How Last Week's Democratic Sweep Can Mean More Clients and Referrals

How Last Week's Democratic Sweep Can Mean More Clients and Referrals

What to get people talking about you? Say something timely and relevant.

One of the most important principles we follow is remarkable is referable. Remarkable as in worthy of making a remark about. If you generate content (and I believe every advisor who is interested in attracting more clients should) make it remarkable.

My advisor has a really interesting perspective on giving me peace of mind, said no one at a cocktail party ever. But find some clever opportunities people like your clients may find in the new Republican tax plan and you will give them something to talk about.

To paraphrase Seth Godin, if people are not reading and forwarding what you send in the form of blog posts, articles, emails, or client newsletters, there is a reason. And that reason is because it’s boring. Three guidelines will help make your content remarkable:

  • Make a timely
  • Make it relevant
  • Make it specific

Timely means that it is something the client needs or wants to know now or has an opportunity to take action on now. What’s in the Republican tax plan that might be an opportunity or a peril for your clients? How will your clients be affected if Congress manages to repeal the affordable care act? How might you adjust client portfolios if Trump manages to provoke North Korea into a conflict?

Did you ever wonder why the consumer financial press regularly publishes stories about topics like the 10 mutual funds you must own right now? You know as a financial advisor there is no fund you must own right now – it contradicts the most basic philosophy of a mutual fund. But when you include words like “must” and “right now” it creates a sense of urgency that makes people want to know about the message. Remarkable.

The epitome of timely is David Meerman Scott’s concept of Newsjacking (you can read about it here or listen to our podcast interview of him here).  Tie your message to a current event and borrow the language appearing in headlines and in addition to having a message with some urgency, you can get found by people (like reporters) for searching those terms seeking current information.

Related: Why You're Always Talking About Your Referability

Relevant refers to the clients unique interests, needs, wants, and desires. If your message is applicable to everyone, it’s relevant to no one – it’s background noise. That’s why blog posts about the importance of retirement savings, staying the course as the markets bob up and down, and economic updates tend not to get much readership. If you work with doctors, create something around the economic aspects of the affordable care act. If it’s post-career adventurers, talk about how some of the new possibilities like air B&B open up for them. If it’s young families, investigate the pushes and pulls of reasoning (and financing) children.

Specific means dive into the details. One of the reasons public relations and content marketing work is because they can provide a platform on which to show off your expertise. If you talk in generalities and basic principles, it fails to showcase your knowledge. Dig down in and demonstrate, without having to brag, how deeply you know a topic. I was on a coaching call with an advisor last week and we were working on coming up with some titles for blog posts. In her particular sphere, divorce mediation, financial planners are sometimes but not necessarily part of the team of people advising the client. One of her ideas was a post about when to make sure you have a financial planner on the team. It doesn’t really have the specificity to be intriguing. My questions were what are the issues that call for a planners expertise, and what are the most frequent issues you work with when you get called in as the planner? By answering those two questions we got almost a dozen ideas for posts because each one can be explored in depth. And going deep puts her expertise on prominent display.

As an additional benefit, we also steered clear of a “here’s why you should hire me” kind of post and into an exploration of issues that communicate real value to the readers.

So what does the Democratic electoral sweep mean for your business development? If you can tie some of the possible effects – maybe on issues like tax policy or healthcare policy or immigration policy or other changes that may ripple through Congress and the statehouses – to issues that affect financial planning opportunities of your target market, you can get more people talking about you.

Stephen Wershing
Advisor Marketing
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Stephen Wershing, CFP® is President of The Client Driven Practice, a firm that assists financial advisors gather client feedback and develop referral marketing plans. Bob Ver ... Click for full bio

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are popular vehicles for market participants looking to engage in thematic investing. Thematic investing looks to take advantage of future growth trends, including disruptive technologies. Given that forward-looking approach, stock-picking in the thematic universe is equally as hard, if not harder, than in traditional market segments.

Go back to the late 1990s, before the bursting of the Internet/technology bubble. Back then, investors stood an equal chance of selecting E-Toys over Amazon or some no longer in existence networking equipment maker over Cisco.

“History is littered with examples of prospering industries with no indication of which company will come to dominate the industry,” according to Nasdaq. “This suggests that successful thematic investing is more about selecting baskets of investments rather than single securities.”1

The ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) provides basket exposure to a broad swath of thematic investments. DTEC features exposure to not just one or two emerging technologies, but 10 such themes on an equal-weight basis.

Disruptive Efficiency

The 10 themes represented in DTEC are as follows: 3D printing, clean energy, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data and analytics, fintech, healthcare innovation, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile payments and robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Generally speaking, fund issuers have been quick to respond to disruptive and transformative technologies, bringing products to market to tap these themes. Prior to DTEC coming to market late last year, there were ETFs devoted exclusively to cloud computing, cybersecurity, robotics and other themes featured in DTEC. However, few use the basket approach to themes employed by DTEC.

Related: Getting Paid to Play The Energy Patch

February, a rough month for U.S. stocks, highlighted the advantages of DTEC's multi-theme methodology. Seven of the 10 themes found in the fund finished the month lower, but DTEC was able to outperform the S&P 500 on a monthly basis.

Focusing on individual themes can be rewarding over the long-term, but not all investors have the risk tolerance for such a strategy. Consider this: the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index jumped more than 48% in 2017. That type of performance is enough to seduce many investors, but that same benchmark slipped 7.60% in February, generating monthly volatility of 34.10%.Said another way, that robotics and AI index's February slide was more than triple the loss experienced by DTEC during the month.

More Advantages

While it probably is not accurate to call the indexes devoted to individual disruptive themes “old,” many use old school weighting methodologies. For example, the two largest components in the ISE Cloud Computing Index are Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Inc. (AMZN). Only two members of the S&P 500 have larger market values than Amazon while Netflix currently has a larger market cap than Wal-Mart (WMT) and McDonald's (MCD).

Holdings subject ot change as of 12/31/17

For its part, DTEC not only equally weights its 10 disruptive themes, but its 100 components as well, potentially reducing single stock risk in the process. As the chart below confirms, equally weighting stocks is rewarding across sectors and market capitalization segments.

Past performance does not guarantee future results

Annualized returns for the past 10 years show seven of the 11 S&P 500 sectors, when equally weighted, outperform cap-weighted equivalents, according to S&P. Three of those seven sectors – financial services, healthcare and technology – are prominent parts of DTEC's roster.

1 Source: Nasdaq Dec. 28, 2015

2 Source: ETF Replay data


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus which contain this and other information call 866.675.2639 or visit Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

An investment in the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) may be subject to substantially greater risk and volatility than investments in larger and more mature technology companies.

There is no assurance that the market developments and sector growth based upon the themes discussed in the article will come to pass.

ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF shares are not individually redeemable. Investors buy and sell shares of the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF on a secondary market. Only market makers or “authorized participants” may trade directly with the Fund, typically in blocks of 50,000 shares.

ALPS Advisors, Inc. (AAI) has engaged IRIS Werks, LLC (IRIS) to produce analysis and commentary on ALPS-advised ETFs. IRIS currently has a compensated business relationship with AAI. AAI is not affiliated with IRIS.

The content and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and not the views and opinions of AAI.  In addition, AAI assumes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content written by the author.

There are risks involved with investing in ETFs including the loss of money. Additional information regarding the risks of this investment is available in the prospectus. Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

The fund is new and has limited operating history.

ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. is the distributor for the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF. AAI is affiliated with ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc.

The author is not an investment professional and this article should not be considered investment advice. While the information and statistical data contained herein are based on sources believed to be reliable, the author takes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content. Additionally, this article should not be relied on or be the basis for an investment decision. Information that is historical is not indicative of future results, and subject to change.

S&P 500®: A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

S&P SmallCap 600®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

S&P MidCap 400®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the mid-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

Indxx Global Robotics & Artifical Intelligence Thematic Index: The Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index is designed to track the performance of companies listed in developed markets that are expected to benefit from the increased adoption and utilization of robotics and Artificial Intelligence ("AI"), including companies involved in Industrial Robotics and Automation, Non-Industrial Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Vehicles.

Tom Lydon
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IRIS Co-Founder and Editor and proprietor of Tom is a frequent contributor to major print, radio and television media including Forbes, The Wall Street Jou ... Click for full bio