March 29, 2011

Weapons of Mass Instruction; Bill Good on the Making of a Top Advisor; ETF Guide: April Research—Slideshow

In the April issue of Research, we focus on advisor training and current issues in investing

WEAPONS OF MASS INSTRUCTION

How Raymond James’ advisor training initiative is getting results.

Research Magazine’s April cover story shines a light on an intensive training program that broker-dealer Raymond James has made available to advisors like Frank Pickett of Upland, Calif. When he started with Raymond James 5 ½ years ago, he was managing $18 million. After three years of coaching, that number is up to $75 million. Or, take John Vance of Valencia, Calif., who managed $10 million in assets when he joined the firm in 2003. Intensive coaching has helped him increase that figure tenfold to $100 million. Zack Hayes of San Jose close to doubled his production in just two years and Ross Marino, whose goal it was to reduce his hours on the job, cut the time managing his book by over 50 percent without impacting revenue.

 

INDIA'S EMERGENCE

How an increasingly important nation’s stock market developed.

In recent years, India has emerged as a prime focus of interest for international investors. This interest has risen along with Indian share prices. The benchmark Bombay Sensitive Index, or Sensex, which first hit the 6,000 line in February 2000, took over five years to climb to 7,000. Then the 1,000-point milestones began falling quickly, in periods of months or weeks. In early January 2008, the Sensex pushed above 21,000.

Once obscure India entered the new millennium as a country very much on the radar screen of international investors. In November 2001 it became a BRIC, as Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill coined that term for the large and promising emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

 

THE ANNUITY IMPERATIVE

As retirement nears, return of capital must trump return on capital.

New contributor Bob Seawright re-states the essential value proposition of annuities for advisors and their clients, namely that retirees and near-retirees must avoid risking what they cannot afford to lose. In this article, Seawright re-examines the classic, but potentially catastrophic, 4% rule. He concludes: Those who want to be sure that they will have sustainable lifetime income must make sure that they obtain the guarantees that annuities provide. Otherwise, their financial well-being depends, in effect, upon a roll of the dice.

 

THE RESEARCH MAGAZINE GUIDE TO ETF INVESTING 2011

Includes a full listing of ETFs and interviews with top ETF experts on 2011 investment trends.

U.S.-listed exchange-traded products (ETPs) have officially surpassed the $1 trillion mark and still have momentum. Retail investor ETF assets have grown 61 percent in just the past year. This special issue includes an interview with Tamara Bohlig, who oversees Schwab’s ETF business. Over the past year, assets inside Schwab ETFs have climbed sixfold from $516 million to $3.06 billion.

For too long, commodities have been an inaccessible asset class that’s largely been ignored in traditional asset allocation models. Our supplement examines commodity ETPs, highlights some of today’s top products and explains how they can enhance investment returns.

ETFs are especially useful in building and managing investment portfolios. To illustrate that point, we feature four ETF portfolios each using a different strategy. We also take a fresh look at ETFs inside 401(k) plans.

 

THE SOCIAL NETWORKER

David Armstrong shows how social media marketing is done.

When David B. Armstrong pitches prospective clients, he gives them an iPad to help follow along with his slide presentation. (“It makes the pitch book obsolete,” he says. “The impression: ‘These guys are early adopters. They think outside the box.’”)

Armstrong, 43, tweets often and edgily about articles he disagrees with. (“If I say this article has it all wrong, people say ‘Wow, this guy has an opinion. Let’s learn more about this guy,’ and they’ll google Monument Wealth Management.”)

Armstrong’s goal as a new wave marketer: to drive traffic to Monument Wealth Management’s website.

 

CLEAR THINKING

Amid regulatory upheaval, clearing firms strive to be thought leaders.

Huge changes are in the wings for how the financial services industry does business, and no area is on heightened alert more than the clearing space. But smart clearing firms aren’t simply sitting on their hands waiting for the new rules to be shaped and documented. They’re lobbying in Washington on behalf of clients, developing systems and services in anticipation of the new requirements and broadening their scope of initiatives to support clients once the new regs are in place — months, or even years, from now.

Thought leadership among clearing firms is showing up in a number of ways. Right now, probably the most important one addresses the regulatory overhaul and its forthcoming industry-wide challenges.

 

THE MAKING OF A TOP ADVISOR

How Ira Walker of UBS reached the industry’s pinnacle.

Bill Good has been Ira Walker’s coach since 1988, so he knows exactly how Ira Walker got to where is he is over the past 23 years. And where he is is No. 4 on Barron’s 2010 top 100 list, as well has No. 1 two years in a row on Barron’s New Jersey list. While no one can exactly duplicate the success of another, one can and should study people who have achieved great success and do what is possible to emulate it. By mastering hard work, time management, execution of the right things, investment skills, marketing skills and elite team building, you too can take your business onto, and perhaps to the pinnacle of, Barron’s and other top-advisor lists.

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