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Building Trust With Tech; Debating Dividends; Run a More Efficient Practice: October Investment Advisor—Slideshow

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Clearing and custodial firm Trust Company of America is taking on Schwab, TD Ameritrade and other big players in the space. Frank Maiorano, the firm’s new CEO, is leading the firm’s growth initiative with an innovative technology play that may well “forever change the way wealth management is performed.”

Retirement income is top-of-mind for many advisors—not to mention their clients. In our Point/Counterpoint features, we explore two sides the argument to use dividends as a retirement income strategy. Can bond markets really support a client in retirement? Are volatile stock markets worth the risk? Charles Farrell, of Northstar Investment Advisors, and Stephen Huxley and Brent Burns, of Asset Dedication LLC, debate the merits of dividend investing in retirement.

And, Joni Youngwirth continues her three-part series on practice management with a plan for identifying the most important processes you use in your practice and how to run them more efficiently.

Read more from the October 2011 issue of Investment Advisor.

Building Trust With TechBuilding Trust With Tech

High energy, “client-facing DNA” and a new leadership team are all on the table for Trust Company of America’s growth strategy. But that’s not all—Frank Maiorano’s vision for the clearing and custodial firm also includes a cutting-edge push into tablet technology. Editor in Chief John Sullivan reminds us that whatever the firm might lack in size, it more than makes up for in innovation. Where Maiorano’s leading the company respects the past and the foresight of his predecessors, but he has a keen eye for the future and all the advantages technology brings.

Read the full article.

Recession Imminent?

The U.S. economy is a highly complex, multifaceted mechanism and, accordingly, is extremely difficult to predict, Mike Patton writes. Economic predictions are frequently unreliable, despite the fact that many economists prognosticate with great confidence. So, are some economists’ predictions that a recession is certain by year-end accurate? Patton explores the history of recession in the United States to try to put a finger on a new recession: Is it inescapable or are we worried about nothing?

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As Good As It GetsAs Good As It Gets

We’re all worried about the next generation of financial advisors; where will they come from and will there be enough? If the 27-year-old president of Intelligent Financial Services, Jason Good, is any indication of the quality of the next generation, we should all relax. Good has those rarest of skills; left-brain analytics to decipher pages of spreadsheets combined with right-brain creativity to hone his people skills (and let’s not forget a healthy competitive streak). John Sullivan talks with Good about how he got so far, so fast.

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Floating Over VolatilityFloating Over Volatility

Delaware Diversified Floating Rate Fund manager David Hillmeyer is profiting mightily from floating rate securities and wants you to as well. Hillmeyer points to two main reasons for the appeal of floating rate securities: minimal interest rate sensitivity because of their low duration and the fact that they earn increasing rates of income as interest rates rise. But, he cautions that investors need to more fully understand floating rate securities in order to select the appropriate floating rate fund. He tells John Sullivan how advisors can incorporate floating rate securities to their clients’ benefit.

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Through the RoofThrough The Roof

When the Internet boom hit Ireland in the early 1990s, one of the first sectors of the economy to benefit from the creation of new jobs and the spike in wages was the real estate market. That same phenomenon is happening today in the emerging markets, and it’s the reason why emerging market real estate makes for a compelling investment opportunity. Savita Iyer-Ahrestani uncovers what opportunities are in the market today.

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Point: Rising Dividends for Retirement IncomePOINT: Rising Dividends for Retirement Income

With large percentages of investors moving into their retirement years, advisors are wondering how they’re going to meet their clients’ needs for consistent and rising income.

While bonds are traditionally thought of as a good source of retirement income, in today’s markets, you’ll likely find much better income opportunities on the stock side of the market. Charles Farrell, principal at Northstar Investment Advisors, explains how market metrics have changed substantially. You’ll have to change your strategy if you want your clients’ money to last 30 or more years.

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COUNTERPOINT: Building a Personal Pension PortfolioCOUNTERPOINT: Building a Personal Pension Portfolio

Volatile markets make the need for secure retirement plans more evident. But, traditional approaches may be putting your clients at risk. Clients approaching or in retirement can build a personal pension using a hybrid approach that combines the best of pension-like predictable cash flows and higher long-term returns of a total return approach. A personal pension needs to be engineered specifically to each client’s financial goals that are uncovered through the financial planning process. Stephen Huxley and Brent Burns of Asset Dedication LLC explain how advisors can help clients balance the sometimes competing goals of predictable cash flows and portfolio longevity.

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Perfecting The Business Of AdvicePerfecting The Business Of Advice

What are the characteristics of the most successful advisor firms? A new book by Mark Tibergien and Rebecca Pomering provides a roadmap for turning advisory practices into real, valuable businesses. Group Editor in Chief Jamie Green sits down with Mark Tibergien to find out what advisors can do to improve their practices.

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Want a More Efficient Practice? Examine Your Core ProcessesWant a More Efficient Practice? Examine Your Core Processes

If you’re intent on increasing your firm’s efficiency, you’re no doubt aware of the importance of documenting your processes and procedures. But have you documented the right kinds of processes? While instructions for taking out the trash, sorting emails or answering the phone may be useful, what you really want to document are core processes—the sets of activities that deliver value to your clients and impact the firm’s bottom line. Joni Youngwirth discusses what advisors can do to make their firm run more smoothly.

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