Personal Development
Raising Your Self Esteem Is A Key Component Of Raising Your Income
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:36


One of the qualities of successful Financial Advisors is that they seem completely comfortable with their success. This comfort is due to a high level of healthy self esteem. Raise your self esteem and you'll raise your income.

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Self esteem is the combination of self confidence and self worth. There are many ways to increase genuine self confidence. Certainly success breeds success, and simply accomplishing a particular monetary goal or bringing on a significant client who now entrusts you with their financial future can often give you the confidence necessary to take your business to the next level.


Increasing your technical skills or areas of expertise can also increase your confidence and self esteem. Obtaining a new designation, license or other certification can empower and motivate you to expand your marketing efforts in new directions, approaching larger clients than you currently serve.


Increasing feelings of self worth, however, can turn out to be a little more difficult. There are many reasons Advisors might not feel they deserve more success.


One common reason may be that your own financial house is not yet in order. Perhaps you are in debt. Many people believe that being in debt causes shame. However, debt can often be a socially acceptable way of punishing oneself for feelings of unworthiness. This explains why you can clean up the debt and temporarily feel good, but if you don’t heal the underlying cause (the feelings of unworthiness and poor self esteem), the symptom (debt) usually reappears.


By increasing your self esteem you’ll be able to permanently eliminate the debt, genuinely increase your sense of self worth, generate feelings of deservingness and pave the way for accepting greater income.


Increasing your sense of self worth even leads to gaining more referrals. When you act as a Fiduciary, placing your client’s interest above all other considerations, both you and your clients know it. Clients tend to find out sooner or later whether or not you have their best interest in mind. And they usually find out at the most inopportune time, if you have not advised them with the highest degree of professionalism possible.


Just as important, when you can honestly look your client in the eye knowing you’ve provided the best solution and service at a fair price, you have set the stage for successfully requesting and gaining referrals. You know in both your head and your heart you have done right by your client. You gain the feeling of satisfaction for a job well done. Your self esteem increases, generating a higher sense of self worth and feeling of deservingness.


Often your client will reinforce this feeling by saying something to the effect of, “Thank you so much, we couldn’t have done this without you.” Obviously your client feels confident in your abilities and can see the value you bring to the table. It’s time to ask for a referral.


Once you get the connection between self esteem and success, it becomes easier to make a plan to attract higher net worth clients who more closely fit your ideal client profile. Your increased self confidence will allow you to approach these clients without straining. And your increased sense of self worth/deservedness will enable you to charge them accordingly, enabling you to build your business more effortlessly. 


Pretty soon you’ll be asking yourself, “How much success can I stand?”

Best Smartphone Pedometers To Ensure You Take 10,000 Steps Daily
Sunday, August 19, 2012 14:01

Tags: phones

Taking 10,000 steps a day is said to be the easiest way to maintain a healthy weight and avoiding health prblems. A good smartphone pedometer tracks how close you’re coming that fitness goal. Finding the right one is the first step.


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Read Write Web looks at several smartphone pedometers and recommends free one called Pedometer Free





The Man With The Broken Mouse: A Story Of Mice And Men And Doing The Right Thing For Clients
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 18:02

Tags: client satisfaction | integrity | marketing


Three weeks ago, my mouse broke. It’s a LogiTech Anywhere MX. It’s great. I have a backup mouse but it’s less convenient. After letting the broken mouse sit idle for a week on my desk, I did something about it.

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I went to Logitech’s site and searched “Anywhere MX.” Within seconds, I found the mouse has a three-year warranty. I went to my Amazon order to find the receipt, and  found the mouse was purchased 18 months ago.
I logged in to Logitech and posted a short note saying my moue was treating single clicks like double clicks, and I attached my receipt. A few days later, I received an email saying I would get a replacement if I took a picture of the broken mouse with its serial number written next to it. I complied and, a few days later, I received an email saying a replacement was on the way. Today it arrived.
This was the second time I had a problem with this mouse. In October 2011, the receiver stopped working and I filed a similar support message with Logitech and they sent me a new receiver. This time, Logitech sent a brand new mouse and receiver.
No one likes when stuff breaks. But it happens. Everything eventually breaks or fails to work properly. And herein lies a lesson.
Clients know stuff goes wrong. Orders get botched. You forget to return a call. Investments drop in value. People can deal with it — if you deal with them the right way. How you behave when stuff breaks is what matters.
Logitech made it easy for me find out that my broken mouse had a three-year warranty and it made it pretty easy to get a replacement. It fixed my problem.  
When you fix problems for clients, they become more loyal than ever. It builds trust. It's an opportunity.


Trying To Make Sense Of The Fall Of Mark Spangler; A Lesson In Ethics And Human Fallibility
Monday, May 21, 2012 15:15

Tags: advisor industry people | integrity | leadership

It’s hard to understand what happened to Mark Spangler. I covered last week’s indictment of Spangler of 23 counts of defrauding clients as straight news, but I actually know Mark personally, and the human tragedy is what gets me. That’s what I want to try to address today, along with an attempt at learning from the story of a fallen leader.

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A year after I started covering the financial advisor business in 1996, Mark became a leader at NAPFA. A raging bull market was under way. The World Wide Web was about to be embraced by the masses.
It was during the heady bull-market days of early 1997 leading up to the tech bubble that Spangler was president of NAPFA, and when he hijacked the entire industry’s agenda.
Spangler announced that NAPFA had trademarked the term “fee-only.” Practitioners who wanted to call themselves fee-only would have to be licensed by NAPFA, Spangler declared. It was a great story. This tiny band of 350 or so NAPFA renegades attempted to revolutionize the delivery of financial advice. Like so many revolutions, it failed.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, American Institute of Cerfified Public Accountants, Institute of Certified Financial Planners, and International Association for Financial Planning all issued public condemnations of NAPFA.
In the May 1997 issue of Dow Jones Investment Advisor (DJIA), I reported that all the major financial planning organizations “demanded that it (NAPFA) relinquish its trademark under threat of lawsuits.” The Interntional Association of Registered Financial Consultants petitioned the U.S. Patent Office to revoke the patent. 
Bob Clark, writing in his Editor’s Note on the eve of the 1997 NAPFA national conference, said “The entire industry, it seems, is holding its collective breath, waiting for the pronouncement that NAPFA has announced it will make.”
Spangler was the center of attention, a man on a mission to make the world better by advocating for fee-only financial planning.
Mark was brilliant. NAPFA’s members forced the industry into a conversation about the ethics of financial planners.
The CFP Board, according to an August 1997 story in DJIA, ruled against NAPFA and Spangler. The CFP Board issued a pronouncement saying that an advisor affiliated with a broke/dealer could advertise in the Yellow Pages saying he was “fee-only.” A story I wrote reported:
“In finding that the CFP who placed the ad was not in violation of the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, the CFP Board wrote, ‘CFP licensees provide a multitude of services, and the fact that the individual receieves commissions for some services does not impact his or her ability to provide other services for which he or she would be compensated by fees from the client alone.”
NAPFA and Spangler soon gave up on the fee-only trademark issue.
But it was a moment in financial planning history that I can’t just forget as Spangler faces indictment on 23 counts of defrauding clients.
Mark, during a phone call around 1998, told me about a company he was financing that was making batteries that would last longer than any other battery ever before. “It’s my hundred-bagger,” he said. I believed him. He believed it.
Within two or three years of Mark’s NAPFA chairmanship, I lost all contact with him. I’d see him once every year or two but he was distant. Now I understand why.
Last week’s Spangler indictment coverage shot in just a couple of days to the No. 2 spot Trending on A4A. Readers are drawn to the story if they’re in the business long enough remember the days I am speaking about, and younger advisors are undoubdtedly fascinated about a leader falling from grace.
Some will say Spangler was a con man from the start, but I don’t believe that. Spangler had the best of intentions and did not set out to do bad. He was a good man who somehow may have gone wrong.
That a man who once led a cause in which so many well-intentioned people believed now stands accused of defrauding clients is, above all, tragic. For his clients, it’s a financial tragedy. For Mark, and those close to him, it’s a human tragedy.
Rather than gawk at this unfortunate scene unfolding, it’s perhaps wise to see Mark Spangler’s tragic fall as a reminder that the pursuit of success must be based on good values, not just good intentions. You can’t let money or success get in the way of doing the right thing.
Erect a fence around your integrity, and guard it. Do not compromise on integrity ever. It’s never worth it.
Don’t lie. When you have bad news for clients, a wise advisor once told me many years ago, be the first to tell them. Not behaving this way can quickly open lead you down a slippery slope.

Spangler-1997-Dow Jones Investment Advisor Coverage

Nine Things To Abandon On The Road To Success
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:44

Tags: Advisor businesses | business strategy

The things we’re taught in school may or may not serve us well as we travel through life. Some of what we we're taught is a necessary component of learning certain skills. Others need to be let go after we go out on our own. In some cases, unlearning certain ways of thinknig may hold the keys to our ultimate success.

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Unlearning can be hard to do, especially when characteristics of older generations were focused on firmly entrenching stringent rules into our psyches. Success involvs trusting ourselves and our instincts. Here are nine things we learned which may not serve us well in our journies through adulthood and that, even at a later stage of life, might serve us well to abandon.


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