Lack of Urgency

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Ron 14's picture
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I am coming across a severe lack of urgency from many prospects. It seems now that because they have heard so much over the years about "sitting tight" and "riding it out" that they are unwilling to even have a developed financial plan or a second opinion on whether or not they should sit tight with what they have. Even those in cash are just sitting there because they don't want equities or 1% CD's. Any help on how to drag people off the fence besides yelling moron at them from 3 inches away ?

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There  are two emotions:  Fear and Greed.
I've taken those in equities and put them into VAs with a living benefit.  Those who are sitting in cash earning 1% have been moved to individual investment grade bonds where they are now earning 4-6%. 
 

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Ron 14 wrote:I am coming across a severe lack of urgency from many prospects. It seems now that because they have heard so much over the years about "sitting tight" and "riding it out" that they are unwilling to even have a developed financial plan or a second opinion on whether or not they should sit tight with what they have. Even those in cash are just sitting there because they don't want equities or 1% CD's. Any help on how to drag people off the fence besides yelling moron at them from 3 inches away ?

 
 
Yes, that is exactly what I am seeing.  While I have some 401k rollovers on the smaller side in the works, the bigger ones are not moving for me right now.  One lady would rather keep hers in her plan earning a supposed 5% mmkt return (that's what she says), than moving into the annuity she originally wanted with a 10% bonus and 8% income growth.  Another guy, who is a client, claims to be "too busy with work and his family" to sit down for a 1/2 hour meeting to review his account already with me, and talk about the old, old 401k which he said he was going to move 6 months ago, and now the old 401k from the company he just left.  I have several more clients and prospects just like these two.
 
I need more prospects because this can't be typical of everyone.

Ron 14's picture
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That is the exact same crap I am getting. Getting more prospects would help, but I see a ton of people being a bank boy and these type of responses are happening daily. And like you said, it is happening with current clients as well.

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Ron 14 wrote:
That is the exact same crap I am getting. Getting more prospects would help, but I see a ton of people being a bank boy and these type of responses are happening daily. And like you said, it is happening with current clients as well.

 
Yeah, it's tough out there right now.  I really think you have to position yourself in a way that says, "Look, the market is shaky at best, the economy is in a tug-of-war between jobs and growth, and yields are still not attractive in many areas.  Most investors haven't gotten anywhere in the last 10 years.  We have strategies that proved successful through 2008 that I can show you from real statements.  Also, we are protecting against higher interest rates, taxes, and inflation while potentially making money in the market through blah blah blah.  I know you this may not be at the top of your priority list, but let me show you what has been working, and when you are ready, you'll have that much more information to go on".
 
I don't know, not great, but whatever.

Wet_Blanket's picture
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Whose statements are you providing to the prospect?

snaggletooth's picture
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Wet_Blanket wrote:Whose statements are you providing to the prospect?

 
I have blanked out ones as examples.  Depends on the product.  Not sure of the legality of it, but if I happen to leave it on the desk........

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Ron 14 wrote:I am coming across a severe lack of urgency from many prospects. It seems now that because they have heard so much over the years about "sitting tight" and "riding it out" that they are unwilling to even have a developed financial plan or a second opinion on whether or not they should sit tight with what they have. Even those in cash are just sitting there because they don't want equities or 1% CD's. Any help on how to drag people off the fence besides yelling moron at them from 3 inches away ?

Start with say 10-20% of their money, don't try to move it all at once. Use the notion that you have plans for any three things that can happen in the market. It can go up, it can go down, or it can go sideways. Make sure that their financial plan isn't contingent upon making money in only one of the directions (most likely it's positioned to make money if the market goes up only).
 
Do you market CMO's to them at all? It can be better than bonds (principle payback vs. interest only for duration of bond, unless called) and works great in an environment where interest rates may go up. If they are concerned about a sideways market, go back to dividend paying stocks. You aren't handcuffed by capital appreciation concerns.
 
Mostly, start with SOME of the money not ALL of the money. Otherwise they will be paralyzed by the idea.

Ron 14's picture
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True. People being paralyzed is part of it. I was just in my car for 5 minutes and heard the following commercials on sportsradio: Fidelity, Farmers Insurance, Country and Townstone Financial. Unreal.

BondGuy's picture
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People aren't responding because they don't believe you have the answer. They perceive you as part of the problem, not part of the solution. There is no trust. And, why should there be?
 
Are you offering real solutions? Don't answer that here, I'm not asking you to defend what you are doing or not doing. Only giving you a way to think about solving your problem.
 
Then again, maybe you aren't making enough calls.

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I see your point. The thing is a majority of these people don't even know they have a problem. What kind of questions to you guys ask to get them to realize, "Crap, maybe I should evaluate what I am doing" ?

Wet_Blanket's picture
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snaggletooth wrote:Wet_Blanket wrote:Whose statements are you providing to the prospect?

 
I have blanked out ones as examples.  Depends on the product.  Not sure of the legality of it, but if I happen to leave it on the desk........
 
Hahaha.  You would be surprised HOW MUCH this board has helped me with my Compliance Career.  People can't pull sh*t on me, because of all the "tricks of the trade" you guys have taught me.
 
I by far am no ball buster, but I constantly amaze sales, marketing, and my reps with the stuff I peg them for.

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Ron, I' m taking your original question in the context of an opening prospecting call.  My prospecting pitch is a take it or leave it appeal to greed. I know that doesn't sound pretty, but it's works. Banks spend millions, if not billions running ads that advertise rate. I do the same thing, only i'm active versus passive. I go to them rather than sitting back and letting them come to me. That's what phone prospecting is all about.  If I even so much as get a whiff of "No" I'm gone and on to the next call. My job is to find people who are interested today. I'm finding prospects, not creating them.
 
That said, you could use disturbing questions, the kind you would use in a face to face meeting, on a first call. After you intro yourself, ask them a disturbing question or two. Examples would be "Are you happy with your portfolio's return? "Are you happy with your advisor?" 'Has your portfolio recovered from last year's drop?"
 
Etc, etc, etc...
 
If they say they're OK, move on. Believe me when i tell you this, there are millions of people who aren't happy.
 
Lastly, you could come at them with a product, an equity linked CD, a step up CD, or something a little more exotic then what they're going to get athe bank. Pitch it in one or two sentences and ask if they'd like info. Again, appeal to greed to gain a seat at the table. Once the account is opened you have an insiders seat to build trust, show them the wonder of Ron 14, and knock any other contenders out of the box. Sounds corny, it works!

Ron 14's picture
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Bondguy - Thanks. I guess I have struggled with ONLY getting a seat at the table when I know they have more out there. I feel I have been able to get a lot of small orders (25-50k in Short Term Muni Fund for example) but not their "MAIN" acccount.

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Keep coming to them with good ideas. Smother them with service. Show them you are different. You may never get their main account. Let them know you are more than a one trick pony. Remember, they decide the level of the relationship, not you. You have to respect that while realizing that no doesn't mean never, it only means not now.

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BondGuy wrote:Keep coming to them with good ideas. Smother them with service. Show them you are different. You may never get their main account. Let them know you are more than a one trick pony. Remember, they decide the level of the relationship, not you. You have to respect that while realizing that no doesn't mean never, it only means not now.
One of my better accounts came that way.  I had about $70K with a couple that I knew made good money and had at least some money elsewhere.  I've talked about this before, so long story short, after a review about 18 months ago, he dropped off their Jones statement to get my opinion.  I spent significant time the next week researching all the individual positions (over 60) and wrote several pages of narrative that I reviewed with them at a meeting.  I didn't bash the guy.  I didn't have to.  The end result was that they moved almost a mil over because I took good care of them and acted prefessional about my competitor, after he had held a 15-minute meeting with them and said "I wouldn't change a thing" when the markets were collapsing all around them.

Ron 14's picture
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Thanks for the help guys. Good stuff.

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Ron 14 wrote:Thanks for the help guys. Good stuff. Tagging on what BG has been saying, I have had some increasing success selling against the "advisor down the street" by telling a different story, an "anti equity bias" story. I tell them (in more client friendly language) that my goal is subdued growth without such great volatility. Lower the deviation, shoot for a comfortable goal, and tailor risk tolerance around it. I then talk about my focus on a diverse fixed income portfolio with some targeted equity holdings. I've found that if I talk about the things they are already scared about and make it sound like I have already built those concerns into a portfolio ahead of time, I have far less resistance when presenting the actual investments. In short, I try to highlight my philosophical difference between most other advisors, couple that with some service highlights I commit to in my practice, and I have opened some previously locked doors lately.

Ron 14's picture
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sometimes - I like that and it is definitely something I can use with bank customers who are ultra conservative by nature

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I am starting to do small dinners, with clients and prospects. I am showing them that I'm different by talking about strategic vs tactical. My contention is that there is a good case to be made for a strategic asset allocation approach but that should be a part of the portfolio. The other part needs to be more tactical, especially in this type of environemnt, which i think will last for some time. Then i show them the meat of the presentation, which is the Dorsey Wright methodology using relative strenght, the 3 legged stool, sector and asset class exposure using etf's.
I explain to them that there is no perfect system, no black box, becasue investing is part science but part art. But at least i have a methodology, a framework that i use to make decisions. I make them understand that without such a framework, its not investing, its guessing.
 

I did my first one last night. One of the prospects that attended told me that he has been shopping and has been to two of these dinners prior to mine. He said this was the first time he had seen something that wasnt a corporate dog and pony show, saying the same ole same ole. I will get business from this dinner.
This one was almost a practice run, but my plan is to build a pipeline, with my networking and phone work, that is solid enough to support one of these dinners each month.
 
People want to know how you are different, and today more than ever, how you plan to make decisions that will protect them, at least to some extent. Especially the 55 year olds who just went thru a 401k crash.
This may seem off topic of the thread, but its not. Being different is how you get them off the fence.

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BondGuy wrote:Ron, I' m taking your original question in the context of an opening prospecting call.  My prospecting pitch is a take it or leave it appeal to greed. I know that doesn't sound pretty, but it's works. Banks spend millions, if not billions running ads that advertise rate. I do the same thing, only i'm active versus passive. I go to them rather than sitting back and letting them come to me. That's what phone prospecting is all about.  If I even so much as get a whiff of "No" I'm gone and on to the next call. My job is to find people who are interested today. I'm finding prospects, not creating them.
 
This has always been my way of thinking when it comes to cold calling.  If you call enough, you will get that person who is interested and engages you in conversation, asks questions, begins a dialog...you hang up and say to yourself "Thats gonna be a client"
 
In my world of calling, a good amount of these initial wonders do whither away for whatever reason.  Follow up is key for any successful salesperson.  I keep following up until I eventually get an appointment and open the account. 
 
My question- how many prospects do you have in the pipeline on any given day.  Right now my database has 36 prospects.  We'd all love to open an account on the first call, but that is extremely rare.  What is the tipping point or critical mass before the accounts come in on a regular basis.
 
 

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AGEMAN wrote:snaggletooth wrote:Ron 14 wrote:I am coming across a severe lack of urgency from many prospects. It seems now that because they have heard so much over the years about "sitting tight" and "riding it out" that they are unwilling to even have a developed financial plan or a second opinion on whether or not they should sit tight with what they have. Even those in cash are just sitting there because they don't want equities or 1% CD's. Any help on how to drag people off the fence besides yelling moron at them from 3 inches away ?

 
 
Yes, that is exactly what I am seeing.  While I have some 401k rollovers on the smaller side in the works, the bigger ones are not moving for me right now.  One lady would rather keep hers in her plan earning a supposed 5% mmkt return (that's what she says), than moving into the annuity she originally wanted with a 10% bonus and 8% income growth.  Another guy, who is a client, claims to be "too busy with work and his family" to sit down for a 1/2 hour meeting to review his account already with me, and talk about the old, old 401k which he said he was going to move 6 months ago, and now the old 401k from the company he just left.  I have several more clients and prospects just like these two.
 
I need more prospects because this can't be typical of everyone.
Maybe she read the fine print of that fine EIA that gives you the 10% "bonus" and severely limits your return while pretending to have equity like returns?? 
 
No, I don't think so.  She wanted to split her IRA into 3 pieces.  1/3 this money market paying 5%, 1/3 funds, 1/3 annuity.  She didn't need any risk and was referred by a client.

chief123's picture
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ccmachine wrote:BondGuy wrote:Ron, I' m taking your original question in the context of an opening prospecting call.  My prospecting pitch is a take it or leave it appeal to greed. I know that doesn't sound pretty, but it's works. Banks spend millions, if not billions running ads that advertise rate. I do the same thing, only i'm active versus passive. I go to them rather than sitting back and letting them come to me. That's what phone prospecting is all about.  If I even so much as get a whiff of "No" I'm gone and on to the next call. My job is to find people who are interested today. I'm finding prospects, not creating them.
 
This has always been my way of thinking when it comes to cold calling.  If you call enough, you will get that person who is interested and engages you in conversation, asks questions, begins a dialog...you hang up and say to yourself "Thats gonna be a client"
 
In my world of calling, a good amount of these initial wonders do whither away for whatever reason.  Follow up is key for any successful salesperson.  I keep following up until I eventually get an appointment and open the account. 
 
My question- how many prospects do you have in the pipeline on any given day.  Right now my database has 36 prospects.  We'd all love to open an account on the first call, but that is extremely rare.  What is the tipping point or critical mass before the accounts come in on a regular basis.
 
 
 
My pipeline is pretty deep right now around around 150(average about 2 quality leads/day)..
My biggest problem is follow-up... Sometimes I do 2 weeks sometimes a month/3months/1 week... I am all over the place...
 
What do you guys finds works with follow-ups? Talk to a guy yesterday in the business who has done well that says "never longer than 2 weeks"..

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To echo what Ice and Anon said in another post, most people don't save enough for retirement.  They plan more time planning their next vacation or their next new car they want to buy than take charge of their finances and make smart decision.  So when these idiots get to the point when they're 65 years old and working in McDonald's, I have no sympathy for them. Older generations get a freebie on my disdain because IRA's and 401K's are relatively recent creatures but for people in my generation, I have no SYMPATHY whatsoever.  Screw them when they start asking for handouts.  Just read an article on MSN that said nearly 25% of boomers who have reached 50 haven't started saving.  I mean that is completely ridiculous.  And that just goes hand in hand with the lack of urgency. 

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I'm just fukcing brilliant, and that comes through loud and clear in my presentations.

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chief123 wrote:ccmachine wrote:BondGuy wrote:Ron, I' m taking your original question in the context of an opening prospecting call.  My prospecting pitch is a take it or leave it appeal to greed. I know that doesn't sound pretty, but it's works. Banks spend millions, if not billions running ads that advertise rate. I do the same thing, only i'm active versus passive. I go to them rather than sitting back and letting them come to me. That's what phone prospecting is all about.  If I even so much as get a whiff of "No" I'm gone and on to the next call. My job is to find people who are interested today. I'm finding prospects, not creating them.
 
This has always been my way of thinking when it comes to cold calling.  If you call enough, you will get that person who is interested and engages you in conversation, asks questions, begins a dialog...you hang up and say to yourself "Thats gonna be a client"
 
In my world of calling, a good amount of these initial wonders do whither away for whatever reason.  Follow up is key for any successful salesperson.  I keep following up until I eventually get an appointment and open the account. 
 
My question- how many prospects do you have in the pipeline on any given day.  Right now my database has 36 prospects.  We'd all love to open an account on the first call, but that is extremely rare.  What is the tipping point or critical mass before the accounts come in on a regular basis.
 
 
 
My pipeline is pretty deep right now around around 150(average about 2 quality leads/day)..
My biggest problem is follow-up... Sometimes I do 2 weeks sometimes a month/3months/1 week... I am all over the place...
 
What do you guys finds works with follow-ups? Talk to a guy yesterday in the business who has done well that says "never longer than 2 weeks"..
 
2 leads per day from where?  That's pretty good if you are getting 2 quality leads every day.

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I've never tracked the total number of prospects I have at any one time. I would say it's at least in the hundreds. That counts those who are ready to go and those with money later.
 
Follow up - three days to a week, never longer. All follow up is to move the prospect closer to a decison.
 
To the cold hearted post about hand outs- those looking for handouts are not our prospects. We can't help those without money. However, we can use the plight of these folks to get others, with time to do something about it, off the fence. Years ago I went to a local fast food restaurant, got myself a Royale With Cheese, and a job application. I had to doctor the app for trademark reasons, but it was still recognizable as a fast food application. I then did a mailing, mailing it with the following inscription: Is this part of your retirement plan?
 
Want them off the fence? A little dose of reality never hurts.
 
The Dorsey Wright relative strength dinner - Very good stuff!
This week i was invited by mail to two more dinners. Same old corporate dog and pony show is exactly the way I would put it. Well said!
 
WE had our managed money liason in for a lunch this week. Nice guy, but doesn't get it. He bragged about how one of our programs was down only 22% during the meltdown. Like that's OK? Let me see, how does that work for someone who is ready to retire. What is 22% of $5,000,000? "Mr. Client, we are doing such a good job we only lost a million dollars of your retirement money! We are worth every dime of the $75,000 you paid us this year!"
 
If it ain't broke why fix it? And for the Wall Street money machine, it ain't broke.

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BondGuy wrote:I've never tracked the total number of prospects I have at any one time. I would say it's at least in the hundreds. That counts those who are ready to go and those with money later.
 
Follow up - three days to a week, never longer. All follow up is to move the prospect closer to a decison.
 
To the cold hearted post about hand outs- those looking for handouts are not our prospects. We can't help those without money. However, we can use the plight of these folks to get others, with time to do something about it, off the fence. Years ago I went to a local fast food restaurant, got myself a Royale With Cheese, and a job application. I had to doctor the app for trademark reasons, but it was still recognizable as a fast food application. I then did a mailing, mailing it with the following inscription: Is this part of your retirement plan?
 
Want them off the fence? A little dose of reality never hurts.
 
The Dorsey Wright relative strength dinner - Very good stuff!
This week i was invited by mail to two more dinners. Same old corporate dog and pony show is exactly the way I would put it. Well said!
 
WE had our managed money liason in for a lunch this week. Nice guy, but doesn't get it. He bragged about how one of our programs was down only 22% during the meltdown. Like that's OK? Let me see, how does that work for someone who is ready to retire. What is 22% of $5,000,000? "Mr. Client, we are doing such a good job we only lost a million dollars of your retirement money! We are worth every dime of the $75,000 you paid us this year!"
 
If it ain't broke why fix it? And for the Wall Street money machine, it ain't broke.

Would you continue this with every contact with that person.. i.e.
 
First call: Find out has advisor, more than $250K in market, but not happy with service..not interested in appt, but willing to hear from you..
 
Second Call(3-7 days later).. pitch an idea or more separation from his advisor..more interested, still no appt......
 
Do I call back again 3-7 days later?? or Do i wait 30 days?

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The second call is a week later in this case. "I'm Joe Dokes over at Dokes investment advisors. You may recall we spoke about a week ago and i promised I'd get back to you if i saw something interesting that i was showing my best clients. Well, i still don't have anything, however, you mentioned you weren't too happy with the way things were going so I wanted to take a few minutes to ask you a few questions to find out how i might be better able to help you. We have three ways to do this, we can take about ten or fifteen minutes now, schedule a phone appointment for a time that might be better for you, or we can meet in person, which sounds best to you?
 
In other words- let the client's answers guide you as to when the next contact should be.
 
 

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Would you continue this with every contact with that person.. i.e.
 
First call: Find out has advisor, more than $250K in market, but not happy with service..not interested in appt, but willing to hear from you..
 
Second Call(3-7 days later).. pitch an idea or more separation from his advisor..more interested, still no appt......
 
Do I call back again 3-7 days later?? or Do i wait 30 days?
the appt is the ultimate goal, i admit, sometimes you need to get em on the books with something that has some sizzle, yield, maybe.  I believe that prospects need a lot of touches before they come on board.
 
You can't call a guy every week and pitch product until you break him down.  just my opinion. 
 
After a few conversations, over the course of 2-3 months, he's presumably still interested and taking your calls, you can ask him to fax a statement, you can say, "maybe i can add some value, give you some thoughts about what you're holding..."
 
But in the end after 10 conversations, he has to sh*t or get off the pot.  Say, "You said you were interested, and I've been showing you good ideas for over the past 6 months, are you interested in coming in and talking?  Or are you just one of the very nice people I often run into who can't say no".
 
One line that I use all the time "If I brought an idea to you, and you liked the idea and it fit properly into your financial plan, would you be able to commit $10K to it..."  that usually flushes them out.  This guy has the dough, but does he really have a desire to give someone else a chance? 

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Quote:The second call is a week later in this case. "I'm Joe Dokes over at Dokes investment advisors. You may recall we spoke about a week ago and i promised I'd get back to you if i saw something interesting that i was showing my best clients. Well, i still don't have anything, however, you mentioned you weren't too happy with the way things were going so I wanted to take a few minutes to ask you a few questions to find out how i might be better able to help you. We have three ways to do this, we can take about ten or fifteen minutes now, schedule a phone appointment for a time that might be better for you, or we can meet in person, which sounds best to you?
 
 

In other words- let the client's answers guide you as to when the next contact should be.
 
A follow up to my example...
Cold called Mr joeblow last month, followed up with phone call 10 days later(no answer left message). No response, called back 10 days after that(no message).. Got an email from him today "sorry have been busy, easiest way for me to contact you....... Just switched to a new advisor last year and want to give him a shot.... Not interested in sitting down....feel free to keep in contact......"
Qualified for the amount i am looking for on first call... So do I drip with mailers/email etc for the next 60-90days or do I try, "fax me your statement let me see if i can add value"..

 

 

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Quote:That is the exact same crap I am getting. Getting more prospects would help, but I see a ton of people being a bank boy and these type of responses are happening daily. And like you said, it is happening with current clients as well.         
What I now say is basically ... I've found a way to hedge your account from future losses
and then SHUT UP and let them talk.
"Well ahhh errr yeah I guess .... how?"  In short It's called market neutrality.
When you come by my office I'll show you.
If they say no just laugh out loud and say "yeah sure, so your the only one in the whoooooole wide word that doesn't"
I'm truly serious about what I do. If you're serious about creating / preserving wealth lets talk. SHUT UP.
If still no say OK you win, but can I ask you one quick question and you'll never hear from me again .... WHY?
Let them blabber some babbling bullshit and the start at the top again and start over. Keep it up until they hang up or they set the apt.
LOOK DUDE I'VE FOUND A WAY TO HEDGE YOU AGANST LOSS, are you OK with loosing more than you have?

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That would work if I actually knew how to do that(options that is)...

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Quote:That would work if I actually knew how to do that(options that is)...  
There are many ways to protect an account that doesn't include options. Things as simple as a stop, going to cash or short against the box. None of the above are commonly used by all the brokers I've competed against. Hard to believe but true. Many annuities will facilitate this as well. Toss in crutch trades, pairs trades and options and market neutrality is fairly easy.
 

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Gaddock - check your PMs.

Ron 14's picture
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Quote:Quote:That would work if I actually knew how to do that(options that is)...   
There are many ways to protect an account that doesn't include options. Things as simple as a stop, going to cash or short against the box. None of the above are commonly used by all the brokers I've competed against. Hard to believe but true. Many annuities will facilitate this as well. Toss in crutch trades, pairs trades and options and market neutrality is fairly easy.
 
 
Its not hard to believe from my point of view. I don't think most FA's, me included, are in position to make sweeping changes to everyone of our customers portfolio. Lets say for example you are at EJ. You have 50mil AUM and 500 households. If you see something occur in the market or you anticipate something will occur how can you get in front of all those people to make the necessary changes ?

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Quote:Quote:Quote:That would work if I actually knew how to do that(options that is)...     
There are many ways to protect an account that doesn't include options. Things as simple as a stop, going to cash or short against the box. None of the above are commonly used by all the brokers I've competed against. Hard to believe but true. Many annuities will facilitate this as well. Toss in crutch trades, pairs trades and options and market neutrality is fairly easy.
 
 
Its not hard to believe from my point of view. I don't think most FA's, me included, are in position to make sweeping changes to everyone of our customers portfolio. Lets say for example you are at EJ. You have 50mil AUM and 500 households. If you see something occur in the market or you anticipate something will occur how can you get in front of all those people to make the necessary changes ?
Perhaps, however It was my impression this thread was about motivating prospects. As far as having a book I can only imagine that you have some constant baseline securities so if something were to occur that requires what I call 'profit maintenance' you do the same thing in many accounts. As for stops I don't think there is a valid argument to not have one on every stock in your book. If an earnings date or a div gets paid you'll be a hero if you learn how to short against the box. Not to mention the retention of $$ in a wrap OR a commission.

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