Marketing seminar for financial planners and investment managers.

~200-slide MS PowerPoint 2000
Financial Seminar
- for -
Financial Adviser Marketing and Prospecting

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First, answers to FAQs: For $100 you'll get everything listed here regarding this financial seminar. Everything is delivered as e-mail attachments (no downloading). There's no protection on any slide, so you're free to customize all you want. There's only sample script text on ~60 slides. The only financial seminar systems that are "blanket Broker Dealer approved" are those where you can't change anything. So no, this is not "blanket BD approved." Saying the words, "Finra approved" is "illegal," according to Finra, because Finra does not approve nor disapprove of anything. The seminar is not what needs to be approved - each slide needs to be approved. So if your BD says no to a slide, then that means "you messed it up." So just fix that one slide or delete it, and move on. When all of your slides are approved, then the whole financial seminar can be approved by your BD. If your PC does not have PowerPoint installed now, then just go to an office supply store and buy Microsoft Office 365 for under $100, and then you'll have the newest Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Internet Explorer.

Price and ordering information are at the bottom

Topics: Financial Planning, Investment Management, and Retirement Planning

These are AKA "financial workshops" and "information sessions"

Financial Seminars for retirement and financial planners.

This template marketing seminar system is basically for you to get a jump-start on building your own custom financial seminar and/or one-on-one presentations.

Look at it this way: It's like buying a puzzle with all of the pieces (slides) in a box. So you'd put the pieces together any way you want to make your finished puzzle. You can change what the pieces look like, say, and how they fit together. Then if you're with a BD, submit it for approval, and present it.

From your BD compliance department's point of view, they're approving or disapproving of each individual slide, not the whole seminar. So if you did something (like add numbers) to a slide to make it not approve, then just fix it or delete it, and then move on.

This financial seminar covers financial planning, all types of risk management (to show the need for insurance), retirement planning, investment management, asset allocation, portfolio optimization, and much more. It has generic sample scripts to help guide what to say for around 60 slides.

Nothing is protected, so you can make any changes you want - hide, delete, edit, add new slides, insert clipart, animate graphics, add audio, etc.

PowerPoint Presentations are where you can use a computer as the source of data for a magic slide projector to project what's on your monitor onto a big screen.

If you're doing one-on-one presentations, then you can just use your computer, and the magic projector is not needed.

Presentations are only limited by how much time and work you put into them. If Al Gore can make a PowerPoint Presentation that changed the world, then so can you!

You'd buy a magic projector, plug it into the computer's external monitor port, sometimes you'll need to press a function key, and then it usually just works. If you're lucky, then your monitor will display the slide at the same time.

These magic gadgets are not free, but they get cheaper all the time. Plus it takes some doing to remember how to navigate between the slides when you're "on the spot." Even the best presenters mess up when someone wants to go back, because they talk too fast for note-taking.

You basically push buttons on a remote, or keyboard, to move back and forth between slides. You talk about a slide, press next, talk about that one, etc. The point is to lead the audience through your dog & pony show, to the close, where you engage them as paying clients.

This works much better than the old transparency seminar systems, where just the light bulb costs over $100. So hardly anyone uses them anymore.

Even though these prices have come down, either way costs good money to project well onto a big screen (and then more to have loud quality sound).

If you have a transparency projector, and want to keep doing that, then you can buy blank slide transparencies from an office supply store, and most printers will allow you to feed them in and print directly from MS PowerPoint. So in most cases, you can easily turn this PowerPoint retirement seminar into an old-school transparency-based money seminar.

This investor seminar was used mostly in the late 20th century in Seattle with a consistent Boeing and Microsoft audience. We always brought in about $500k - $1M in new managed money, which at an average of 1%, generated about $7,500 in annual fees. So it made a profit of a few grand the first year just about every time. Obviously, things have changed (Boeing even left WA), but these basic marketing concepts remain the same.

It's been approved as-is by three Broker Dealers, so it should make it through yours too, because there's little-to-nothing that would raise an eyebrow.

So the answer to the question, "Is it approved?" is that it was, but that's irrelevant. You'll need to add / delete / edit / organize / customize the slides to make it your own, and then submit it to your BD for approval anyway.

The only types of financial planning seminars that are "blanket approved" by your Broker Dealer, are the ones where you cannot change anything at all. The reason is as soon as you change anything, then it needs to be approved again. So every financial seminar system that allows editing, cannot be blanket approved by BD compliance.

Saying the words "Finra approved" is "illegal," according to Finra, because Finra does not approve nor disapprove of anything. Click the link to read that very long detailed story.

This is just an inexpensive financial tool used to do a particular job. How well it works will depend on how well you use it. You are the artist here. We're just selling you the paint, brushes, and canvass (with some to most of the painting already traced out).

If You Want to Conduct Financial Planning Seminars, You Basically Have Five Choices:

1) Buy from a large vendor like Emerald, or whomever is still doing that. These are great, but usually cost over $1,000 initially. Then you'll probably have to pay again to update it after a year goes by. Then they may ding you whenever you make changes and/or restock supplies.

You also can rarely modify anything to fit your way of doing business (which is why they may be "BD approved").

Some still use transparencies and haven't even moved to being computer-based yet. They say it's because you need to write on the transparency. You can do that with the newer computer systems too, so there isn't a good reason to use these obsolete systems anymore (which is why most seminar firms, like SMMS, were bought out by firms like Emerald long ago).

We have no idea what's going on now in this market. This is not a high-profit business, so vendors come and go frequently. So you'll need to search and call around to see who's doing what, when you want to buy.

2) Buy from a smaller vendor. You can do this for under $1,000, but you won't be getting much more than what's in this investment seminar system.

3) Hire professional speakers using their pre-existing systems. That's going to run you around $1,500 for each money seminar, on top of all of the regular seminar expenses.

Then they won't be saying what reflects the way you run your practice (unless you spend more to get them to modify their presentations).

Then there's the problem of attendees wanting to meet them in your office, and then you'll have to say they were just a rental.

Also, some of their seminars are badly out of compliance. So if a spy shows up from your Broker Dealer or Finra, which is common, then you'll be in major trouble. Both Finra and BDs routinely monitor the local media for financial seminar ads. Then they send spies to attend them. This is to protect the investing public from fraudsters. So if you put on a money seminar without approval, there's about a third chance that you'll be caught and terminated on the spot.

So the chances of getting your BD to approve of one of these canned system is not very good. They may tell you it's approved, but as the text just said, your BD needs to approve of it before they'll allow you to present it. So regardless of what they say, you'll still need to get it approved by your BD before you use it. Keep in mind that the speaker is more than likely not a BD Rep, so they can't be terminated for breaking these rules - but you can.

4) Make your own financial seminar from scratch. With PowerPoint and the Internet, it's fairly easy, but it's going to take at least 100 hours of research, thought, and tedious manual labor. So if you value your time at $100 per hour, then doing it this way will cost you at least $10,000.

Then you're still going to have to battle compliance on all the things you want to say, but can't. Most of what you want to say will be both red flags, and not very interesting to attendees.

Most financial advisers think boring economic and arcane statistical data used to market time and/or pick stocks / ETFs is fascinating. News flash - it is not. If that's what investors wanted to see, then they'd just stay home and watch financial pornography on stock market TV.

They came out to see you, just to get away from all of that hype. What they want most is a "Real World education," that applies to their lives, with no commercials.

5) Buy this investment seminar and customize it to fit your practice. This is a great cost-effective way to get what you want to say across to groups of people.

You're still going to have to battle compliance, but this helps you stay on a path to make that battle easily won. This is because there are few-to-no slides with any numbers in them, and no slides that talk about product of any kind. It's mostly the past investment product and market rates of returns, tax numbers, economic data, and statistics that are the red flags here.

So this system just doesn't go there at all, and so there's little-to-nothing to complain about. It's mostly all just generic concepts. This is why it's almost never BD disapproved.

When you start putting products and/or numbers into slides, that's when you're going to start having compliance problems. Then these numbers change almost daily, requiring too much work to constantly update them. So just don't do that, and everything works out much better.

When attendees start asking about numbers and products, just tell them they'll have to make an appointment to "get into that level of detail."

There are no "supplies" you'll to have to buy, just printer ink and paper. The big vendors (used to) make their living from selling you hard copies of what we call "add-ons," and then say their copyright lawyer will get you if you copy / make your own. There's none of that here.

Do your customizations and then print all you want for free.

Also since it's PowerPoint, you can have an unlimited number of differing investing seminar versions saved and ready for use in an instant for select audiences.

This Financial Marketing Seminar System Contains:

There's no online access to someone's insecure cloud here, so you'll get PowerPoint and Word docx files e-mailed to you as attachments

• Introduction

• Agenda

• Retirement defined

• Benefits of retiring (becoming financially independent)

• Drawbacks of being retired

• How your expenses may change when retired

• Options at retirement (if you won't have enough money)

• Pass out a Retirement Fact Finder to do a free mini-plan

• Investments: What they are. What is investing?

• The financial planning and investment pyramid

• Effects of taxes and inflation on investments

• 25 investment mistakes

• 25 investment essentials

• The three ways to manage money (asset allocation, security selection, and market timing)

• Market timing introduced - advantages and disadvantages

• Security selection introduced (stock / ETF picking and/or trading) - advantages and disadvantages

• Asset allocation introduced - advantages and disadvantages

• Four ways to perform asset allocation

• The factors that go into determining a personal asset allocation mix

• Portfolio optimization (lots of neat images to get the point across). These were made before we realized portfolio optimizers are more trouble than they're worth

• What financial planning is in a nutshell

• Financial quarterbacking with other advisers

• The Money Game: What it is and the tools needed to play and win

• All of the different types of risks in detail

• The average American's financial lifeline

• The three phases of estate planning

• Summary

• Questions?

• Seminar survey form (how'd we do?)

Here's more marketing slides that are geared toward the last segment, and/or one-on-one sales presentations:

• Why you and your firm?

• Mission statement

• Promises and commitments on both sides

• What you do and how you do it

• What's in it for both you and them?

• What they need to do now to move forward

• Referrals

It also comes with ~125 miscellaneous slides not in any order. So it's an à la carte of slides that you can use to build and customize your own investor seminar.

Additional Money Tools Included with the Financial Seminar (AKA add-ons)

• A sample ad is used to get suspects to call to attend. You'd put ads in the local newspapers, and if you're working a corporate market, then you'd paste them on coffee makers and bulletin boards.

• Sign-in and attendance sheet.

• Attendee booklet to follow along, take notes in, and take home (so they'll remember what they've learned). This is only a blank skeleton template, so you'll have to fill it up yourself once you've customized your seminar.

You'd just copy a slide from PowerPoint, paste it into the Word docx (leaving white space room for them to take notes), and then print. Then attendees takes notes on these printed pages. Really, that's all there is to making a seminar booklet. This takes less than half an hour once you've finished customizing your prospecting seminar.

There's no way for us to make one, because we have no idea how you're going to put your slides together. Then you'll need the slide pastes to include your edits and new slides, then it will need to be printed in the order you made, and then the finished booklet needs to approved of too.

• A simple "How'd we do?" evaluation form.

• For performing corporate financial seminars: It comes with a scaled-down investment risk-tolerance category finder for determining which of the three most-commonly-used risk tolerance categories they fall into (Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive).

This is so you can use 401(k) Model Portfolios to give attendees free advice on how to allocate their 401(k) plans, right on the spot, in the retirement seminar.

Scaled-down Retirement Planning Fact Finder. This is one of the many marketing ideas we've tried that actually makes money.

You'd basically talk about the retirement planning software you use, and then say if they fill out and return it, they'll get a free mini-retirement plan. This takes about ten minutes to prepare, including printing, and probably has more value than most retirement plans they've paid for in the past.

Using the Marketing Seminar to Reach a Financial Planner's Goals

Some of the objectives in conducting a marketing seminar to attract new financial planning prospects are to:

• Display your competence in order to build trust in the firm and the financial planners.

• Bring in qualified prospects without having to use the phone (which you can't even do anymore because of the Do Not Call List laws), or being a slave to a never-ending parade of expensive weekly direct mass mailings (to the same people over and over).

You're hoping to tease attendees just enough to get them to call you to receive their "free initial financial planning consultation" in your office.

• Give just enough information to disturb attendees into realizing they have unresolved problems. Then let them know you're THE local expert that can fix them all.

But don't give them so much information that they won't need to engage your financial services. Just tease them enough to motivate setting in-person appointments.

• Be a local force of nature in your community so people, "won't keep you a secret." All it takes is for your investing seminar to have enough red meat to make it worth their time, and you will be talked about.

Remember that in corporate seminars, you're going to be talked about with other suspects at the "water cooler" that may come to your next investor seminar (or may just call).

• Plant as many seeds as you can all over and hope some will grow into money trees over time. In case you didn't know, this is a very long-term business.

• What you want is to build relationships long enough so when they retire, they'll roll their 401k plan over to your brilliant investment management platform (the average size is probably still around $500k).

• Doing financial seminars for the mass public isn't the preferred way to market your financial services. It works, but the bang for the buck is much smaller than working the corporate market.

So a main goal is to find, service, and maintain a profitable "captive audience." This is done in cities with "large" corporations by becoming plugged into their employee benefit system, via their Human Resources Department.

You'd become an expert on all of their benefit plans, and then hound HR until you can prove your free benefits seminar would be of more interest to their employees than the current flock of advisers that have been doing it there forever. One way to do that, is to be allowed to attend them as a spy, and then learn how to do it all better.

If you're keeping up with company benefit plans, then every time there's a confusing change will be an opportunity to conduct a new money seminar to explain it.

HR will be chomping at the bit to get employees out of their hair, if they can just say, "This will all be explained in the upcoming benefits seminar, so go away, quit bugging me, sign up for that, then get back to work."

So as you can guess, all you really need to do is get in good with your local area's major corporation(s), and your practice could be set for life.

• Once you've landed a good corporate gig like this, then the door is open to do more intensive seminars for key employees.

You'd do this by becoming THE expert on all of their deferred compensation plans, Cadillac health insurance plans, and whatever other goodies only top management receives. Use Willie Sutton's method of getting rich by always thinking, "I rob banks because that's where the money is."

Doing financial plan seminars for the worker bees is just a way to prime the pump when you're green. The real gold is kept locked up in the vault. So you want to work your way up to servicing those with the keys, if you can. It's not easy, because it's all well locked up.

So you're going to have to consistently get an "A" servicing the worker bees, and then do all of the homework needed to become an expert on their big-wig benefit plans.

Then redo your benefits seminar, get it approved again, become well-rehearsed again; and then you'll probably have to do a free seminar for HR to prove you won't waste top management's time.

Then they just may give you a shot - if you're worthy. Stranger things have happened, fortune favors the bold, you'll never know until you try, and all of that.

• Gather referrals (both attendee and companies).

How-to Basics of Financial Marketing Seminars

If you've never conducted financial planning marketing seminars before, then here's the deal in a nutshell for the mass public market:

First, you'll have to finalize your money seminar and all of the add-ons you'll be using.

Then you'll need to get it approved by your Broker Dealer's compliance department. If you don't screw up by inserting "numbers," then it should fly through without having to be sent to Finra (which costs money and could take weeks).

Next, research where and when you want to have it. This entails calling local hotels and similar places that cater these types of events. They do this all the time, want and compete for this business, and will typically offer two prices - one with food and one without.

Ensure there will be no other event booked for the room for at least two hours after you estimate you'll be totally done.

The most profitable part of your personal finance seminar is when people with money want to keep asking questions long after everything is packed up and ready to leave.

What you want is a pack of fans following you all the way out to the car (this does happen, and is a good thing).

So if you're booted out early so the next event can set up, then all that's just gone.

Once you have the time and place confirmed, place ads in local newspapers. This investing seminar comes with a sample ad that may look too simple, but it works well (KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid).

You can also send thousands of letters from mailing lists.

There's no easy way to do any of this, and it varies greatly with the size and type of economic-base of your local area.

For corporate seminars, hang them on bulletin boards, coffee makers, send e-mails, etc. HR will tell you what you can and cannot do. They know the drill because you're just a new float in the non-stop parade that's been marching through since the beginning of time.

Ads should run no sooner than two weeks before the retirement seminar, and no longer than a month. Too soon and people will flake because of schedule interruptions, and too late, then they'll forget.

Try not to have your investing seminar when major events are happening, like elections, summer vacations, sports games, big holidays, corporate retreats, etc.

Once you do all of that, then you'll receive calls of interest when people see your ad. So obviously, you'll need someone to cover the phones constantly during this phase.

Then you'll have to collect and organize their contact information somehow. Hopefully you'll already have CRM software, so you won't have to do it all on paper. If not, then just use MS Excel as your database.

Then you'll have to call them all back the day before the investment seminar to confirm. Some advisers call both the day before and then a few hours before on the same day of the personal finance seminar. If you don't confirm, then they won't come, it's as simple as that.

Most big cities have services that will do mass mailings, calls, and other mundane seminar-prep work for you.

To find them in your local area, perform a search using keywords like this: your city, state "seminar marketing" mailing lists direct marketing mass mailing.

Some are very good, do it full-time, and will do most everything for you, for the proverbial "small fee" of course. You'll quickly see that there has been a whole industry that's been doing all of this daily forever.

You'll need to take control of the room as soon as you can to set everything up, clean, test everything out, do a sound check, set the temperature to cool (over 70 degrees and attendees will be sleeping through it), open windows to let old stink out and fresh air in, make sure nothing will go wrong, etc.

Then when attendees show up, get their contact information again with a sign-in list (check them off using the call-in contact list you've made earlier).

Don't be shy! Meet and greet as much as you can. Your job here is to be happy and "make friends with everyone."

Then use the contact list to make a map of the room, so you'll know who is sitting where. This is so you can take notes as to who asked good questions, who was annoying, and who may make the best prospects (who has money).

Then perform the investment seminar.

If you have stage-fright, then obviously you'll need to rehearse or do whatever it takes to get rid of that before you invest the big bucks. New financial advisers keep their family and/or coworkers as a captive audience to work out these bugs.

You'll need to do something to rehearse, as just throwing some slides together and winging it on the first try will not work. Make video recordings of yourself to do a self-audit. Always remember the old saying when you're trudging along, "spectacular accomplishment is always preceded by unspectacular preparation."

Schedule enough time for questions and answers at the end. If you can answer investment portfolio management questions well, then this will be the most profitable part of the whole investing seminar.

As you can see by the amount of slides, this is going to take a long time. Nobody is going to want to sit for more than an hour at a time, so have a break with snacks every hour at least. If it's longer than that, then watch the crowd for tired butts, filling bladders, empty stomachs, people leaving for smoke and phone breaks, etc. When people get restless, then you'll need to take a ten-minute break.

We broke the financial seminars down into two parts - retirement planning and investment management. Then we always did these two money seminars on two different days. Each investor seminar was two-hours long, divided into two sections, making for one ten-minute break.

The day after the end of the last session, send a "thank you for coming letter" (and/or e-mail) to attendees that look like good potential clients. You'll know because of the questions they asked, talking with them before, during breaks, at the closing Q&A, and when it's over. Of course, the retirement fact finder will be the main tool for determining this, as explained below.

Then call them, if they say it's okay, or you'll be stuck hoping they'll call you (very few do - that's your job).

In corporate financial seminars, advisors usually ask on the evaluation form, "Is it okay if we call you to set up an in-office appointment for our free initial consultation?"

The point here is if you just start calling everyone with a phone number, they're going to whine to HR, which will just get you fired. But when you're dealing with the mass public, then it's the wild wild west, so call call call.

If you're any good at all of this, then about half of those that come into your office will probably turn into clients of some kind.

So as you can see, this is all a probability numbers game. Your success ratio will depend on two things - how well you performed all of your jobs, and the generic level of fear / greed / pessimism / optimism about the local economy and general market, geo-political, and investing conditions.

There's no magic bullet that will make any of this all happen for you. Like everything else in this business, it takes hard work, time, trial and error, money, and just dumb luck.

Again, this seminar system is just a money tool. How well it works for you depends on how good you are at putting all of the pieces together to make it all one seem-less show.

Some financial planners find they can actually charge small fees to prospects to attend their financial planner seminars, if and when they can provide something of actual value, as explained below.

But the whole point of the retirement seminar should be to get living prospects to come into your office so you can sell them on what you actually do for profit in your financial planning or investment advisory practice.

One of the main points is to provide free "teasers" in the investment seminar that provide actual value, so they'll think seeing you in person (and giving you money) will provide even more value. Browse our free money tools download pages for more ideas (that you can use by pasting directly into PowerPoint).

The main freebies of value in this workshop system are allocating their 401(k) plans in class, and then giving a free quick-and-dirty retirement / mini-financial plan.

Then calling and saying, "Your free mini-retirement plan is ready, c'mon in and get it!" This has always worked great (especially when compared with everything else).

About Allocating 401(k)s During the Financial Seminar

The big gold nugget you can give to attendees in a corporate money seminar, is free retirement planning advice. This is the magnet that's going to draw them in, so you'll need to be clear when you say that in your ads.

Most all financial seminar attendees just want to know the correct answer to one simple question, "How in the world do I safely get out of this working like a dog for a living bleep ASAP, and then have some fun before I die?"

You can hit the nail right on the head the first time by giving them exactly what they need right there in the seminar - with a free "optimized" 401(k) model that will both reduce risk and get good returns, given the limited and terrible options they're stuck with.

You can try to get them to come into your office to get their free 401(k) asset allocation, but we found so few do this, that it was a failed marketing idea.

Basically, attendees feel they're smart enough to asset allocate their 401(k)s themselves or by using online tools, they have an ego problem about all that, they feel it's not that important or they don't have enough money to make it worth the effort, they want to keep everything secret out of generic fear of you, they see their 401(k) plan as part of the "work family circle of trust" and you as something that's not in that circle, and then they're just going to space it out because they're busy, not too bright, and have very short attention spans. In addition to all of that, Most everything to do with money just makes people's brains freeze up.

So charging for this service, and/or making them come into your office to get it, won't work. We've tried, and the only thing it's good for is doing it on the spot to help make attending your retirement planning seminar worth their time.

Basically if you don't give attendees anything of value, then they won't stay, nor show up for the other sessions. If you're working a corporation, they won't invite you back because they'll tell HR you were lame. Then the next time they'll have your competitors do it, because they taught them something of value the last time.

You'll win these battles because your competitors will probably not have custom up-to-date model allocations created for their 401k plan ready to use at crunch time.

So you'll need to create these 401(k) investing models before you do the seminar, so that all you'll need to do is follow the slides on how to use the simplified Investment Risk Tolerance Calculator (the "real" one is here).

Here's how: You've passed out the scaled-down Investor Risk Tolerance Calculators earlier, and have already explained how to use it manually with a pencil via the slides.

You don't want to have attendees reveal their investment risk tolerance to others, so don't do or say things like, "Raise your hand if you scored Moderate."

Wait until someone is done, then walk over to them, look at their bottom line, and give them just the one page of the 401k Model that fits their risk tolerance. So if someone did the math with their pencil and their result is Conservative, then you'd give them the Conservative 401(k) Model that's already printed out on one sheet of paper.

Then when they're all done, you'd use the slides again to talk about how to shuffle their investment options around to match the 401(k) Model you just handed to them.

So if they'd be doing that online, then you'd have slides of print screens (and paper handouts) of that exact webpage where they'd be doing that. Then you'd make all of the print screen slides showing the step-by-step process of how to make their current line-up match your 401k Model. If they're still operating in the Stone Age, using paper forms and/or phone computers, then you'd have to make slides showing them how to perform these functions themselves.

This leads into questions of what to do with future contributions, which leads into the need to account for all of their other assets too, which leads into rebalancing, which leads to the need to pay you (AKA "the great circle of life").

You can also make money on this later by telling attendees the investment options always change, allocation mixes may change due to "market environments," options go bad and they'll need to move to others every so often, and they'll need to rebalance the allocation quarterly.

If you gloss over all of this just fast enough to both give good information and confuse them at the same time, then they may be ripe for coming into your office to handle this later; especially if you call them at the right times - like whenever there's a change in the 401(k) / or in any of the investment options.

The goal of all of this is just to get "warm bodies" to sit in your office so you can pitch your deals in person. So don't give out too many gold nuggets in your retirement seminar.

This is a good place to point out that you always want to be helpful to HR when it comes to "constructive criticism" about their 401(k) plans. If you can provide free help without just saying something nebulous like, "Your plan stinks," (which most all do), then you may be the driving force in getting them to move to a better plan.

If so, then YOU will be EVERYONE'S HERO for all time. Just this one thing can end your days of being in prospecting mode forever. This should be your goal. If you didn't know it, your BD more than likely allows you to actually sell 401k plans. So if you do land one of these elephants, then you could be "set for life."

If you don't know what any of this is about, the Asset Allocation Models are explained here, the 401(k) Models are explained here, about asset allocation is here, and you can hire us to make the 401(k) Asset Allocation Models for you just by giving us the firm's option list, and some money. Most of the time, there's sufficient data to make 401k models for under $100.

Financial advisers that study and keep up with the firm's benefit plans do much better than those that don't, because if you can speak the same language, then employees will feel comfortable enough to let you perform paying work (and then give referrals). Attendees' guard's drop when you're perceived as being, "one of their family, inside their work circle of trust." If you're not in this circle, then little-to-nothing profitable will happen.

Also if you call them whenever there's a change in any benefit plan, then you'll have another opportunity to explain it in detail when they come into your office.

So you'll want to review all of their company benefit websites at least weekly to look for any changes of interest. Ask HR to give you the login passwords so you can do all of that. If they say yes, then you've made it. If not, then you have more work to do in order to enter their work family circle of trust. It's just as simple as that.

About Using the Retirement Fact Finder and Offering Free Mini-retirement Plans

The value of using this retirement tool, is that you'll know how much money they have to work with. This is the pressing question you'll always have when doing investor seminars - which ones are losing deals and which are the winners? This is the best way to find out without having to pry it out of them verbally (which they will resist).

If you have the RP retirement planner, then use that to do this work. It's quicker and easier, but you'll have to delete the tax rate question on the seminar retirement fact finder. Then tell them everything in the plan neglects taxes, so everything is gross.

Then tell them in order to get their real retirement plan, made with RWR that accounts for taxes and everything else in great detail, they'll have to hire you, come into the office to fill out the real retirement fact finder, or whatever it is you want them to do to engage you in a paying mode.

We removed most of the RWR slides that were in the retiring seminar. So you'd basically put whatever retirement software you'll be using up on your monitor, with a basic sample case loaded, press Print Screen, and then paste those images into the area where the RWR slides were.

Our Dual RWR works best here, because you can easily show a simple bottom-line Before version running out of money too early, and then an After version, not.

Then you can walk attendees through what their free retirement report will have in it. This '"test drive" is what motivates them to fill out the mini-retirement fact finder, with a list of their investable assets, of course. When done right, this has most always worked out well.

About half of the attendees actually fill it out and return it, either at the retiring seminar, or they'll eventually mail it to your office later (so say they can do it later via the post).

Then most of them will come into your office to get their free mini-retirement plan. They'll know if they come in, they'll have to endure your sales pitch, so some try to weasel out by making up excuses to get it mailed to them. Just always say no to all of that!

Explain the basic concepts of capitalism to them, they've heard most of it already in the marketing seminar, and just say that the cost of getting their free mini-retirement plan is coming into the office to hear the rest of your pitch.

Most will. If they don't, then you've just successfully screened a time-wasting prospect out of your life; which is valuable in itself.

In a corporate setting, you may be stuck mailing these to attendees, just to keep HR happy with you.

What to do about the attendees that fill it out, with no current investment assets, and now want their free retirement plan: Even though you know they have no money now, don't neglect them. Again, in a corporate setting, you may be stuck at a minimum mailing these to attendees, just to keep HR happy. Always keep in mind that they're going to talk about you with their co-workers, friends and family - all of which may have real money to invest with you.

So when you see this, just go into referral gathering mode if you're stuck with an in-office appointment (if you can't get them out of your hair via mailing their retirement report to them). Do your thing as if they had money, and then be a broken record about referrals. Look at the bright side, "practice makes perfect." You're running a practice, and not a business, so you need all of the practice you can get!

Successful financial planners actually say things like this, "Well we normally don't spend quality time advising people without much to work with today, but we'll do our thing for you if you introduce us to a few people you know that may benefit from our services."

Then just shut up and stare at them until you get an answer.

Obviously you'll have to soft-peddle this in a corporate setting. But if they're not an attendee from a valued corporation (that will whine to HR), then ba bye... next.

Financial Seminar Summary

All of this long-winded rant just boils down to this one simple concept: After making the initial retirement seminar investment, are you willing to spend another ten minutes preparing a mini-retirement plan, and then taking the time to explain it, then telling all about what you do to someone you know very little about, or not?

If not, then marketing seminars are probably not for you. Actually if not, then the financial planning and/or money management business is probably not for you. This whole business is all about risking time / money / work on things that may or may not be profitable.

Those that have made it have found things that work, and have stuck to it, and those that don't usually fail because they didn't stop doing things that didn't work - before their clock ran out. Life's clocks are always ticking away.

This is NOT a business for the weak! Running any kind of a practice as a self-employed entrepreneur is all about TAKING RISKS. No risk, no reward, and then eventually it's back to the day job ya go (if you even can).

If you think doing another ten minutes of work is a risk you can accept, then with this investing seminar system you're going to have a great way of slowly building your client base that's effective and doesn't just waste tons of time, work, or money.

If you don't perform the free 401k allocation or mini-retirement plan teaser, and you don't offer anything else of value (like convincing them you're a super-star money manager), then most seminar attendees will have little reason to come into your office.

They got their free education at your marketing seminar, and that's probably the last you'll hear from them.

If they don't come in, then your efforts were for naught.

Telling them about all of the cool features of your brand new high-tech variable annuity will definitely not work!

Financial planning marketing seminars are the most popular way for new advisers, without an economical source of leads, to get good prospects into their office to hear the rest of their "Dog & Pony Show," and then ultimately to get them to do some kind of paying business.

There's no cheap or easy way to do anything in the financial planning or investment management business.

Whether you want to charge admission to come, is up to you. But most advisors do it for free, and at great expense; in hopes of getting the elusive first appointments with attendees that may end up being great long-term profitable clients (and then give great referrals).

Marketing seminars work well because it sets up an informal atmosphere that allows attendees to learn about, and then discuss their concerns, in a non-threatening environment where advisors aren't going to try to sell them anything (this is done mostly in the Q&A session after you're done speaking).

In case you didn't know, you should never pitch any product sales in your financial seminar. People will actually get up and walk out as soon as they think you're trying to sell them anything - especially annuities or life insurance.

So financial planning seminars are very attractive for prospects to learn from an actual local advisor, because some know better than to do anything based on what's on TV, the web, or in the media.

So it attracts people that are seeking Real World answers to specific questions, and that have actual financial services needs NOW, that your practice can profit from.

But it also attracts losers, so if you use free meals to get people to come in, then you're probably just going to end up feeding poor people. A few will become clients, but the money you'll make from them will rarely make up for feeding everyone else. Some people can make this work, but most can't. So we recommend not providing free meals. But small snacks and beverages at break time are always a must.

If you already have a book of business, then you can also invite existing clients, in addition to new prospects, and maybe charge them just enough to cover the costs of the room and your other expenses. Some financial consultants do it at no charge, and call it a "Client Appreciation Party."

They do it like this in hopes their clients will bring friends and family, and let them manage more of their money. You definitely want to cater this with great food and drink. This usually only works well when the markets are rallying, and investors are investing (e.g., '97 - '99), or when there's a crash and everyone is scared to death (e.g., '08 - '10).

Good investing seminar systems will usually pay for themselves, but only if you're strong enough to get with the program. This will allow you to hire an assistant, buy needed office supplies / computers / financial software, get and/or redo your office, etc.

It may take a few tries to get it down though, which could set you back a significant amount of time and money.

If you're just starting out, and have no other source of leads, then investment seminars are the quickest and best way to build your book up to a point where you can stop prospecting and just service good "A-level" clients (everyone's goal).

When you think about it, there isn't much else you can do these days, except send out millions of mailers over and over to the same people, and cold call - and then the Do Not Call List will get you in trouble if you don't watch out.

If you know of another magic prospecting method that works better, then please let us know, and we'll give you free financial software. This page has been up for over a decade, and so far, there has not been one thing anyone has come up with that generates leads better than this.

Why Financial Seminars Work: Because Most Everything Else Does Not

You should know about two ways financial consultants canvass, prospect, and market, that won't work out near as well as hoped.

First, making your website: Everyone thinks their world is going to magically change when they finally get around to making their own fancy website.

It won't. Count on it.

Here's why: This is a face-to-face business. Nobody from another city, town, or state is going to stumble across your website and think, "Wow I need to hire this firm to manage my financial life, I'm going to call them right now!"

Maybe one person annually will do something if they're within an hour's drive and they've already looked at all of the other local advisors' websites.

Why? The most important reason is that the vast majority of people with enough money to interest you are OLD! So old that they don't even know what the FaceTubes are, and it takes them a half an hour just to check their e-mail (if they can even remember their username and password).

These are "phone book people." Most of them wouldn't know how to properly construct a search string that will make your site come up if their life depended on it. They're just too old, so forget it. Rich people in your local area are not going to find you online and magically just show up and give you money for free. This may happen once in your lifetime, if you're lucky.

If you want this kind of business, then you'll need to spend a small fortune in local media and phone book ads. Even though it's the second decade of the 21st century, you're dealing with people whom are still operating in a world of stone knives and bear skins. These people are not going to learn new tricks; and most don't have iPhones, iPads or iGadgets. If they have a smart phone, then most can barely remember how to place a simple phone call (and still can't even remember how to take a picture). You're going to have to wait until at least 2020 for all of this magic online stuff to work out like you envisioned.

Next, most of your local competition has already had their sites up for years - even with professional videos of themselves.

Next, after making your website, if you're a BD Rep, you will need to be Finra licensed in all 50 states, then you're going to have to get the site BD approved in all 50 states, and then this all has to be "re-filed" annually.

If you're thinking this is going to be expensive, time-consuming, and annoying; then you are correct. Then you'll have to waste resources on it annually too. Then after this is done, you'll find that most all of the cool things you wanted to say to get hot leads to contact you have been totally removed by Finra and/or BD compliance.

Just take a look at everyone else's financial planning website. There's a good reason why they all look the same, all say the same thing, provide no useful information, and look about as useful as a lame business card.

This is because this is all Finra and your BD will let you say, "I'm a Finra Rep working through this BD and we sell life insurance, annuities, and securities. We're insured via SIPC and specialize in offering financial planning, retirement, and investment management services. Here's the bio on our staff, with contact information. Please contact us for your free initial consultation." That's it, that's usually all you can say, and it's mostly all useless blandness that nobody cares about (nor understands).

So the bottom line is that nobody is going to contact you when they see these couple of boring pages with little-to-no red meat on the Internet. Just ask advisors that already have had all of this going for decades, and then you'll see.

Next, when investors looking for financial advisers search, they're searching for advisers within a convenient driving distance. They're definitely not going to hire someone out of state to do personal financial planning and/or investment management just because they saw a slick website.

There are also BD / Finra rules about only being allowed to sell securities or insurance to people in the state you're licensed in. You have to be local, or forget it.

So they're only going to look at local sites. Because of the way search engines works, hardly anyone does "search engine optimization" correctly to get their site to come up in these narrow localized search results. Or if they do, it will be buried at #55 in the results. Then even if you perform perfect search engine optimization, as you probably know, search engines still barely function correctly. So your site probably won't show up in the top 50 results regardless.

Then again, people with money can be so technologically-challenged that they have no clue how to construct searches that will make your site show up. So both you and the surfer has to do everything perfect for your site to show up in the first place. This rarely happens. Then they won't look past the third page, just because the results on the first two pages were completely useless.

Next, there's dozens of financial planner websites from other states that will come up in the search results, even when the surfer does everything they can to limit the results only to their small geographical area.

So even if your site is perfect, it will still be buried in the dozens of sites that should not have even displayed. Then you're hoping old people with limited attention spans will slog through all of that just to find you and only you. That's rarely going to happen.

So hardly anyone that will actually do anything will be able to find you - maybe one small client a year.

Say you just did your brand new super-cool website, it's all approved, you did everything "right" and now it's all up and perfect in every way - and is superior to all of the local competitors in terms of SEO, coolness, and content.

It's still not going to bring you in any significant business, unless you're "the only game in a one-horse town."

So making your website will not do anything. It will not change your life other than the lost resources spent on it. Even if you spend a fortune on advertising it online, this money would return dozens of times more payback if you would have spent it on seminar marketing (or even direct mailings, or even paper phone book ads).

If you want proof, then just ask a local competitor how much business they get from their website, and then you'll get it.

If you're not with a BD, and are only an RIA, then you're in total control over your website, there will be little censoring of your content, and little-to-no approvals, registering in every state, nor having to resubmit annually, etc.

So things are much better here when You're your own independent RIA. But still, you won't see any significant business from doing it in this mode either.

Next, "networking" with CPAs, attorneys, and other professionals: Most every new financial consultant thinks that if they partner up with a good local CPA and/or estate planning attorney, that they'll have it made forever.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

We've seen the exact same thing play out in EVERY instance via dozens of advisers since the 80's.

Here's exactly what will happen when you "network" with other professionals for leads:

The financial consultant will start networking with CPAs and local attorneys in hopes that they will get a great lead-sharing deal. This is where the financial planner recommends a CPA to their client's to prepare their taxes, or recommends a lawyer to make out basic wills. This part works fine, but only for them.

The CPAs and attorneys have known all about this since the beginning of time. About once a year, "new fresh meat" will call asking about this kind of relationship.

So the financial planner recommends the CPA, and the CPA profits hugely during the next tax season from all of this "free business."

But guess what? How many leads did the CPA (or attorney) provide? Zero, none, nada.

They'll lead you on with every excuse in the book about how, "They're coming, I'm working on it, trying to find the ones that are the best fits, nobody I work with yet has enough money to interest you, etc., yada yada."

Guess what? They are not. They're just lying. They will never ever give you any leads. All they're going to do is suck leads out of you until you wise up and then stop. Then they'll move on to the new fresh meat full of new free leads, and you'll never hear from them again.

Maybe if you're lucky, they'll give you one lead a year. But most will never give you more than one lead per every dozen you give them.

Why? Because to them, all you are is a huge lawsuit waiting to happen. Other than the free leads, you can't do anything for their practice but make things worse and cause trouble. There's little-to-no way you can make anything better for the CPA by servicing their tax clients (and lawyers know all too well about the trouble bad rookie financial consultants can cause).

Because of the nature of the business, you're either going to screw up and make them look bad for recommending you, you're going to quit the biz soon anyway, move to another area or state, do something stupid to their valued clients that trust them, or you're actually going to do something to make the CPA's client sue them for recommending you in the first place.

As you know, and as they know, the vast majority of advisors operating in this mode of trying to network know just enough about money to be dangerous. So other than the free leads that come their way until you figure it out, you're not going to add anything of value to their practice.

So forget it, they will not ever reciprocate by giving you the leads they promised. They're just lying to you to get your free leads for as long as they can string you along.

Experienced ones have this game down pat. They've been around this block several times already. They say they'll be happy to trade referrals, but never do. They probably even teach this in CPA school, "Just pretend to be with the program, take their leads, but don't give any to them. Eventually they'll figure it out and stop giving you leads. Then repeat with the new fresh meat that will call next month. What are they going to do? Nothing but maybe call you a bad name and use profanity. They can't sue you or do anything to get you into trouble over it, so why care? It's just Darwinism at its best, so just go with it."

Again, if you don't believe this, then all you have to do is ask another financial consultant what their experience has been with this, and they'll all tell you the exact same thing, "Yeah, he sounded like he was all for it and was very motivated at first. I gave him tons of leads, which he made money on, but I have yet to get a decent lead from him, and it's been a million years and a never-ending parade of excuses why. Remind me why I wasted resources on all of this again!?"

Also, if you know a CPA or estate planning attorney, then just ask them if they've ever shared their clients with a financial consultant of any kind. They will more than likely just laugh and tell you the same things.

Here's the way to go if you're thinking about doing this: Give them one lead and then say they'll get another when they furnish you with a lead of similar or greater value.

Then when a million years goes by and nothing happens, you should be able to see where this relationship is headed. Just don't give any more leads and then either move on to the next one, or better yet, don't even waste resources on this, as it rarely works.

If you want to minimize wasting time on this game, then just tell them that this is what you'll be doing in advance (giving out one lead at a time until they reciprocate).

Once they realize that they won't be getting more than one lead, then their jig is up; so they'll go into a different mode, and will just get rid of you on the spot. So just don't do that.


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