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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Why Integration Of Document Management With Client Vaults Is A Major Advance For Financial Advisors

What if communicating personal information with each of your clients was effortless? That’s no longer a merely a philosophical question. It’s becoming a reality.

Integration of AdvisorVault with Cabinet NG’s document management system, which was announced last week, is a big step toward making communication with clients effortless.



It portends a world in which a financial advisor’s relationship with his clients is more transparent, a world in which communicating with clients about their most personal financial details is automated. It makes advisors more valuable to clients.

The integration allows an advisor to select files in CNG’s document management system—just hold down “Ctrl” and click—to push them into a designated client’s vault automatically. What’s coming next, however, is a game changer:

Advisors will designate “sync” folders in their document management system for automatic synchronization with a client’s vault. You folder for client “John Smith” in your document management system can automatically synchronize with John Smith’s client vault. Anything placed in John Smith’s folder in CNG will automatically be displayed in Mr. Smith’s vault.

The automatic synchronization means client brokerage statements, performance reports, trade confirmations, 1099s and other documents can be pushed to clients without an advisor lifting a finger. For instance, clearing firms typically provide advisors a batch file containing of all their clients’ monthly statements. Using CNG’s tool, each client’s statement can easily be parsed into a separate folder on CNG and then automatically ported to each client.

Document management systems like CNG provide a great way for advisors to organize documents, indexing and filing them so you can retrieve them quickly. It makes documents in advisor’s office accessible anywhere and enables you to back up your records.

Document management systems, however, typically are not made with the features advisors need to share documents with clients. Nor are document management systems typically meant for sharing documents with accountants, lawyers, and other allied professionals.

AdvisorVault, however, integrates a communication module that automatically notifies clients and allied professionals when documents are posted to their vaults and enables notifications to be templated, batched, and automated. AdvisorVault’s interface was built for clients, and it was architected for compatibility with all of the popular browsers used by consumers. In addition, it is integrated with apps advisors use to pull and push data that advisors want to share with clients.

All of this makes the integration of AdvisorVault client communication with Cabinet NG’s document management system a major advance for financial advisors.
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Document Management System, Cabinet NG, Integrates With AdvisorVault, Automating Secure Client Communications For Advisors

Cabinet NG, a leading document management system for financial advisors, has integrated with AdvisorVault, streamlining a financial advisor’s work and improving client service.

Cabinet NG has developed an interface to allow its users to automatically synch specified folders in its document management software to AdvisorVault, a secure platform for advisors to share documents with clients and allied professionals.

If an advisor designates a folder in CNG that contains documents to be shared with a client, the contents of that folder is ported over to AdvisorVault. The advisor does not need to open a browser and upload the documents to the client folder.

This simplifies and automates an advisor’s workflow dramatically. The integration of a document management system with a secure client vault will enable automation of client communications and makes it easy for advisors to provide clients with meaningful personal data regularly.

For example, an advisor can batch file all of clients monthly brokerage statements from Schwab, Fidelity, Pershing or TD Ameritrade using CNG. When statements coming from a brokerage are filed, they can be designated to be placed in a folder that can be synched with AdvisorVault.

The integration represents the only first phase of tasks advisors want to automate in using their document management system to share documents securely with clients.

CNG and Advisor Products are interested in working with advisors who want to automate the most common tasks in sharing documents with clients. Please let us know if you have an idea about how we can automate document management to make your client communications more meaningful and productive, and sign up for a webinar on the Cabinet NG integration with AdvisorVault.
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Advisors Love Investment Strategist Fritz Meyer, According To Ratings & Reviews

Ratings on Advisors4Advisors for Fritz Meyer’s slide show earlier this week are fantastic. Advisors can actually love an investment strategist!

“Fritz is the most helpful webinar speaker I've heard. I can apply the information immediately in my practice,” says PeterK805.

“This ought to be mandatory listening/learning for the financial news media,” writes DTSDriver in his review. “PS: Congress, likewise!”

“Fritz Meyer is an American treasure,” says GeorgeS216. “He is concise, provides facts and charts that back up his thesis and provides his commentary with easy to understand logic. Bravo, Fritz and thank you!”

Those were not cherry-picked. They were just the first of 106 reviews by attendees who reviewed Fritz Meyer’s presentation earlier this week on the economic outlook.

By the way, we’re shortly going to announce a price reduction on Fritz Meyer’s Economy Slide Shows, pricing it so any advisor who wants to educate clients on economic fundamentals driving investment markets can afford it.

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Top Five Myths Perpetuated By So-Called SEO Experts

You’ve probably received an email from an SEO expert listing the mistakes preventing your website from ranking higher in search engines.  Problem is, the “expert” is mostly spewing half truths and distortions. Here are five top myths those snake oil SEO salesmen peddle:

5. W3C Validation errors will negatively affect your search engine ranking.
W3C validation compares the code of a website to strict rules about how the code is formatted.  Many of the rules have little or no affect on how a website is ranked by search engines or appears to visitors.  Matt Cutts, a prominent engineer from Google, confirms this. If you still don’t buy it, try the W3C validator on your favorite websites.  I tried it on amazon.com and got 505 errors.


4. Incompatibility with Opera will make you rank lower.
Of course, you want your site to work on all browsers, even the 0.56% using the Opera browser in the U.S. , according to StatCounter.  However, if your site doesn’t look quite right in Opera, it has no bearing on your search engine rankings. Search engines read through the source code, which has no connection with idiosyncrasies of the rarely-used Opera browser.

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Free Videos Teach Private Wealth Managers & Financial Advisors About Search Engine Optimization

Financial advisors who want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) can visit Advisor Products Learning Center, which features 18 videos about SEO techniques for private wealth managers, financial planners, and other independent financial advisors.

The 18 videos about SEO techniques for financial advisors are just one section of Advisor Products Learning Center, a free resource for independent financial advisors to learn about marketing.

The 18 videos cover key SEO concepts financial advisors need to know about including:

External Links Pointing to Your Website - SEO for Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors Can Go Local for Search Engine Optimization

Financial Advisors Can Use Videos To Improve Search Engine Rankings

Why Financial Advisors Should Develop a One Page Internet Strategy

Metadata for Search Engine Optimization for Financial Advisors

Optimize the Titles in the Title Bar - SEO Techniques for Financial Advisors

Optimizing URLs for Financial Advisor Websites

Semantic Markup for Search Engine Optimization for Financial Advisors

Submitting Your Site Map to Google - SEO Techniques For Advisors

Using Keywords and Website Writing Best Practices for Financial Advisors

Writing Social Media Profiles for Financial Advisors

 

Advisor Products is a leading marketing technology company serving financial planners, private wealth managers, and other independent financial advisors.

 
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Niche Marketing, Search Engines And Financial Advisors

If you’re a financial advisor, here’s how to use a marketing funnel on the Web to create a path connecting you with your target clients or niches.

Maybe your target is 50- to 65-year old teachers with at least $500,000 of qualified plan assets, retired doctors in your locale, or retired military officers. Whoever it is, you create the marketing funnel by offering valuable content to them—videos, articles, and tweets.

Once a month or once a quarter, you create a video or article with helpful ideas for dealing with financial issues crucial to your target client—something like, “The Five Biggest Financial Mistakes Business Owners Make In The Decade Before Retiring.”

When a business owner stumbles upon one of your free reports, he can read it and submit his email address to sign up for your free email newsletter. Later, you market webinars to your target audience. Eventually, you become a trusted source of information and get hired by some of these people.

The funnel relies on search engines to bring you leads. That’s because videos and articles about your areas of expertise are indexed by search engines. The more intelligent content you post, the higher the likelihood of getting traffic from your target market.

When a pre-retired professor has made one of the five biggest mistakes addressed in your articles or wants to avoid those mistakes, he is going to search for a solution to his problem on Google. Your site stands a chance of coming up in his research. Your success largely depends on how trusted you are as a source of information.

The biggest factors establishing yourself as a trusted source are how many sites link to your videos and articles and the trustworthiness of those websites.

The number of external links to your website and the trustworthiness of those sites are measured by Google’s algorithm and determine your ranking in search engine results.

If The New York Times links to articles and videos you create about financial planning and wealth management for doctors, that’s better than if small town newspaper does it. And if 20 important sites like The New York Times link to you, that’s better than if just two do it.

Advisor Products helps financial advisors do this kind of marketing.

We can provide you the content on an ongoing basis. Or, if you’re on a tight budget, you can hire us only to establish the framework enabling you to easily post content that you create.

For more ideas, see videos we offer about search engine optimization in the Learning Center of the Support Section at www.AdvisorProducts.com or call 516 333 0066 #224.
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Geier Financial Group: An Advisor Products Client Profile

I look at all of the websites my company builds. Geier Financial Group drew me in and I called Tom Geier.

Tom, 57, told me his brother, Joe, started the firm 15 years ago.

Joe Geier is a CPA and Tom is a CPA/PFS, which is the AICPA's credential for a Personal Financial Specialist--which in some ways is actually better than a CFP designation.

Joe started the advisory firm 15 years ago and Tom joined about 11 years ago.

"Joe and I had always talked about working together and we took the opportunity when it came up," says Tom, who quit his job as a corporate VP of finance to work as an advisor.

I'm a sucker when it comes to family businesses. What caught my attention about the Geier brothers is that these two guys are doing a few things right.

The website that I looked at is for Geier Financial's newly founded mutual fund company, Geier Funds.

I noticed right away that the writing on the site is clear and concise. You just don't see good writing like that too often on advisor websites. (The copy unfortunately was not written by our writers, but was a team effort at Geier.) Bravo!

The site is one of Advisor Products Designer Websites, which costs just $1,500 to build. Geier got its money's worth by thinking through the information architecture of the site, organizing the site's structure logically. Kudos to Geier's marketing staffer, Melissa Jordan.

What really made me curious is that Geier has an advisory firm in addition to the mutual fund, and the advisory firm has a track record that can be advertised by the mutual fund. Few advisory firms have mutual fund. I'd guess that one in 500 advisory firms start a fund. So that makes Geier pretty unusual. It's about as rare to find an advisory firm with a track record, and Geier is also has a track record, and its performance is impressive.

The track record is GIPS® compliant. GIPS is short for Global Investment Performance Standards, a set of standards for reporting investment performance established by the CFA Institute.

It's wise for an advisory firm to maintain a track record that can be used in advertising, especially if you think you might want day start a mutual fund. While the up-front cost and hassle of establishing an accounting system to report portfolio returns properly are not trivial, the benefits can be significant. Geier is a good example of that.

From the start of 2002 through September 30, 2010, Geier's Strategic Capital Preservation Composite, which represents all of the performance on all fee-paying assets managed by Geier, showed an annualized return net of expenses of 6%.

The fund is actively managed using technical analysis and fundamental research, says Tom Geier, its portfolio manager. He uses a trend following strategy. As a flexible fund, GAMTX allocates its investments primarily among stocks, bonds, ETFs, REITs, and other investments that are selected mainly for their long-term growth potential. It's marketed as a conservative growth, absolute return fund.

In addition to the mutual fund, Geier Financial's advisory firm is actually two businesses. One on side of the company is a family office catering to athletes, mostly baseball players, like former Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken and Yankee first basemen and Baltimore-native Mark Teixeira, as well as other ultra-high–net-worth individuals. That part of the firm manages money for about 15 clients and provides full-service financial planning including bill paying.

The other part of the advisory firm, according to Tom Geier, consists of about 130 clients who are friends and relatives of the Geiers and Geier Financial's clients. Geier Financial has 15 employees, four of whom are advisors. In January, The Baltimore Sun published a flattering story about the firm.

I asked Tom Geier what his firm's minimum is and whether he and his brother should be working with the 130 smaller clients when working with UHNWi's in family office is more profitable and scalable. "They're friends and family," he says. "You can't say no to them."

Tom Geier says Geier Financial manages $150 million, and about $30 million of it is in the mutual fund. The smaller clients not getting family office services have been moved into the mutual fund, which Tom Geier says has reduced their fees.

Interesting advisory firm.
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