As 2011 hits the mid-year mark, the economic recovery seems to be hitting a wall. Unemployment ticked up, the Dow dipped, a Greek sovereign debt default is looking more likely and the president bid farewell to Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
To investors, it's all a bit grim, but for financial advisors this means it is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. It's time to prove you are really worth all those fees that your clients are paying out. So this month, in our cover story, " Building Your 529 Business," we take a look at what some advisors are doing to, indeed, help their clients using these financial products. Net flows into 529 plans rose by a whopping 75% over the last two years, with assets expected to hit $237 billion from $146 billion in just four years. And, we list some of the top-ranked advisor-sold plans, courtesy of SavingforCollege.com, as well.
Your success as an advisor relies heavily on how well you get out there to gain new prospects. Todd Colbeck, our "Client Marketing" columnist points out that many advisors are remiss when it comes to promoting what they have to offer. In "How To Avoid 12 Big Marketing Mistakes," Colbeck shares his insights. Let me just share a couple of his observations. For instance, he says if you can't answer a prospect's question in 10 seconds or less about why he should work with you over another advisor, then it's over. And don't tell that person 'I give great service,' Colbeck says. That just won't work.
Also, your clients should be bringing referrals to your marketing events. That's the most efficient use of these events, Colbeck points out. There's a lot more in that piece that you need to read for more helpful information.
Dr. Jerry Webman, OppenheimerFund's chief economist, weighs in on investing opportunities in Peak Performance/The Asset Class. In his piece, "Domestic Stocks in a Global Portfolio," he argues that domestic equities are "an under appreciated asset class." He says, "Investors may be chasing past returns rather than simply diversifying their risk." He believes that the earnings of U.S. companies are significantly more dependable now than in early 2007, "when almost 30% of S&P 500 earnings came from the financial sector. Today, the comparable proportion is less than 20%." He also points out that U.S. companies now get a larger percentage of their sales from global operations.
It is these kinds of insights that On Wall Street takes the time to seek out so you can better serve your clients. So, keep reading and please send us your feedback so we can stay on top of the issues that are essential to you.