Building Stronger Relationships via Your Digital Ecosystem

Two big revolutions have occurred in marketing in recent years:

  1. Marketing has moved from being an art to becoming a science, with an ever-increasing ability to pinpoint the effectiveness (or failure) of marketing campaigns and initiatives.

  3. There has been a broad move away from product to experience as the key differentiator. As McKinsey Quarterly noted in 2011, “Customers no longer separate marketing from the product — it is the product….In the era of engagement, marketing is the company.”

At Loring Ward’s National Education Conference at the end of September, we will look at what these two revolutions mean for financial advisors and how they establish and nurture client relationships across the digital spectrum, from websites to social media to CRM systems. Some digital ecosystem best practices to keep in mind: Continue reading

DOL Fiduciary Rule Implementation: The Clock is Ticking

Much ink has been shed on the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule since it was released earlier this year. Some have embraced the new rule and welcome it with open arms, while others have filed lawsuits to prevent its implementation. Love it or hate it, the notion of what it means to be a fiduciary to an ERISA plan or IRA has been completely overhauled.
While the nuances of the new rule and its practical impact to the financial advisory community will be addressed at length at Loring Ward’s National Education Conference at the end of this month, here are five initial points to keep in mind:

  1. It will be much more difficult for a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer to avoid being a fiduciary to an ERISA plan or IRA. The “test” for what triggers fiduciary status has been simplified and streamlined, making it much easier to trigger.
  2. Continue reading

Retirement Advice…from a Comedian?

Blog_John_OliverRecently, retirement was the subject of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO. (Note: The video contains some adult language.) The news satire program typically does a segment each week of “edutainment” and this time Mr. Oliver focused on a number of investing topics: financial advisors, annuities, what is a fiduciary, and the large impact fees have; he even goes into detail on the show’s own John Hancock 401k plan.
Oliver makes several important points, such as investors should know the fees they’re paying, they should work only with an advisor who is a fiduciary and active management can be expensive and rarely works. Oliver prescribes 5 steps every investor should take: Continue reading

Insights on the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Blog_DOL_RulesAfter six years of proposals and over 40 years since an actual change, the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule is finally here. While we work to schedule a more in-depth webinar on the 1,000-page regulation, here are some key elements to digest.

The rule’s structure consists of three core concepts:

  1. Expanding the definition of who is a fiduciary: any individual receiving compensation for making investment recommendations that are individualized or specifically directed to a particular plan sponsor running a retirement plan, plan participant, or IRA owner
  2. Continue reading

Why You Are NOT Like Most Financial Advisors

Envestnet Compendum of Industry Trends, April 2015

Envestnet Compendum of Industry Trends, April 2015

With more than 300,000 financial advisors in America, why is it so hard to find good advice?
Let’s start with the fact that 60% of those calling themselves advisors aren’t even required to act in their clients’ best interests. And 70% still try to beat the market, even if few are ever consistently successful.
However, if you work with Loring Ward, chances are you are a different kind of advisor, someone who strives to provide the consistent, caring, comprehensive and knowledgeable advice that investors need.
And that makes you a rarity. Continue reading