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.