This past week I presented my first financial plan as an independent. I analyzed several scenarios to determine the proper course of action for the client. This couple seemed to follow it well, and was appreciative of my effort. The truth is we all like to feel appreciated. After all, isn’t helping clients realize their dreams the reason we became planners? To be viewed as a trusted ally is one of the highest compliments we can receive. I am also working on two other financial plans for clients who have engaged me. Creating financial plans is a very time consuming process. Because of this, I plan to take on no more than two to three new planning engagements per month. I’ll keep you posted.

Now let’s discuss marketing. I am in the process of creating an introductory packet to give to prospective clients. It will also help me to codify, in my own mind, my value proposition and will contain several tabs, or sections.

Included is a Bio, Code of Ethics, Summary of Service Offerings, Articles and Publications, Uniqueness of my Financial Planning Tool (not a retail, off-the-shelf product), Investment Process, and finally, what my being an RIA means to the client. It will be one of my central marketing pieces. I also sent a few press releases to various newspapers this week. Not sure if they will pick it up. I’ll let you know.

Next week I’ll be speaking at an annual conference for Decisioneering, Inc., a subsidiary of Oracle, which is a major distributor of Monte Carlo simulation software. My talk is entitled, “The Next Generation of Financial Planning”. You can review the information at by clicking on the Crystal Ball User Conference button. The positive thing as far as driving attendance to my talk is that the other session occurring at the same time as mine is titled, “Estimating the Time for Obtaining Environmental Permits in Brazil.” The entire conference focuses on the application of Monte Carlo simulation and optimization using their product.

Speaking of products, I am looking for software that will allow me to convert any document, like an Excel file, etc., to PDF. I don’t need to edit it, just convert it. I have tried Scansoft and Cute PDF but the documents lose some resolution and formatting when I print them. Any suggestions?

Thanks and, as always, I look forward to your comments.