Sunday, November 21, 2010

Securities America's Nagengast on Industry Trends for Growth

Jim Nagengast, the CEO of Securities America Corp., chats with Pam Black on November 1, 2010, at Sourcemedia's AdvisorTV in-house studio about volatility in the markets, his firm's distribution system for advisors, and its new emphasis on working with community banks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Business Of Life - Financial Planning from the Inside Out - with Michael Kay

Michael Kay, author of the forthcoming book The Business of Life: An Inside-Out Approach to a More Successful Financial Planning Practice (AdvisorPress, December 2010) on why so few people know how to communicate when it comes to discussing their finances.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Marketing That Works for Advisors Today - Advisors Money Show - Join Me!

Check out this panel presentation!

If you'd like to attend the Advisors Money Show in Orlando Nov 17-19, I have 10 FREE FULL CONFERENCE PASSES to give away. Just call my office, Impact Communications, at 913-649-5009 and tell Teresa Law, the lovely lady who'll pick up the phone, that you saw my invitation to call and that you'd like to take me up on my offer to secure a free conference pass.

If all the free passes are gone, you can use this link to register at the very affordable rate of just $99. Your full conference pass includes 2 1/2 days of educational sessions with industry experts on a wide range of topics, sponsor presentations and meals, and access to the exhibit hall with over 80 hand-picked companies such as Lindner Capital Advisors (a money manager / TAMP with a unique investment strategy that includes a Managed Futures component).

Register Today and join Marie Swift for The Advisors MoneyShow Orlando, November 17-19, 2010, at The Peabody Hotel. The timing of this year’s Show is ideal. With clients weary of large investments and the fear of a double-dip recession, now is the most important time for you to attend the Advisors MoneyShow. Discover strategies for managing client portfolios (and yours too) in choppy markets, learn techniques for keeping your current clients, and find out how your business can grow in today’s economy!

Register Now! Only $99 for full conference pass.

Orlando | November 17 – 19, 2010 • The Peabody Hotel

Below is information on my session - see you there!
Marketing That Works for Advisors Today

Thursday, November 18, 2010 | 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Given the economic fallout of the past couple of years, there has never been a time in recent history when so many prospects are looking for a new advisor. In today's hyper competitive landscape, you need to find unique ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. The old methods do not allow you to demonstrate your relevant value to your clients, and are not very effective any more. These panelists will detail strategies for attracting the kind of new clients and valuable assets that can propel your firm to the next level of success.

Gregory Sullivan

Marie Swift

Dean Zayed

Michael Zmistowski

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Podcasts from Ellen, Davey, Iverson and Montoya - Listen Now!

Take a few minutes out of your busy day to feed your brain with insights and information from some of the industry’s leading lights.

Marie Swift has been busy interviewing the following thought leaders. Their podcasts and commentary are available here on her “Best Practices” blog.

Listen to:

Brett Ellen, CFP® (mega-producer) talk about building a multi-million dollar financia
l advisory practice

Matt Iverson (BoulevardR) on automating your marketing process and building your reputation online

Peter Montoya (relationship marketing expert) on the best way to attract and retain ideal clients

Feel free to look around - there's much much more here on Marie Swift's "Best Practices in the Financial Services Industry" blog!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Podcasts from Veres, Luby, Lindner and Stevens - Listen Now!

Take a few minutes out of your busy day to feed your brain with insights and information from some of the industry’s leading lights.

Marie Swift has been busy interviewing the following thought leaders. Their podcasts and commentary are available here on her “Best Practices” blog.

Listen to:

Feel free to look around - there's much much more here on Marie Swift's "Best Practices in the Financial Services Industry" blog!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Branding Your Firm from the Inside Out: What You Must Know and Do to Win Market Share Now

Annette Bau, creator of the Millionaire Series, interviewed me for her Financial Advisor Summit – a virtual event that is airing in August on select days and times. I just found out that my recorded interview will ONLY be available FREE of charge TOMORROW, August 11th, 2010 between noon and 6:00 pm EDT.

My topic is:

Branding Your Firm from the Inside Out: What You Must Know and Do to Win Market Share Now

You will learn:

  • How to sharpen your brand and articulate your value in a clear, compelling way
  • Ways to gain access to worksheets and questionnaires that will help you clarify your value proposition and get everyone on your team "singing from the same hymn book"
  • What industry leaders have to say about the future of advice and the financial services industry
  • How to create an action plan based on expert advice from one of the industry's most respected marketing consultants
  • How to understand branding - and why it’s important to your ongoing success - from the inside out

Annette says on the Financial Advisor Summit site: “Marie Swift is the CEO of Impact Communications. Her firm boasts a long and illustrious list of industry thought leaders, celebrities, and highly-successful advisors-all gleaned effortlessly through attraction-based marketing and PR strategies. She’s one of the top PR experts in the country, as well as an expert in public relations and marketing communication. She is hailed as the ‘Marketing Guru’ by the editors at Investment Advisor Magazine.”

If you go now to and register for the virtual event, they will send you information on how to access my recorded interview – which is available tomorrow only, between noon – 6:00 pm EDT for free. Please note that if you miss this free window of opportunity you can pay for the audio series and not only hear my interview but several others from world-class sales and marketing experts. It is important to note that I do not receive any royalties or revenue from any of the audio purchases you make on; I’m simply participating as a way to bring insights and value to the financial planning and investment advisory community.

I know this whole system is a bit confusing – as all things are when they are new to us – but give it a shot and let the conference organizers know what you think. I’m pretty sure my segment will contain a couple of good and inspiring ideas for you!

You can post comments for me HERE on my blog: and I’ll respond here.

Warm regards,


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Using Alternative Investments to Reduce Portfolio Volatility

Robert J. Lindner, CEO of Lindner Capital Advisors (a TAMP that provides third-party asset management platform services to independent advisors and IBD registered reps), and I had a very interesting discussion in July 2010.

Our conversation is captured in this 19 minute podcast interview: Using Alternative Investments to Reduce Portfolio Volatility. It’s well worth the time you’ll spend listening to Bob share why his team is now adding Managed Futures to an otherwise well-diversified portfolio of low-cost asset class funds (e.g., DFA funds).

Lindner shares some pretty convincing research during our conversation and in the published articles, below.

The Missing Piece of the Portfolio Puzzle – November 2009

Managed futures have only recently been made accessible to individual investors. While viewed as a bit risky, when added to well-diversified portfolios of stocks and bonds and properly managed, these investments may help protect against market declines. Read Robert Lindner’s full article in Physician's Money Digest.

Subtraction Through Addition: Adding Risk to a Client's Portfolio Can Reduce Overall Risk – March 2010

Anyone who has studied basic portfolio construction understands that it’s possible to reduce the overall risk in a portfolio by adding an asset class that has low or negative correlation to the rest of that portfolio’s asset class constituents. At least, that’s what they taught us in Investing 101. That’s all changed now. What people are really interested in still is how the strategy worked in 2008Read Robert Lindner’s full article in Investment Advisor magazine.

Putting It in Neutral : How You Can Improve a Client’s Portfolio by Using a Market Neutral Strategy April 2010

With every bear market the discussion as to whether "buy and hold" works invariably resurfaces. It will be analyzed in journals, opined over in the mainstream media, and spun into the sales pitch du jour for active management. Then we enter the next bull run and investors simply don’t pay attention anymore. Or perhaps they assume that end-date bias is the culprit, so why don’t we just pick a different end date and be done with it? Well, that only works if you aren’t within a few years of retiring or your stomach is made of iron… Read Robert Lindner’s full article in Investment Advisor magazine.

Bob and his team will be at the Innovative Alternative Strategies Conference put on by Financial Advisor magazine, Private Wealth magazine and the folks at Charter Media July 26-28, 2010 in Chicago. Stop by the Lindner Capital Advisors booth and say hi. And don't miss Bob's panel presentation Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm. I'll be there and look forward to seeing you if you can make it!

Get additional updates by following @Lindner_Capital on Twitter.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Redefining Your Value in Today's Market Place

For several months now, I've been knee deep in conversations with financial advisors and industry executives and coaches on one topic in particular: Value.

How do you define it for yourself? How are your prospective and current clients defining it for themselves? How are current events and the recent past economic turbulence shaping the way financial advisors are perceived? And how are you not only articulating but continually proving your value to your clients?

The folks at Pershing started a ripple effect when they asked me to speak at their national conference, Insite 2010. They asked me to address an interesting topic: Redefining Your Value in Today's Market Place.

I spoke with a number of industry thought-leaders including Bob Veres, Chip Roame, Mark Tibergien, Blaine Aiken, Bill Cates, George Kinder, Brett Ellen, Steve Saenz, Sue Stevens and many more. Their comments were enlightening and stimulated some new thoughts of my own. I also spoke with numerous financial advisors as I traversed the country speaking at and attending industry events.

fi360 and Securities America asked me to customize and present the Redefining Your Value presentation at their national conferences in May and June. NAPFA asked me to lead a panel at their national conference on marketing and client communication in May. ASN360, NAAIM and TD Ameritrade asked me to speak at their national conferences on the Power of PR in Your Marketing Plan.

I was pleased when Financial Planning magazine asked me to write an article revealing some of what I'd learned. What Have You Done for Me Lately? ran in the July 2010 issue.

This is a very important conversation, and I'll continue to speak with FAs and industry thought leaders, gathering their insights and providing additional ideas to help you fuel your practice through additional speeches, articles and a white paper I plan to publish in a couple months.

A couple opportunities for you right now:

1. If you'd like to join a discussion on, here's a link that will take you to the online conversation. I've posted some additional comments on how FAs might want to think about articulating their value. There's even a link to a worksheet that will help you develop a strong positioning statement and I'm running a contest - the FA who posts the best positioning statement by 8/15/10 will win a $500 gift certificate compliments of Impact Communications.

2. If you missed the live presentation I delivered at the Pershing Insite Conference June 2010, you might still be able to register to attend the webinar I'm presenting for Pershing on Monday, July 26th at 1:00 pm CT, where we'll continue the conversation about Redefining Your Value in Today's Market.

I'll try to obtain a recorded version of the webcast and, worst case scenario, will be able to post the mp3 audio file and my slide show for you here on this blog.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Here are a few photos from the Women Advisors Forum in Chicago last week. The event, put on by SourceMedia, offered an opportunity to network with the most successful and influential women financial advisors in the nation, while gaining insight into their career experience and rise to the top.

That's me (second from the left) with Ruthie Ackerman (a journalist from SourceMedia covering the event), Clara Sierra (Sentinel Financial Services Company - a speaker at the event) and Mari J. Buechner (Coordinated Capital Securities, Inc. - a speaker at the event).

Here's the back story - and who says people over 40 can't be spontaneous?

I decided on a whim, 2 days before the event, to rejigger my schedule so I could attend the Women Advisors Forum in Chicago. Even though I'd been on the road, speaking and consulting the entire first two weeks of June, when I ran into Financial Planning / On Wall Street magazine publisher Tim Whiting at the Pershing Insite Conference in Florida, I just couldn't resist the compelling value proposition he laid out.

So, after kissing my family hello and goodbye, I jumped on a plane the morning of the Women Advisors event and flew from my home town Kansas City to Chicago on the early bird flight. Karen Embry, one of Impact's ace project managers came with me. Gotta love Southwest Airlines!

Long story short: We had such a good time networking and learning from our esteemed colleagues that I intentionally missed my flight home that night in order to stay the night and go out to dinner with a choice group of people.

No toothbrush or jammies, but I managed to find a 7-11 and get the essentials I needed before settling into my hotel room with a copy of Carol Frohlinger's book "Her Place at the Table." Carol, a successful attorney and co-founder of Negotiating Women, Inc., was the closing keynote speaker at the event and she was FANTASTIC! She spoke about the propensity most women have to "bargain themselves down" even before the negotiations begin - plus a lot more.

But let me back up to the beginning of the afternoon event.

I loved, loved, loved the luncheon keynote speaker: Elizabeth Moss, CLU, ChFC, CFS, CLTC, Agency Investment Specialist, MassMutual Financial Group. Elizabeth talked about how women view finance, how they listen and learn best, and how she has successfully helped countless women make good decisions about their money and their lives by using colorful stories and candid, jargon-free conversation.

Jessica Biblowicz, Chairman and CEO of National Financial Partners, the next keynote speaker, was simply amazing. What a beautiful and intelligent woman. She spoke about the challenges she and NFP had worked through during the dark days in 2008/09 and how they are now well positioned as a result of that somber, introspective time.

The panels were great, too. My favorite was the Women Rainmakers' panel. Of course I would say that, right?! Marketing and rainmaking is "my thing" and Sue Stevens, one of Impact's wonderful advisor-clients, was up on stage sharing how she's built her wealth management practice over the years after having left her mark as Financial Planning Director at Morningstar (and before that at Vanguard and Arthur Anderson, where she got her sea legs in the financial planning world after enjoying a nice career as a professional celloist). Sue and the other Rainmaker panelists were full of wit and wisdom. Check out Sue's latest brainstorm - - you might just get inspired to do something like this yourself. If not, you might as well use Sue's materials until you decide to build your own suite of attractive tools and resources.

It was nice to see old friends and make new acquaintances, too. Gail Marks Jarvis, syndicated columnist with the Chicago Tribune showed up for part of the day (thanks, Gail for turning in my leather notebook to lost and found!). And I was humbled when some of the attendees told me they recognized me from seeing my picture and reading my articles in Financial Planning magazine. Thanks, ladies - you made my day!

To top it off, Marion Asnes, Editor-in-Chief, Financial Planning magazine, was the-hostess-with-the-mostess. What a gracious and articulate emcee and panel moderator. I've been honored to work with Marion and her team on and off over the years. She's a class act - and one of the best editors I know. If you are not reading Financial Planning magazine as an advisor today, you owe it to yourself to subscribe now -

So, that's it. My recap of the Women Advisors Forum. I plan to move heaven and earth to get to the next one - which, I believe will be in Boston, on October 25th, right before the Schwab Impact Conference. Watch Financial Planning magazine, On Wall Street magazine and Bank Investment Consultant magazine for additional details.

If you'd like to listen to a radio interview I did with Nicole Coulter of Copernicus Radio, where at the top of the interview, I share about my experience at the Women Advisors Forum, here's a link:

And now for those photos:

Tammy Butts and Sue Stevens share Secrets of Women Rainmakers during one of the panel sessions.

Julie Murphy Casserly, Clara Sierra and Amy Webber talk about Reaching the Top.

Mari J. Buechner, Marion Asnes and Bruce Morris at coffee break.

Marie Swift and Karen Embry at break with gourmet goodies.

Ruthie Ackerman and Marie Swift "tweeting" live from the Women Advisors Forum.

Link to the June 17, 2010 Chicago
Event agenda and speaker bios:

Watch for future events:

Over the many years that I've been coaching financial advisors on Marketing Communications strategies, we've continually discussed how building a strong online presence is essential.

10-12 years ago, websites were just "coming of age" and advisors were asking "Do I really need to have a website? None of my clients are online." Today we know that not only do you need to have a website but it must be A GOOD website. People will look you up online and if they see a poor website (or no website), chances are they will move on to another option. Bottom line: you have to have a good website today to be considered a serious business.

Today, with the advent of LinkedIn, Naymz, Ning, Groupsite, Facebook, My Space, Intranets, Wikis, blogs, Twitter (which is essentially "micro-blogging), You Tube, EONs, and thousands of other social media sites ... coupled with the ability to cross-link to "traditional media mentions" such as WSJ, Kiplingers, local newspaper and magazine mentions, TV clips, etc. and audios, videos and/or multi-media presentations you produce on your own ... it's a wild, wide world of possibilities. I hear this common objection from advisors all the time: "Do I really need to do all this stuff? None of my clients are on XYZ (fill in the blank with Twitter, for instance). I predict that in 2-3 years, we will look back and see that participating on several social media sites - in addition to maintaining and populating a good website and blog - and in addition to having numerous "traditional media hits" - will be required to be seen as a viable resource.

Moral of the story: You owe it to yourself to understand your options today and to get ahead of the curve by embracing several online tactics now.

What happens when people "google" (or "bing") you? What do they see? Online reputation management and presence is important. You want scads of cool stuff to show up on the first google / bing page - articles you've had published, quotes in publications, a blog, your Twitter feeds, your LinkedIn page, your profile on FPA's site (or NAPFA, Garrett Network, Paladin Registry, WiserAdvisor, NAIFA, etc.), a You Tube video channel, a book you contributed to or wrote, online news releases, etc.

Here's one other "must": REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS WITH GOOGLE LOCAL AT You want to make sure that if anyone searches for you online, your name comes up!

Using the right keywords and meta tags (and copy in your web content) is also important.

I could go on and on ... but let's see what you all have to say. Everyone please chime in with your best tips and advice by posting your comments on this blog site.

Not only will be learn new ways to improve our online presences, but I'll be sharing some of our collective wisdom at Web 2.0 and Social Media Boot Camp that I'm doing for FPA as a pre-conference offering (right before FPA's national conference in Denver) on Saturday, October 9, 2010.

If any of you want to attend that boot camp session, it will run from 8:30 am - noon (the 3.5 hour long session will include setting up professionally branded blog and twitter pages and populating your blog with both a podcast and a video clip / interview that we'll record there on site, as well as core content). We'll have a lunch break from noon - 1:00. Then I'll be leading an advanced cross-linking and online reputation management class from 1:00-3:00. The main conference kicks off that evening.

Just watch the FPA Bulletins if you want to consider joining me for the Social Media Boot Camp.

Meanwhile, please share your tips and advice on building a strong online presence here.

Marie Swift
Marketing Communications and PR Coach

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vince Esposito of AdvisorConnect and Marie Swift of Impact Communications talk about ways financial advisors can use Web 2.0 and Social Media to market their services and build relationships.

Audio here:

Slide show here:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Long-time wealth manager Sue Stevens talks about finding financial happiness and her new book "Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is" in this podcast with Impact Communications' Al Martin in May 2010. Spend 5 minutes listening to Sue and Al talk about money, meaning and the pursuit of happiness.

In addition, Sue was a guest on the Good News Broadcast radio show with host Paul Slatkis in July 2010. They spend 10 minutes talking about finding balance, budgeting using Maslow's pyramid of needs, putting your money to work in wise ways, and much more.

Here's why you should listen to Sue: 

Stevens, a leading thinker in the financial planning community with a thriving wealth management practice based in Chicago, says money should support the things one truly loves in life. In her new book, Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, Stevens draws on real life stories to inspire readers to make profound changes that not only improve their lives, but the lives of others as well.
"By paying attention to a few key areas, you can transform your relationship with money from frustrating to inspiring," says Stevens, a Certified Financial Planner professional and founder and president of Stevens Wealth Management LLC, Financial Happiness LLC and Stevens Visionary Strategies. "Instead of endless worry, you can create a life that you look forward to living because it reflects who you are and what is important to you."
In Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, Stevens details a transformational process that includes Portfolio Peace of Mind , It's Not Just Retirement, It's the Rest of Your Life and The Financial Bridge to help readers discover a path that leads to inspiration and hope about relationships with money. After that examination, Stevens leads the reader through the Radiant Wealth concept which helps readers put their money where their heart is and think beyond the traditional measures of wealth.
Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is helps readers:
- Reflect on what matters most
- Get inspired
- Make changes to better align use of money with values
- Examine net worth for balance
- Find financial happiness and reach a state of Radiant Wealth
"Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is is a must-read for anyone who wants to re-examine their relationship with money," says Stevens. "Money is not just about making it and spending it but being engaged with it and making it do the things that make you feel good."
"Few writers know more about personal investing than Sue Stevens," says Taylor Larimore, co-author of The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing.
"Sue has been a member of our Q&A With the Experts Panel for some time now," says Mel Lindauer, a co-author of the Boglehead's book. "Every year, when I introduce her, I say that she has more meaningful professional designations after her name than anyone I know."
Founder and President of Stevens Wealth Management LLC, Financial Happiness LLC and Stevens Visionary Strategies, Sue Stevens has held leadership roles in top financial organizations for 20 years. Stevens is frequently named as one of the top advisors in the country by Worth, Bloomberg, Reuters and others. In 2008, Stevens was named one of 50 Distinguished Women in Wealth Management by Wealth Manager magazine.

(pictured: Sue Stevens, left, and Kathleen L. Ryan, right, at the Vanguard Diehards VIII gathering in 2008)
Long associated with Morningstar, Inc, Stevens was Director of Financial Planning and authored award-winning columns as well as founded Morningstar's personal finance newsletter Practical Finance. Stevens holds an MBA from University of Chicago, a Masters of Science in Wealth Management from The College for Financial Planning, the Certified Public Accountant/Personal Financial Specialist (CPA/PFS) designation, and is both a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certificant.
Learn more about Sue Stevens at, where a subscription to Financial Happiness is free and gets you instant access to the monthly True Wealth Blast, a Spending Worksheet, a Net Worth Statement and much more.
The book, along with the other educational tools Stevens offers free or low cost to the general public, is a great gift book!

NAPFA Members and other independent financial advisors may want to buy a number of books and/or subscription memberships for their clients. Many of the NAPFA check lists and philosophies are included in Steven's book, newsletter, website, etc.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Now Hear This: Bob Veres on the Future of the Financial Advisory Business

I had the privilege of speaking with industry influential / visionary Bob Veres on May 15, 2010 about his new white paper report: The Future of The Financial Advisory Business.

Listen to this Audio Interview
15 minutes of time well spent!
Read "Micro No More" and
Join the Conversation at RIABiz:
Read "A Profession Comes of Age" and
Join the Discussion at

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You'll get by with a little help from your (advisor) friends ...

What a month for industry trade publication content - and for great conferences, too!

David Drucker writes in the May issue of Financial Advisor magazine:

"What advisor networks do for the industry is to train advisors in the one thing they don’t get from CFP and other credentialing programs: Business savvy and processes. If this is what you’re lacking, think about joining an advisor network."

He profiles 3 advisor networks and mentions a couple others. I'm very proud that my firm, Impact Communications, has worked with and is happy to cheer lead for 3 of the networks named in the article - The Garrett Planning Network ( - that's Sheryl Garrett pictured above), Fox Financial Planning ( and Hanson McClain Retirement Network (

By the way, Rick Epple of Epple Financial Advisors LLC in Wayzata, Minn (, who is mentioned in Drucker's article on advisor networks, will be one of 4 panelists who will share the top 3 marketing strategies that buoyed them through the dark days in 2008/09 during a presentation that I'll be leading at NAPFA's national conference in Chicago later this month. I hope to see all my NAPFA member friends and colleagues there - old and new!

If you're wondering "where in the world is Marie Swift" you can find a pretty accurate run down on my website, under Advisor Resources / Event Calendar. I just got back from speaking at 4 wonderful events - the Investment Adviser Association's national conference in Chicago, the National Association of Active Investment Managers national conference in Orlando, the fi360 national conference in Orlando, and the FPA Dallas Fort Worth regional financial planning symposium in Dallas - all in the span of 9 days - whew! I am happy to say I spent today shopping and doing girl-stuff at the mall with my favorite tweener, who ended up buying more stuff for herself than she did for me for Mother's Day (and that's a-okay by me!).

Also, by way of updates, a hearty congratulations goes out to Sheryl Garrett, who after many years of discussion with the Motley Fool finally inked an agreement with this well respected consumer information source. In addition to finalizing the Motley Fool agreement, which should be a real boon for Garrett Planning Network Members, Sheryl was in the May issue included in Investment Advisor magazine's list of the top 30 people in the financial planning profession over the past 30 years - wow!

And speaking of tops ... what a nice surprise to receive the May issue of Financial Planning magazine and see Jim Nagengast, President of Securities America, Inc. on the cover. The cover photo perfectly captures Jim's optimistic personality and the interior content by staff writer Paul Mencheca - The Road Ahead - provides a fair and balance look into the inner workings and executive team at Securities America, one of the big-5 IBDs in the nation and, I am proud to say, a tenured client with Impact Communications. And the companion video, published via Sourcemedia's new AdvisorTV channel, in which Nagengast shares his thoughts on the future not only for Securities America but for the industry as a whole, is a perfect compliment to Menchaca's article.

You'd think that things just couldn't get any better, content-wise this month, but then you'd be wrong (and so would I). Don't miss this month's column in Financial Planning magazine by Bob Veres. In his cover story, A Profession Comes of Age, Veres shares excerpts from his new white paper, The Future of Advice - which should be posted on his Inside Information website and available as a FREE download at by May 15th. I've just read an advance copy and was duly impressed by numerous insights from dozens of industry thought leaders (who Bob interviewed for the paper) and, of course, Veres himself. Until Bob gets the final version of The Future of Advice white paper done and onto his site, I highly recommend you read his article in Financial Planning magazine - and if you are not already subscribing to Inside Information or his Client Articles service, you owe it to yourself to look at those information sources as well.

So, back on the topic of advisor networks and "getting by with a little help from your (advisor) friends"...

Below is an excerpt from the article, which profiles Hanson McClain, one of Drucker's 3 profiled advisor networks. Scott Hanson and Pat McClain are incredibly sharp guys, with 1.2 billion in AUM. The PR Team at Impact Communications is pleased to be working with such a high caliber group! And thanks, Dave, for chosing 3 really good advisor networks to profile in your piece - I'm a big fan of your writing and am proud to be associated with the T3 Technology Tools for Today newsletter and annual conference (


Hanson McClain Retirement Network

If you haven’t heard of the Hanson McClain Retirement Network (, which has been around since 1998, perhaps that’s because it’s somewhat more specialized than either the Sestina or Fox networks. The Hanson McClain Retirement Network is a nationwide network of financial advisors specializing in retirement planning that provides marketing and practice management tools for advisors who want to work with retirees from the telecommunications and utilities industries.

Hanson McClain, an advisory firm with three offices in the Sacramento area, began to work with Pac Bell personnel in 1991 and developed a program that brought a stream of qualified clients through the door. “We built our business off of that,” says Scott Hanson, a senior partner and founding principal at the firm.

In doing so, Hanson McClain developed a model for other advisors to follow. “Part of what makes our model unique, says Hanson, “is that we first become experts at specific companies’ retirement plans. So, if we’re working with Florida Gas & Power, we become experts at that employer’s pension plans, learning all the options their employees have at retirement time.”

Hanson says what differentiates their offering from competitors at larger institutions is that his firm gets involved with the client three to five years prior to retirement. “We help them make financial choices today so they’ll be better prepared for retirement tomorrow. Then we capture their rollover dollars.”

Training with the Hanson McClain network takes the form of a partnership, Hanson says. Training starts with a one-day seminar, followed by a nine-week business plan to get advisors off the ground. The firm formulates the best approach for each partner and customizes the plan from there. Some get weekly calls and some might get onsite visits.

“With 40 employees, we have relationship managers who travel across the U.S. and work with partners in their offices,” Hanson says. “We help our partners market through our relationships with trade unions and other gate-keepers, and we put on marketing events for partners. As their practices grow, we help them in every area they need help.”

Examples can include choosing a CRM, hiring employees, or legal issues they’re dealing with. “We’re not successful unless our partners are successful,” Hanson says.

Partners pay nothing up front. “We invest time and resources on the front end, and we get paid through a revenue share of 20%, which applies to clients they work for who came through our connections,” Hanson says. “If they form new relationships with employers we don’t serve, then they keep all of that income.”


Monday, April 5, 2010

April is Financial Literacy Month - What Are You Doing to Help?

Sarah Spear of AALU, motivational speaker and author Sarano Kelley, and Mary Quist-Newins, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®, State Farm Chair in Women and Financial Services at The American College discuss the nation’s astounding lack of financial literacy and how financial professionals can benefit from getting involved in this meaningful campaign.

View motivational video: Financial Literacy - What's In It For You?

Download free Financial Literacy Town Hall Materials:

Get involved! See what one financial advisor is doing to help:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Twitter Digest - A Baker's Dozen

Here's a quick look at what I've been reading and tweeting about:
  1. Getting the Most Out of Twitter - good NY Times article -
  2. Advisers aim to ramp up marketing spending - Investment News:
  3. David Drucker profiles @brettellen #1 w/ Securities America multiple yrs - FA mag:
  4. Financial Planning mag: Special Report - Your Practice Management Questions Answered: How do I stand out?
  5. Happy to be home after a flurry of trips. Spoke at TD Ameritrade conf, #T3Show and #FPABizSol. Next up Tiburon CEO Summit to run press conf.
  6. Dare we try this? At least we can read this journalist's blog entries about her travails. No Spend Challenge Week 1
  7. FinaMetrica offers risk-tolerance test online FREE thru April if use link (offer in conjunction with MONEY mag)
  8. Gauge your appetite for risk FinaMetrica’s 25-question risk-tolerance test accurate measure psychological tolerance
  9. Good article on balancing appetite for investment risk and capacity for investment risk.
  10. From @RIABiz: The FPA's practice management event #FPABizSol boasts two hot speakers in its first day
  11. Wow! This is a GREAT site. Full of free worksheets and articles focused on creating Financial Happiness.
  12. Securities America Advisors Collaborate and Achieve Success - podcast with Paul Lofties, plus related news release:
  13. Estate Planning in 2010 - Good article by Kate McBride, editor, Wealth Manager:
Not on Twitter yet? You should be! Sign up for free at and search "people" to find "marieswift". Then follow @marieswift and join in as the spirit moves you.

I learn a lot from following my favorite journalists and industry peers on Twitter.

Why not give it a whirl - if only just to listen?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Creating Social Glue with Web 2.0 Strategies

Good stuff. This quick and fun video makes the point in 90 seconds: Advisors who use Web 2.0 and Social Media strategies online can build buzz and generate awareness.

I'm hosting a "live" online discussion this week only for Financial Planning magazine. To join that discussion click here:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time to Ramp Up Your Marketing Plan!

Here are three resolutions FAs should tackle in 2010 to improve their market share:
  • Resolution #1: Work Some Media Magic
  • Resolution #2: “Celebritize” Yourself
  • Resolution #3: Expand Your Reach
Here's how to do it: Read my article, just published as a web exclusive by Research magazine: Time for a Transition (V): Ramp Up Your Marketing Plans in 2010

Looking Ahead

In my next installment for Research, I will provide tips on using Web 2.0 and online social networking strategies to expand your reach and generate positive search engine results.

But, if you are hungry for information on using Web 2.0 and social media to build buzz and create additional traffic to your primary Web site, you might want to sign up for the Using Web 2.0 and Social Media to Build Relationships webinar being offered by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) on January 20, 2010, at 1:00 pm CT.

I’ll be hosting the virtual learning session and will be joined by compliance expert Nancy Johnson Jones (, who will tell you what you can and can’t do under FINRA and/or SEC regulations, and multi-media expert Chris Hall (creator of “fast, fun and informative” Practice Management tips brought to you by the "vanguards of practice management" at Securities America, online and FREE at who will give an overview of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, podcasts and other tools you can use to build relationships with people online. You do not need to be a member of the FPA to attend; everyone is welcom, although there is a small fee to attend (goes to FPA to defray costs).

Of special note:

I will be at a number of industry conferences this year and would love to hear your marketing success stories. You’ll find my ever-evolving schedule of events at

In the coming weeks, you can find me at:
My team and I are also leading the Web 2.0 and Social Media Boot Camp being offered by FPA as a pre-conference option on February 28, 2010 in Dallas (FPA early bird incentive ends January 22, 2010).

Hope to see you at one or more of these events!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tamarac Takes Leap - Provides All-In-One Online Platform for RIAs

Davis Janowski, Tech Editor for Investment News writes today about Tamarac Inc., which is best known for its sophisticated portfolio re-balancing technology.

Tamarac is "stepping out of its niche and seeking to fill the broad needs of advisory firms by launching an all-in-one online platform. The effort is a bid to expand the company's business and address what its representatives describe as the lack of a comprehensive and truly integrated technology platform in the advisory market. In theory, the full platform will allow an advisory firm to run its entire operation with a set of laptops and an Internet connection."

This could be a game-changer for many firms!

Read the rest of Janowski's article here:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Did You Miss These Tweets? Good Stuff!

Ck out the Web 2.0 and Social Media Boot Camp (2/28/10) being offered by FPA and Impact Comm - a first!

Doing webinar for FPA (1/20/10) on Using Web 2.0 and Social Media to Build Business. Sign up now - cheap!

Will be speaking at TD Ameritrade's national conference first of Feb. Then on to the T3 Conference mid-Feb where speaking, doing PR for conf. and for more info.

RT @Fiduciary360 Social networking site for advisors built to be FINRA compliant: @NewsfromIN

RT @ovrdrv What are the five biggest mistakes in social media measurement?

Kiplinger's PF says Seek Advice on 401k, profiles Impact client Smart 401k - puts Smart 401k clients on cover:

New tools 4 end of life planning

What's your major?

Don't know your risk tolerance? Here's how to find out:

Bob Veres offer Client Article Svc. Great 4 FA's client newsletters. Inside Info subscribers $151 discount code E2DE

Evolution of a Planning Firm -

RT @WSJPersFinance Relax, You Can Beat That Stress

RT @tweetmeme Tips for Better Twitter Tweets — Art Biz Blog

RT @sangsito I need NAPFA advisor that can help me reach my goal in life without cost me arm and leg. Thanks.

@sangsito Visit to view 300 fee-only (commission free) planners. Will work on hourly or project basis.

Take a look at six social media trends for the upcoming year.

Great PM info for Financial Advisors =