Looking Back On 2008


2008 was not a good year for a lot people. For Advisor Products, however, it was a great year.



While the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 32% and the Dow Jones Industrials fell 37%, Advisor Products showed double digit sales growth. Moreover, we streamlined processes and dramatically improved our client service. I hope you can learn about how to improve your business by looking back at our key accomplishments in 2008.

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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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Putting The Macarena, Charles Barkley & 10-Year Stock Returns In Perspective


Ten years ago, Will Smith was a rapper, Wikipedia did not exist, Charles Barkley—now running for Governor of Alabama—pleaded no-contest after allegedly throwing a bar patron through a plate-glass door, and many of us were still dancing the Macarena. A lot can happen in 10 years. Hey Macarena!



That’s why, in financial circles, 10 years means a lot. Ten-year returns have a ring of authority, bestowing an imprimatur of long-term success or failure on an investment manager or strategy. Ten years would seem to be long enough to smooth market bumps. It would seem to be long enough to include all kinds of weird market events. It would seem to be long enough to use as a predictor of future events.

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Surprise! Account Aggregation Works!


I’m shocked that it works so well, surprised it was not more complicated to set up, and amazed at how useful it is. I’ve got to admit that account aggregation from Advisor Exchange is good! It may even be on the way to becoming great!



The reason why I was so surprised is that account aggregation has taken so long to come of age that I began to think it might never really work. You see, when account aggregation first appeared a little over a decade ago, I was one of the first people to write about how great it was. I never thought it would take 10 years to get it right!

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AdvisorVault 2.0 Is Hot


While the economy and stock market has been tanking, we have been experiencing one of the strongest growth spurts in our 12-year history. Much of the increased demand for our products can be traced to AdvisorVault 2.0, our new secure online vault platform that allows advisors to share documents with clients. AdvisorVault Video



AdvisorVault is pretty much a no-brainer for advisors. AdvisorVault is less expensive than standalone online vault platforms marketed to advisory firms. Such standalone vaults are not integrated with a marketing website, website content, email newsletters system, and other features that we offer to help advisors market and communicate. Some standalone vault systems do offer many features that are valuable to advisors, but they don't provide the same value as AdvisorVault. They cost about the same or more than what we charge for a website packaged with AdvisorVault, and AdvisorVault offers all the same features or more than the standalone vault systems. Point is, even though other companies may specialize and sell nothing but an online vault, AdvisorVault works as well or better.

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Thank You For Making My Life More Meaningful


In running Advisor Products Inc. for over 12 years, I’ve seen some wild market cycles. There was the roaring bull market of the mid-1990s, when large-cap growth stocks led the way for so long and by so much that some professional investors declared small-cap value stocks forever dead. Then, there was the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, followed by the dot-com bust of 2000, and the post-9/11 bear market. Then came the Bush bull market, which gave way in recent months to a collapse of confidence in America’s financial institutions and triggered a global economic crisis.



While I much prefer the ups to the downs, I have to admit to gaining some special satisfaction from this most recent flight from equities. It’s perhaps borne of the maturity that comes to us all in our 50s. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been through so many market crises since I began covering Wall Street in the mid-1980s at The New York Daily News that this meltdown is somehow easier to bear. For whatever the reason, Advisor Products was better prepared than ever to help advisors manage the financial crisis.

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When A Rose Is Not A Rose


When writer Gertrude Stein said that “a rose is a rose is a rose,” she meant that things are what they are.



But sometimes that’s just plain untrue, as in the case of technology companies marketing client portals to advisors.

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Reporting Performance Daily


An article in today's issue of Investment News, entitled "Performance Reporting Isn't Cutting It For Clients," contains some good points but also contains some confusing information.



The story is about how important it’s been for advisors to be able to post performance reports online daily. Since the market crisis erupted in early October, the need has become acute.

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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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Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter Moves Forward


Beta testing of the Advisor Products Inc.'s (API) application for Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter has been a great success and we are now focused on improving web reporting for advisory firms using PortfolioCenter.



Beta testers gave API Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter rave reviews and some great suggestions for improving the application. Seven advisory firms participated in the beta test by uploading their client reports to our server, which successfully parsed client reports and deposited them into secure folders accessible to clients. Click For Large Screenshot of Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter

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