Advisor Blog

Font size: +

Advisor Products Turns 21

Mindy, my wife, no longer could bear being at work all day, away from our two- and four-year-old. To leave behind her Wall Street paycheck, I had to earn more than a reporter’s salary. So, in August 1996, I started providing advisor products by writing The Fee-Only Client Newsletter.

I had stumbled into digital printing technology doing volunteer work, and applied it to enable advisors to pick each article for their client newsletter — something no other vendor offered back then. In addition, the articles were real journalism, different from the other newslettters, hewn based on years of experience covering Wall Steet as a reporter at The New York Daily News and Worth. 

Within a few months, 100 advisors were paying $2000 a year for our custom client newsletter. The Fee-Only Client Newsletter targeted fiduciaries. I feared the kind of creeps I had exposed as a reporter might use my newsletter to jilt a client. I would only trust  fiduciaries. They're still my target.  

Within weeks of starting API, I asked Steve Gordonson, an IT systems engineer, to build a website for me. Steve was teaching a class to toddlers about the Bible, so I figured he had to be a good guy. By September 1996, I had a website and, in January 1997, Steve and I started a new company, AdvisorSites, building advisor websites integrated with my financial journalism. We're still together.

That’s Ali and Jason with me in the picture in the summer of 1997, a year after the company started in my house. I bought 1,500 of those tee-shirts and gave them away at conferences. This shot captures a great moment in Gluck family history

Lightport, AdvisorSquare, and AdvisorSites were the first companies to get into the advisor website business. Emerald soon followed. Emerald and AdvisorSquare were established companies. We were able to compete with them only because I wrote a monthly column for Dow Jones Investment Advisor, covering practice management, which put my name out in front of tens of thousands of advisors monthly in a  magazine mailed to you every month. That’s called content marketing now. 

The Web was being invented in those years and we were on a wild ride. We’re the only one of the first four advisor website companies that never raised money, cashed out, or crashed. We’re the only one to remain independent, focused always on providing content to fiduciaries.

Advisor Products supported AdvisorSites in the early years and they merged in 2006. Advisor Products became the sole brand for the sake of simplicity.

Over the years, we’ve had as many as 1800 clients buying our print and digital solutions. From 1999 to 2006, API leased a 25-foot long digital printing press.We manufactured brochures and newsletters. We had as many as 23 employees.

API now serves about 1200 independent firms and has 10 employees. Another 20 or 25 contractors around the globe and in the U.S. are also working for us on a project-basis on any given day. We exited the printing business just before ti crashed and focused on the Web. In 2007, we launched AdvisorVault 2.0 and Charles Schwab quit the website busniess and moved its Advisors Web Center clients using PortfolioCenter Web reporting to us. We have been improving on that interface for a decade now.

In October 2008, Advisor Products was reinvented. In the throes of the global financial crisis, I started producing webinars weekly. Hundreds of advisors showed up. They motivated me. There was a need for a new kind of information outlet for professionals. I figured  eventually I'd make more money by owning a magazine instead of working for one. In America, a worker can own the presses!

In 2009, I founded Advisors4Advisors to monetize the content in the weekly webinars. A4A was free to anyone who wanted to attend. Advisors4Advisors partnered first with my sources, like economist Fritz Meyer. Then, tax and financial planning guru Robert Keebler. drank the Kool-Aid. Dr. Craig Israelsen, an expert in low-cost investing, soon followed. This triumvirate teach classes every month. They have trusted me with their intellectual property for years, and that indeed is the most satisfying part of it all.

In 2012, A4A started charging $60 a year for webinar access. We lost 60% of our webinar audience. Few online publications are able to charge for content, but charging $60 for our weekly webinars was a very fair deal. APi clients complained bitterly. They were paying me thousands a year for a website and newstter. They expected A4A for free. Who could understand that I was spinning off my journalism for advisors to build a "Chinese Wall."

I stuck to my long-term plan to bring strategic intelligence to professionals and made the Web our marketing engine. It was totally organic internet market. Then, I walked away from The Gluck Report's circulation among 100,000 advisors a month on the Web and in print. I  stopped writing my monthly column in a trade magazine, which paid real cash money, to focus instead on working with a few hunded credentialed professionals who paid $60 a yeat to join A4A. It was risky but I believed doing the right thing almost always pays off in the long run.

Today, more than 1,500 CFPs, CIMAs, CPAs, ChFCs, CLUs, EAs, and it's growing ever day. For $60 a year you get unlimited continuing professional education classes, available on-demand 24/7. A4A is now growing fast, too. It's nuts!

A4A is a giant study group based on sharing and collaboration. Fritz, Bob, Craig, and other speakers on A4A are sharing with me, and I am sharing it with you. We're using the latest technology. A4A’s classes for professionals drive a news stream for your clients.

Client-facing content is sold by Advisor Products, and our main thing now is our financial advisor marketing engine (FAME), which is killer. A4A has been a disruptive force in the continuing education business. It’s a new kind of journalism, enabled by the Internet. Reporters can get out of the way of their sources. Sources are in front of you and not just the reporter. Conventional reporting leaves to much open to the judgment and interpetation of even a great reporter. Fifty-minute classes illustrated with slides is a great framework for hearing  independent 

A4A and API sync up your marketing with your professional education. Right now, your marketing probably has little connection with the way you practice. We fix that. In a stock-market correction and times of crisis and other major breaking-news, A4A provides professional education webinars, as well as slides educating your clients and prospects. 

Say you book a meeting with a client who could use an intentionall defective grantor trust . You can replay a Bob Keebler webinar before your meeting.Then, grab the slide illustrating the IDGT technique and go over it with the client. Bob Keebler's library, plus Fritz Meyer's slides and transcscripts of their webinars every month, puts a trove of continually updated financial planning practice management tactics at your fingertips on demand 24/7.

Meanwhile, API's content and  systems have taken a quantum leap forward in the last six months. Last week, a weekly scripted PowerPoint presentation product was added to our advisor marketing dashboard. Weekly Scripts with slides is written by me with Fritz's help every week. We are going to let you rate and review the scripts. Does any other advisor content company dare invite you to rate their work in a forum?

Since 2009, Advisor Products content has been reinvented by the collaboration and continuing professional education classes conducted weekly on A4A. In additoin, Over the past six months, Advisor Products also reinvented its technology platform. Our prices have risen in recent months, as demand has picked up and we are focusing on improving client service. We are taking steps to improve QA. By charging more to set up advisor websites, email newsletters, and client portals, we work with a smaller group of self-selected professionals who understand and value what we do. We still have budget-priced solutions -- like a no-content website for $800 a year -- but we are focused on mass customization of our comprehensive content marketing platform. (Calling it content marketing, by the way, belies its educational value.)

The Advisor Products team has never been better and is capable of scaling up production fast. One of our offshore developers has a team of eight designers and developers who work for us much of the day, and our U.S. team is comprised of smart, dedicated people, almostall have worked for API for many years. We’ve raised prices to ensure we slow the pipeline of new orders and will be able to give each setup the time and attention needed to get everything done right. After 20 years in business, Advisor Products is experienced enough to do things right and we also have the energy of a 21-year old!

Thank you for trusting me. 


Fiduciaries: Stop Getting Fired For Lagging The S&...
Advisor Videos For Client Education, Retention And...




How and why does the Advisor Products system work?

In today’s times, when consumers have become more demanding and tech-savvy, financial advisors must use content marketing to attract, inspire, engage, and convert their prospective customers.

A good content strategy is focused on developing and distributing consistent, valuable content to engage and retain prospective customers and target audience, via your website. Our content library provides financial advisors with fresh, high-quality financial content that is updated regularly, improving SEO along the way. And our automated e-newsletter and social media tools allow advisors to reach out to clients and prospects in an easy-to-use manner, providing frequent touch points for optimal brand building.

  • Differentiate you from competitors
  • Expose clients and prospects to your brand message more frequently
  • Build an ongoing relationship with customers
  • Increase your follows and fans on social media
  • Drive more prospects to your website
  • Help convert prospects into leads
  • Increase number of pages indexed in Google
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.

Seeing is Believing.

See how easy it is to get started with our all-in-one digital marketing platform that drives leads, encourages referrals and increases client engagement.