Financial Repression: Jeff Raupp CFA

Senior Investment Manager, Jeff Raupp, CFA, sat down with us to discuss how current debt burdens are greatly impacting many developed countries and their ability to govern. Jeff also provides some commentary on what we can expect in this era of Financial Repression–a term for the measurements governments may use to direct funds to themselves in an attempt to reduce debt.

Click below to play the video

Road Test Your Retirement

Before every long road trip, you probably have a check list to run down before taking the wheel.  GPS? Check. Tire pressure? Check. Full tank of gas? Check.  However long or short the list is, this road test is consulted before every trip.

A similar checklist can be used for the journey to retirement.  Let’s take a look at the eight checkpoints along the way: (Click here to read the White Paper in its entirety)

  1. Where Are You Going?
    Define when you want to retire and how you want to live out your golden years.  Your retirement plan may hit some bumps on the road, so keep a long-term perspective on what is within your control
  2. Near or Far?
    Know where you are in relationship to your retirement destination.  Looking at your total account balance isn’t enough
  3. How Do You Get There?
    Save money. Sounds simple enough, but it takes discipline to start saving early.
  4. Will Your Vehicle Make It?
    With so many employer sponsored 401k plans, it’s a challenge to find your car between the Ferraris and the lemons. Ask your employer questions like, “What are the plan costs?” and “Why were the vendors selected?”
  5. Do You Have Enough Fuel?
    Many Americans believe they are running out of “gas” before they reach retirement. With the right planning process and sound advice, you can reach your destination.
  6. Where and When Will You Fill Your Tank?
    Don’t wait until the gas light comes on to refuel. You can either defer more money, or you can work longer. You can even do both.
  7. Can Your Vehicle’s Performance be Improved?
    Even the best automobiles need the oil checked, so too does your retirement plan.  An investment tune-up may lead to improved performance.
  8. Are Your Lines of Communication Open?
    No one likes to road trip stag, so don’t go alone. Ask your employer questions or meet with the investment advisor for the plan. There are plenty of co-pilots to help guide you safely to your destination.

Six Things You Can Count on in Retirement

Known Truths Point to a Retirement Income Solution

Uncertainty can be a formidable barrier to retirement planning.  Longevity, medical expenses, and taxes are just some of the giant question marks that some people cannot see past when planning for retirement. However, for all of its ambiguity, the future cannot be escaped.

The best way to push doubt from your mind so you can effectively plan for the future is to focus on facts.

Six Retirement Certainties:

  1. You’ll need cash.
  2. How much you spend impacts how long your savings will last.
  3. Money not earmarked for spending should be invested … wisely.
  4. Replenishing cash reserves is a routine process involving a complex analysis.
  5. You fare better when you know where you stand.  Traditional investment performance reports don’t give you enough information.  You need regular updates on spending too.
  6. Markets are volatile.  Reminders of the portions of your portfolio that provide guaranteed income could calm market-dip-jitters.

When your income solution addresses each of these known facts, you gain control over the retirement journey.  You can stop worrying about whether you will outlast your savings, and start enjoying yourself.

Click here to read more!

The Value of Client Referrals

by, Marilyn Shearman, Brinker Capital

The welfare of any financial advisor’s business relies heavily on the ability to acquire new referrals.  One of the most efficient and effective means of client acquisition is through referrals from existing clients.

Here are a few easy steps that can help you as you build your client base:

  1. Build loyalty by being a proactive resource to your clients.  Loyal clients can be the best source of referrals.  Make sure that you are your client’s primary resource for all their wealth management needs so that you stay on the top of their mind.
  2. Create a referral process.  Sure you can get referrals, but you want to make sure you are getting ones that are the best match to your business mission and vision.  Look at your top clients and determine the qualities of those that you feel can help you expand your business.  Don’t just talk business.  Take time to get to know what your clients are interested in both personally and professionally. By understanding their social and professional circles, you can take a strategic and efficient approach to client identification, cultivation and acquisition.
  3. Clearly define your value proposition.  What distinguishes you from other financial advisors?  Why should someone choose you?  Your ability to clearly articulate your value, strengths and expertise as a financial advisor is imperative.  The more you believe in the services and solutions you provide, the easier it is to ask for referrals.
  4. Ask for referrals.  Contact your top 10 clients and ask if they can recommend anyone that might benefit from working with you.  Be sure to get enough details so that you have an idea of who the prospect is before you have the initial conversation.
  5. Make contact.  Reach out to the prospect, either via phone, email or letter, and offer a free consultation for your services.  Even if you are unable to set up an appointment right away, maintain contact through periodic communications so that when they are ready to speak with a financial advisor, you are their first call.
  6. Develop a client management system.  Create a new client profile form that captures important information for future meetings.
  7. Say Thank You.  Be sure to thank your current client for the referral.  Once you’ve made contact with the prospect, be sure to follow up with a note thanking them for their time and to let them know that you hope to work with them in the future.