June 18, 2013Are All Our Practices More or Less the Same?
It can feel as if the industry contains deep divides between the various business models. Do you feel you can learn from advisors whose practices differ markedly from yours?
I'm a fiduciary; I can't derive much that's useful from non-fiduciary advisors6% I can relate to advisors from other channels but only if their book size is in the same ballpark as mine76% I can learn from peers even when there are differences6% I'm interested in learning only from fee-based or fee-only peers
June 11, 2013Can Advisors Use Social Media to Recommend Stocks?
Regulators say the rules governing how advisors communicate to the public through printed materials and websites extend to social media. But confusion remains. Last week, for instance, two advisors with extensive Twitter followings had a testy exchange about making stock tips in social media. Where do you stand?
It’s OK to recommend stocks on Facebook, Google Plus, etc., as long as you don’t make specific performance predictions.0% It’s OK to recommend stocks and even predict performance as long as you’re not soliciting business.86% It’s never OK to recommend stocks in social media.0% Nobody worries about this except the wirehouses, which have thousands of advisors to keep in line.
June 4, 2013Do Wirehouses Punish Breakaway Brokers?
Last month Morgan Stanley began legal action against several "breakaway" brokers in Idaho. Are Wall Street firms sometimes vindictive when it comes to advisors who jump ship?
Yes. They seek to make examples of some, at times arbitrarily, to keep others in place.7% No. Big companies don't waste resources out of spite.33% It's complicated. Big firms can be a little arbitrary about whom they pursue, but departing staffers sometimes commit infractions, like trying to leave with client information that doesn't belong to them.
May 28, 2013Are You a Futurist Advisor?
Market gurus love to talk about what the global economy will look like in 10 or 15 years — especially where the winners and losers will be. Does your own vision of the future influence the investment advice you give your clients?
No. I stick with what is known and provable.28% My view of the future plays a role, but I hedge my "bets" on specific outcomes.50% I take the long view and help clients invest for a world that will be very different in 20 years.
May 21, 2013Should Advisors Be Worried About Bloomberg Black?
Bloomberg is trialing an online wealth management service for affluent investors. For $100 a month, members can track their accounts, research new investment ideas and get advice from one of nine staff advisors. Does Bloomberg Black represent a threat to the industry?
It's bad news for other online services but not for flesh-and-blood wealth managers.7% Investors will never trust it — especially after the news about Bloomberg journalists raiding its terminals for stories.15% I'm scared. A hundred bucks a month isn't much to pay for data and service from a respected brand.24% A robot making stock and fund recommendations based on algorithms? I don't think so.
May 14, 2013What Are You Telling Clients About the Stock Market?
The S&P 500 is up nearly 15% year to date and just hit a new high. Can this continue?
The rally has legs; valuations are reasonable, and the economic recovery has just begun37% It's a great time to take some profits, sit back and see what happens next13% The emperor has no clothes — a mighty crash is on the way this year
May 7, 2013How Will You Ensure a Smooth Transition for Clients When You Retire?
With most advisors well into middle age, succession planning is getting more important.
The firm will take care of that for me43% I'll sell my practice26% Existing colleagues will buy me out17% I have no idea
April 30, 2013What's the Scariest Thing About the Twitter Hack?
The market dropped 150 points last week in the moments after a hacker falsely claimed on the AP’s Twitter account that the president had been injured in an attack on the White House. What’s the most disturbing issue here?
That it’s so easy to hack the social media account of a major news organization73% That high-speed computers trade automatically in response to Internet keywords18% That the price plunge further undermines investor confidence that markets work0% That the attack makes it even harder to coax private clients back into equities
April 23, 2013What's the Most Effective Way to Get Referrals?
If prospecting for new clients isn't efficient, it will eat up too much time. Tell us what you've found to be the most productive approach.
Reach out to lawyers, CPAs and other professionals with influence over potential clients9% Organize events for your clients, and have them invite friends2% Reach out with advertising and marketing, including on social networks31% Ask current clients for names of promising prospects39% Rely on satisfied clients' word of mouth
April 17, 2013What Problem Do Clients Most Often Ask You to Solve?
With the fiscal cliff in the rearview mirror and the S&P 500 up more than 10% year to date, there are fewer front-page issues for clients to complain about. What individual financial worries are keeping them up at night?
Way behind in retirement planning6% Taxes are eating into wealth12% Debt/budget management0% Not enough saved for kids' college tuition18% Portfolio is losing money