Creative thanksgiving day concept photo of pumpkin made of paper on brown background.

A Thanksgiving Gift

Last week we received an interesting notification from the Contact Us page on our website. Here was the message: “This is Don and Sarah Smith [not their real names]. You were our financial advisor when we first started in the market. You are amazing. We would just love to touch base with you after all these years.” Adam had no idea who they were, but I certainly did. Don and Sarah were in their twenties when they stopped by our office in the local Sears store in Fairview Heights, IL. […]

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Don't Start With Why

Don’t Start with Why

Ten years ago, Simon Sinek recorded his TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” which has now been viewed over 47 million times.  In the presentation, he emphasizes that successful organizations focus on their “why” instead of “what” or “how.” The talk has always left me feeling uneasy. It could be his emphasis on his “discovery” of what he calls the “golden circle” of “Why? What? How?” According to Sinek, this golden circle is “grounded in the tenets of biology” because it correlates to the structure of the brain.  He […]

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Three quick small talk tips

Uncomfortable with Small Talk? Three Quick Tips

Ever notice that seem people seem naturally gifted at small talk?  They can seemingly carry a conversation with anyone, anywhere at any time. For most of my life, I’ve always felt uncomfortable with small talk.  Perhaps it seemed too superficial.  Or I didn’t like the attention.  Or sometimes I just didn’t know what to say. But over time, with deliberate practice, I’ve become much better at starting and maintaining conversations with total strangers. Here are three tips that you might find helpful: 1. Be prepared. The first step in getting […]

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Three-Dimensional graph with arrows.

Seasonal Rally or Trouble Ahead?

The lead article in the email I received from Investment News was titled, “This Week Marks the Beginning of a Seasonal Rally.” The article notes that the six-month period beginning at the end of October “historically trounces the performance of the prior six-month period” and goes on to explain the rationale and indicators. Was it that long ago that everyone was concerned about rising interest rates and the inevitable recession on the horizon? And what about the effect of a contentious election cycle? Whether you are a bull or a […]

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Festive celebration roasted turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas

Before You Pass the Turkey

Many advisors send cards and notes of thanks to their clients just before Thanksgiving. This year, you may want to send a version of this letter to your senior clients and/or their adult children. Please have it reviewed by your own compliance officer for any edits or disclosures they may require. Dear [Client Name], Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November, marks the official start of the winter holiday season which typically runs through the end of December or into early January. It’s a time when families gather for catching […]

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Prepare For Your Best Conference Yet

We know that many of our clients are planning to attend the FPA Annual Conference next week in Minneapolis. Here is the article that Adam wrote for the Conference blog that you might find helpful. Even if you’re not able to make the FPA’s conference, you’ll find lots of good tips for the next conference you do attend. Before the Conference Start with a plan (of course!). Take some time to review the agenda, particularly for those times where you have to choose from multiple sessions. Begin to develop a strategy […]

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When A Loved One Passes Away_cover2

Double-Duty Marketing

Five years ago, we began helping our advisor-clients customize a little booklet we call When a Loved One Passes Away. Its purpose is to provide a checklist for widows and widowers to help them get through everything that needs to be done in that important first year after losing their spouse. Although designed to guide clients, it has become an effective marketing brochure for some advisors who have reported receiving phone calls from people in their community who heard about it from a friend or family member and wanted a […]

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Five Tips To Be a Better Listener

Just Listen

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are able to hear each other at all. With different behavioral styles, generational differences and even multiple ways of expressing affection, are we hopelessly lost in believing that we can make a genuine connection with others? Perhaps it can be summed up best in this quote by Stephen R. Covey: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” I believe you can be a better listener. You just have to be deliberate in your approach. Here are five […]

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Businessman pushes a big gift on white background

To Gift or Not to Gift

While discussing client recognition with an advisor last month, we started talking about giving gifts to clients as a token of appreciation. I shared that I’ve never been much of a gift-giver.  Neither is my wife.  For example, we agreed years ago that we wouldn’t give each other anniversary gifts but would simply exchange cards. This led to a discussion of whether clients feel truly appreciated or “valued” with a small gift.  The advisor said he didn’t see the point of thanking clients in that way.  If he received a […]

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Walking five miles to school barefoot in the snow

In My Day

Be honest, have you ever started a sentence with, “In my day…?” Maybe you haven’t said it aloud, but perhaps you’ve thought it. It’s easy to do. As a father of a teen and a preteen, I often slip into comparisons of my childhood.  It’s not as bad as “walking five miles to school barefoot in the snow,” but it comes close. I will think about Saturday morning cartoons, riding my bike throughout the neighborhood and playing Wiffleball all summer. We all have stories and experiences that shape our perspective […]

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