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Burning the midnight oil

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In light of the AIG uproar, broker/dealer Woodbury Financial Services announced it will cancel upcoming “lavish” incentive trips due to the current economic crisis. The reaction from the firm’s reps was pleasantly surprising.

“Our reps have responded in support of this decision,” says Walter White, Woodbury’s president. “They recognize that it is the appropriate thing to do to temporarily stand down from luxury incentive trips and to focus instead on the things that drew us all into this profession, things like helping people achieve their retirement dreams, despite the uncertainties of the economy.”

John Rafal echoes a similar sentiment in the December issue of Boomer Market Advisor. Rafal, president of Conn.-based Essex Financial Advisors, has 14 planners working for him and $2.3 billion in assets under management. His typical account size is $3.5 million (at least until a few months ago). Among other high-profile industry accolades, he’s taken the No.1 spot two years running among the top 100 financial advisors in the country, according to Barron’s and The Winner’s Circle.

“I have a very sophisticated clientele, but they’re still extremely nervous,” he says. “We’re going 12 hours a day, seven days a week. At the end of the day, we’re working hard, but we feel we’ll be aptly rewarded in new clients. In the past three months, we’ve lost three clients, but probably gained 60.”

Plenty of time for leisure when clients are reassured and calm. For now, stay focused – and stay in your office.


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