Outside voices and views for advisers

Dec 18, 2014, 3:24 PM EST

Here comes Santa Claus right down Wall Street

By Paul Schatz

I love the December-January period and not just because of ski season. Many strong market trends usually play out and I like to try and take advantage of those. With stocks falling over the past two weeks (until Wednesday), the bears are coming out of the woodwork with reasons why the aging bull market can now be left for dead. But as we saw in October, rumors of the bull market's demise have been greatly exaggerated! You already know that I have been a strong bull for the past few years and pounded the table to buy after each decline. As I keep saying, bull markets don't die of old age; they die because of mistakes. This has been, is and continues to be, the most disavowed, hated bull market of my 26-year career. Eventually, yes, it will end and we will see a routine 12 to 18 month bear market that lops 25% to 40% off the major indexes. And yes, while I wrote that so cavalierly, the bear market will not be fun to live through, as it... Read full post

Dec 17, 2014, 2:50 PM EST

The art of legacy planning – 7 best practices for gifting art to museums

By Hiram Wurf and Joel Schaffer

Artwork is among the most collected “investments of passion” among high-net-worth and ultrahigh-net-worth households and is increasing among advisers' clients. Worldwide, 600,000 millionaires are serious art collectors and high-net-worth individuals spend an average of 17% of their wealth on art and antiques. In 2013, the U.S. market for art and antiques increased by 25%, strengthening its worldwide importance with 38% of the global market.But as clients consider where their collections fit in their estate plans and charitable legacy, often they find their passion is not shared with their heirs.Matthew Welch, deputy director and chief curator of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, has found that "collectors are passionate about their collections, but their children often aren't as invested in the collection. Tastes change."A big part of helping clients with their artwork charitable legacy is about “relationship”... Read full post

Dec 16, 2014, 3:11 PM EST

The case for investing in the European small-cap sector

By Liliana Castillo Dearth and Alan Connery

Growth in the euro area has slowed sharply but that's not true for all companies in the region. In fact, worries about Europe's recovery may offer investors the chance to buy quality, small-cap stocks for less than they would pay for similar-caliber companies elsewhere.Investors are right to be concerned about Europe's combination of low growth and low inflation. But here's something to keep in mind: Even when the economy is struggling, some companies will continue to deliver sustainable and profitable growth. And if fundamentally attractive stocks can be had at a discount simply because of where they're listed, that may represent an opportunity. The key is figuring out where the best value lies. In our view, there is a compelling opportunity in the European small-cap segment, especially among what we define as “quality growth” names. The best of the bunch offer growth and quality at a discount.... Read full post

Dec 12, 2014, 10:47 AM EST

The contingency plan: Your succession plan's safety net

By JC Abusaid

If you can count yourself among the minority of advisers — about 40% — who are within five years of retirement age and have created a succession plan, you're all good, right? Maybe.In working with advisers over the years, I've found that potential monkey wrenches abound in even the most solid succession plans. Advisers who do everything right often end up with disappointing results, forcing them to alter their retirement timeline or compelling them to cobble together a vastly inferior Plan B on short notice. It is important that you know the most common reasons succession plans fail so that you can attempt to avoid them. It is also important that you consider creating a Plan B. WHY SUCCESSION PLANS FAILThe most common reason plans fail is due to a lack of financing options available for the retiring adviser. As we all know, outside financing can often be extremely expensive or completely unavailable. If you are providing... Read full post

Dec 11, 2014, 5:09 PM EST

Worries about robo-advisers are unfounded. Here's why.

By Matt Halloran

Any time a new technology comes out, people will flock to it. This is what's happening with robo-advisers. They are new, and there is a lot of press covering and touting their value. That makes great headlines, but in the real world of working with advisers, my clients are not worried. Why?Robo-advisers appeal to the do-it-yourselfer. Some people believe they can do it themselves and they are right. You will never get the true DIYer as a client anyway. So what is the concern? Are doctors concerned about WebMD? Sure they are, for the same reasons you are concerned about robo-advisers. You are afraid they are going to give bad and incomplete advice. You are concerned that will hurt your clients or members of your community. Are doctors hurting for new clients? No. If you're hurting for new clients, it's not because of robos. It's because of what you offer. I could go to WedMD right now and type in how I am feeling. It might tell me I am... Read full post

Dec 10, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

The most valuable thing an adviser can do for clients in 2015

By Charles Goldman

As we head into 2015, advisers will have myriad opportunities to read industry pundits' prognostications on what to expect in the coming year. Unfortunately, my own crystal ball is in the shop, so instead I'll offer some context that I hope will help advisers benefit from whatever trends the next 12 months send our way. The most valuable thing an adviser can do for clients in the coming 12 months will not be finding an undiscovered lever to generate alpha in their portfolios or being the first to adopt the latest technological innovation. While those things can be helpful, advisers who devote their energy and attention to understanding each individual client's needs and connecting those needs to a well understood plan set themselves up for lasting relationships. (Related: What's your outlook for 2015? Take our survey and let us know!)Advisers who establish more open and frequent communication in the New Year will build a foundation of... Read full post

Dec 9, 2014, 2:21 PM EST

All-time highs in stocks, but time for a breather

By Paul Schatz

I have been playing golf for the better part of 40 years and I have taken my fair share of lessons. I can't tell you how many times I have commented to my teacher that something "doesn't feel right" or this "feels weird." Each and every time the response has been the same; "feel is not real." If you typically walk with a slight hunch, try walking really tall to understand what I mean. It feels funny, but barely noticeable to the eye.As you know, I have been an unabashed bull for the past few years and that's not changing now. I remain positive into 2015 with the chance for much higher prices next year. Over the past few weeks, it certainly "feels" as though stocks have seen fresh all-time highs day after day after day. After all, stocks haven't experienced more than a day's hiccup since the bottom in mid-October.(More: Stocks and bonds catch a ride on the surging dollar)However, similar to what I mentioned about my golf swing, "feel... Read full post

Dec 9, 2014, 11:03 AM EST

5 steps female advisers can take to increase their compensation

By Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

Female advisers are paid less than their male counterparts, according to a report from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., “Making Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession,” which was released on April 22. The report states that women with the same experience, revenue production and ownership status receive approximately $32,000 less in annual income than male advisers. This is an alarming statistic. What has to change to close this pay gap? Real change happens on both a macro and micro level. It is true that the financial advisory field has a responsibility to provide equal opportunities for both men and women. In the meantime, what can you do to part of that change? Here are five ways you can take action today:1) Understand your valueRecognizing the value you provide to your clients and/or your firm is an important first step toward earning what you are worth. Many women are afraid to... Read full post

Dec 3, 2014, 3:07 PM EST

Advisers ramping up discussions with legislators, regulators on key issues

By Dale Brown

With the midterm elections hanging over the national political landscape for most of this year, it's no secret that very little significant legislation was passed at the federal level in 2014. Rather than waiting for the dust to settle, though, the Financial Services Institute Inc. and our financial adviser members have taken this as an opportunity to ramp up our engagement with lawmakers and regulators in the states, both to make our industry's voice heard on new proposals that could affect advisers' businesses and to work with state officials to make progress toward common goals.Increasing engagement starts with dialogue, and financial advisers throughout the country have responded enthusiastically this year to our efforts to help them build relationships with state legislators and regulators. In 2014, more than 140 of our financial adviser members in 21 states took part in face-to-face meetings with state lawmakers and officials,... Read full post

Dec 3, 2014, 1:41 PM EST

3 ways advisers can build their digital influence

By By Stephanie Sammons

If you want to find and attract your ideal prospects into your business today, it's time to seriously consider going digital with your marketing and business development efforts. Going digital is not only good business, but I believe it's the future of client relationship professions. Being accessible online is no longer just an option as a financial adviser, it has become an expectation. Just as delivering a quality product, fair pricing, and respectable performance is expected of you from your clients, providing a digital experience is now just as important.To market your practice effectively in the digital age requires a bit of a different mindset than traditional offline marketing. It's not a one-time campaign or event. The most effective digital marketing is actually a continuous process of building your digital influence.Digital influence is the art of showcasing your authority as a credible, knowledgeable adviser online while... Read full post

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