Make A Marketing Video At Schwab Impact Next Week

Here is a chance to reach prospects in a direct and personal way.

I will be off camera interviewing you, the questions are then edited out, and what remains are 6 one- to threee-minute videos that give prospects a great sense of who you are and what is important in your practice.

The videos can be posted to your website, to your LinkedIn profile, and to YouTube and other social media sites. You can then send links to the videos to prospects.

The cost of the videos is $1,750 includes videotaping with professional equipment and all post-production editing.

See samples and sign up now.
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Fritz Meyer’s Research Now Comes With Client-Facing Presentations

Fritz Meyer’s monthly investment research now comes with client-facing content for your website, blog or social media pages.

Meyer’s research is currently available as a PowerPoint presentation. Meyer updates his research monthly and advisors can buy it for $50 monthly.

Advisors use the slides in client meetings, webinars, and as the basis for blogs and newsletter articles.

To make it even easier for advisor to use Meyer’s research in client communications, we’re now providing Meyer’s research as ready-to-go videos--at no additional cost.

Each month, we’re creating three two-minute videos that summarize Fritz’s most important ideas for long-term investors.

In addition, advisors also receive scripts of what Fritz says in each of three short videos, which can be used as a basis for writing your blog posts.

You can also use the script to narrate your own Slidecast.  Then, your voice is what clients and prospects will hear.

Finally, we’re providing subscribers MP3 audio files of each of the three short presentations, so you can use Fritz’s narration on a Slidecast branded to your firm.

Making Meyer’s research accessible in so many formats makes it easy for advisors to create their own content, which is necessary for effective social media marketing.

Meyer’s research supports advisors with a long-term investment horizon who utilize a broadly diversified asset allocation strategy.

Please keep in mind that because of the timeliness, we do not submit the Fritz Meyer slides shows (or the videos) to FINRA for advertising review. While all of our other content is submitted to FINRA, you will need to ensure they meet your firm’s compliance requirements if you are making them available to clients.

Fritz provides a free webinar on the second Wednesday of every explaining his latest research and advisors give Firtz rave reviews. Sign up for Fritz's next webinar.
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How Is Document Management Software For Advisors Different From Client Vaulting?

Document management systems for advisors, which enable advisors to create a paperless office, are crucial for record keeping and efficiency. They're legally required for Registered Investment Advisers.

But they are not designed for client access.

To be sure, Document Management Software (DMS) is crucial technology to operating a financial advice business efficiently.

The way you file documents--the software interface the staff uses to file documents--is created by your DMS system. The information stored on your DMS must be logically structured, searchable, and scalable. Of course, security, redundancy, and your service agreement are important factors to evaluate. DMS solutions are complex systems that enable a paperless office.

But they are not designed for client access.

That's why the integration of Cabinet NG's document management software for advisors with AdvisorVault's client vault system for advisors is a big deal.

 

 

By working together, Cabinet NG and Advisor Products have taken the paperless office concept a step further than any other tech vendors serving advisors.

We've made it easy for advisors to post documents to a client vault from document management software.

The integration of Cabinet NG's document management software with AdvisorVault turns documents stored internally into external client communications.

To satisfy books and records rules, investment advisors must retain all documents relevant to servicing clients. Cabinet NG fulfills that requirement, using write once, read many (WORM) disk drives to fulfill Securities and Exchange Commission requirements that your records are tamper-proof.

But, like all other document management systems for advisors, Cabinet NG is not meant to be shared with your clients. So Cabinet NG partnered with Advisor Products to streamline an advisor's work.

Not all vendors are as enlightened as Cabinet NG.

Just about every practice management software app used by wealth managers, financial planners and other investment advisors offers a client online access point. Ebix SmartOffice, for instance, offers a client portal. So do Junxure, MoneyGuide Pro, Finance Logix, Black Diamond, AssetBook, PortfolioCenter, and just about every other app made for advisors. They all offer a way for you to give clients a view of their data online.

But none of those apps used by advisors is dedicated to creating the best client interface that integrates information from other systems.

Those apps provide ways for advisors to create financial plans, manage and report portfolio performance, and manage customer relationships. But none is made expressly to promote client communications.

While the client interface is a secondary goal for these apps, that is AdvisorVault’s sole mission: helping you create a great client experience by making communication secure and easy.

Every tech vendor that integrates with AdvisorVault acknowledges that the client interface it may provide is different from AdvisorVault, a solution dedicated solely to client communications. Not every tech vendor is willing to concede that their app will not be the client portal.

In integrating with AdvisorVault, Cabinet NG shows a commitment to doing what's best for advisors. Together, we can do great things for advisors.

For example, you can set up client folders in Cabinet NG to automatically synch with a client’s vault. Anytime you put a document into a client’s folder in your document management system, it will be automatically uploaded the client’s vault. And if the client does not have a vault, Cabinet NG sets one up on AdvisorVault.

Then, AdvisorVault notifies the client, who comes to your website to view the document. The clients sees that document along with others stored in his vault—portfolio reports, financial plans, brokerage statements as well as wills and trust documents, copies of passports, a medical proxy, and other personal information.

 
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Hurricane Recovery Of Advisor Products Can Serve As A Model For Advisory Firms

Advisor Products staff worked from their homes Monday, accessing company systems online, after Hurricane Irene knocked out power throughout Long Island and at the company's Jericho, N.Y. office.

Though Advisor Products is not an advisory firm, its recovery from the hurricane provides a model for advisory firms to prepare for a disaster.


An estimated half million Long Island residents—270,264 homes and businesses, according to Long Island Power Authority—remained without power as of noon Tuesday.  Advisor Products operations, however, were back to normal.

Advisor Products websites were unaffected by Hurricane Irene. Advisor Products hosts about 1,100 financial advisor websites as well as secure client communications systems, like AdvisorVault, at an SAS 70 datacenter. The hosting facility never lost power and did not even need to resort to using its backup power systems.

However, internal systems for managing the staff and tracking client service requests had to be reconfigured Monday morning as the company implemented its disaster recovery plan and went virtual to service customers.

The professionalism and dedication of the Advisor Products staff has been remarkable:

  • Nipun Manglik, an engineer on the advisor websites Help Desk, says that despite the disruption in power he has ensured all customer services requests made by Advisor Products are responded to within 24-hours by phone.

  • IT Manager Jason Fogelson, whose wife is expecting a baby imminently, provided a desk and electric power to three Advisor Products staffers who do not have power in their homes.


 


While Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it struck Long Island overnight Saturday, it hit the 125- by 25-mile swath of land in its power grid. By the time the wind and rain stopped on Sunday afternoon, widespread power outages had befallen the dense- populated suburban towns across the Island. Trees weakened by a rain-soaked August fell throughout Nassau and Suffolk County.

At 9 a.m., Monday, the company’s phone and email systems had been restored, enabling staff to answer client calls and emails, and the company’s CRM system was back online at 5 p.m., allowing project managers, HTML specialists, and technical support staff access notes about open cases and track client website development projects.

I’m proud of the way our team has performed.
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Hurricane Irene Battered East Coast, But Advisor Websites Hosted By Advisor Products Stayed Live

Hurricane Irene, the biggest storm to hit the New York metropolitan area in 25 years, battered Long Island with 65 mile an hour winds and gusts of 85, but service to Advisor Products websites and customers was uninterrupted.

Long Island, a peninsula-shaped stretch of land jutting east 125 miles from Manhattan into the Atlantic and the home of Advisor Products in Jericho, N.Y., was hit right in its power grid. On Monday morning, 24 hours after the rain and winded ended, a half-million Long Islanders reportedly remained without electric power (including the CEO’s home.)

At Advisor Products headquarters, where no advisor websites are hosted but internal management information systems are maintained, IT managers Steve Gordonson and Jason Fogelson elected late Saturday night in preparation for the hurricane to shut down all internal operations systems. The decision proved wise. Power to the Jericho area turned off and on many times overnight Saturday but by 9 a.m. power outages in the suburban hamlet of 13,045 were widespread.

Fallen trees and power poles can be seen all over Long Island  Monday morning. A map on the website of the local utility, Long Island Power Authority, on Monday morning showed widespread power-outages still affected almost every town on Long Island.

By 7 a.m. Monday, when it was clear the power would not be restored in time for business by 9.m., Advisor Products went virtual, relying solely on web-based apps to service advisory firms. By 9 a.m., Advisor Products VOIP phone system was relocated and restored, enabling customers to call the company.

Advisor Products’ 14 employees were all able to run internal company systems from their homes using the Internet and were available to help customers.

A senior member of the service staff  located in Florida and another staffer in California were unaffected by the hurricane. In addition, contractors worldwide work for the company by accessing Advisor Product’s internal applications online. For Advisor Products, "going virtual" and shutting down its Jericho office, takes a few hours.

While some disruption to daily operations was expected Monday morning, all systems supporting service to Advisor Products clients--including the company's CRM--are expected to be fully operational  by mid-afternoon Monday afternoon.

While the company’s engineering team was well-prepared and responded quickly to Hurricane Irene, Advisor Products recently made a significant new investment in new hardware configuration enabling virtual server technology. It's expected to be launched by the end of 2011 and will make disaster recovery simpler.
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Data Show Advisors Deeply Integrating AdvisorVault's Secure Document Sharing Into Their Daily Routine

An analysis of logins by advisors using AdvisorVault, a secure application for sharing documents with clients and allied professionals, shows that more than 100 advisors averaged two logins into AdvisorVault every business day over the past year.

 

The data show that 25 advisors have logged in an average of 12 times every business day in the past year, and 50 advisors have averaged five  logins every business day over the past year.

One advisor logged in about 8,000 times in the past year, according to the data.

About 700 independent advisory firms now use AdvisorVault to deliver documents securely to clients and other professionals, and a new advisory firm is signing up daily.

One firm is using AdvisorVault to distribute Advent Axys reports daily to 400 advisors, but most RIAs use it to distribute reports and other documents securely to retail clients.

AdviorVault is highly scalable and contains many features unavailable on other systems for secure document sharing with clients.

AdvisorVault Desktop Connector, which is now being beta tested and is expected to be released at the end of September, increases usability dramatically. It allows an advisor to drag and drop documents into a client’s vault without opening a browser. You  don't have to open a browser log in, browse to a client vault, and then select the  document to be uploaded.

Desktop Connector, which works on Mac and Windows operating systems, provides a desktop interface for accessing a secure web-based drive in the cloud. It's as easy to use as Box.net for secure document sharing but includes integrations with portfolio reporting and document management apps advisors need as well as specialized client communications tools and content.

 
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With Market Swinging Wildly, Advisor Products Releases Articles For Advisors To Email Clients

With markets swooning, Advisor Products last week released nine articles for immediate use by advisors who subscribing to our website and client newsletter services. Breaking news coverage from our team of experienced financial reporters, along with interviews with investment strategist Fritz Meyer, were included in the special content release.

It was a week in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average swung 400-points up or down four days in a row. Whipsawed advisors began emailing us Wednesday requesting articles to distribute to their clients. The downgrade of the U.S. Government by Standard & Poor’s and worries about the debt crisis spreading to Europe had sparked uncertainty and panic selling.

Wednesday night, Advisor Products responded by providing an article based on research from investment strategist Fritz Meyer entitled, “Focus On Economic Fundamentals That Drive Securities Prices Long Term, And Don’t Succumb To The Hysteria In The Markets.”

On Friday evening, we released another eight articles:

  • The U.S. Downgrade Was Bad, But Default Would’ve Been Worse

  • Money Market Funds Should Shrug Off U.S. Downgrade

  • Economic Measures Signal Solid Rebound Even As Stocks Fall

  • Take Advantage Of Fed’s Low-Rate Pledge

  • Don’t Panic: The Economy Is Signaling A Recovery

  • European Politicians Can Still Come Back From Vacation And Save The Euro

  • What Does The Downgrade Of U.S. Debt Really Mean?

  • Short-Term Correction Creates Long-Term Buying Opportunity


The content release contained a note disclosing that the articles were not FINRA reviewed and advising advisors to consult their compliance officers before sending them to clients. The articles were for use in emails. They are now being submitted to FINRA.

Sending out breaking news articles is a departure from our usual editorial process. Advisor Products, which has produced client newsletters for advisors since 1996, has a team of financial editors and writers that produce our content. In addition, an Editorial Advisory Board comprised of leading financial advisors review content for technical accuracy, and then the articles are submitted to FINRA for regulatory review. With markets so erratic, however, we truncated our editorial process and released copy without FINRA review.

Would appreciate any feedback on how we did.
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Calm Fearful Clients With Economic Data

With the downgrade of America’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s, clients have yet another reason to be jittery. Telling clients to stay the course is no longer enough to prevent them  from abandoning long-term investment plans in difficult times. The financial crisis and subsequent market meltdown have made it more difficult to convince clients to stick with their investment policies.

Here's a brilliant solution: Fritz Meyer’s slideshows contain 60-plus slides filled with the latest economic data. Meyer presents the case for broad diversification and buy-and-hold investing based on analysis of economic data. Updated monthly, Meyer's slideshows explains key economic fundamentals driving investment markets, and is a voice of reason. Here are four ways to use Fritz Meyer’s slideshows to calm clients and assure prospects, who now more than ever value unemotional advice and analysis framed by a long-term perspective.

  1. Webinars. The Fritz Meyer slideshows can be used by you to create your own webinars. Every month, Meyer conducts a webinar explaining the latest economic data and outlook, and the webinars are available for you to replay 24/7 if you are a member of Advisors4Advisors. After replaying the webinar and hearing Meyer explain the latest data, you can pretty easily use the research in the slides as a script for your own webinar. Post your webinar on YouTube and embed it in your website.

  2. Blogs. People consumer information in different ways. Some prefer viewing a video, while others want to read ideas. The more ways you present information, the more likely your message will be heard. You can pull out a slide or two from any Fritz Meyer slideshow and use it to write a blog entry explaining a particular aspect of the economy or markets.

  3. Newsletters. Your blog entry may not be read by clients who don’t use the Internet. For them, refashion a blog entry for use in a newsletter. A chart showing a recovery in manufacturing or autos, for example, could tell a story about hopeful signs, and your words of reassurance are thus backed by research grounded in facts.

  4. 4. SlideShare. I’ve written previously about this social media application for sharing presentations. The quickest, easiest and coolest way to use the Fritz Meyer’s research with Slideshare is to  create your own “Slidecast.” Simply select three or five slides from the latest monthly installment. Then, create an MP3 recording explaining each slide. If you’re not technically inclined, buy an MP3 recorder that plugs into a USB port, or use your smartphone to make the recording. Then, email slides and recording to be uploaded by your staff or virtual assistant.


 

The Fritz Meyer slideshows are an inexpensive way for advisors to create their own content, which will help you with search engines and prospects as well as with clients. Fritz is beloved for the his common-sense approach and easy to understand analysis.

Fritz Meyer will be addressing the U.S. credit downgrade Tuesday at 4 EST in a free monthly webinar.  Please join us.
Fritz Meyer Sample Presentation
View more presentations from Advisor Products

 

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Six Ways Advisor Products Content Can Improve Your Social Media And Online Presence

Advisors are often stumped about what to post to increase their social media and online presence. So here are some ideas about how you can use Advisor Products articles for status updates and tweets.

Not only will these ideas boost communication with clients and prospects, but they’ll also boost your search engine rankings.

Leverage Our Articles. Advisor Products content is FINRA-reviewed and top-quality. If you are a Platinum-level client with Financial Briefs or Featured News on your website, post status updates linked to those articles to bring traffic to your website.

Target It. Advisor Products content has three high-net-worth targets: retirees, pre-retired executives, and owners of business and professional corporations. Target updates to your prospects.

Comment. Find blogs and forums discussing topics related to wealth management and financial planning and link to articles on your website discussing those topics. For instance, a question about converting to a Roth IRA was posted on Mint.com recently. You could post a response and link to this article about Roth IRA conversion on your website. Since links to your website, link popularity, is the most important factor in search engine optimization, this can be powerful.

Distribute Market Data Bank. Advisor Products Platinum provides you with three quarterly FINRA-reviewed features: Market Data Bank, Economy Watch and Quarterly Market Summary. Post status updates referencing this content. Each of these features has a unique URL on your website that you should link to in your updates.

Tweet About Your Videos. Advisor Products Platinum also gives you access to our FINRA-reviewed video library. Just as you update your status using our articles, you can provide links in your status updates to videos like this one about Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts, which we create for your website.

Fritz Meyer Slideshows. These slideshows include about 60 slides each month with the latest data about the economy and is based on research by investment strategist Fritz Meyer. You can post the entire slide show to your website. But it would be wiser to pick a one or two of the slides and post a blog about them with your analysis about the data. (The Fritz Meyer slides are not FINRA-reviewed.)

If you’re tweeting out headlines from the financial news, that’s not valuable. You’ll need original ideas and insightful content. We’re making that easy for advisors.

If you’re not regularly updating your social media, there’s less reason to follow you. Advisor Products Platinum provides you with more than enough content to update your status every day— a few times a day if you want.
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I’m Having A Total Blast -- Thanks!

Just want you to know that I am having a blast.

My wife, Mindy, who handles accounting here at Advisor Products, was asked by one of our clients yesterday if I still cared about Advisor Products.

He was concerned I might be neglecting Advisor Products.

Basically, he told Mindy that I was devoting so much attention to Advisors4Advisors that Advisor Products might suffer.

Fortunately, creativity is expansive.  Like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

I am on a roll. Ideas are springing forth daily about how to make this little tiny corner of the world a little bit better.

A4A makes me think about professional issues objectively, methodically, and daily.

It makes clear how to best help advisors help their clients.

I'm coming from a place rooted in history and knowledge about where this industry has been, and with an idea about where it should go to help people in the future.

Solutions from Advisor Products execute on those ideas.

I have no interest in merely reporting problems affecting you. I want to try to solve them.

I’m not fixing the budget deficit, but I’m doing what I can, and it feels good.

Thanks for caring about what I think. That is most satisfying above all.

 
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