5 Reasons to Have an Investment Philosophy

5 Reasons to Have an Investment Philosophy

David Booth, co-founder and executive chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors, has said, “The most important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one.”
 
Do you have one? And if you do, does anyone else know about it? Is it on your website, in your marketing materials and part of your prospect/client conversations?
 
Here are five ways an investment philosophy can impact your practice:
 

  1. Efficiency
    Once you have a set of guiding principles that don’t change when the market changes, everything you do aligns with those principles. It may be easier to figure out what to spend time on — and what not to.
  2. Client Experience
    You can’t provide a good client experience to someone looking for something you don’t offer. Having an investment philosophy — and being up front about it — may help you find clients who are a good fit, and avoid those who aren’t. Better to find out at the beginning than spend time cultivating a relationship that won’t last long term. And having one clear investment philosophy may allow you to be more efficient in working with clients and helps you deliver a more consistent experience.
  3. Better chance of consistent investment results
    Changing investment philosophies every time the market changes is a bit like the driver who keeps changing lanes on a crowded highway. We’ve all done this before: The cars in the next lane keep passing you, so you change lanes…only to find that now the lane you were just in is moving and you’re stuck again. Choose a philosophy you can believe in, and stick with it.
  4. Differentiation
    Having a clear and public investment philosophy may help you stand out from advisors who do not. You may also attract centers of influence who can help you build your expert team.
  5. Client conversations
    Your investment philosophy provides a foundation for client meetings and conversations. Once your clients understand and believe in your philosophy, you can spend more time talking about their goals and how to reach them, and less time on what markets are doing.

“When you’re about to do something small, you need a reason. When you’re about to do something big, you need a plan. When you’re about to do something life-changing, you need a philosophy.”1
 
Taking the time to determine your investment philosophy forms the foundation for your practice, and makes it possible to do something potentially life-changing for your clients.
 


1“How to Formulate an Investment Philosophy,” Investopedia, Zina Kumok, June 17, 2016.
 
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5 Ways to Tell if Your Clients Are Advocates

In a successful referral-based business, your ideal clients are not just those you enjoy working with but those who enjoy working with you. In fact, these clients think so highly of your business that they become advocates for you.
 
Here are the five elements that must be present for your clients to be effective advocates:
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Reaching for New Heights at Loring Ward’s National Education Conference


 
More than 200 Advisors and Loring Ward employees gathered at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs last week for our annual National Education Conference. It would be impossible to share all the inspiring/interesting/thoughtful insights participants shared and heard, but here are some highlights… Continue reading

Technology and your Clients — Building Your Office of the Future

blog93 Back in 1987, I had to take a computer programming class in college. A big part of the curriculum was coding in Pascal on our school’s mainframe in the “lab.” Needless to say, going to school in San Diego and being 15 minutes away from the beach did not sync well with spending hours in the business department’s basement. So I plugged my Macintosh SE into a modem, connected to the school’s mainframe and coded away overlooking the pool from our condo…not quite the beach but better than the basement! Continue reading

Give us a Piece of Your Mind, Please!

How do you know if the experience you provide your clients is working? Are you missing opportunities? Are you exceeding your clients’ needs? Would they refer you to a friend or colleague?
 
The best way to find out is to ask, using both an annual survey as well as regular Feedforward sessions.
 
With that in mind, we’d like your suggestions and insights on our Advisor Insights blog.
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Does Your Marketing Measure Up? A Self Diagnostic

Marketing_Checklist_Image

Do prospective clients compliment you on your website? Or do they leave after one click? Do clients beg to bring friends to your events…or beg off from attending your 17th Annual Prime Rib Fiesta? Do you have a special niche market…other than rich people with a pulse?
 
Marketing is a critical area that many, many advisors struggle with. And it is not just about your website or your mission statement or your logo (though these are all important). Successful marketing involves a deliberate, consistent approach to everything from your client experience and ongoing communications to how your phone is answered.
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