5 Questions to Help Qualify a Prospect

This blog is an excerpt from our 360 Discovery Advisor Guide. For more information about 360 Discovery contact your Loring Ward Regional Team
The 360 Discovery approach is comprehensive and intended to be an investment in the relationship. Because of the time commitment, it is best suited for use with engaged clients who have essentially hired you as their advisor.
But there are certain areas of 360 Discovery that can be used in the prospect conversation to determine a mutual “fit” — for you and your prospective client.
These five questions can help you pre-qualify a prospective client: Continue reading

Flip a Coin and Learn About Your Portfolio

This blog is from the August issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a gambler, you probably can answer this question correctly: Are you likely to lose more money placing one $100 bet or 50 $2 bets?
If you answered the $100 bet you are right, but what does this have to do with investing?
Imagine that we flip a coin. If it comes up heads, I’ll pay you $2; if it comes up tails, you’ll pay me $1. We can play this game in any relative amount and we can flip the coin as many times in a row as you want. You have a 50% chance of receiving $2 and a 50% chance of having to pay $1. Therefore, your “expected value” on such a game would be 50 cents on each flip for every $1 you are willing to put at risk. Continue reading

Keep Your Eye on Your Goals

If someone asked you, “Why is wealth important to you?” what would be your answer? In a survey of high-net-worth families, financial security was the most popular answer, followed by help children become successful, educate children and help the less fortunate.1
Financial security is more than money in our portfolios; it is the confidence that we can continue to live in dignity and support ourselves financially rather than rely on our children.
A diversified portfolio that follows our Investment Policy Statement is most likely to get us to our long-term goals — like financial security and helping our children — yet we worry daily as we watch markets go up and down. Continue reading

WHY Global Stock Markets May be the Greatest Creators of Wealth We Have Ever Known

I cringe whenever I hear someone say that they’re, “playing the stock market.” The stock market is not a competitive game, with winners and losers. Instead, it offers the potential for every investor with a globally diversified portfolio and a long-term perspective to win. Here’s why:
If you’re “playing” you’re probably doing a lot of buying and selling based on what stocks you think will underperform or outperform. But we know from history and extensive research1 that almost no one — not even the smartest and best-educated among us — can consistently and accurately predict which stocks will be winners or losers, or when the market will go up or down.
If you’re playing the stock market, you’re thinking and worrying all the time about whether the “winners” you’ve picked are actually “winning.” Should you buy more? Should you sell? Continue reading

Main Street vs. Wall Street — Why Investing is NOT Speculating

I was talking with an experienced Advisor and he said that many of his clients are concerned that the financial system is rigged against them — constructed by policy makers, regulators, banks, rating agencies and Wall Street firms for their own benefit.
“Clients feel sometimes as if they are playing in a casino, where the house always wins,” the Advisor said. “How do I help them understand the difference between Wall Street and what I do?”
This question made me reflect on how poorly served we are by Wall Street as a whole, as well as the financial media. All the hype and noise and product pushing serve only to obscure some very simple and powerful truths. Continue reading