Archives for December, 2013

Starting the Holiday Party Conversation

December 23rd, 2013, Comments Off on Starting the Holiday Party Conversation.

In the September 23, 2013, issue of Investment News, various advisors were asked how they respond to the question: “What do you do for a living?”

Out of the eight who were quoted, two began with: “I am a CFP,” and “I am a professional.” Three began with: “We are, We believe, or We help.” And only one began by asking if he could first ask a question.

So what are the most effective elevator speeches or holiday party conversation starters? The first step is to be clear about who you serve (your ideal clients), why you serve them, and what value you provide to them. Next you need to create starters to ensure that your message resonates with the person you are talking with. For example, if you are talking with a retired couple and you work with this niche by creating a plan for them that ensures a bright financial future, you need a conversation starter.

In this case, when asked: “What to do you do for a living?” you could respond by asking: “Do you know how retired couples are faced with a variety of decisions on what to do to ensure their financial future is bright and that they don’t outlive their money? I help them design a plan to ensure they make the best choices for a bright future.”

So why is this approach more powerful than “I am” or “We believe”? First, when we begin with “I am” or “We believe,” the other person either tunes us out or puts his defenses up because he thinks he will be sold, persuaded or convinced to do something. Instead, when we ask a question, we engage the prospective client and encourage him to participate and tune into a conversation with us. We dramatically increase our odds of continuing the conversation, which allows us to learn more about them and determine if a follow up meeting makes sense.

So before you get your party attire on, take a minute and write out your new holiday party conversation starters and practice them. Master your starters until you have a winning dialogue that will engage prospects in a conversation. This will dramatically increase your odds of getting to know your prospective clients and provide you with an opportunity to continue discussing what you do and the value you provide.

If you would like to improve your holiday party conversation starter or elevator speech, access our Resources & Training.


By Annette Bau

Annette Bau is the founder of and, and the author of several books.

To find out more, visit About Annette Bau. This site is not designed to give you investment or financial planning advice. By visiting or access anything on this site or another site that is linked to, you agree to consult with your own advisors and review your situation.


Tags: ,

Greatest Financial Concerns for Non-Retirees

December 20th, 2013, Comments Off on Greatest Financial Concerns for Non-Retirees.

A new survey of investors who are currently working shows that concerns about rising health-care costs, changes to Social Security and/or Medicare, and running out of money are among the greatest financial worries in retirement. The percentage citing these concerns increased since prior surveys.

According to the study, conducted as a part of the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index by Mathew Greenwald & Associates for Signator Investors, Inc., the financial risk of rising health-care costs in retirement was the greatest concern of the non-retired investors surveyed, with a majority (55 %) saying they were very concerned. This is a 7-point jump from last year’s survey, the study noted. Overall, 89 percent of this year’s respondents expressed some concern about rising health-care costs.

“Though being able to afford healthcare isn’t a new issue, the fact that more affluent workers are very worried about it than not, points to the value advisors can provide to help clients develop strategies to manage it,” said Matt Rigatti, vice president, Signator Investors, Inc.
“We’ve already seen movement in the direction of tools that address healthcare, specializations–or including a healthcare finance-oriented specialist on a client’s team and I suspect we’ll continue seeing growth in that area.”

The following two high-ranking concerns are significantly lower, and had smaller increases. Changes to Social Security and/or Medicare was the second most cited financial risk, with slightly more than one-third (34%) of respondents citing they were very concerned, up from slightly below a third (32%) last year. Overall, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents cited concern about this risk.

The third most “very concerning” risk– running out of money in retirement– crept up from 26 percent in 2012 to 28 percent in 2013. Overall, 65 percent of respondents this year felt this issue was of concern.

“All of these topics are related,” said Rigatti. “And similar to last year, a large percentage of non-retired investors who say they work with advisors (73%) said they felt it was important that their financial professional have special retirement income certification in addition to other required credentials.”

The survey was of 1,013 investors, 703 of whom were not retired. It was conducted online by the independent research firm, Mathew Greenwald & Associates. Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now’s online research panel. To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household’s financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000.


By Ayo Mseka
Advisor Today


Tags: , ,