clients should be about them, not you.


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