What Is Fiduciary Investment Advice, and Why Does It Matter?
Created: July 31, 2020
Description: Fully independent, fee-only RIA firms can share this 1,500-word report with clients and prospective clients to differentiate comprehensive fiduciary client relationships, vs. "incidental" investment recommendations under Regulation Best Interest (as of June 30, 2020).
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q1
Created: April 3, 2020
Description: This 652-word Q1 2020 quarterly client letter prepares clients for putting last quarter's returns in perspective. It reviews the activities you're doing on their behalf, encourages them to be in touch if their investment resolve is wavering, and reminds them of the perils of market-timing.
A Coronavirus Round-Up Report
Created: March 27, 2020
Description: Use this 812-word overview as an additional reach-out to your clients during the coronavirus crisis (or edit for general purposes). It reviews what you, they and the markets can do at this time, and reminds them of the many ways you're supporting them at this time.
A Retirement Plan Sponsor Reach-Out
Created: March 25, 2020
Description: Use this 757-word piece to reach out to retirement plan sponsor clients during the coronavirus crisis. Let them know you're available as always, update them on retirement plan regulatory issues you're keeping an eye on, and summarize best financial practices for themselves and their plan participants.
Three Thoughts During Scary Markets
Created: March 9, 2020
Description: As market headlines go from bad to worse, share this 685-word confidence-building reach-out with your clients (or, with modest edits, with a wider audience). Includes a review of the relationship between risk and expected reward, the significance of being prepared in advance for these kinds of downturns, and a reminder that you remain available to provide objective advice.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2019 Q4
Created: January 2, 2020
Description: Use this 540-word quarterly client letter to reflect on one- and 10-year retrospectives in the new year, including how and why to separate short-term reactions from long-term strategy.
Six Financial Best Practices for 2020
Created: December 8, 2019
Description: Share this 869-word piece with clients and prospects to offer six financial best practices for 2020. This year's selection is based on some of the changes that took place in 2019, including TCJA tax tips, zero-commission stock and ETF trading, and more.
Why Safe Harbors Can Be Risky Business
Created: November 21, 2019
Description: Use this 922-word article to remind clients and explain to prospective clients how to balance managing short-term market volatility risks with the long-term risk of inflation. It’s also risky to overweight a portfolio in "safe harbor" investments, and/or flee to the sidelines during turbulent times, just in a different way.
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving/Holiday Season (2019)
Created: November 6, 2019
Description: Use this 323-word message to be in touch with your clients for the U.S. Thanksgiving or the general 2019 holiday season, thanking them for their business and wishing them "joie de vivre." The message also includes language for making an optional gift along with the letter, for all or some of your client relationships.
A Timely Reminder on the Perils of Market Timing   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: August 25, 2019
Description: A 735-word client reach-out about the prospect that a trade war with China could lead to a recession. The piece covers four reasons why trying to engage in market-timing in reaction to the unfolding news remains as ill-advised as ever.
What Is Monte Carlo Analysis?
Created: August 23, 2019
Description: This 1,000-word article in our "What Is ...?" series describes how investors can benefit from a Monte Carlo Analysis, includes caveats on best use, and provides a basic illustration on how it works. An accompanying Monte Carlo Sample pdf file provides the assumptions used in the illustration.
You, Your Financial Well-Being and the Federal Reserve (UPDATED)
Created: August 1, 2019
Description: UPDATED FROM MARCH 2018: This 1,200-word piece puts the U.S. Federal Reserve's ongoing federal funds rate changes (especially the Aug. 1 2019 rate decrease) into sound, financial-planning context. Use this piece to inform prospects or clients about how the Fed operates, as well as what your role is in helping them manage debt, save, invest, and spend wisely through various interest rate climates and regardless of what lies ahead.
What Is Asset Location? (UPDATED)
Created: May 27, 2019
Description: UPDATED FROM 2013: This 710-word article is part of our ongoing "What Is ...?" series. It defines asset LOCATION, differentiates it from asset ALLOCATION, and provides an overview of both its benefits and challenges. Share this piece with clients or prospects as an article, post, or video script, or for similar purposes.
Money Management Lingo
Created: March 27, 2019
Description: This 860-word document provides a beginner's guide intro to some of the most common terminology advisors tend to use when introducing prospective and new clients to money management services. For example, it differentiates assets, funds, accounts and custodians -- explaining which roles each play. (Note: Non-U.S. advisors might want to swap out some of the examples with illustrations of their own -- such as referencing your country's tax-advantaged accounts rather than U.S.-based IRAs.)
A Client Referral Reach-Out
Created: March 7, 2019
Description: Use this 260-word piece to reach out to clients in an email or postal mailing, reminding them that you warmly welcome their referrals whenever they know of someone who may benefit from a conversation with you or your firm.
A Second Opinion Reach-Out
Created: February 25, 2019
Description: Use this 525-word piece to reach out to prospects (or, with minor revisions, to clients), encouraging them to schedule a second opinion meeting with you. The piece describes what to expect as well as red flags to avoid when seeking an objective second opinion about their investment portfolio. It could also be re-purposed as a general article.
Six Financial Best Practices for 2019
Created: December 17, 2018
Description: Six financial best practices encouraging investors to ignore market volatility and take practical steps toward enhancing their financial well-being. Use this piece as is to share with prospective clients, or modify it slightly for client use. This piece represents the second in an annual series, potentially pairing well with "Ten Financial Best Practices to Jump-Start Your New Year," published in December 2017.
2018 Year-End Market Volatility Client Reach-Out
Created: December 6, 2018
Description: Use this 2018 year-end client reach-out to help clients ride out current market volatility. The document contains two versions: (1) a 580-word extended reach-out that includes references to Hans Rosling's new book "Factfulness," and (2) an abbreviated, 330-word reach-out that omits the reference to Rosling's book.
Five Financial Adages for Thriving in Volatile Markets
Created: November 19, 2018
Description: This big, meaty, 2,000-word report takes a close look at why so many investors fail to adhere to five widely accepted financial adages (e.g., "buy low, sell high"), ESPECIALLY DURING VOLATILE/DOWN MARKETS. Use this report with clients or prospects -- either as-is, or as a drip communication or video series, sharing one adage at a time, over time.
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving/Holiday Season (2018)
Created: November 11, 2018
Description: Use this 280-word message to be in touch with your clients for the U.S. Thanksgiving or the general 2018 holiday season, thanking them for their business and wishing them all the best with a warm and thoughtful reach-out.
New Client Welcome Letter/Email and Fact Sheet
Created: May 8, 2018
Description: Customize these templates -- a brief letter/email and fact sheet -- to welcome new clients to your firm, remind them of their next scheduled meeting with you, and provide key contact information.
The Vital Role of Rebalancing (UPDATED)
Created: January 26, 2018
Description: UPDATED FROM JUNE 2013: Use this 960-word document with clients or prospects to explain how your firm adds value by employing rebalancing as part of an evidence-based strategy. Properly implemented, rebalancing offers a disciplined, cost-effective approach to buying low and selling high and staying on track toward one's personal financial goals.
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving (2017)
Created: November 9, 2017
Description: This 500-word client letter reflects on the true meaning of happiness as you wish your clients a Happy Thanksgiving. Global advisors can modify the letter to use as a general season's greeting to clients.
Hurricane Harvey Texan Client Reach-Out
Created: August 28, 2017
Description: A 284-word client reach-out for advisors based in Texas, to be in touch with clients about the effects of Hurricane Harvey. (A version for advisors NOT based in Texas also is available as a separate download.)
Hurricane Harvey General Client Reach-Out
Created: August 28, 2017
Description: A 238-word client reach-out for advisors NOT based in Texas, to be in touch with clients about the effects of Hurricane Harvey. (A Texan advisor version also is available as a separate download.)
Half of a Whole: When You Lose Your Spouse   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: July 21, 2017
Description: This 900-word piece can be used as an article, email or video script to share with clients and prospective clients. It encourages those experiencing grief to hold off on making financial decisions that can wait, and offers supportive guidance to consider. It also encourages couples to complete their estate and advance planning if they've not yet done so.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2017 Q2
Created: July 4, 2017
Description: This 440-word, second quarter client letter reminds clients to avoid market-timing and focus instead on asset allocation and rebalancing -- in good markets and bad.
Prospecting Reach-Out: Client Referral Intro
Created: April 17, 2017
Description: Use this 200-word template to create a personalized letter or e-mail to prospective clients who have been referred to you by one of your current clients ... or modify or excerpt from the template to apply to other prospecting activities. This will be the first of a collection of prospecting templates I'll release over time. I welcome your ongoing suggestions for new ones!
Canadian Tax-Loss Harvesting: Opportunities and Obstacles
Created: December 20, 2016
Description: Modified for Canadian use, this 800-word handout can be used to inform clients about what tax-loss harvesting is, how it can be used (as well as when it may not be appropriate), and how it serves as another way you, as their adviser, seek to add value to their investing. With minor edits, it could also be used as a piece to share with prospective clients. (We published U.S. and Anglicised versions of this piece in October 2017).
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving (2016)
Created: November 15, 2016
Description: This 350-word client letter thanks your clients for their relationship with you and encourages them to celebrate their other life relationships during the upcoming U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Global advisors can modify the letter to use as a general season's greeting to clients.
Created: November 8, 2016
Description: This 440-word client letter can be used on Nov. 8 as U.S. presidential election results are announced, or within the next few days following the election. Use it to remind clients you are available to help them stay the course with their carefully constructed investment strategy ... or to assist them in making updates if warranted.
Tax-Loss Harvesting: Opportunities and Obstacles
Created: October 24, 2016
Description: This 800-word handout can be used to inform clients about what tax-loss harvesting is, how it can be used (as well as when it may not be appropriate), and how it serves as another way you, as their adviser, seek to add value to their investing. With minor edits, it could also be used as a piece to share with prospective clients.
On Investing and Entertainment: John Oliver’s Take
Created: June 21, 2016
Description: This 435-word client letter can be used to share John Oliver's recent "Last Week Tonight" popular HBO segment on retirement investing. It summarizes Oliver's key messages and encourages your clients to share the video with others who may find the message appealing -- along with a referral to your firm.
You, the Capital Markets and Your Brexit Fears (Anglicised)
Created: June 15, 2016
Description: For advisors to reach out to clients who are contemplating abandoning their investment plan in the face of Brexit-generated market volatility, this 500-piece letter reiterates the timeless, evidence-based reasons it's important to avoid reacting to breaking news. Assuming the letter is most appropriate for UK audiences, it is edited for Anglicised references and spellings.
April Q1 2016 Client Letter (Guess the Media Source)
Created: April 1, 2016
Description: This 445-word, first quarter client letter reinforces the importance of staying invested according to plan. It juxtaposes distracting headlines from the popular press with timeless advice from solid sources such as WSJ's Jason Zweig as well as your own evidence-based investment advice. It also reminds clients that you are there to serve their highest financial interests (in case they've been seeing the news about the DOL's impending fiduciary regulations).
Created: February 11, 2016
Description: This 675-word piece reminds your clients and informs prospective clients that the best-interest advice you have to offer goes well beyond what is often thought of as "advice" (i.e., stock tips and little more). It reinforces why a good financial adviser remains relevant even as low-cost funds, automated investing and simplified financial planning is on the rise, and especially during the turbulent market times we are currently experiencing. As such, this piece can be used as a timely response to current market volatility or as a timeless article for all market climes.
January Q4 2015 Client Letter (Peek-a-Boo Markets)
Created: January 4, 2016
Description: This 420-word year-end client letter observes that 2015 markets were like a game of peek-a-boo with respect to global returns. It reminds clients how "recency" can trick them into making the wrong moves at the wrong time, and why it's important to stay invested in their personalized, evidence-based, globally diversified portfolio.
Reflections on Paris
Created: November 17, 2015
Description: A short (330-word) message to clients offering them thoughtful reflections on your advisor relationship with them in the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris. For example: "We aim to do all that we can – even if it may never be everything – to nurture what is good and true in our lives." This also can be used as a Thanksgiving or holiday reach-out, or as video script.
How Do We Choose the Funds We Use?
Created: November 15, 2015
Description: Other materials in the Content-Sharing Library can be used to describe your evidence-based investment strategy. This piece describes how you narrow down your fund manager selections for converting sensible strategy into practical implementation. Use the piece for e-newsletters, e-mails, handouts and mailings, or to create video script for prospective or existing clients.
Advice That Adds Up During Down Markets
Created: October 14, 2015
Description: Here is a 700-word piece you can use to remain in touch with clients who may still be nervous after receiving their third-quarter report during the current down market. It encourages them to stay the course with their carefully planned portfolio, already designed to endure market risks. It reminds them why this is your advice, and how an objective third-party can help them overcome their instinctive reactions to down markets. Use as follow up to your clients' third quarter reports or to reach out to clients or prospects in general. It could also serve as good narrative for a video.
Three Key Investment Strategies Hidden in Plain Sight: #3 — INTERNATIONAL VERSION — Controlling Costs
Created: September 25, 2015
Description: This 1,375-word piece represents part three of a series covering three essential evidence-based investment strategies: market participation ("being there"), managing market risk (diversification) and controlling costs. THIS UPDATED VERSION EXPLORES CONTROLLING COSTS WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE AND ILLUSTRATIONS. It also emphasizes the benefits of having an evidence-based advisor to assist. Use the series for drip marketing via e-newsletter, e-mails, mailings or as video script for prospective or existing clients.
Three Key Investment Strategies Hidden in Plain Sight: #3 — Controlling Costs
Created: September 4, 2015
Description: This 900-word piece represents part three of a series covering three essential evidence-based investment strategies: market participation ("being there"), managing market risk (diversification) and controlling costs. It also emphasizes the benefits of having an evidence-based advisor to assist. Use the series for drip marketing via e-newsletter, e-mails, mailings or as video script for prospective or existing clients.
Three Key Investment Strategies Hidden in Plain Sight: #2 – Managing Market Risks
Created: August 11, 2015
Description: This 700-word piece represents part two of a series covering three essential evidence-based investment strategies: market participation ("being there"), managing market risk (diversification) and controlling costs. It also emphasizes the benefits of having an evidence-based advisor to assist. Use the series for drip marketing via e-newsletter, e-mails, mailings or as video script for prospective or existing clients.
Three Key Investment Strategies Hidden in Plain Sight: #1 – Being There
Created: July 26, 2015
Description: This 800-word piece represents part one of a series covering three essential evidence-based investment strategies: market participation ("being there"), managing market risk (diversification) and controlling costs. It also emphasizes the benefits of having an evidence-based advisor to assist. Use the series for drip marketing via e-newsletter, e-mails, mailings or as video script for prospective or existing clients.
Reflections on Robo-Advice
Created: April 22, 2015
Description: This 1,200-word piece offers investors advice on how to assess the recent proliferation of robo-advisors -- differentiating the higher level of care available from dedicated human advisers, emphasizing the continued importance of an evidence-based investment strategy, and summarizing qualities to seek in any form of investment advice a family may be considering. Use the piece to inform clients or prospects or respond to their questions.
Fifty Years of Warren Buffett’s Wisdom
Created: March 24, 2015
Description: This 900-word piece introduces Warren Buffett's March 2015 release of Berkshire Hathaway's 2014 shareholders' letter, with a sampling of Buffett insights on American enterprise, business management, wealth and investing, capital markets, risk management, ethics and human nature. As a special, 50th "golden anniversary" edition, the letter is a particularly good example of Buffett's timeless wisdom. Use this piece to reach out to clients and prospects in a letter, e-mail or video script of your own.
Helping New Clients Break Up With Their Broker
Created: March 3, 2015
Description: Here are two short letters/e-mails (bundled into a single, two-page Word document) to help your new clients “break up” with their broker after they have selected you as their new advisor. The first piece is a cover letter or e-mail to send to new clients, explaining the material; the second is content they can send to their former broker/advisor to ease the transition.
Portfolio Analysis Offer – for Prospects & Client Referrals
Created: March 27, 2014
Description: Two letters or e-mails for the price of one! These 350-word calls to action offer a complimentary portfolio analysis to qualified prospects. One version is for sending directly to qualified prospects. The other is to remind your clients that you are available to help others they care about with an objective, confidential portfolio analysis.
The Latest Reasons to Think, Act and Invest Like Warren Buffett
Created: March 5, 2014
Description: This 575-word piece shares some "best-of" quotes ("Buffettisms") related to essential investment strategy from Fortune magazine's preview of Buffett's forthcoming annual shareholder's letter. The piece also can be used as a call to action inviting clients or prospects to be in touch with you for a copy of Larry Swedroe's quick guide: "Think, Act and Invest Like Warren Buffett." (Let me know if you'd like more information about ordering a version of Larry's book with a custom foreword authored by your firm.)
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).
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.
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.)
“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!