Advisor Blog

The Best Advisor Videos In The Financial Services Industry

Advisor videos we're offering are totally different from anything else in the industry. Look at the 35-second video below, which is one of the 15 new FINRA-reviewed videos made available recently.

Making a video is hard, time-consuming and can be expensive. I've seen advisors more than once who are smart, articulate, and animated get in front of a camera and freeze.

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7426 Hits

Advisor Marketing Video Addresses Bubble Fears

A new batch of about 15 videos are available in the Advisor Video Library and this one addresses fears of another stock market bubble.

 

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5753 Hits

Interactive Brokers Names Advisor Products To Preferred Providers List


Interactive Brokers LLC, which provides trade execution and clearing services to advisors, recently named Advisor Products to its list of preferred providers for advisors. Interactive is known for its low its prices on trading.

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6205 Hits

TD Ameritrade Account Data Widget In Advisor Client Portals

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A widget displaying account data from TD Ameritrade Institutional’s VeoOne Platform is now available in the AdvisorVault Client Portal.

Using TD Ameritrade Data Intelligently

Instead of providing a link on your website where clients log into TD Ameritrade Institutional’s advisor-client website to see account values, clients log in to your website’s client dashboard. It’s a client portal designed expressly to help advisors collaborate with clients.

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10807 Hits

Do You Manage Location Of Assets? Tell People!

If you optimize the location of client assets, you are different from the vast majority of advisors. Here's a way to explain that, literally, in your own voice.

The video illustrates complex ideas differentiating advisors who optimize portfolios for taxation. Posting this video in your own voice on YouTube and embedding it in a blog post on your website, or on a static marketing page on your website, concisely shows the value of your advice 24/7 in three minutes.

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6742 Hits

Advisor Video Library Free Trial

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Advisor Video Library gives you a library of timely videos that you narrate. You read a FINRA-reviewed script we’ve written and record your voice reading using your telephone with our simple online app. Your voiceover is inserted in an educational video.

Using proprietary technology, your voice personalizes videos, and it’s really easy to do.

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6624 Hits

Seeking Beta Testers For Advisor Video Library

Advisor Products has released a beta version of Advisor Video Library, an online app that makes it easy for any advisor to provide FINRA-reviewed videos personalized with their voice and branding.

The 15 timely videos we've added to the Advisor Video Library feature graphics and scripts created by Advisor Products. You record a voiceover using our proprietary app. It's automatically embedded in the video, along with your logo, contact information and a map of your local area.  You can post the videos on your YouTube channel (or we can do that for you).

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6362 Hits

Alliance Builder From Advisor Products Increases Referrals And Link Popularity On Advisor Websites



Using the Advisor Products BackOffice, financial advisors can now add a new type of page to their sites that’s preconfigured for exchanging links with allied professionals.



Alliance Builder is a great way for a financial advisor to build referral relationships with other professionals and also increases an advisory firm website’s “link popularity,” an important factor in boosting search engine rankings.



“Your site's ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to you,” according to Google’s guidelines for webmasters. “The quantity, quality, and relevance of links count towards your rating. The sites that link to you can provide context about the subject matter of your site, and can indicate its quality and popularity.”



Alliance Builder makes it easy to add an “Alliances” or “Partners” page to your site in minutes.



A lot of firms would probably want to exchange links with your firm, including:









































· Estate planners · CPAs
· Business valuation experts · Bankers
· Mortgage lenders · Geriatric care specialists
· Life insurance agents · Health benefit consultants
· Business consultants · Divorce lawyers
· Labor attorneys · Psychologists
· Elder care attorneys · Architects
· Contractors · Auto insurance brokers






Alliance Builder not only lists the names of companies and colleagues who refer business to you, but it also enables them to submit the information that they want posted on your site.



You simply email or call your referral sources with the URL for the “Alliances” page on your website.



Your alliance partners come to the “Alliances” page and can input their company’s name, a brief description of their firm, and their website URL.



You are notified by email whenever an alliance partner submits a request to create a link on your site’s Alliances page. You can edit the text they wrote, approve it as is, or reject it.



This makes it really easy for referral sources to be listed on your site.



While Advisor Products wants to make it easy for you to gain link popularity, some important caveats must be mentioned.



Just because you post a link to your colleague’s firm on your website’s Alliances page, doesn’t mean he or she will reciprocate. For you to gain link popularity, your alliance partner must follow through and link to your website.



Moreover, you don’t want to abuse a link exchange program by allowing just anyone to post a link on your site.



Like most search engine optimization techniques, link popularity is not as simple as exchanging links with just anyone on the Internet. In fact, Google, the dominant search engine on the Web, penalizes you if you engage in “link schemes” and you could actually hurt your search engine visibility by engaging in gimmickry.



“Some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites,” ,” according to Google’s guidelines for webmasters. “This is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results.”



We’ve seen some advisors create link exchanges with other advisory firms and we do not want to encourage this.



While linking to other financial advisory firms—even if they’re a few hundred miles away and don’t compete with you—you may sound like a clever way to gain link popularity, excessive use of such a gimmick is bound to catch up with you. Such search engine optimization tricks have been around for years and eventually the search engines get wise to it.



Also, don’t think you can link to the local barber shop, dress designer, or auto mechanic and benefit from it. Google is smarter than that.



Instead of gimmickry, keep it real. Exchange links with referral sources and other professionals with which you do business or want to do business. Look for firms that have content on their sites that is related to what you do, even if it may not be directly related to your financial advisory practice.



For instance, a local builder may not seem to be directly related to a wealth manager like you. But builders know that people doing construction need loans and financial advice and they may be interested to add a page to their site about the personal financial aspects of constructing a new home or office building even if they do not link to any advisory firms now.



Please also keep in mind that search engine optimization is a complicated field. Search engine algorithms are complicated and take many factors into consideration in ranking your site and link popularity is just one them.



Advisor Products hosts websites for about 1,200 independent advisory firms and Alliance Builder is just our latest innovative feature. For more information about our services, go to www.advisorproducts.com or call us at (888) 274-5755.








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4879 Hits

Visit Us At Schwab IMPACT



Please stop by the Advisor Products booth (No. 145) at the Schwab IMPACT® Conference next week to say hello.



We'll be talking about advisor marketing and practice management and showing demos of new features in AdvisorVault, Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter® and Axys®, and our Video Library System.

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4719 Hits

Compliance Issues Posed By Linkedin, Twitter & Social Networks



Yes, advisors can use Linkedin, they can blog, and they can even tweet on Twitter. Whether you’re a register rep or an IA rep, you can network online with friends and prospects, but you do have to follow the same compliance rules that govern other advertising materials.



To prepare for a webinar about compliance issues posed by social networking sites, the subject of this Friday’s Financial Crisis Webinar, I interviewed Brian Hamburger and Dan Bernstein of MarketCounsel, a compliance consulting firm serving independent advisors nationwide. (The 4 p.m. webinar on Friday is free but you must register to attend.) Below are some of what these experts said.



With regard to Twitter:

When an IA rep uses Twitter to send a link to an article from an online magazine, newspaper, or other site to clients and prospects "following" him, that communication is subject to SEC advertising rules. However, Bernstein says that merely sending a link is not advertising—as long as you don’t give your opinion.

· If a rep sends links to articles, however, it could be deemed advertising, which means some broker/dealers may require pre-approval of a tweet with a link. It depends on your BD. Many BDs allow reps to re-circulate articles. Most BDs will permit it, so long as the rep does not add content. Your BD may require you to print it out and retain each tweet in hard copy.

· IA reps have it a easier than registered reps. There is no preapproval required of IAs in any of the SEC rules.



On the topic of blogging:

· Yes, advisors can write blogs. Twitter is a microblog. However, a blog is like any other communication, and a rep needs it pre-approved, which makes blogging difficult.

· Some BDs regulations do not allow blogs. But it is a manpower issue and cost issue.

· Blogging is easier for IA reps because they do not need pre-approval of the material.

· A blog from an IA rep can discuss typical clients and situations that are hypothetical. You can “make up” a client and talk about his issues and problems and how you solved them—as long as you disclose that these are hypothetical abstracts and not real situations.

· Blogging about the economy, financial planning, or market commentary is less likely to pose compliance problems, but market commentary must avoid predictions.

· Commenting on your blog is permissible. But any commenting should be screened, so that you can take down a comment or edit it.

· You must be able to remove blog comments that are testimonials from clients.



If an advisor is using Linkedin:

· A "recommendation" on your Linkedin profile by a client does indeed constitute a testimonial and, thus, violates SEC rules prohibiting RIAs from using client testimonials in advertising.

· If a client writes a recommendation praising you as a moral or religious person, it will be construed as a testimonial—even if it does not address your skills as a professional investor.

· The testimonial prohibition is commonly thought to pertain specifically to clients. There is not a lot of guidance about using testimonials from non-clients. But the fact that there has not been many enforcement actions for using testimonials by non-clients indicates that using testimonials from non-clients may be within SEC rules. But the SEC may ask you to remove such recommendations from Linkedin. For instance, if you are on the board of directors at your church or synagogue, another board member could write a recommendation for you in your capacity as a board member and that would probably not be construed as a violation of the rules.



Because social networking is so new, there is no body of enforcement actions and rulings that you can reference. The SEC will be busy in coming months addressing the many issues posed by advisor use of social media .







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4765 Hits

Are You Too Sexy For Social Networking?



In the 1992 pop hit, “I’m Too Sexy,” by Right Said Fred, lead singer Fred Fairbrass insists he’s “too sexy for Milan, New York, and Japan.” It’s a silly statement.



Just as silly was a statement by one of New York’s most prominent estate planning attorney, who told me he’s too sexy for social networking. I won’t name him because he’s a close friend and he’ll never come to our house for dinner again.



But he only had a couple of glasses of wine when he said that all of the requests to connect that he’d received on LinkedIn were from people who wanted to sell him something, socio-economic climbers who’d benefit from knowing him. He wasn’t connecting with people from which he could learn, get referrals, or derive some other benefit from knowing virtually.



This was my first reaction, too, when I first started using LinkedIn and again when I first used twitter. But once you use these tools, you figure out how the privilege of giving away information benefits you as long as you target the right people.



My lawyer friend is actually right about one thing: LinkedIn connections that you want to connect with probably won’t seek you out. You have to seek them out.



If you wait for your target client to seek you out, you won’t see the value in social networking. You have to go to them. On LinkedIn, this means looking at other people’s connections to see who among them you want to know.



For instance, say you’re an estate planning attorney or financial advisor and corporate executives with stock options, deferred compensation plans, and restricted stock are your target clients. You want to connect with senior executives at numerous companies in your area or industry about which you’re an expert.



In LinkedIn, you could click the “Search” the pull-down menu next to the “Search Companies.” If you want information about executives at
Research In Motion, for instance, you click on “see more” in the “Current Employees” section at the top of the page and you’ll get a list of hundreds of executives. If you only want top executives from RIM, use Advanced Search to filter for “Senior Vice President.”



You can request a connection with top executives at just about all of the 1,000 largest companies in the country.



Is that like cold-calling? Not if you have information valued by these executives.



If you request connecting because you have a white paper about the latest tax court ruling on restricted stock sales, or offer a service that tracks insider stock trades by executives at his company every day, he may value that.



Or, better still, network with people you know. If you have a client or college buddy who is a top executive at RIM, for instance, why not connect? You can then ask that friend to introduce you to a colleague at RIM. If you know the SVP for handheld software development, you can look at his connections. You might find that the SVP for channel sales went to the same high school as you or previously worked with someone else that you know and you could ask for an introduction to that person.



The same rules apply to Twitter. A lot of the people who want to “follow” me want to sell me something—search engine optimization, social networking tools, financial planning software. And that’s okay. Sometimes they actually have valuable information for me.



But at the same time I’m actively reaching out to financial advisors on
Twitter and Linkedin and streaming news about personal finance, regulators, and marketing. I’m updating people I connect with about my latest blog posts about advanced marketing techniques and events in the economy.



To make social networking work for you, figure out who your target clients are and what information you could easily send them regularly for free to prove your value to them. Shortly after you do that, you’ll stop complaining that only product salespeople want to connect with you and realize that you’re not too sexy for social networking.



For more information about Twitter and social networking, please read
my latest column in Financial Advisor.



And please register for this week’s session of the Financial Crisis Webinar Series on Friday at 4 p.m., when I will speak about
Twitter for advisors.

























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Correction To My Twitter Webinar



My webinar, Twitter For Advisors, on Friday, May 8, contained an error.



In the presentation, I incorrectly said that if you keep your tweets private and approve all of your followers on Twitter, other Twitter users could not see your followers. That's incorrect.



While approving your followers allows only approved followers to see your updates, any other Twitter user can still see your followers.



It’s important for financial advisors to keep this in mind. I incorrectly advised in the presentation that, if you create a separate profile for clients only, other Twitter users could not see them. Even if you protect your updates using the checkbox in the “Settings” menu in Twitter, any other Twitter user can still see your profile and the list of your followers.

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4812 Hits

Free Client Updates On Financial Crisis Daily


When the stock market plunged last week—bottoming with a loss of 40% from the all-time high reached October 9, 2007—we began a free service to help financial advisors manage client communications: a daily market update that you can copy, paste, and email to your clients.



The daily updates contain a summary of thoughtful stories covering the day’s events. These short takes on the financial tumult are intended to be used as a daily reminder to clients that you are in touch with them and on top of the situation.

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5129 Hits

Why Do We Charge Less? Because We Can!




We recently found ourselves in a peculiar position. It happened when we launched dynamic online performance reporting for PortfolioCenter and a new online vault. Ironically, offering more features at lower prices than our competitors inspired skepticism. While advisors were thrilled to hear that we can save them money—especially since financial crisis has pummeled asset prices and, thus, advisory fees—their enthusiasm is tempered by suspicion.



Charging low prices raised a question in the minds of some advisors: If their firm for years had been paying twice as much for online reporting, why is Advisor Products charging so much less?

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5159 Hits

Advisors Eschewing Conventional Wisdom



During last Friday’s webinar with guest speakers Bill Bengen and Greg Brousseau, we conducted a series of polls. The results are surprising.



Based on answers to our polls, advisors are sticking with the traditional buy-and-hold asset allocation doctrine that has dominated the profession for two decades. Advisors say they have not reduced equity allocations. But they are looking for a less dogmatic approach. Here are the results of the poll from the webinar attended by about 120 advisors.

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6547 Hits

Why You’ll Want To Read This Blog


Writing The Gluck Report in Financial Advisor Magazine, I get to research topics I’ve been covering in for most of my 25 years as a reporter—wealth management strategies, financial planning software, advisor marketing, and just about anything else involving advisors. But what’s frustrating is that I don’t get to write about my company. And that’s why I’m hoping you’re going to want to read this blog.



Advisor Products, which I founded in 1996, has been pretty damn innovative. In 1996, we offered the first client newsletter that allowed advisors to pick every story. In 2001, we launched the first email-newsletter marketing system targeted to advisors. Last year, we rolled out the first 12-page template brochure ever offered to financial advisors. But not enough advisors ever get to know about most of our innovative work.

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3 Hits

Archive

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Questions?

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
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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.

 

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