Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Three Awesome Audio Interviews with Industry Innovators

These three subject matter experts were kind enough to spend some time educating me on where they see challenges and opportunities within the financial services profession. You'll see a common thread running through each of these ten-minute audios: New and innovative technology is playing a major role in helping advisors (a) solve problems for their clients and (b) thrive as business professionals.

Stop what you're doing now and listen to one or more of these audio clips. You'll be glad you did.

Dan Santner on creating a collaborative retirement planning process to win client hearts and minds
Download link  |  Stream online

Daniel Satchkov on using the right technology to compete and win in the robo-age    Download link  |  Stream online

Abby Schneiderman on building better relationships with current and prospective clients   
Download link 
Stream online

As seen in Financial Planning magazine
December 2015 print edition

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

FPA / UMKC "Career Day" in Kansas City November 6, 2015

I was pleased to hear from my local FPA chapter and the instructors at UMKC who are partnering with the KC chapter to put on Career Day 2015. If you are in the area, please join us for the afternoon, November 6, 2015, on the UMKC campus.

This is an important conversation and I hope to learn as much from those attending as they will learn from me. If attending is out of the question for you, please post your questions on this blog and I will respond here. Details about my presentations and how to RSVP are shown below.

The Evolution of the Financial Planning Industry: 3rd Wave Trends, Threats and Realities

A presentation focused on the past, present and future of the financial planning profession followed by conversation on the topic or secrets of branding in the robo age presentation

WHO:             Marie Swift presenting at FPA Career Day

                       Sponsored by FPA Kansas City Chapter
                       In Partnership with University of Missouri, Kansas City

WHEN:           Friday, November 6, 2015

11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
Swift Presentation on Evolution of the Profession

12:10 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Group Dialog or Swift Breakout Session on Branding

1:00 -->
Other speakers and activities

WHERE:       University of Missouri - Kansas City
                     Henry W. Bloch School of Management
                     5110 Cherry St.
                     Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

HOW:           To RSVP contact Brandy Johnson at


The overlapping influences of social media, robo advisors, Skype, changing attitudes of baby boomers, expectations of new generations, and a raft of other social and technological upheavals have brought the financial services industry to an inflection point. Change has been a constant in the financial advice business but a fundamental shift has occurred due to factors such as the following:

·      Clients have better access to information and think they are better informed

·      It is as easy to find an advisor across the country as it is to find one down the street

·      Advisors service clients hundreds of miles away

·      Practitioners have direct access to potential clients through the web Investors can make their praise and criticism known to everyone online and via apps of their mobile devices

·      Clients can get up-to-the-minute portfolio information on their phones

·      Independent advisors can run a successful practice in the cloud with virtual staff

·      Investment management firms can hire a robo and fire their research and trading staff

We are witnessing the beginning of a third wave in financial services. The first wave was about product. The second wave was about advice. What will define the third wave? Changes taking place today will act synergistically to affect the very nature of the relationship between advisor and client -- and we are starting to see how all of that will play out.

At this FPA sponsored event, 3rd Wave Collaborative co-founder Marie Swift will talk about service models over the years and how today’s best technology-enabled advisors, supported by allied institutions, are building out their firms with an eye to the future.

After Swift's main presentation, attendees may chose to dialog over lunch with FPA members and UMKC faculty and students about Swift's session or join Swift in a breakout room to talk branding in the robo age.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Save the date! T3 Technology Conference for Financial Advisors - Feb 10-12, 2016 - Florida

See You at FPA B.E. in Boston? Here's How to Find Marie Swift.

I'll be at the FPA B.E. Conference in Boston. Find me and say hello!

I'll be hanging around these booths -- all of which are Impact friends and clients, all of which offer some pretty fantastic solutions for independent advisors and allied institutions:

  • Vanare | NestEgg - Table #17
  • Client Driven Practice - Table #15
  • Scottrade Advisor Services - Booth 308
  • Strategy and Resources - Booth 302
  • Entreda - Table # TBD
  • - Table #TBD
  • Everplans Pro - Table #TBD

See the interactive map of the exhibit hall for visual of the booths and tables.

I will also be live tweeting some of the sessions including:

Retirement Roundtable - Sept 26 at 2:20 pm ET
Robert Powell, respected journalist

Cutting College Costs - Sept 26 at 4:30 pm ET
Lynn O'Shaughnessy, respected columnist

New Rules of Marketing and PR - Sept 26 at 8:00 am ET
Jill Schlesinger, respect journalist

Robo-Advisors Point / Counter Point - Sept 27 at 2:20 pm ET
Michael Kitces (Nerds Eye View), Rich Ellinger (Wealthminder), and Lex Sokolin (Vanare | NestEgg)

Investing Roundtable - Sept 27 at 3:55 pm ET
Advisor Partners CEO - Dan Kern

M&A and Succession Planning / Financing - Sept 27 at 5:00 pm ET
Marion Asnes (Idea Refinery) + Folks from Live Oak Bank and FP Transitions

Unfortunately, I have a flight on Monday September 28 -- I am heading right to Phoenix so I don't miss too much of the Bob Veres' Insider's Forum (and I am also speaking there alongside with my strategic partner Marion Asnes) -- or I would have loved to attend the Women and Investing session sponsored by Money Magazine and staffed by a host of awesome women I know (sorry ladies, alas a different duty calls). 

If you haven't signed up yet for the Insider's Forum, you can save $75 off your first registration with this code:


If you want to find me at FPA B.E. and prefer not to look for a "chance encounter" please stop by the Strategy and Resources booth #320 and leave a message with whoever is there. If you leave your cell phone number or mobile email, I will be in touch and we can meet up!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trends That Matter: Top Issues for Major Firms Today

Matt Lynch, Managing Partner at Strategy and Resources, LLC will discuss trends that affect major firms, from the “vendor identity crisis” to “regulatory pressure,” to “trends in advice” as well as “succession issues” and “micro-marketing.”

Matt's presentation will be followed by table discussions centered around the key trends, facilitated by Strategy and Resources' resource partners (industry thought leaders Marie Swift, Julie Littlechild, Marty Miller, Joni Dunn, Scott Taylor, Mitch Vigeveno, Bob Cogan and Marion Asnes), after which the group will share its conclusions.

WHEN:      Friday, September 25, 2015 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

WHERE:    FPA Major Firms Symposium in Boston, MA

WHAT:      Trends That Matter: Top Issues for Major Firms Today
                 ~ Featured presentation by Matt Lynch and strategic partners ~

WHO:        Executives from Major Firms in the Financial Services Industry

WHY:        Enjoy a full day of interesting dialog and presentations thanks to 
                  FPA and supporting sponsors shown below 

Email your RSVP request to Lucy Solomon at FPA

Monday, September 7, 2015

See you at Bob Veres' Insider's Forum - Sept 28-30 in Phoenix?

So this is cool ...

Marion Asnes and I will be tag teaming at Bob Veres' Insider's Forum this fall. We'll be delivering a CEO TED Talk called "Secrets of Branding in the Robo Age."

Hope to see you there!

If you'd like to save $75 off the first registration for your firm, use this code: 2015IMPACTCOMM

If you'd like to save $75 off the first registration for your firm, use this code: 2015IMPACTCOMM

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Finding Your Voice and Building Your Brand as a Financial Advisor Today

Based on a conversation I had a few months ago with Bob Veres and Marion Asnes, I have been thinking about and reading up on "voice" and "branding" with an eye toward bringing something fresh and helpful to the CEO TED Talk that Marion and I will be co-delivering at the Bob Veres Insider's Forum in September.

Subsequently, Bob wrote a nice piece on branding essentials for his Inside Information subscribers. Marion and I were quoted, as were some of my other favorite industry insightfuls (Steve Wershing: here's looking at you, kid). If you missed that issue, head right on over to and sign up for Inside Information -- it is one of the best publications in the financial advisory space, chock full of insights and good food for thought, written especially for financial advisors and others who are a part of that service ecosystem.

I then wrote a piece which I called "Being a Social Leader Online" -- which is all about building trust through authentic voice and transparent communications -- for They renamed the piece "Why Financial Advisors Can't Ignore Social Media" -- which is true, but was not really, to my thinking anyway, the focus of the piece. Never-the-less, I know a bunch of financial advisors and allied others read it because I saw a ton of conversation and energy happen on Twitter. So that's good. But the whole point of that piece is that high-trust leaders are those who are willing to show their personality -- and even their vulnerability.

I subsequently had a conversation with some business colleagues who left the corporate tech and ad agency worlds and now basically ghostwrite blog posts and long-form LinkedIn Pulse posts (along with corresponding social media posts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter) for financial advisors. They have developed this thing they call "Voice Science" so that when they write the pieces for their clients, they actually CAPTURE that person's authentic voice. 

I'm excited about the free webinar they are doing for Friends of Impact this Tuesday, August 11, at noon CT. 

The big idea here is not to sanitize things so much. Yes, be professional. Yes, do a spell check. Yes, think before you post. But be your true and authentic self. To do that, though, you should really think about who that true and authentic self IS ... and if you are a part of a team (or a team of one) working as a business then there needs to be some dialog and consensus on what your "brand" is before you can synch up your "voice." 

One more helpful tidbit: Bob and his team at Insider's Forum asked me to come up with a guest post for their blog. Since the whole topic of "brand" and "voice" have been on my mind more than ever recently, I wrote a piece called "Finding Your Voice Online." I hope you will read it and do some of the exercises I suggest. 

I hope to see all of you at the 2015 Insider's Forum where we can continue this "brand" and "voice" conversation. 

To save $75 off your first registration, enter 2015IMPACTCOMM

Final thought for today: As I was following some links on Twitter, I stumbled upon this article by a content marketing guy named Marcus Sheridan. He says that we can never REALLY find our true and authentic voice ... because it is changing all the time

His call to action is good:

From this day forward, stop worrying about “finding your voice.” And if you do find it, throw it back in the river so you can find it again later. Finding is not the goal here. This is about GROWTH, pure and simple. And trust me when I tell you that if you’re growing, happiness will follow.

My take: We must all constantly reinvent ourselves. If we do that, I submit that in addition to personal growth and happiness, our business growth and happiness will also multiply.

So, ask yourself regularly: 
"Who am I? And why should others care?" 

Challenging questions, to be sure, but well worth the contemplation. Time for me to go on a long walk and think about those questions myself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Marketing Your Financial Services Firm in the Digital World

Free Webinar: 
Marketing Your Financial Services Firm in a Digital World

On September 2, 2015, Marie Swift, founder of PR and marketing firm Impact Communications, and business colleagues Blane Warrene, co-founder of technology consulting firm QuonWarrene, and Julie Edge, co-founder of custom content creation firm Creelio, spoke about marketing your financial services firm in the digital world.

Download the recording and you will learn:

- Why People Share Online and Off
- How to Create Compelling Content
- Why Being Seen as a Leader Online is Vital
- How to Stay Relevant in Digital Age
- How Mobile Connectivity is Reshaping Consumer Mindsets
- Tools for Measuring, Monitoring and Managing Social Media

In short engaging "spotlight appearances", Marie, Blane and Julie each presented their best thinking on the topics above. Marie fielded questions from the audience at the end of the three mini-presentations.

Download or watch the recorded webinar now:

Feel free to share with interested others.

See you next time!
Marie Swift and Friends

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Building Your Business with Social Media - See You in DC July 14?

Looking to jazz up your summer?

Join me for the Women Adviser Summit in Washington, DC on July 14 for a day that will reinvigorate your business!

My session:


Presenter: Marie Swift 
Moderator: Marion Asnes

You know about LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks—but are you using them effectively? This session will give you step-by-step advice on:

  • Building a social media plan that revs up your marketing, with compliance in mind
  • Branding yourself on social media
  • Promoting your events
  • Gaining confidence in your online “voice”
  • Tools to help spread your message, without devouring your time 

The rest of the agenda looks really good, too. 

The InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit, a one-day workshop held in three cities, is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female adviser who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level.
Attend and:
- Learn how to build a more profitable practice
- Discover how to help clients deal with life transitions
- Find out what your professional personality style says about you
- Get the tips you need to make social media a driving force in your business
InvestmentNews is dedicated to empowering women in the workforce, and they’re pleased to announce a partnership with Dress for Success. A portion of all registration fees will be donated to the non-profit organization that promotes economic independence of disadvantaged women, by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

GuideVine Launches Summer Scoop, Dishes Out Useful Financial Tips

“Summertime – and the livin’ is easy,” or at least it should be when it comes to getting simple answers to common financial questions. That’s why GuideVine is launching a campaign to provide the general public with daily “scoops” of useful information in short 1-2 minute videos, easy to view no matter where you are.

Follow them on any of their social media pages - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus - to get the #SummerScoop2015!

All the content comes straight from expert financial advisors who live and breath these topics. Simply press “play” each day, and by August 31 you’ll know a lot more about how to manage your finances!

Want to help the financial literacy cause? Share this content on social media!

Watch Introductory Video Now

Learn More at

Risk and Investing - How to Better Communicate the Trade Offs to Your Clients

When it comes to managing expectations and market / risk perceptions with their clients, financial advisors have their work cut out for them. I sat down with five industry insightfuls while at the TD Ameritrade LINC Conference earlier this year. Their comments got me nodding my head yes over and over again. 

Watch the video highlights clip and download the full transcript at

 Click to download and watch now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cloud Technology: Blessing or Curse for Financial Advisors?

The rise of cybersecurity attacks, especially involving financial institutions, is cause for growing concern among today’s advisors – for themselves, as well as their clients. How can advisors adjust to the risks and concerns over cybersecurity while still accessing the benefits of cloud technology?

While at Schwab IMPACT in Denver, I sat down with five financial services professionals for a 60-minute roundtable discussion. We discussed cloud technology, including challenges and opportunities for financial advisors. You can access several videos and a white paper transcript by clicking the image below. 

This is a "must read" for financial advisors. 

Click here now.

 Click to access videos and white paper.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Downloads from Client Engagement Webinar - here

We missed you at our fireside chat.

Here's how to get the information you missed!

To watch the recording:

To download the slides:

To learn more about the ActiFi Client Engagement program:

Follow us on Twitter for other conversations and breaking news: 
handles - @spenseractifi @jlittlechild @marieswift
hashtag - #actifiengagement

Additional information can be found at:

We look forward to hearing your client engagement success stories when next we meet!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Client Engagement Strategies Fail - Join Us Live on February 17, 2015!

Why do client engagement strategies fail? On February 17th, I'll be asking Spenser Segal and Julie Littlechild that very question and several more. 

We all know that client engagement initiatives can result in growth and increased profitability, but they often fail to achieve the intended goals. The two main reasons are (1) a lack of meaningful input from clients, and (2) poor execution.

On February 17th, Julie Littlechild, founder of Advisor Impact and If Not Now Research, and Spenser Segal, founder of ActiFi, and I will dialog about the problems and the solutions. 

Don't miss this special Fireside Chat!

Date:   February 17, 2015
Time:  2:00 ET / 1:00 CT / Noon MT / 11:00 PT

Free to register but space is limited. 

Register now and you will receive the recording automatically, but we also hope you will attend in real time that day so that you can ask questions and participate in this important conversation.

 Register now to attend free and/or to automatically receive the recording afterwards.