A formidable trend in the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive financial services industry is the number of companies offering financial advisors, at no cost, a “thought leadership” lifeline—ideas, strategies and tools advisors can presumably use to build their businesses.
Jackson National Life is the latest entrant into the marketplace of offerings for the advisor seeking ideas from his desktop or mobile phone.
The Lansing, Mich.-based company, which sells variable and fixed annuities and has a large presence in separately managed accounts and alternative investments, is launching two new venues from which to access a virtual library of investment ideas.
The first is its new Center for Financial Insight, launched Wednesday on the company’s site, under the “thought leadership” tab. In a news release, the company promises “educational content, ideas and commentary from some of the top thought leaders in the financial services industry,” including “proprietary research, informational videos, white papers” and more.
“Our educational campaign is designed to bring clarity to an industry that many believe to be overly complex and confusing,” Jackson’s executive vice president Clifford Jack commented in the release.
The Center’s current featured offering is a survey of 719 AdvisorOne readers on the benefits, obstacles and pitfalls of their adoption of social media and mobile technology. A video on the history of variable annuities and another one making the case for alternative investments.
“We want to support the partnership between advisors and investors by positioning them on the same side of the table, and these digital platforms provide us with a great venue to do so,” said Matt Gonring, a Jackson spokesman.
Alternative products are a significant area of Jackson’s business, so it is no surprise that the second of Jackson’s thought leadership offerings is its new Alternative Investment Learning Center, a new LinkedIn community exclusively for advisors.
The new online forum will be a “mutually supportive community” where advisors can discuss alternative investment strategies and best practices, as well as access educational materials. The company advocates investment alternatives as a means of improving returns while managing portfolio risk.
“Although advisors continue to seek ways to incorporate alternatives within client portfolios, many are unclear on how to effectively utilize these asset classes and confidently explain alternatives to their clients,” Jack said.
Jackson is launching the alternatives site this week, initially through invitations to advisors affiliated with its broker-dealer network, National Planning Holdings, but eventually to unaffiliated advisors once their broker-dealer back offices give approval. Those advisors with at least a Series 6 or 7 registration who want to keep apprised of the roll out can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The company recently announced a big push in its advisor education on alternatives throughout 2013, offering 30 half-day training events, six full-day training events in cities across the country, 120 training sessions, 130 CE credit sessions as well as virtual seminars, webcasts and conference calls.