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When clients survive a mass shooting

July 9, 2019

A spray of bullets. A chorus of screams. Blaring sirens. Another mass shooting. This scenario is becoming all too familiar, with gunmen taking lives in workplaces, churches, and schools across the country. Increasingly, advisers have clients...

To convert or not to convert portfolio reporting technology

July 10, 2019

One of the more important business decisions underpinning a successful advisory practice is the selection of a portfolio reporting platform. If the decision isn't properly researched, a platform that doesn't meet expectations could prove to...

Reflections on pride

June 27, 2019

Participating in BNY Mellon's WorldPride 2019: Leading the Way for Equality event, we addressed the importance of symbols like the Stonewall Inn, where the LGBT movement began a half-century ago. Then there's the Amsterdam Dress, which was displayed...

10 things people in finance should never say

June 10, 2019

At a recent event in New York City, I chatted with a money manager whose presentation had impressed me. At least, I was impressed until he uttered one of those hackneyed phrases that just make me flinch. This is an occupational hazard in the...

Everyone knows the wholesaling model is flawed. Here's what to do about it

June 19, 2019

The financial adviser business model has evolved numerous times over the past 40-plus years. In the 1970s and '80s, for instance, mutual fund commissions were as high as 8%. When those rates eventually came down, advisers adjusted. More recently,...

Advisers who pick stocks are hurting clients — and the value of their firms

June 25, 2019

If you're an adviser and you pick securities for your clients, you're not only wasting time and money, you're probably doing them a grave disservice. I've been a financial planner and adviser for almost three decades, and it never ceases to...

Winning in a crowded field

May 28, 2019

On May 16, we announced the sale of United Capital to Goldman Sachs. While I will one day write about what we learned in the process, and what we have in store for the future, it's prudent to wait until we have gone through the client consent...

The power of culture

June 6, 2019

Culture — it's that squishy, fuzzy thing we hear about. It's hard to define, but we know it when we feel it. Generally, an office's culture is pretty evident within minutes of entering the space. But is yours happening by accident or are you...

Lessons learned from 21 deals

June 3, 2019

While I didn't start out as a deal-maker in wealth management, I have found it to be a dynamic, fast-paced, exciting and fulfilling role in my nearly 20-year career as an executive at Mercer Advisors, currently a $15 billion independent registered...

What to do when your marketing campaign isn't really a campaign

May 28, 2019

You're a financial adviser with a new case study or an event to promote, and you're planning a marketing campaign. You write a killer Facebook post and shoot it out to all your followers. Now it's time to sit and wait for the engagement, calls...

Best clients put meaningful guidance and exceptional service at top of adviser must-haves

May 17, 2019

Being able to provide expert guidance and outstanding service are two key deliverables that the most sought-after wealthy investors demand most from advisers, according to research from the Investments & Wealth Institute. (More:​ High-net-worth...

Arming clients with the tools to teach kids about finances

April 5, 2019

Advisers have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the way our country approaches the development of financial literacy. On the surface, endeavoring to help young people (Ages 6-20) develop a basic understanding of money concepts does...

Is your office space keeping up with the times?

March 29, 2019

When you think of the traditional office space, perhaps a formal conference room and individual cubicles for staff come to mind. But just as in other areas of our industry, times are a changin' when it comes to space planning. As millennial...

The burnout epidemic and what advisers can do to combat it ​

May 14, 2019

There's plenty to keep advisers up at night: fluctuating markets, discussions of Social Security shortfalls, health care constantly under pressure, the ever-evolving standard of client expectations and the changing face of the business itself....

When Envestnet and Apple pivoted

April 5, 2019

Last month Envestnet announced the purchase of MoneyGuide for half a billion dollars. A few days later, Apple announced the launch of Apple TV Plus. These two seemingly unrelated events show how established businesses are evolving in this new...

To thrive, do what you love

April 2, 2019

Most of us got into the advisory sector for a couple of reasons: First, we enjoyed helping people make better financial decisions, and, second, we liked investing. But what I've noticed is that experienced advisers are not spending enough time...

3 lessons advisers can learn from the Midwest flooding

March 27, 2019

March has been a month of madness, but not because of my bracket. This madness came in the form of a historic natural disaster, perhaps the worst of its kind ever to hit the state of Nebraska. And while Nebraska may be seen as a "flyover state,"...

Advisory firms' value is tied to the market's value

April 30, 2019

If you're an adviser, hopefully you don't recommend that your clients use leverage to juice returns. (Especially not your older clients.) Yet many principals of advisory firms are themselves highly leveraged, and most do nothing about reducing...

Why is basic financial literacy so elusive?

April 30, 2019

Graduation season will soon be upon us, and with it, so many admonitions explaining why students are unprepared for the challenges of the real world. Graduation speeches will discuss the trillions in student-loan debt, why spendthrifts need...

4 top surprises from the new tax law

May 22, 2019

We recently completed the first tax season following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There were sweeping changes, and most taxpayers — and their advisers — experienced many unforeseen surprises. Rather than lament, we should learn...

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