2013 Holiday/Year-End Reach-Out Client Letter
Created: December 18, 2013
Description: Here's a short & sweet, 200-word letter or e-mail to send to your clients wishing them an uplifting holiday season and new year. Includes a feel-good link to a recent report that the US has regained its standing as the world's most giving nation.
Our Investment Strategy Overview
Created: December 16, 2013
Description: This 1,400-word article provides a clear overview of our passive/evidence-based investment strategy. It differentiates your investment approach from that taken by most financial providers, without getting overly technical. It emphasizes the benefits and importance of (1) having a strategy to begin with, (2) having the right kind of strategy, and (3) accompanying it with fiduciary advice. Use this piece as a brochure or article to introduce your investment strategy to prospective clients or to review key benefits with existing clients. It also could provide solid talking points for your investment strategy website page (although I wouldn't recommend using the entire piece as a website page -- it's too long for that).
A NEW Tradition: Family Wealth Planning Conversations
Created: December 13, 2013
Description: This 530-word article invites families to take a fresh look at their family wealth conversations, while encouraging them to think of your firm as a resource to assist them with this and other family wealth management needs. Use this piece as a newsletter article, or it could be readily converted into a direct mailing to clients or prospects.
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving-2013
Created: November 15, 2013
Description: This 430-word communication is a template you can use to reach out to clients, to send Thanksgiving greetings as well as a meaningful reminder of how an evidence-based investment strategy helps them more fully enjoy the things that matter most during the holiday season: friends, family, interests and expressions of gratitude. Referencing an entertaining anecdote shared by Carl Richards in one of his New York Times blog posts, the template also includes an optional offer to send clients a free copy of Carl's book, The Behavior Gap. Use the piece as a letter or e-mail, or modify it for other purposes as appropriate.
Center of Influence (COI) Reach-Out Letter Template
Created: November 5, 2013
Description: This one-page, 250-word letter is a template you can use to reach out to centers of influence and potential strategic alliances such as attorneys, accountants, community leaders and others, introducing them to your firm and inviting them to network with you professionally. Use the piece as a letter or e-mail, or modify it for other purposes as appropriate.
Professor Fama’s Nobel Prize and You
Created: October 14, 2013
Description: This 570-word article celebrates Professor Eugene Fama's receipt of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics, and how Fama's work contributes to your clients' personal investment experiences. It also explains how you, as their advisor, add value by translating sometimes conflicting academic evidence (such as Fama’s/Shiller's respective work) into practical application toward achieving individual end goals. Use the piece as a direct client communication or modify/customize for wider use.
UPDATED: Market Mania and Investor Resolve
Created: October 11, 2013
Description: We've updated this piece from an earlier version, created during the last period of steep market decline in June. This updated 800-word version provides calming, historic context and reminders of essential investment tenets for clients who may be second-guessing the current risk levels in their portfolio in light of the government shutdown and related events.
October Q3 2013 Client Letter
Created: October 4, 2013
Description: This 340-word (one page) client letter can be used as a cover letter to accompany your quarterly client reports or as a stand-alone communication, reminding clients to stick with their disciplined plan in the face of current political and economic uncertainty (government shutdown, debt ceiling, interest rate climate, etc.)
Think Twice Before Sinking Your Wealth Into an IPO
Created: September 23, 2013
Description: This 830-word article describes why investors should avoid investing in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) such as Facebook or, more recently (as of Sept. 2013), Twitter's proposed IPO. The article provides evidence on three reasons an investor is best off avoiding purchasing IPOs (or individual stocks in general): (1) stock-picking is a poor strategy to begin with, compared to MPT-based portfolio construction (citing a 2012 Markowitz interview), (2) individual investors tend to fare poorly in the IPO zero-sum loss game, and (3) IPOs have a track record for underperformance.
Avoiding Tracking-Error Regret
Created: August 13, 2013
Description: This 630-word article defines tracking-error regret in approachable terms, and describes that one of your key roles as an advisor is to help your clients recognize and avoid succumbing to it. It defines tracking-error regret that occurs when an investor’s carefully designed portfolio underperforms its common benchmark. It offers a different (better) way to measure financial success — by focusing on personal goals and constructing the portfolio accordingly. It also offers a handy table that summarizes the key tenets of disciplined investing.
Making Sense of Fixed Income
Created: July 18, 2013
Description: The article briefly describes the current (July 2013) market, in which many investors are panicking and selling off their bond funds, and informs readers that you recommend against succumbing to that trend. It offers four “Guiding Rules” to explain a preferred strategy: (1) The importance of investing according to a personalized plan; (2) An overview of the role fixed income plays; (3) Possible actions that may be appropriate (such as portfolio analysis of non-managed assets, risk-tolerance assessment, and rebalancing opportunities); and (4) The critical importance of staying the course.
“Go With the Flow” Investing
Created: July 11, 2013
Description: Introducing your investment experience as a point of distinction, this brief introduction compares investing to river rafting, in which it’s important to “go with the flow” rather than struggle upstream. You help your clients accomplish this through planning, education and application of evidence-based investment strategy, combined with portfolio management (including managing for risks, costs and hyperactive trading behaviors).
The Art of Asset Location
Created: June 17, 2013
Description: Remind your clients of this important way you earn your advisory fees, by providing them with: (1) a working definition of asset location, (2) an empirical assessment of the value it can bring, (3) several reasons why it’s best to work with a professional advisor to implement the strategy, and (4) understanding on how and why most investors are missing out on effective asset location … because they’re not working with you!
Assessing Advisory Fees
Created: June 5, 2013
Description: Remind clients of the ways you earn your advisory fees, including: (1) Tangible Savings such as helping them stay the course, ensuring low-cost investing and ongoing tax management, (2) Subtle Rewards such as education, account management, wealth coordination and access to Dimensional funds, and (3) Immense Immeasurables, such as freeing their time to pursue their personal interests and ensuring smooth transitions when family money management roles shift.
The S&P 500 Wheel of Fortune
Created: May 17, 2013
Description: Purchase this 400-word document to use as timely, appropriate commentary on the S&P 500 Index’s recent (May 2013) all-time market highs. Remind investors that (a) an evidence-based portfolio already is positioned to capture market surges commensurate with the investor's goals and risk tolerances and (b) chasing past returns is counterproductive. The best advice is, as always, to enjoy the returns gained, but stay the course according to personal goals and risk tolerances.
Responding to Active Management News & Analysis
Created: April 11, 2013
Description: This 650-word piece can be used to respond to miscellaneous active calls to action related to popular market trends, gloomy forecasts or other current or ongoing events. It thanks the individual for sharing the news, and provides them with two guidelines for properly assessing it: (1) Consider the credibility of the source. (2) Even if the source is credible, consider the worth of the news in relation to your recommended, long-term, passively minded investment strategy.