Articles

Articles from our Weekly Newsletters

Should You Discuss Politics with Clients?

Has anyone asked you to comment on the current political scene and best ways to deal with what’s happening when your clients have very strong (and very vocal) opinions?

The Downside of Excessive Caution

As advisors, you counsel your clients about risk. But based on my experience, you don’t take enough risk. Your excessive caution is imperiling your business.

Southeastern Asset Management: “We welcome unpredictability”

Ross Glotzbach is head of research and a principal at Southeastern Asset Management, one of the most respected value managers. In this interview, he discusses his investment outlook in an era of political and economic uncertainty.

As Seen on TV: The Annuity Action Network

In the prior installment on this series, I exposed the deceptive marketing used to sell fixed-index annuities. Today I will look at a firm that purchases annuities from investors – the Annuity Action Network. It is a way for clients to borrow money at a high interest rate, but it may be an appropriate solution under certain circumstances.

How to Organize Your "Stuff"

When advisors ask me to help them set up systems for their business, I put on my professional organizer hat. One area that is always a big issue is paper – both the physical and electronic kind. Here’s a system to ensure you will easily find the information you want and always get to the tasks that are important.

Fed Up – A First-Hand Account of the Fed’s Foibles

Danielle DiMartino Booth, a former Dallas Federal Reserve official, released a new book this week entitled Fed Up. The book, a first-person account of the inner-workings of the Fed, provides readers with unique insight into the operations, leadership and mentality of the world’s most powerful financial institution.

Cash-Out Refinancing During Bubble Years Will Lead to Disaster

Nearly all analysts who write about the housing bubble have focused on the purchasing madness that occurred. While this is important, it overlooks the refinancing insanity of 2004-2007. This refinancing lunacy will devastate mortgage and housing markets for years to come.

How Emotional Intelligence Can Make You a Better Investor

Investors enjoy the unique luxury of choosing problems that let them maximize the use of not just their IQ but also their EQ – emotional intelligence.

The Latest News in Alternative Investing – Finding Pockets of Opportunity

With a diversified portfolio, alternative investments can complement more conservative investments and produce higher returns. This week’s news focuses on pockets of opportunities, such as in multi-asset absolute-return funds, smaller hedge funds and real estate.

Five Linked-In Steps That Will Double Your Business

Here are five steps you can use to turn Linked-In connections into business.

Does Inflation Forecast Future Equity Performance?

Stocks perform poorly when inflation is on the rise. The empirical data is supported by theory. Rising inflation means that interest rates are increasing and the discounted value of future cash flows is driven down, lowering equity prices. Let’s see if we can use the inflation rate to improve equity performance.

The Demise of the Fiduciary Rule is a Bonanza for Advisors

The announcement that the Secretary of Labor must conduct a new economic and legal analysis of the fiduciary rule is a setback to those of us who care about investors. Hidden in this adverse development is a potential bonanza for advisors. Here’s why.

Taleb, the Barbell Portfolio and Safety-First Financial Planning

The “barbell” portfolio has long been considered an investment strategy. Since his fame after the 2010 publication of the book The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb has often been associated with the strategy. Recent research illustrates the critical connection between the barbell, core-satellite portfolios and safety-first financial planning – and how advisors can improve on using standard deviation as a measure of risk.

Four Marketing Metrics You Should Track

Advisors know the importance of client satisfaction. It's a way of gauging what they are doing right and where they could use improvement when it comes to managing their firm. Most of them, however, have not thought about tracking other important data such as performance and marketing metrics. Here is a list of important items I like to track for my clients.

The Making of CAPITALISTIC PIG

We had a lot of great experiences in Russia – mainly from family and friends. But at the same time it was also full of injustice, powerlessness, discrimination, lack of choice, and Russian-like poverty. In America, our past was a great motivator and none of the problems we encountered felt insurmountable. We feel very blessed to be here.