November 23, 2015

Article goes viral with a little help

I've earned my share of retweets, likes and followers on Twitter over the years.

But this weekend trumps my history on social media. Let's just say Donald Trump helped Global Trends Investments and ETF Trends guru Tom Lydon and me become famous, sort of.

I am a new contributor for Tom's one year old website IRIS, which is all about financial advisor innovation. Late Saturday, Tom tweeted the link to my first contribution "What Financial Pros Can Learn from Donald Trump's Communication Style" to his followers.

Within minutes, the real Donald Trump retweeted Tom's post to his 5 million followers, with a note, "Very nice, thanks!"

Websites DO make a difference when winning institutional investors

Digital Strategies Institutional Investor Websites"A myth persists among many firms that institutional investors have little interest in visiting an asset manager’s website, and solely require personal interaction throughout their decision-making journey," according to a recent survey by Kasina. "That may explain why the user experience on so many sites is poor."

Recent evaluations of nearly two dozen websites for institutional investors revealed that just a few firms use technology to extend the personal approach they prize offline to the online experience. But surveys show that the majority of institutional investors use corporate websites as well as social media as sources of non-financial information when making investment decisions. And interviews with institutional investors and consultants dispel the notion that websites don’t make a difference as they reel off the asset managers whose online capabilities they appreciate—and those they disparage.

Read the report here.

November 19, 2015

Read IRIS: Grow your business

iris.xyzEver heard of IRIS, the new informational portal taking the financial industry by storm with over 4,000 Twitter followers? The site was founded by Tom Lydon, publisher of ETF Trends and Douglas Heikkinen, who has 25 years of financial communications experience.

"IRIS is a collection of vetted experts, in unique areas that offer information and services to make managing your business and interacting with your clients more impactful.... All of the experts on the site sharing their knowledge and giving you something new and different to absorb and think about," according to the website.

I am happy to be a new contributor focusing on the area of development. Click here for my first article.

November 17, 2015

Not all fund prospects work on your timeframe

Most fund prospects don't work on your timeframe. "Your buyers go on a pathway from knowing nothing about you, (and not knowing they need your services) to potentially becoming satisfied, delighted referral-giving clients. The path from stranger to client may take a few days, a few months, or more than a year. It’s up to you to nurture prospects along the path to clienthood," according to marketing guru Frank Serebrin. 

Frank says you should provide them with different content depending on where they are on their stroll. Click here for the full story.

November 13, 2015

Morningstar Publishes Research Examining Factors that Drive Investment Flows

Morningstar published a research paper analyzing long-term investors' mutual fund preferences as expressed in monthly asset flow data. The paper examines equity, fixed-income, and balanced funds globally to draw conclusions about how investors make investment decisions.

Key findings from the "What Factors Drive Investment Flows?" report:
  • U.S. investors strongly prefer low-cost funds, but these preferences are virtually nonexistent outside of the United States.
  • Indexed equity funds receive higher flows at the expense of active equity funds. The trend reverses for fixed-income and balanced funds, as investors globally favor active strategies.
  • Investors expressed a strong preference globally for funds that invest in a socially conscious manner. Globally, equity funds that self-identify as socially responsible receive 0.40 percent greater flows per month than funds that do not.
  • Investors globally respond to Morningstar ratings—both the quantitative Morningstar Rating™ (the "star rating") and the qualitative Morningstar Analyst Rating™. Funds with a higher Morningstar Rating attract greater inflows than funds with lower ratings. The five-tiered Analyst Rating scale has three positive levels, indicating Morningstar Medalists—Gold, Silver, and Bronze—and has proved to be a strong asset flow indicator as well.
  • Investors seek out funds from higher-quality firms, and a notable relationship exists between asset flows and portfolio manager tenure. Investors favor long-tenured managers and visible continuity of fund management, suggesting that funds with co-management and internal promotion practices are better insulated from the adverse effects of manager departure.
To read the full report, click here.