July 21, 2015What’s Your Call on the Impact of Robo-Advice Offerings?
Do you see robo-advice platforms as more of a threat or an opportunity for flesh-and-blood financial advisors?
Threat. Functionality around asset selection and allocation and tax management leave me with more to offer, but it’ll be a harder sell.81% Opportunity. Advisors who can blend robo tech with traditional approaches will be in play for clients who aren’t diehard do-it-yourselfers.
July 14, 2015Do You Plan to Do More Social-Media Marketing?
A decade ago people clamored that you had to have a blog. Will we look back and smile at those who now say the same about social media, or is it an unstoppable train? What are your social-media marketing plans?
I plan to increase my practice’s social-media marketing. It’s important.13% I’ll pass. Social media is a waste of time — I want paying clients, not Twitter followers.25% I’d like to ramp up with social media, but my compliance colleagues make it too difficult.
July 7, 2015What’s the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Stock Market?
Greece, China, the Fed, etc. — there is no shortage of weak spots and traps for the economy. What’s your pick?
Greece, if default fever spreads through the Mediterranean.16% The Fed ending QE II — you can’t simply “bake in” the main reason stocks have been up since the recession.79% It would take an unpleasant surprise — something no one’s focused on — in combination with more controllable weak spots to knock the apple cart over.
June 30, 2015What’s Your Call on This Phase of the Greek Crisis?
Greece closed its banks on Monday amid continued talk the country’s inability to pay its debts might drive it from the eurozone. So what’s your take on the crisis?
It will be contained and have only a slight impact on U.S. markets.29% It will spread to other vulnerable eurozone economies and begin to be felt over here.5% Before a compromise is found, it will get bad — like 2008 bad — for global investors.
June 23, 2015Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley?
Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch are giants of the retail-brokerage space and archrivals. So play along: If you had to pick one to work for, which would it be? (Then, if you like, use the comment box to say why.)
Merrill Lynch36% Morgan Stanley
June 17, 2015What Behavioral-Finance Folly Are You a Sucker For?
Here are some of the commonest behavioral-finance biases. Which one is your Achilles’ heel?
Confirmation bias. My research stops when I reach the conclusion I was looking for.35% Optimism bias. I may be wrong sometimes, but I’m rarely in doubt.18% Recency bias. My vision of the future looks uncannily like the present.
June 16, 2015What Do You Do With Clients You Can’t Stand?
Most advisors have a few clients who fill them with dread, boredom or loathing. What’s the best remedy?
Fire them — gently, of course. Then take measures to avoid such clients in the future.27% Keep them in-house, by handing them off to colleagues and carrying on as you try to overcome your aversion.
June 9, 2015Where Do You Stand on Using Closed-End Funds?
Closed-end funds are a different sort of investment animal that can help to diversify client portfolios. Do you like to use them?
No way. These funds are fraught with complexities and incongruities.79% Sure. CEFs are great for giving clients more exposure to different asset classes at attractive pricing.
June 2, 2015Do You Invest Money Like an FT 400 Advisor?
The biggest chunk of client assets held by FT 400 advisors are invested through individual stocks and bonds, not funds. Do you side with these elite brokerage-based FAs?
I do. I like crafting individual portfolios for my clients, rather than grabbing stuff off the shelf.61% No way. Funds provide broad exposure to financial markets, with less exposure to blowups at individual companies.
June 1, 2015Where Can You Improve Most as an FA?
If you could get better at any one part of your job, what would it be?
Communication. I wish I could explain myself better.18% Investing. I wish I had the resources to be more hands-on and less plug-and-play.27% Office politics. I need to get better at “the game.”