The cover story of Research magazine’s April issue looks into a growing trend in advisor training programs toward “Pursuing Simplicity.” This means enabling the development of advisory practices that are more focused, better organized and ultimately simpler to manage. Contributing Editor Ellen Uzelac looks at how this emphasis can translate into practical improvements in client communications, operational efficiencies and more.
Also in the issue, a feature article on “The Measured Approach to Value,” by Gerald Burstyn, describes how value investors today are applying their philosophy to a turbulent market, including through practicing time-honored virtues of patience, diligence and realism.
Among the April issue’s other offerings: Bill Good’s Sales Seminar column discusses a new way to seek referrals related to inheritance; and Kenneth Silber’s Political Monitor column scrutinizes the potential impact of the organization Americans Elect, which aims to provide a third major choice in this year’s presidential election.
Click through the following slides to preview the April issue of Research magazine.
Advisor training programs have discovered the benefits of keeping it simple, as Contributing Editor Ellen Uzelac explains in Research magazine’s April cover story.
Billie Gray, manager of practice development for RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis, sums up the new emphasis: “The ability to focus and simplify is critically important to every advisor’s success.”
The changed approach touches on a broad range of areas, including client communications, branding and identity, as well as operational efficiencies. One technique aimed at focusing on what’s important is phrasing an advisor’s value proposition in not more than 15 words, similar to the way Hollywood screenplays are sold using concise loglines. Done right, this can encourage clients to welcome further conversations.
Some firms are providing compliance-approved content for advisors to distribute via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media. This enables advisors to spend more time on client contact. Another technique aimed at streamlining procedures and focusing on what’s important is the use of disciplined timelines, such as a 90-day engagement schedule for clients new to a firm.
Gerald Burstyn interviews value investors about their investment philosophy and how it applies to today’s turbulent stock market.
Patience, diligence and realism are the keynotes of the value approach. “You basically look for companies that you can understand, you figure out how much they’re worth, figure out the discount to the fair value, and that gives you a buy price,” says value guru Vitaliy Katsenelson. “When the companies get to the buy price, you buy them. Otherwise, you just wait.”
Data show that value investors have had a tough time in the past few years, but also that value portfolios over the past decade have outperformed the broader market.
Keeping expectations realistic is a priority for some value investors. “I try to be a singles hitter,” says portfolio manager David Merkel. “I like to come up to the plate and get a hit. I don’t try to hit a home run.”
Where are today’s market bargains? The value-oriented managers of Croft-Leominster, a Baltimore-based investment advisory, like auto parts manufacturer Dana (DAN) and blue-chip Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Value investor Frank Voisin thinks traditional electronics retailers are “historically cheap” at the moment. He’s bullish on Best Buy (BBY), RadioShack (RSH) and GameStop (GME).