Combroker Cold Calling Journal 2011

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ComBroker's picture
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Hey everyone...I've decided to keep a daily journal of my cold calling(I already keep an actual cold calling journal, so why not put it on here). I'm prospecting on the phone pretty intensively right now, so I figured I could share my results to maybe inspire some people (or do the opposite haha).I went through a bit of a career change the past few weeks...I was a futures broker, now I will be an RIA that focuses on asset allocation using modern portfolio theory, and diversifying client funds into managed futures programs(I am a specialist with 5 different kinds).Down the line, I will also be able to do everything insurance, but am focusing on just getting my 65 right now.  Hopefully I will take the 65 in the next month, and in the meantime, 100% of my prospecting is for my managed futures programs.If you have any questions, critiques, feedback, discussion, etc...all is welcome(besides negativity).Even though I am having a shit day on the phones, I will post my results later tonight when I am done. O ya...and I know you guys are going to say "why not get the 66?"...well, I don't have a 7, and don't need a 7 as my business model will be all fee-based.

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Thursday, Feb 24th352 Dials15 Contacts1 Good Prospect As I said before, today was a shitty day ratio-wise.  I was working off an old and dated list, and tomorrow will be starting with a new list, so hopefully my #'s improve a lot.Also, had a few good follow-up calls made with prospects I generated earlier this week...so not all bad.

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great efforts com!  352 dials is awesome...but you did have a bad contact ratio.what is your pitch? and what is your usual contact ratio?

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Friday, Feb 25th264 Dials20 Contacts2 Good Prospects3 Weaker Prospects Much better ratio with the new list, weaker prospect is someone who might have $ tied up right now or something but would like to talk a month or so down the road...more like a pipeline prospect

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newregrep wrote:great efforts com!  352 dials is awesome...but you did have a bad contact ratio.what is your pitch? and what is your usual contact ratio? Thanks, last week, besides Friday, 350 dials was about the norm.  The list I was using had a lot of disconnects, fax #'s, etc.  Like I said, I only started my new position last week, so I am hoping that my contact ratio is more similar to what I had Friday.As far as pitch, I do not have one down in stone just yet, but something along the lines of this... [opening] Hi this is ____ with ____.  The reason for my call today is that awhile back you had requested some info on the markets, and I am checking to see if your still open to ideas.....then I ask if they are familiar at all with managed futures, and try to start a discussion on their benefits/drawdowns, get them to ask questions, and finally try to send them some info.

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Monday, Feb 28th316 Dials18 contacts3 weaker pospects A ton of no-answers today, and those who i talked to were not biting...rough day to say the least, so hopefully i can rebound well tomorrow.Also, i cannot get past a gatekeeper to save my life, and given that a lot of the people i call are businesses, i think this contributes a ton to the low contact ratio...if anyone has any thoughts/advice that would definitely help.questions/comments/critiques/etc always welcome

Hacksaw's picture
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When faced with a gate-keeper always ask for the person like you are golfing buddies.
If they say their name - "Hey Sally is Rich in?". If not just say "Hey is Rich in?". This at least works for me a good bit.

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Hacksaw wrote:When faced with a gate-keeper always ask for the person like you are golfing buddies.
If they say their name - "Hey Sally is Rich in?". If not just say "Hey is Rich in?". This at least works for me a good bit.Sounds simple enough, I'll give it a try today.

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When it comes to gatekeepers I agree with Hacksaw.  I always say, "Hey Karen, Is Jim in?".  As long as you're not trying to be too slick, it works half of the time.

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You get passed the gate keeper once like that, and trust me, it'll be the last time. My admin, she gets mighty p'd off and trust me, for every 20 that try that, maybe 1 of them is actually lucky/good enough to pull it off. I'm a bigger fan of sending a very good hand written notes, in a very well done/clever envelope. Inside, you ask for  a few minutes, will be calling soon. Then, when you call, you say I sent a letter, just wanted to follow up, and leave a message if they ask. You'd be surprised at the fact that writing well written hand notes, with a clever envelope strategy is a VERY rarely used but effective strategy. Be unique, and be professional, while showing off some sort of knowledge/expertise. Very successful and wealthy people admire that kind of stuff...

newregrep's picture
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BFP,I'll try that next time.  the problem is I'm calling nearly 300-400 businesses daily! 

ComBroker's picture
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newregrep wrote:BFP,I'll try that next time.  the problem is I'm calling nearly 300-400 businesses daily!  ditto

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Tuesday, March 1st305 Dials28 Contacts3 Weaker Prospects

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Com,Good job, but your contacts per dial still seem kinda low...but your activity level is awesome!  What is your followup mechanism and prospect management system beyond the initial call?  The money is in the followup.  Keep up the good work.  I think you will be pleased with your results!! 

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StoneColdMutha wrote:Com,Good job, but your contacts per dial still seem kinda low...but your activity level is awesome!  What is your followup mechanism and prospect management system beyond the initial call?  The money is in the followup.  Keep up the good work.  I think you will be pleased with your results!!  Thanks for your commentsMy contact ratio is definitely improving, but my prospect generation still sucks...today im at 148 dials as of now, 18 contacts already, with only 1 weaker prospect...im trying some different things in my pitch still, kind of a trial by fire.For follow-up, the initial call i try to send them info, either in email or snail mail, then set an appt in the future to call them and go over any of the programs i showed them, then if they are still interested i set up an appt to conference call which ever program manager they are attracted to, and we look to close the prospect together. I've definitely been discouraged this week, but plugging away...yesterday i dropped 3 of my best prospects, and my 5 good prospects per day goal has not really been going too well.oh well...onward

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Hey, if something works, then work it. But, making 300-400 dials, with little to show for it is not only exhausting and demoralizing, but it doesn't get you closer to success. But, if that IS working, then ignore folks like me, or these colleagues of yours whining about you asking for 200k....Another thought... Why not try both. Find 10 decent candidates per day, then send the hand written note. Do both, see what happens. There is the scientific method in our biz, and there is the physical method. The latter is generally the most successful, as the scientist prospector is too busy thinking, and not dialing enough. But, there does come a time where if you add some science to the physical repetition (just do it), you can see exponentially and mathematically consistent returns upon prospecting. When you do that, you feel INVINCIBLE. I've had that moment a few times in my career, and it is the most satisfying feeling in the world. 

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Good advice BFP.  Perhaps get a list for next week ready and send out a hand written note to 10 business perday.  That will be 50 mailed for next week and call 10 of those monday tuesday and so on.  I will definitely try that. Com,how do people usually react to managed futures?  It's not a very familiar product and maybe your clients feel it's too exotic to have an interest in.  Maybe you can lead with an old AGE pitch and present the product at the meeting. 

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BigFirepower wrote:Hey, if something works, then work it. But, making 300-400 dials, with little to show for it is not only exhausting and demoralizing, but it doesn't get you closer to success. But, if that IS working, then ignore folks like me, or these colleagues of yours whining about you asking for 200k....Another thought... Why not try both. Find 10 decent candidates per day, then send the hand written note. Do both, see what happens. There is the scientific method in our biz, and there is the physical method. The latter is generally the most successful, as the scientist prospector is too busy thinking, and not dialing enough. But, there does come a time where if you add some science to the physical repetition (just do it), you can see exponentially and mathematically consistent returns upon prospecting. When you do that, you feel INVINCIBLE. I've had that moment a few times in my career, and it is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Very intruiging(cant spell for sh!t haha) concept of the science-physical.  My contact ratio has been way up recently...i think a lot of the problem was working an old and out-dated list.  Now, I just need to practice my pitch and how I convey it on the phone to convert those contacts into prospects.  One day at a time though, like I said before, right now I am doing some trial and error to see what works/doesn't work.

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newregrep wrote:Good advice BFP.  Perhaps get a list for next week ready and send out a hand written note to 10 business perday.  That will be 50 mailed for next week and call 10 of those monday tuesday and so on.  I will definitely try that. Com,how do people usually react to managed futures?  It's not a very familiar product and maybe your clients feel it's too exotic to have an interest in.  Maybe you can lead with an old AGE pitch and present the product at the meeting.  People are usually fairly intrigued by managed futures, but right now I am working on a specified list.  My company set up individual websites that would offer a commodity trading eBook, futures investing newsletter, etc etc, and captured the people's info.So, I am pitching people that have an interest/have had an interest in the past with the industry, so managed futures is a little more familiar than you would think.  Problem is, the leads I'm working are a few years old..so either they are disconnected phones, or people that have been in the markets but got chopped up by a broker, etc etc...but I can still find some pretty good accts through these.From what I understand, you don't get any of the new fresh leads from these websites until you show that your going to work your a$$ and close some accts, which is what I'm doing now.

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Wednesday, March 2251 Dials35 Contacts2 Good Prospects1 Pipeling Prospect2 Callbacks with some promise My morning started off slow, but picked up in early afternoon...had a good follow-up from a cold call last week, that looks like my 1st real good closing opportunity early next week, but I lost another good prospect in a follow-up today...oh well, guess that will happen.Dials were lower than usual because my contacts were way up and I had a lot of good conversations.Overall, very happy with the day.

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Thursday, March 3rd278 Dials34 Contacts2 Prospects5 Pipeline Prospects1 Call Back ...alot of people showed good interest in our conversations, but a lot of $ was tied up.  Will follow-up with my pipelines in about 3 or 4 weeks to check in on their situation. 

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Friday, Maych 4th251 Dials29 Contacts2 Good Prospects1 Pipeline Prospect --apologies for the late post, was in a rush to go drinking after work on Friday...my contacts are way up, resulting in my dials being a little lower, but I've also been stuck in numerous meetings per day which cuts down on my calling time...I usually like to keep a minimum of 300 dials per day.--I believe my manager and myself are going to be trying to close some accounts this week, so I will keep you guys posted on how that goes. hit dem phones!

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forgot to mention, any accounts that I lock up and state on here will be from prospects generated from cold calls on this thread, this way people will be able to (hopefully) see that cold calling works and use it as a motivating factor to get on the phones.remember, I'm pretty much a rookie when it comes to cold calling, so if I can do this, certainly other can too.

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Great day on March 4th Com, congrats!You are already motivating me for this week.  I came in today kind of grubby but now I'm pumped as I see my colleagues like yourself are pushing forward.Thank you.

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newregrep wrote:Great day on March 4th Com, congrats!You are already motivating me for this week.  I came in today kind of grubby but now I'm pumped as I see my colleagues like yourself are pushing forward.Thank you.Glad to hear that!Thats why I wanted to do this, to motivate others as well as myself

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Monday, March 7th235 Dials35 Contacts4 Good Prospects5 Pipeline Prospects Dials were down because I had a lot of long conversations...happy pulaski day to me.

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Another awesome day, what is your closing rate so far?

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Haven't closed anything just yet, nor have I attempted to yet, but have multiple opportunities toward the end of this week, will keep everyone filled in.Got a hot prospect today: hour and a half initial cold call, just talking the markets, and completely drilled him with questions the entire time, he talked most of the time off my questions and gave me a lot of openings to close on...we're meeting on Thursday morning and I'm going to walk him through some different strategies that he expressed a lot of interest on the phone toward. and...I've changed up the script, I simply introduce myself and my firm, and then just ask tons of questions...are you in the markets right now? have you traded in the past? which markets have you been involved with? what types of strategies have you used towards those markets? have you had success with that in the past? what did your previous broker have you doing? is your portfolio correctly allocated? etc etc THEN....a good appointment setter...As you may know _____, right now we are in some unchartered waters with the multiple rounds of QE the fed has been putting out, and this type of activity can make the markets very volatile.In a volatile marketplace, a solid approach would be to utilize a margin of error in your trading...would you agree with that much?Giving yourself a margin of error, we can establish a position in the market, and if we are wrong on market direction, we STILL have the potential to be profitable, AND we can establish our worst-case scenario ahead of time.Now, do you think this approach is suitable for a volatile market, much like what we have seen in recent years?Let's do this ______, next time we speak, we can walk through how we can use this margin of error together in a market of your choosing...do you have a time later in the week you would prefer? Would like to hear everyone's thoughts...

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Tuesday, March 8th227 Dials26 Contacts2 Prospects1 Weaker Prospect One of my prospects was excellent, will try to close when we meet on Thursday morning.

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You are going to have a problem if you don't qualify for the investment amounts. Small amounts with a lot of dials is going to put a damper on your efforts. Good luck to you and keep us posted.   

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Otane wrote:You are going to have a problem if you don't qualify for the investment amounts. Small amounts with a lot of dials is going to put a damper on your efforts. Good luck to you and keep us posted.   Qualifying is a bit different for managed futures...the minimum on the programs I work with his 25k, which would net you about 400 per month, 4800 annually...and I qualify for at least that amount.I also work with a tiny one, but not as much, that has a minimum of 10k which would still net you a few hundred per month, few thousand annuallyAlso, with a managed futures program, you act primarily as an asset gatherer...once a client enters a program, there is zero maintenance to do yourself.  The program's managers/assistants then service the account, and you could paid transactionally on what they do for as long as they're in the program. For you guys that are indy, I would seriously consider getting a series 31 and implement managed futures with your clients if it fits their risk tolerance and you can find some good managers.  There is a lady at my firm that makes well into 7 figures per year, 6 years in, and all she has done is raised assets for managed futures.  Because she just raises the assets, she makes her own hours, vacations when she wants...you get the point haha

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the f'ing phones are down in our office so another thought to you guys possibly looking at managed futures...as I mentioned before we also have the RIA side of our business which focuses on modern portfolio theory asset allocation.  Given that you make 1-2% gross off these and your average account is 150-250k, it may not be too attractive.Now, with those clients that we have that have a more aggressive investment taste, we will allocate 5-10% of their portfolio to a managed futures program of their choosing(we have 5 different ones, all different strategies and different levels of risk).  I would say a minimum sized portfolio to include managed futures would be 200k...so with this minimum amount, lets say you make 2% gross per annum off that 200k...thats about 4k yearly gross, 1500-2k yearly to you depending on your payout.Now, incorporate managed futures and put 25k of that into a program...you'll prob make 3500 gross per year, maybe 1000-1500 net...BUT, you'll also make another $10,200 gross of the managed futures, netting you another 4k per year figuring a 40% payout Now, I understand you guys at a firm might not be able to raises managed futures assets, but you guys who are indy most likely can. food for thought....

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I have been thinking about series 31, I know MSSB requires the newbies to take that exam now to do what you're currently doing.I'm more of a bond, EIA, equity linked-notes guy.  I'm fine tuning my pitch right now to some how include the word FDIC insured in there.But I will definitely keep an open mind to your advice and speak to my manager.

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When you focus on what you are making and not your clients it's a sure recipe for failure or litigation.Not that I understand what you are doing, I'm a Jones broker

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SuperMan wrote:When you focus on what you are making and not your clients it's a sure recipe for failure or litigation.Not that I understand what you are doing, I'm a Jones broker  As I mentioned in my previous post, people I put in only managed futures programs are not my clients, they are clients of the CTA(commodity trading advisor) who manages the program, and because I introduced that money to the account(and any other additional deposits after introduction) I take in a cut of the transactional commission from the program...in this aspect I am purely an asset raiser.I could def understand this being the wrong mindset if I were working with my clients one on one as a planner/advisor/broker...but as purely an asset-raiser that will not have future contact with the client after opening, I think its an ok mindset to hold...

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So client has 200k, you "raise" 25k for the CTA, what happens with the other 175k?

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SuperMan wrote:So client has 200k, you "raise" 25k for the CTA, what happens with the other 175k?  Goes through our asset allocation program...spread across 18 different ETFs and different types of fixed income that our portfolio manager oversees.  This type of account I would manage along with the portfolio manager, but, I am not licensed for it just yet, which is why I am only focusing on the futures side of the business right now.

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Com,I think you'll start closing soon.  As the pipeline gets full I believe it's evitable you'll close 10% of your current prospects.  That's the number for me so far.This is my 3rd month into production now, I have 2 appointments friday for a total of 500k.  That should put me at 1.4 million assets under management.  Not fantastic but I'm keeping float.Keep pushing !

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newregrep wrote:Com,I think you'll start closing soon.  As the pipeline gets full I believe it's evitable you'll close 10% of your current prospects.  That's the number for me so far.This is my 3rd month into production now, I have 2 appointments friday for a total of 500k.  That should put me at 1.4 million assets under management.  Not fantastic but I'm keeping float.Keep pushing !Thats awesome...I would think 1.4 mm in 3 months would be real good...almost 500k in new assets per month. But, then again I am fairly new to the planning side of the industry so I really don't know.Anyways, I have numerous meetings and closing opportunities tomorrow and Friday so hopefully I can get an account or two through.

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Wednesday March 9th150 Dials20 Contacts1 Prospect1 Pipeline Prospect(pretty good one) --phones were down for awhile today, and had to go to the doctors for a few hours in the middle of the day, along with an hour long lunch trip slowed down my momentum a lot...hopefully this type of day doesn't happen often.

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Thursday, March 10th57 Dials8 Contacts1 Prospect-I only had like an hour and a half on the phone, and then our phone system shut down again...which lasted the entire day.  The prospect I generated on the 57 Dials was pretty interested, but refused to set up a time next week to have a meeting...which I do not like.  One of those guys that gives you this sh!t...Me: "Let's due this Bob, how about we set up a conference call next Tuesday, at about the same time, and I will make sure the program manager is there along with me"Prospect: "No no no, I'll just call you if I have any questions"...you know what Bob, your probably dumb as hell and won't know wtf your looking at, which is the point of this future f'n meeting, to walk you through it...and then have the individual who could be potentially managing your hard earned $ there to answer extensive questions about his program.  Because your so stupid, you will get to page .5 out of the 25 page disclosure document, scratch your head like a dirty monkey, and then toss it out because your too stubborn to admit you are confused/dont understand...fu Bob.-rant over-On a positive note, I did have a meeting with a prospect that actually asked to open an account with me, but his $ won't be available for about 3 weeks.  Also, I had a 4th follow-up with a prospect along with my manager that should come in in the next week or two, and should be a good sized managed futures account.

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ComBroker wrote:Otane wrote:You are going to have a problem if you don't qualify for the investment amounts. Small amounts with a lot of dials is going to put a damper on your efforts. Good luck to you and keep us posted.   Qualifying is a bit different for managed futures...the minimum on the programs I work with his 25k, which would net you about 400 per month, 4800 annually...and I qualify for at least that amount.I also work with a tiny one, but not as much, that has a minimum of 10k which would still net you a few hundred per month, few thousand annuallyAlso, with a managed futures program, you act primarily as an asset gatherer...once a client enters a program, there is zero maintenance to do yourself.  The program's managers/assistants then service the account, and you could paid transactionally on what they do for as long as they're in the program. For you guys that are indy, I would seriously consider getting a series 31 and implement managed futures with your clients if it fits their risk tolerance and you can find some good managers.  There is a lady at my firm that makes well into 7 figures per year, 6 years in, and all she has done is raised assets for managed futures.  Because she just raises the assets, she makes her own hours, vacations when she wants...you get the point haha How much does she have under assets?

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Com,I've ran into prospects like that too.  Those are the type of guys who will never do business but too nice to say no imo.  If they are not really interested I usually say, "So what do you invest in? How can I have you as a client?"But I guess in your scenario that might not work out since you are doing a specific niche type of investment.  When do you plan to get other licenses so you can pitch a whole range of products?

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Otane wrote:ComBroker wrote:Otane wrote:You are going to have a problem if you don't qualify for the investment amounts. Small amounts with a lot of dials is going to put a damper on your efforts. Good luck to you and keep us posted.   Qualifying is a bit different for managed futures...the minimum on the programs I work with his 25k, which would net you about 400 per month, 4800 annually...and I qualify for at least that amount.I also work with a tiny one, but not as much, that has a minimum of 10k which would still net you a few hundred per month, few thousand annuallyAlso, with a managed futures program, you act primarily as an asset gatherer...once a client enters a program, there is zero maintenance to do yourself.  The program's managers/assistants then service the account, and you could paid transactionally on what they do for as long as they're in the program. For you guys that are indy, I would seriously consider getting a series 31 and implement managed futures with your clients if it fits their risk tolerance and you can find some good managers.  There is a lady at my firm that makes well into 7 figures per year, 6 years in, and all she has done is raised assets for managed futures.  Because she just raises the assets, she makes her own hours, vacations when she wants...you get the point haha How much does she have under assets?She's raised around 20 million.

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newregrep wrote:Com,I've ran into prospects like that too.  Those are the type of guys who will never do business but too nice to say no imo.  If they are not really interested I usually say, "So what do you invest in? How can I have you as a client?"But I guess in your scenario that might not work out since you are doing a specific niche type of investment.  When do you plan to get other licenses so you can pitch a whole range of products?I'd like to plan on having all my necessary licenses by the end of the summer...initially, I thought I would have to get them right away, but we are still getting some stuff together for that side of the business, so right now I can just focus on the futures aspect of my business, and when I get a decent book together that's giving me some income, then I can branch out for my other licenses.

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Com .. Thanks for your responces.  I'm going to watch your thread more closely now since its a bit different from the same old cold calling log.    Do these clients really make any money or is there profit pissed away from all those trading fees?   What is their upside/downside?  Good luck! 

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SuperMan wrote:Com .. Thanks for your responces.  I'm going to watch your thread more closely now since its a bit different from the same old cold calling log.    Do these clients really make any money or is there profit pissed away from all those trading fees?   What is their upside/downside?  Good luck! Haha thanks, I wanted to make sure I kept on top of the thread...ive seen a lot try to do something like this in the past, and either get discouraged after a week, or just simply stop caring to post.As long as it helps people, motivates people, or gives people some ideas...I dont mind to do it as I keep a calling journal myself. There is money to be made in a managed futures program, and I work with 10 different ones now...it was 5 before, but I continue to expand my horizons hahaNow, a lot of managed futures fund raisers will work with one specific program...the reason I work with so many programs is to fit someone's specific risk tolerance.  I have a few programs that work with strictly limited risk/limited profit option spread strategies, I have a few programs that strictly day trade the s&p 500 on a programmed system, I have a program that strictly trades live cattle, I have a program that uses unlimted risk option selling with enhanced probability of profit...etc etc I think you get the point hahaAll of the programs I work with have made money in the past...they all have audited track records that show a nbet performance after commissions and incentive fees......for example, client goes to me and is worried about downside exposure, wants to allocate 5% of his portfolio into managed futures...well, I have a program that uses limited risk/limited profit option strategies, trades across all US commodity markets so you get that diversification away from equities, and has done well in the past...-4% in 2007, 5% in 2008, 14% in 2009, and 28% in 2010(again, this is net of commissions and incentive fee...its what the client receives)...another example, I have a guy that is frustrated because he likes day trading the s&p 500, but just cannot get the hang of it, and its what he would like to focus his attention on...well, I have something that may fit your risk appetite, a short-term day s&p 500 day trading program, it averages 1.5 trades per day and trades on a blackbox system, it does not hold positions over night, and uses fairly strict risk management principles with tight, trailing stops...this program was started in september of 2010, so it is fairly new, but it has returned 14% since that time, net of commission and fee -- and also, this program only has a $10,000 minimum account opening. I think you guys get the point, I diversify the programs I work with to fit someone looking toward futures that fits a large majority of situations.

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Friday, March 11190 Dials17 Contacts1 Pipeline Prospect -phones we messed up again today, so in the time I had on the phone I hit it pretty hard.-my meetings I had today with the possible closing opportunities I moved to Tuesday because of our down system ...not too happy with the way the week ended, our phones being messed up really got me out of my flow...oh well, next week is a new week, although I am out of the office on Monday, so will have to play catch-up off to drink about 40 beers...

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make that 41 for me pal. 

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Tuesday, March 15244 Dials22 Contacts1 Good Prospect1 Pipeline Prospect another not so great day yesterday, hopefully i can turn things around today.

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How many numbers do you dial per hour?

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