Must Tweets by Securities Reps Be Pre-Approved? NO!

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

When Morgan Stanley Smith Barney announced in May that it will allow its 17,800 financial advisers to use Twitter in October, I said it was a breakthrough. Here was a major Wall Street wirehouse recognizing that the social media revolution was real and that it had to be part of it. I took a few arrows for that call. Some bloggers and writers thought I was foolishly naive and didn’t understand the fine print. Didn’t Morgan Stanley state that they would allow advisors to use only pre-approved tweets? Didn’t that undercut the conversational power of Twitter?..Read More »

Alternative Investments in HNW Portfolios: How to Use Data Aggregation to Ease the Reporting Burden

By James Carney, CEO, ByAllAccounts on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

For today’s financial advisor, it’s not necessarily a case of passing judgment on this type of investment vehicle. Rather, it’s a matter of processing our collective knowledge of how the markets reacted in the past, reappraising opportunities and risks, and where appropriate, incorporating alternative investments into investors’ portfolios. The fact is, even though the popularity of alternative investments declined after the financial meltdown, they have started to make a comeback—and high-net-worth investors are once again exploring how they fit into a forward-thinking investment strategy...Read More »

5 Questions You Want to Ask When You’re Exploring Data Aggregation

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Friday, September 9th, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Trying to decide whether data aggregation is right for your firm? Not sure which solution is best for your needs? Need answers, but not sure where to start? Well, at the risk of promoting myself, that’s where I come in. At ByAllAccounts, it’s my job to answer the questions of those interested in data aggregation to help them understand exactly what we do and don’t do. It’s from the questions that these advisors most frequently ask—and from my knowledge of what they should ask (I always help them out by steering them to these questions)—that I’ve put together this list of five “must ask” questions that will make your search easier:..Read More »

The Adoption of Google+ in the Financial Services Industry

By Loic Jeanjean, Advisor Websites on Thursday, September 8th, 2011

As you probably know, Google+ is a new social networking site operated by Google Inc. It has already over 25 million users and will probably become the 2nd largest social networking website in the US by the end of 2012. One key element of Google+ is its focus on targeted sharing within subsets of your social group, which are called Circles. Circles are simply small groups of people that you can share to, each with names like friends, family, classmates and co-workers. This can be really useful to segment your audience and send targeted updated to your clients/prospects etc...Read More »

The Seven Deadly Social Media Sins

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Between Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn I’m connected with over 7,000 financial professionals and companies engaging in social media. While I’m thrilled to see so many people coming on board I’m also a bit horrified with some of the practices I’ve witnessed. Those who are doing it right are reaping the benefits, however, companies diving in too quickly without first learning to swim risk ruining it for everyone. Below are some of the biggest mistakes I’ve been seeing and how you can avoid them:..Read More »

Back to School: 5 Things You Need to Know About Offering 529 Plans to Your Clients

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Let’s face it: College costs are skyrocketing—and even clients with the healthiest portfolios are finding the cost of financing their children’s education to be substantial. That’s one reason 529 plans have become so popular, and why roughly 80% of advisors now offer them to clients. So…now that we’ve reached the time of year when students are headed back to school, I’d like to spend a moment taking a closer look at 529 plans and what they can mean for today’s advisor. Here are 5 things you need to know:..Read More »

FINRA Clarifies How Firms Can Use Facebook

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Most mid-sized securities firms are struggling to understand how to use Facebook in their business. They know that Millennials, affluent investors, and the rest of American industry are way ahead of them in its adoption. But they’re worried that examiners from FINRA or the SEC could ask questions that they don’t know how to answer, resulting in disciplinary action. Fortunately, FINRA last month released Regulatory Notice 11-39 for its member firms. It lifts the fog...Read More »

By the Numbers: 106 Ways to Improve Your Practice

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Sometimes, it pays to go by the numbers. In this instance, it certainly does—because we’ve assembled all of the “numbers” blogs we’ve posted over the previous few months, and are giving you the opportunity to catch up on any of the ones you missed, or re-read any that you found memorable and helpful. And yes—if you add up all “tips,” “takeaways,” “keys,” and “reasons” etc. in the titles, it totals up to 106. Good reading!..Read More »

Advisors and the Cloud: Welcome to the New World of Computing

By Brian Gannon, Technical Relationship Manager on Friday, August 26th, 2011

It's official...the Cloud is here, and it's not new anymore. The other week, I embarked on an ambitious project, one which I have tried every now and again over the past ten years and which has invariably proved to be a fool’s errand: create the elusive “unified calendar”. By that I mean a calendaring system that is correct no matter where it is viewed, and no matter where appointments are created or modified, whether it be in Outlook, a phone, the Internet, etc. I’ve tried and failed so many times, and scoffed at the promise of the Internet as a result. There was always a snag. I had to sync my phone to my laptop at least once a day, or my workplace’s Exchange server was locked down, or appointments could be viewed but not made on my personal laptop. If it didn’t include everything, and/or relied on some manual step, it didn’t count. Well guess what. This time, the result was different. This time, IT WORKED! I was as excited as Doc Brown when the DeLorean hit 88 miles per hour. iCal + Google Calendar + Outlook + Google Calendar Sync = Unified Calendar. And that can only mean one thing: the Internet, or the Cloud I should say, is finally, positively, without a doubt, here...Read More »

Long Live the King: The 3 Keys to Succession Planning for Advisors

By Wes Campbell, Account Manager on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Every day, I talk to advisors about their business. One of the most popular subjects we discuss is succession planning. It’s a hot topic these days, and as a result of my conversations, I’ve decided to do a bit of research into it. Now, just to be clear, I’m not someone who plans on ever owning my own advisory firm, but I find the topic to be very intriguing nonetheless. After reading many articles and even sitting in on a succession planning seminar at the TD Ameritrade conference, I’ve come to realize just how complicated it can be to successfully pass the torch from one advisor to another...Read More »