Advisor Blog

Just Our Luck, CPA Planners Love Us!


Just my luck! I spend 20 years to build a business that winds up attracting professional penny pinchers! Advisor Products is seeing a surge in sign-ups by CPA financial planners.

Of course, I’m kidding — mostly. While CPA planners are frugal, I ‘m proud to serve them because they are real financial professionals. I worked at AICPA from 1983 to 1986, ghost-writing a newspaper column called, Money Management, that was published in a couple thousand newspapers across the country.

I had been a police beat reporter at the Clearwater Sun in Florida before moving to The Trenton Times, where I was fired after three months, shortly after refusing to write a story about the funeral of the father of a 400-pound rapist of a 13-year-old girl, who unsuccessfully had argued his imprisonment would be a death sentence because he was so fat and, thus cruel and unusual punishment. But that’s another story.

Before I left AICPA to cover Wall Street for The New York Daily News, I spent a lot of time around CPAs and was there to see the PFS designation and Personal Financial Planning practice section get started. So I have a long history with CPA planners.

Since we started making websites 20 years ago, Advisor Products has worked with CPA planners. The AICPA has ignored what we are doing.  But I stayed true to my values of working with real financial professionals. So CPA planners are showing up anyway, and these advisors have great practices. They broadly diversify a core portfolio in low-cost product, and offer financial planning to add value.  They love Fritz Meyer’s fundamental economic analysis, Craig Israelsen’s low-cost models, and Bob Keebler, CPA/PFS’s financial and tax planning strategies.    

If you are a CPA financial planner, see our 25-minute demo on YouTube or click on the chat box below and request a free trial.

 

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5720 Hits

Advisor Websites For Growing RIAs

To grow your practice, it’s smart to allow clients and prospects to book a meeting with you from your email newsletter.

Integrating advisor calendars with advisor websites and email newsletters is an important business building feature of Build Advisor Websites (BAW), our content management system for financial planners and RIAs. 

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6992 Hits

Fiduciaries: Stop Getting Fired For Lagging The S&P 500


Investment fiduciaries, by definition, lag the S&P 500 index in a bull market. That’s a problem for independent professionals. Advisor Products solves it.

 

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5936 Hits

Redtail Now Integrated In AdvisorVault Client Portal

Redtail CRM, one of the most popular CRM systems financial advisors, was released recently on advisor websites that use the AdvisorVault Client Portal.

Integration of Redtail into advisor client portals increases an advisor’s efficiency enormously. It opens a new channel of communication from your CRM to your clients where none existed before.

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10461 Hits

Embracing Robo IAs -- Investment Advisors Building Businesses

Shrill headlines scream fear for roboadvisors, but independent financial professionals must embrace the Web.

We, the people of Advisor Products Inc., are launching a solution automating ongoing financial planning advice supervised by financial professionals — CFPs, CPAs, CIMAs, CPWAs, CFAs, ChFCs, CLUs, and EAs.

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6064 Hits

Our New Client Dashboard Is An Advisor’s Client Portal

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Since January, we have been developing a new client portal for advisors.

The new client portal is built into AdvisorVault, which is used by hundreds of RIAs. AdvisorVault is a highly customized version of Microsoft SharePoint explicitly designed to meet the needs of financial advice professionals.

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6707 Hits

How AdvisorVault RoboIA Improves An Advisor's Business

The vast majority of advisor websites are developed with little forethought and rarely vital to the business of a professional. But advisor websites can and should be the most important app in your practice! It is your interface with the outside world!

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6569 Hits

Reducing The Rate Of Client Failure



Why do some advisors annually get fired by 10% of their clients or more while other advisors consistently lose just 2% or 3%?



With the impact of the financial crisis hitting advisory firms and clients alike, the answer to this question is critical and may not be that complex.



Clients fire you because they feel disconnected from you and your firm. They leave when you lose credibility, when you fail to touch them in meaningful ways, when you fail to confront their crucial financial issues with them.



Clients don’t fire you because of investment performance. They fire you because they feel you let them down and do not provide enough value.



When a client fires you, it’s not just you who loses. They, too, often lose. Clients that fire you may hire an advisor who is not as devoted or competent. Or they may try to manage their money on their own, which may lead to failure. When a client fires you, it’s often not just you who has failed. They also fail.



What can you do about it? How can you stem your attrition rate and help more people by giving them good financial advice?



The answer doesn’t lie in a new financial product; we have enough products. The answer is not in a new market-timing strategy; we all know diversification is the wise course because no one can predict the future.



The answer is in your communication with clients. It’s in your ability to draw people out, to make it safe for them to share with you their greatest fears, and your desire to actively listen and then meet their demons head-on with reason and intelligent solutions. The way to retain clients is to be deeply engaged in ongoing financial conversation with them about their greatest fears and dreams.



So I asked one of the world’s foremost experts on crucial conversations for help—the authors of The New York Times bestseller, Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When The Stakes Are High. To my amazement, the authors were intrigued and have designed a way for financial advisors to better understand how to conduct crucial financial conversations with clients.



Published in 2002, Crucial Conversations, has influenced millions of business leaders. “This is a breakthrough book,” said Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. “I found myself being deeply influenced, motivated, and even inspired.”



The authors of Crucial Conversations, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, established a consulting firm, VitalSmarts, which has developed dozens of corporate training programs for dozens of Fortune 500 companies.



David Maxfield, a respected academic, was named head of research at VitalSmarts. Maxfield has taught at Stanford University and the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. He is the recipient of Motorola University’s Distinguished Teaching Award and Stanford University’s Dean’s Award for Innovative Industrial Education. Maxfield is also the author of the 2007, Influencer: The Power To Change Anything.



Maxfield has been working with me to research how well financial advisors handle crucial conversations with clients. On July 10, at what promises to be a special session, Maxfield will lead a presentation at The Financial Crisis Webinar Series in which he will teach advisors the basic skills needed to conduct crucial conversations with clients.
You can reserve a place at this free webinar now by taking a 10-minute survey designed to measure financial advisors’ ability to conduct crucial conversations with clients.



The full impact of the financial crisis has not yet been felt by advisors. Investors have been paralyzed by fear. Many advisors are likely to be fired in coming months as the shock of the crisis subsides. Please take the survey and join us as we all heal the wounds of the meltdown and try to learn from it.










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12730 Hits

Changes In My Blog



Those of you who regularly read this blog know that I cover a mix of news for independent advisors—technology, compliance, marketing and a wide range of other topics. I also write about what's new at my company, Advisor Products, which makes websites, newsletters, and brochures for about 1,800 advisory firms.



Apropos of my schizophrenic role as reporter and service provider to advisors, I am splitting this blog in two.



This blog will now only cover what's new at Advisor Products. Articles I write about industry issues will now be posted in my blog at
advisorsforadvisors.



advisorsforadvisors is a new practice management website. It's in beta, but you can sign up now for a 30-day free trial. (Advisor Products clients will receive an email next week about how to sign up for a free one-year subscription.)



Two veteran financial journalists have teamed up with me to create advisorsforadvisors. Mary Rowland is a former columnist at The New York Times who now writes a monthly column for Financial Advisor, and Bob Casey started up and ran Bloomberg Wealth Manager and is now a managing director of the Family Wealth Alliance.



advisorsforadvisors has strong social networking and provides crucial information to run an advisory business, including:



· Links to all important market and economic news stories by 8:30 a.m. EDT every business day

· A way to objectively compare advisor software applications feature-by-feature, side-by-side

· Social networking features that connect advisors who practice the same way as each other

· Advisor reviews of software applications

· User groups for software applications

· Daily analysis of industry and financial news by veteran reporters and industry experts

· Free access to weekly webinars with CE credit for many sessions and replays of all webinars 24/7

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5285 Hits

Schwab PorfolioCenter On A4A



Schwab PortfollioCenter, a leading portfolio accounting and reporting application used by about 3,500 independent advisory firms, has posted its specifications to the Advisor Software Database at advisorsforadvisors (A4A).



A4A is a new practice management portal for independent advisors. A4A features an Advisor Software Database that allows advisors to compare the most popular professional software applications side-by-side and feature-by-feature. Just about all of the major software vendors in the industry are now participating in the Advisor Software Database by posting detailed specifications of their products. Advisors can write reviews and rate all of the software packages.



I’ve wanted to create the Advisor Software Database for about 10 years. It’s a totally unique tool that is not available anywhere else. It summarizes in minutes everything you need to know about different practice management applications. Basically, If you like my magazine column or this blog, you’ll find A4A helpful.



PortfolioCenter, a desktop application, owns a major share of the portfolio management software market among advisors serving high-net-worth individuals. According to the specifications Schwab filled in the Advisor Software Database, PortfolioCenter has 70 reports, including 10 graphical reports. You can run a report showing a client’s current asset allocation versus the target allocation, and you can report on Treasurys, corporates, zeroes, and mortgage-backs but not TIPS.



Schwab executives are going to be showing enhanced client reporting tools at the upcoming Schwab conference. We’ll keep you updated on details.



If you click on the screen shots in this post you’ll see an enlarged view of the Advisor Software Database showing you a comparison of PortfolioCenter, InterActive Advisory Software, and Portfolio Director. A4A is still in beta and we’re giving advisors a 30-day free trial right now.





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4895 Hits

Improving Efficiency Of Client Intake



The first time I saw a ticket kiosk at the airport, I was indignant. “How dare they make me ticket myself,” I thought. “Next thing you know, they’ll ask me to fly the damn plane!"



Soon enough, however, I tried the self-service ticketing machine. And guess what? I loved it! Now, when I walk into an airport without a self-service kiosk, I’m indignant. How dare they make me wait on a long line just to be ticketed!

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5071 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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