The Financial Planning Channel

Getting the First Meeting with a Female Client

Industry leaders tell us what not to say with female clients and what women want in an advisor. What is virtually unanswered, though, is how advisors can meet female prospects. From the perspective of someone who is female and was an advisor, here’s what I would do.

Fourth Quarter 2018 - The Year When Nothing Worked

2018 will be broadly remembered as a year when nothing worked and daily stock market volatility spiked. This contrasted with 2017 where seemingly everything pushed higher, and volatility was low. But in 2018, nearly every single asset class and all but one major stock market index (Brazil) around the globe posted negative returns.

The Five Most Powerful Growth Hacks

Whether you follow a systematic approach to growth or are looking for an “easy button,” growth hacks are a path that any practice, team or individual advisor can leverage.

Why Advisors Should Distinguish Base and Discretionary Expenses

The difference between base (mandatory or essential) and discretionary (voluntary or non- essential) expenses in retirement is fundamental and consequential. Properly making this distinction may be the most important decision in order to use assets efficiently and effectively in retirement income planning.

An Annuity Hater Revisits SPIAs

I take a lot of flak when I write about annuities. That criticism has come from the insurance industry, because I have been highly critical of products like fee-laden variable annuities with complex menus of riders. But recent discussions and a new analysis have led me to reconsider SPIAs as a source of longevity insurance at a reasonable cost.

Why Advisors Should Distinguish Base and Discretionary Expenses in Retirement

Some advisors fail to highlight the difference between expense categories and claim that clients do not see food, shelter, insurance differently than country club dues or vacation cruises, hence the expense categories are combined and called ‘lifestyle expenses’. In our view, this is a distortion of affluence.

The Latest Look at the Total Return Roller Coaster

Here's an interesting set of charts that will especially resonate with those of us who follow economic and market cycles. Imagine that five years ago you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500. How much would it be worth today, with dividends reinvested but adjusted for inflation? The purchasing power of your investment has increased to $14,727 for an annualized real return of 7.77%.

U.S. Workforce Recovery

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include Friday's Employment Report for December. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 312K.

Personal Master Calendar: A Novel Marketing Idea

As I shared the idea of a personal-master calendar with advisors, it became clear that most of us need something like it to keep us on track.

The Six New Clichés Advisors Should Never Use

Happy New Year everybody! If you’re using these six phrases, stop before they become 2019’s newest clichés.

Dontcha Love Those Advisors from the Midwest?

As the Breadbasket transforms into a frozen glacier, I pay homage to all the advisors who hail from that part of the country. Okie dokie? Here are the facets of Midwestern style I’d love to see you bring into your brands.

Three Ways to Maximize Clients’ Charitable Impact – a Conversation with Jeff Raikes

As 2018 comes to a close, it is a great time to discuss clients’ charitable giving strategies for next year and beyond.

Can the Wrong Fragrance Cost You Clients?

Here’s why and how advisors should wear cologne, as well as my top picks for a variety of styles and price points.

What if Theranos Was a Hedge Fund?

What if Theranos, the company whose fraudulent activities were exposed in 2015, had been a hedge fund instead of a healthcare company? The comparison shows why investment “science” is not science.

The 10 Most-Read Articles of 2018

As is our custom, we conclude the year by reflecting on the 10 most-read articles over the past 12 months. In decreasing order, based on the number of unique readers, those are…