Blogs

Be the first person to recommend this.
If you read much about the U.S. Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule, you know many people are saying its unworkable. While I agree the rule may be overreaching and it will be difficult to meet all the disclosure requirements, I think its clear the effects of the rule are making a difference already. FINRA has fined an institution for creating conflicts and incentives to sell one product, and clients are asking prospective planners if they are a fiduciary. Still, many advisors feel like cannot work as a fiduciary. I believe with the right focus, you can. Defining Success As a student manager at Indiana, I worked in one of the most competitive ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Last year, I heard Robbie Bach speak at a carrier meeting. His story stuck with me it might stick with you, too, and inspire you to change your business model for a post-fiduciary world. If youve never heard of Robbie, hes the former leader of Microsofts Mobile Entertainment and Device division and was responsible for developing and bringing Xbox to the market. The console was eventually a success, but at one point, Robbie thought about resigning. Hed lost nearly $6 billion and was unable to penetrate the Japanese gaming market. To better fit his markets wants and desires, Robbie created an interactive, subscription-based business model. For ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Since Feb. 3, when the president signed a memorandum asking the Department of Labor to review the Fiduciary and Conflicts of Interest Rule, Ive talked to agents and advisors from around the county. Many feel a great sense of relief that the rule is likely to be delayed many believe this is the beginning of the end for the rule. Regardless of a potential delay or revision, I don't believe we can afford to move backward in how we interact with our clients. The fiduciary standard is here to stay market forces and regulatory agencies already act as if the rule is in effect. I think its vital to prepare for running your office as if you are a fiduciary. ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is likely to post the proposed delay to the Fiduciary and Conflicts of Interest Rule on the Federal Register. You can read the full 31-page document at www.federalregister.gov . The delay pushes the applicability date to June 9, 2017, which amounts to a 60-day delay to the rule. This is significantly less than what many industry professionals hoped for after President Trumps memorandum on Feb. 3, 2017. As the Fiduciary Rule continues to evolve, I want to stress that many aspects of the rule have already been implemented by the marketplace. Firms have created policies and procedures to mitigate the conflicts ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Ive been traveling this past week to several different conferences, and have already picked up some great ideas to share with our advisers. Through my travels, I was struck by a couple of comments that really hit meabout the simplicity and authenticity of business. Im always surprised about how the simplest and most direct statements are often the most valuable. I had the great honor of speaking at The Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP) Arizona Institute. As I was preparing for the event, I remembered that FSP played a large part in one of the largest sales during my retail career. After receiving a large lump sum of money that increased ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The 10-year Treasury has jumped nearly 75bps since Donald Trumps election. If you talk with some economists, theyll say the rate increase will continue; others predict a softening of rates back to the average over the past three years. The Fed has indicated they would like to see rates above 3 percent by 2019. In reality, we simply do not know where rates are goingshort term or long term. So, what should you do with your clients in an uncertain rate environment? I suggest you take advantage of this uncertainty and talk to your clients about how to properly mitigate interest rate risksnow and in the future. As rates were falling In the first half ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Part of my presentation at The Arizona Institute focused on the demographic changes over the last 20 years, changes that are likely to impact the retirement income space for several decades. Some changes are the costs associated with increased longevity. Others are the rate of savings in the United States, which has been declining since the late 1970s, resulting in smaller asset values to work with as we seek to generate future income. But, I think the one change not discussed enough is the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans we have seen over the past 20 years. Defined contribution plans continue to grow in popularity due to ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In 2016 we experienced a large rise in the sale of fixed annuities. This makes some sense as we moved through an uncertain political landscape in a falling interest-rate environment ... clients were looking for safety and guarantees. However, the use of fixed indexed annuities can provide the same downside safety and produce similar, if not better, returns than a traditional fixed annuity. Our office took a look at the past 30-year-returns of a fixed indexed annuityusing current cap ratesand compared the results from a multi-year fixed rate annuity. The results surprised me. With a 5.25 percent cap rate in years 1-4; a 5.00 percent cap rate in years ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Momentum continues to move toward the advisory business. I think there are two reasons for this. First, we have unprecedented potential regulation coming in April 2017 favoring advisory business with fees tied to assets under management. Secondly, we are seeing a continued industry shift to more passive investments and lower cost modelsboth are forcing advisers to use the lower fee structures found in advisory models. Many industry experts expect those fees to continue to be driven down over the next 24-36 months due to regulation and market forces. I agree. So, how can we prove our value to our clients and prospects and protect our revenue while ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
I recently listened to a 30-minute podcast featuring Jeb Banner, CEO of Smallbox. Smallbox develops web sites and consults on transformative ideas like putting employees first. The owner works with clients on Factory Days and/or Weeks. At their core, Factory Days are about reinvesting in yourself and your support staff. Smallbox shut down its business for the first time in 2011 for a Factory Week, allowing everyone to get away from the business and work on themselves. And, of course, we can all use time to improve ourselvesrecuperate, recharge, relearn and discover new possibilities. Although the experiment was not perfect, it did focus on the ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
As many know, I am a big college basketball fan. When you look at some of the most successful programs in the country, youll find one thing in common: consistency in coaching. Coaches like Roy Williams at North Carolina, Coach K at Duke, Bill Self at Kansas and Rick Pitino at Louisville have all been at their schools many years. Some years have been better than others at those schools, but no one can deny those programs have stamina and a level of excellence that is well above the average college program. Even with successful programs that have seen coaching changes over a period of years, the same culture will likely exist throughout the program. ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
If you ask most people what the biggest change the financial services industry is facing, they will likely say regulation. The DOLs fiduciary standard and conflicts of interest rule has certainly captivated everyones attention for more than a year. Regardless of implementation date, firms across America are already changing how they conduct business. But, regulation is only a small percentage of the changes that likely will force us to change our practicesand for the better. Several trends will impact the expectations of our clients in the future as they plan for retirement. Each creates a certain amount of risk, but three in particular will force ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Im not sure about you, but the Garmin advertising campaign excites me every time I see it. It works around the idea of beating yesterdays performance. As I train for a half marathon, Im constantly reminding myself that its about getting better after several years away from running. Regardless of where your financial services practice is today, you should adopt the same philosophy when it comes to preparing for the new fiduciary and conflict of interest rule. With more than 1,000 pages of text, the new rule can be overwhelming. At times, I find myself wondering how our firm will be able to adapt to all our interpretations of the rule. But, growth ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Living in Fort Wayne means I can usually find very few direct flights. On a recent connection at a national hub airport, my plane was running a few minutes late. So I had a chance to sit down, eat my dinner of M&Ms Id bought at a kiosk, and relax for about 20 minutes. I chose a bench facing the middle of the concourse and began watching people pass me one-by-one. Some were running to their next connection; others dragging their children through the concourse. A few were simply strolling through the airport, while most were walking briskly. One poor soul was just leaning against the handrail on the moving sidewalk after an exhausting day of travel. ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The Boomerang Effect Lets talk about the elephant in the room: Despite what you may think, most baby boomers who transition out of a C-Suite role after age 60 are not retiring Sure, its easy to label it that. The indicators are all there -- they are dangerously close to traditional retirement age. They are exiting their current role. They have achieved a high level of success so they have clearly earned the right to kick back and enjoy life Its easy to conclude they must be retiring! But theyre not! They are what I call Boomerangs. They exit one role and start another. Their new role may be in a different line ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Adversity can come in many forms, sneaking in slowly but then spiraling out of control. How many times have you described a sales slump just like that? I certainly have had my share of slumps during my nearly three-decade career. However, I think its important to look inside the problem to keep the adversity in perspective. First, we have to look at the root cause of any adversity. This may seem easy, but almost always the obvious cause is not the real cause. You have to look deeper than just looking at the obvious. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a great place to start, but even KPIs might not show the heart of the problem. You have to ask yourself, ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
I recently spent a couple of beautiful days in Washington, D.C. Although many people were on fall break visiting our nations capital, I was not. My days were spent preparing for, and talking to, members of the Department of Labor. I found the experience intriguing, interesting and awkwardall rolled into one. But, significant change requires all those factors. As financial professionals, we must always be intrigued by our fiduciary responsibilities to our clients, even if we believe we are already providing that level of care. No matter what specialty your financial services practice focuses on, you have to think about all the possible ways of improving ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Like many professionals, I am trying to incorporate meditation into my daily routine. With meetings for seven to eight hours of the day and many nights taken up by client dinners, I find it difficult to be present while at home or to simply rest my mind. Its hard to start a new habit, especially when you dont feel results immediately. However, I know in the long run that meditation will make me healthier and help me make better decisions for my sales division. One of the reasons I started to look in to meditation was the advice from my business coach. But, I found a lot of other information about the brain and reasons why I needed to rest my brain occasionally. ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
With the U.S. Department of Labor Conflict of Interest and Fiduciary Rule looming, many people predict a loss of sales and financial professionals. Ive talked extensively about the opportunity to expand ones financial practice, but I fear the new rule will create a barrier to entry for many individuals young and old thinking about a financial services career. A recent study by The American College found a large segment of the population scored poorly on a financial literacy test, indicating a tremendous need for retirement education, which can best be served one-on-one and face-to-face, not through a digital interface. Below are some key findings ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
Recently, Ive been reading A Beautiful Constraint, a book I would highly recommend to any financial professional thinking about how to implement changes to their practice. And, a couple of weeks ago, I witnessed an analogy the authors use to discuss creativity. I was walking home to meet a repairman when I noticed students at a nearby school were out to recess. As I waited for the repairman to show up, I watched the kids play on the playground. They ran freely around the designated area, which was enclosed by a chain-linked fence. They pushed the boundaries of the recess zone some were even climbing up the fence and had to be told to get down. But, ...
0 comments