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Make It Personal

Over the last several weeks, our entire country has come to recognize the critical need to isolate ourselves to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And even when we venture out of our homes to buy groceries or pick up a take-out meal, we are careful to stay six feet away from anyone else and wear a mask that covers half of our face. Along with isolation can come a heightened sense of fear – fear of catching COVID-19, fear of losing someone close to us, fear of being furloughed […]

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Tips for Working From Home

Last week I asked an advisor how he was settling in after he started working from home.  He readily admitted that it was a challenge as he hunched over his dining room table. As you may know, Susan and I have run Pathfinder for the past 10 years from her home.  She has an office on the main floor, while I have a separate room upstairs. I’ve also created dedicated office space at my home for the unexpected events in my life (such as when school is canceled until the […]

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More Practical Tips for Times of Turmoil

Building on last week’s Practical Tips for Turmoil, hopefully by now, you’ve reached out to all your clients using some of our Talking Points for Client Conversations. Tip #1:  Continue to contact your clients!  Until we see evidence of a decline in coronavirus cases, we’re likely to see ongoing market volatility. So, we continue to recommend contacting clients – by phone, videoconferencing and emails – to see how they are doing, offer support and provide guidance. =>  Side note: we’ve been busy these past few weeks helping many of you […]

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Talking Points for Client Conversations

In times of volatile markets, for consistent messaging as well as to stay focused and confident, it’s helpful to have a set of talking points for your client conversations. We suggest framing your conversations with clients based on what you know or believe; what you don’t know; what you cannot control and what you can control. Feel free to add your own talking points to our list and rearrange them to an order that suits your message. What we know/believe About the financial markets Periods of economic and market uncertainty […]

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Turbulent Times

Practical Tips for Times of Turmoil

In 1967, psychologist Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania pioneered the concept of learned helplessness.  He placed dogs inside a harness that would deliver a series of shocks.  One set of dogs were trained that if they pressed a lever, they could stop the shocks.  But a second set of dogs received shocks that would stop at random intervals. He then placed the dogs on a platform that would administer another series of shocks.  The first group of dogs immediately jumped off the platform.  But the second set of […]

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Brian Williams

How’s Your Credibility?

Last week, #math was a trending topic on Twitter.  While interviewing New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, MSNBC’s Brian Williams shared the following tweet from journalist Mekita Rivas: Williams commented, “It’s an incredible way of putting it.”  Gay echoed his sentiment and added, “It’s true. It’s disturbing.” You can find the video here: Obviously, $500 million distributed across 327 million people would result in each person receiving a minuscule $1.53. Many people used this clip to demonstrate that the media lacks credibility.  If the media can’t be […]

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Three Steps to Owning Your Niche Market

Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed the benefits of a niche market and how to evaluate a niche.  Ready to own your niche?  Here is a three-step process to own your niche market. Step One: Expand Your Expertise. If you want to be perceived as an expert, you actually need to be an expert.  Your goal should be to know more about the needs, concerns and challenges of the members of your niche than anyone else. Here are some ways to expand your expertise: Interview members of your niche […]

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What Does It Mean to be Fearless?

Susan and I traveled to Orlando last week for the Kingdom Advisors 2020 Annual Conference.  As you may know, KA is a membership community of over 2,700 Christian advisors. This year’s conference was attended by more than 1,600 advisors, speakers and partners. This was our third year at the conference and our second as exhibitors.  We met advisors from large, regional and independent firms, as well as many independent RIAs.  With 60 premier, corporate and ministry partners in the exhibit hall, our booth was located between Compass Ministries and the […]

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What Makes a Good Niche Market?

Once you’ve identified a potential niche market, how do you know if it’s a good niche market for you? Here are four questions to ask: 1.  What needs, concerns, and challenges do members of this niche have? Are these needs, concerns, and challenges the same for all members of the niche?  And how well-positioned are you to help them? Let’s break that down a bit: Needs are things they must have or do. Concerns are their common worries or doubts. Challenges are real or perceived obstacles hindering their success. For […]

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The Power of Focus

A few years ago, I received a pressure washer for my birthday.  Needless to say, I immediately got to work finding everything at the house that needed some good, deep cleaning: the siding, the wood fence in the backyard, the cars, etc. I’ve probably used it the most on the driveway.  You really don’t know how dirty your driveway is until you’ve blasted it with a concentrated stream of water at over 1,500 pounds per square inch. The washer came with several different nozzles that concentrated the spray into smaller […]

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