Saturday, September 12, 2015

Save the date! T3 Technology Conference for Financial Advisors - Feb 10-12, 2016 - Florida

See You at FPA B.E. in Boston? Here's How to Find Marie Swift.

I'll be at the FPA B.E. Conference in Boston. Find me and say hello!

I'll be hanging around these booths -- all of which are Impact friends and clients, all of which offer some pretty fantastic solutions for independent advisors and allied institutions:

  • Vanare | NestEgg - Table #17
  • Client Driven Practice - Table #15
  • Scottrade Advisor Services - Booth 308
  • Strategy and Resources - Booth 302
  • Entreda - Table # TBD
  • - Table #TBD
  • Everplans Pro - Table #TBD

See the interactive map of the exhibit hall for visual of the booths and tables.

I will also be live tweeting some of the sessions including:

Retirement Roundtable - Sept 26 at 2:20 pm ET
Robert Powell, respected journalist

Cutting College Costs - Sept 26 at 4:30 pm ET
Lynn O'Shaughnessy, respected columnist

New Rules of Marketing and PR - Sept 26 at 8:00 am ET
Jill Schlesinger, respect journalist

Robo-Advisors Point / Counter Point - Sept 27 at 2:20 pm ET
Michael Kitces (Nerds Eye View), Rich Ellinger (Wealthminder), and Lex Sokolin (Vanare | NestEgg)

Investing Roundtable - Sept 27 at 3:55 pm ET
Advisor Partners CEO - Dan Kern

M&A and Succession Planning / Financing - Sept 27 at 5:00 pm ET
Marion Asnes (Idea Refinery) + Folks from Live Oak Bank and FP Transitions

Unfortunately, I have a flight on Monday September 28 -- I am heading right to Phoenix so I don't miss too much of the Bob Veres' Insider's Forum (and I am also speaking there alongside with my strategic partner Marion Asnes) -- or I would have loved to attend the Women and Investing session sponsored by Money Magazine and staffed by a host of awesome women I know (sorry ladies, alas a different duty calls). 

If you haven't signed up yet for the Insider's Forum, you can save $75 off your first registration with this code:


If you want to find me at FPA B.E. and prefer not to look for a "chance encounter" please stop by the Strategy and Resources booth #320 and leave a message with whoever is there. If you leave your cell phone number or mobile email, I will be in touch and we can meet up!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trends That Matter: Top Issues for Major Firms Today

Matt Lynch, Managing Partner at Strategy and Resources, LLC will discuss trends that affect major firms, from the “vendor identity crisis” to “regulatory pressure,” to “trends in advice” as well as “succession issues” and “micro-marketing.”

Matt's presentation will be followed by table discussions centered around the key trends, facilitated by Strategy and Resources' resource partners (industry thought leaders Marie Swift, Julie Littlechild, Marty Miller, Joni Dunn, Scott Taylor, Mitch Vigeveno, Bob Cogan and Marion Asnes), after which the group will share its conclusions.

WHEN:      Friday, September 25, 2015 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

WHERE:    FPA Major Firms Symposium in Boston, MA

WHAT:      Trends That Matter: Top Issues for Major Firms Today
                 ~ Featured presentation by Matt Lynch and strategic partners ~

WHO:        Executives from Major Firms in the Financial Services Industry

WHY:        Enjoy a full day of interesting dialog and presentations thanks to 
                  FPA and supporting sponsors shown below 

Email your RSVP request to Lucy Solomon at FPA

Monday, September 7, 2015

See you at Bob Veres' Insider's Forum - Sept 28-30 in Phoenix?

So this is cool ...

Marion Asnes and I will be tag teaming at Bob Veres' Insider's Forum this fall. We'll be delivering a CEO TED Talk called "Secrets of Branding in the Robo Age."

Hope to see you there!

If you'd like to save $75 off the first registration for your firm, use this code: 2015IMPACTCOMM

If you'd like to save $75 off the first registration for your firm, use this code: 2015IMPACTCOMM

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Finding Your Voice and Building Your Brand as a Financial Advisor Today

Based on a conversation I had a few months ago with Bob Veres and Marion Asnes, I have been thinking about and reading up on "voice" and "branding" with an eye toward bringing something fresh and helpful to the CEO TED Talk that Marion and I will be co-delivering at the Bob Veres Insider's Forum in September.

Subsequently, Bob wrote a nice piece on branding essentials for his Inside Information subscribers. Marion and I were quoted, as were some of my other favorite industry insightfuls (Steve Wershing: here's looking at you, kid). If you missed that issue, head right on over to and sign up for Inside Information -- it is one of the best publications in the financial advisory space, chock full of insights and good food for thought, written especially for financial advisors and others who are a part of that service ecosystem.

I then wrote a piece which I called "Being a Social Leader Online" -- which is all about building trust through authentic voice and transparent communications -- for They renamed the piece "Why Financial Advisors Can't Ignore Social Media" -- which is true, but was not really, to my thinking anyway, the focus of the piece. Never-the-less, I know a bunch of financial advisors and allied others read it because I saw a ton of conversation and energy happen on Twitter. So that's good. But the whole point of that piece is that high-trust leaders are those who are willing to show their personality -- and even their vulnerability.

I subsequently had a conversation with some business colleagues who left the corporate tech and ad agency worlds and now basically ghostwrite blog posts and long-form LinkedIn Pulse posts (along with corresponding social media posts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter) for financial advisors. They have developed this thing they call "Voice Science" so that when they write the pieces for their clients, they actually CAPTURE that person's authentic voice. 

I'm excited about the free webinar they are doing for Friends of Impact this Tuesday, August 11, at noon CT. 

The big idea here is not to sanitize things so much. Yes, be professional. Yes, do a spell check. Yes, think before you post. But be your true and authentic self. To do that, though, you should really think about who that true and authentic self IS ... and if you are a part of a team (or a team of one) working as a business then there needs to be some dialog and consensus on what your "brand" is before you can synch up your "voice." 

One more helpful tidbit: Bob and his team at Insider's Forum asked me to come up with a guest post for their blog. Since the whole topic of "brand" and "voice" have been on my mind more than ever recently, I wrote a piece called "Finding Your Voice Online." I hope you will read it and do some of the exercises I suggest. 

I hope to see all of you at the 2015 Insider's Forum where we can continue this "brand" and "voice" conversation. 

To save $75 off your first registration, enter 2015IMPACTCOMM

Final thought for today: As I was following some links on Twitter, I stumbled upon this article by a content marketing guy named Marcus Sheridan. He says that we can never REALLY find our true and authentic voice ... because it is changing all the time

His call to action is good:

From this day forward, stop worrying about “finding your voice.” And if you do find it, throw it back in the river so you can find it again later. Finding is not the goal here. This is about GROWTH, pure and simple. And trust me when I tell you that if you’re growing, happiness will follow.

My take: We must all constantly reinvent ourselves. If we do that, I submit that in addition to personal growth and happiness, our business growth and happiness will also multiply.

So, ask yourself regularly: 
"Who am I? And why should others care?" 

Challenging questions, to be sure, but well worth the contemplation. Time for me to go on a long walk and think about those questions myself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Marketing Your Financial Services Firm in the Digital World

Free Webinar: 
Marketing Your Financial Services Firm in a Digital World

On September 2, 2015, Marie Swift, founder of PR and marketing firm Impact Communications, and business colleagues Blane Warrene, co-founder of technology consulting firm QuonWarrene, and Julie Edge, co-founder of custom content creation firm Creelio, spoke about marketing your financial services firm in the digital world.

Download the recording and you will learn:

- Why People Share Online and Off
- How to Create Compelling Content
- Why Being Seen as a Leader Online is Vital
- How to Stay Relevant in Digital Age
- How Mobile Connectivity is Reshaping Consumer Mindsets
- Tools for Measuring, Monitoring and Managing Social Media

In short engaging "spotlight appearances", Marie, Blane and Julie each presented their best thinking on the topics above. Marie fielded questions from the audience at the end of the three mini-presentations.

Download or watch the recorded webinar now:

Feel free to share with interested others.

See you next time!
Marie Swift and Friends

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Building Your Business with Social Media - See You in DC July 14?

Looking to jazz up your summer?

Join me for the Women Adviser Summit in Washington, DC on July 14 for a day that will reinvigorate your business!

My session:


Presenter: Marie Swift 
Moderator: Marion Asnes

You know about LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks—but are you using them effectively? This session will give you step-by-step advice on:

  • Building a social media plan that revs up your marketing, with compliance in mind
  • Branding yourself on social media
  • Promoting your events
  • Gaining confidence in your online “voice”
  • Tools to help spread your message, without devouring your time 

The rest of the agenda looks really good, too. 

The InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit, a one-day workshop held in three cities, is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female adviser who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level.
Attend and:
- Learn how to build a more profitable practice
- Discover how to help clients deal with life transitions
- Find out what your professional personality style says about you
- Get the tips you need to make social media a driving force in your business
InvestmentNews is dedicated to empowering women in the workforce, and they’re pleased to announce a partnership with Dress for Success. A portion of all registration fees will be donated to the non-profit organization that promotes economic independence of disadvantaged women, by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

GuideVine Launches Summer Scoop, Dishes Out Useful Financial Tips

“Summertime – and the livin’ is easy,” or at least it should be when it comes to getting simple answers to common financial questions. That’s why GuideVine is launching a campaign to provide the general public with daily “scoops” of useful information in short 1-2 minute videos, easy to view no matter where you are.

Follow them on any of their social media pages - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus - to get the #SummerScoop2015!

All the content comes straight from expert financial advisors who live and breath these topics. Simply press “play” each day, and by August 31 you’ll know a lot more about how to manage your finances!

Want to help the financial literacy cause? Share this content on social media!

Watch Introductory Video Now

Learn More at

Risk and Investing - How to Better Communicate the Trade Offs to Your Clients

When it comes to managing expectations and market / risk perceptions with their clients, financial advisors have their work cut out for them. I sat down with five industry insightfuls while at the TD Ameritrade LINC Conference earlier this year. Their comments got me nodding my head yes over and over again. 

Watch the video highlights clip and download the full transcript at

 Click to download and watch now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cloud Technology: Blessing or Curse for Financial Advisors?

The rise of cybersecurity attacks, especially involving financial institutions, is cause for growing concern among today’s advisors – for themselves, as well as their clients. How can advisors adjust to the risks and concerns over cybersecurity while still accessing the benefits of cloud technology?

While at Schwab IMPACT in Denver, I sat down with five financial services professionals for a 60-minute roundtable discussion. We discussed cloud technology, including challenges and opportunities for financial advisors. You can access several videos and a white paper transcript by clicking the image below. 

This is a "must read" for financial advisors. 

Click here now.

 Click to access videos and white paper.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

See What's New on Advisor's Think Tank - Investing Roundtable Now Live!

It is such an honor to be able to sit and talk with industry insightfuls such as those I selected to be a part of my last roundtable centered on the investment landscape and what financial advisors should be thinking about in 2015.

Visit to view videos and download the white paper transcript now.

Why Client Engagement Strategies Fail - Julie Littlechild, Spenser Segal and Marie Swift Weigh In

Did you miss this special Fireside Chat? 

Scroll down on this blog and you will find links to download the recording!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Downloads from Client Engagement Webinar - here

We missed you at our fireside chat.

Here's how to get the information you missed!

To watch the recording:

To download the slides:

To learn more about the ActiFi Client Engagement program:

Follow us on Twitter for other conversations and breaking news: 
handles - @spenseractifi @jlittlechild @marieswift
hashtag - #actifiengagement

Additional information can be found at:

We look forward to hearing your client engagement success stories when next we meet!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Client Engagement Strategies Fail - Join Us Live on February 17, 2015!

Why do client engagement strategies fail? On February 17th, I'll be asking Spenser Segal and Julie Littlechild that very question and several more. 

We all know that client engagement initiatives can result in growth and increased profitability, but they often fail to achieve the intended goals. The two main reasons are (1) a lack of meaningful input from clients, and (2) poor execution.

On February 17th, Julie Littlechild, founder of Advisor Impact and If Not Now Research, and Spenser Segal, founder of ActiFi, and I will dialog about the problems and the solutions. 

Don't miss this special Fireside Chat!

Date:   February 17, 2015
Time:  2:00 ET / 1:00 CT / Noon MT / 11:00 PT

Free to register but space is limited. 

Register now and you will receive the recording automatically, but we also hope you will attend in real time that day so that you can ask questions and participate in this important conversation.

 Register now to attend free and/or to automatically receive the recording afterwards.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Financial Advisors Can Leverage the Voice of the Client to Build a Better Business

ActiFi and Advisor Impact Introduce New Client Engagement Program

Powerful Strategic Alliance Leverages Voice of the Client for Deeper Relationships and More Effective Business Development

Have you heard about ActiFi Client Engagement? This unique program combines the power of robust client feedback with the tools, support and resources to build more engaged and profitable client relationships. ActiFi Client Engagement is being powered by the Client Audit, Advisor Impact's industry leading client feedback program.  

ActiFi Client Engagement will take client feedback to the next level, layering in coaching, practice management resources and technology to help financial advisory firms take meaningful action. The program will be offered directly to individual advisors as well as through broker-dealers, custodians and TAMP's as part of a robust, integrated offer that links client feedback directly to advisor workflow, positively impacting efficiency and the bottom line.

"Working with a firm like ActiFi allows us to increase the value for advisors, while remaining focused on our core capability, which is helping advisors gather client feedback," said Julie Littlechild, founder of Advisor Impact. "In many respects, ActiFi represents an exciting future for client feedback and client engagement because they can provide the in-depth consulting and technology integration that will lead to more significant return-on-investment for advisors and their firms."

The program offers a choice of three levels – Impact, Innovate, and Transform – so advisors can choose how best to match their needs and desired commitment levels.  It will also provide access to other features offered through the ActiFi software suite. 


Financial Advisors and Allied Institutions:

Read more on PR Newswire


Listen to the Audio Interview with Spenser Segal and Julie Littlechild explaining WHY this is such important news!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What keeps advisors returning to Peak Advisor Alliance Excell Meetings?

Ron Carson, Peak AdvisorAlliance, and advisor Bryan Sweet, Sweet Financial Services, catch up during a special Peak Referral appreciation dinner at Carson’s lovely Omaha home.

A community of elite advisors and allied institutions gathered in Omaha this fall for the 27th Excell Meeting. Hosted by Peak Advisor Alliance, one of the country’s leading practice management programs, and Ron Carson, a perennial favorite on both the Barron’s and LPL top advisors lists, the semi-annual advisor love-fest drew a throng of nearly 400 participants to what might now be deemed the new city of brotherly love.

Having now attended several Excell Meetings, I can attest to the unique atmosphere, high energy and strong sense of camaraderie among the participants. But to better understand an insider’s appeal for this community, I spoke with Minnesota-based advisor Bryan Sweet of Sweet Financial Services. Sweet is a long-time Peak member and one of Raymond James’ most successful advisors.

Read my conversation with Bryan Sweet.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When Portfolio "Crash Testing" and Goals-Based Financial Planning Merge

This interview with Bill Winterberg, founder of fpPad, and Daniel Satchkov, CFA, president of RiXtrema, a portfolio crash testing system for financial advisors and financial institutions, while at the T3 Enterprise conference in Atlanta last week reminds me of ...

A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup: The marriage of portfolio crash testing with financial planning goals is a perfect combination. Totally delicious!

Satchkov gives a shout out to Robert M. Wyrick, Jr., managing member of MFA Capital Advisors in Houston; Wyrick's suggestion for the marriage created the initial development spark.

Watch this 2 minute video now:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What to do in the Face of a Social Media Crisis

In my weekly reading, I came across this rather good Infographic from 360PR. In the spirit of archiving good content, I am posting that infographic here. Hopefully, as a thoughtful financial services professional, you never have to do more than simply monitor and manage your online presence ... and have a plan "just in case."

Please also take a look at my articles for the industry publications listed below:

Marketing and Practice Management Advice for Financial Advisors 
Marketing and PR Perspectives for Financial Institutions and Allied Professionals
I'll be at a number of industry conferences in 2015 so tackle me and say hello!

Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all the wonderful conversations and friends I've made the pst 25 years in the financial services industry.

Yours in Creative Alliance,

Marie Swift

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Branding Your Financial Advisory Firm - Advice from Diane MacPhee and Marie Swift

Did you miss the webcast today on branding your financial advisory firm? We had a very robust andspirited conversation! I was joined by advisor coach extraordinaire' Diane MacPhee and the ever-delightful Maggie Crowley, marketing manager for Advisor Websites. We had so many questions, we couldn't get to them all. So I offered to put up this blog post and open up the discussion board here.

Maggie Crowley will be posting a link to the webcast recording (check the comments section).

And if you have more questions to ask Diane, Maggie or me, post them here and we will respond.

Thanks again for a great session everyone!
Marie Swift, Diane MacPhee and Maggie Crowley

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Candid Conversation with David Booth of DFA and Alex Potts of Loring Ward

Imagine sitting in on a candid discussion with David Booth and Alex Potts as they talk about what keeps them up at night, robo-advisors, ETFs, lessons learned five years post the Great Recession trough, and more. I had the privilege of doing just that ... and I am bringing a transcript of that conversation to you via 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Catch Up with Ron Carson and Marie Swift!

Looking for a stellar conference? Check out this article written by Dr. David Lawrence and published by Financial Advisor magazine, August 2014. Dr. Lawrence, the "efficiency doctor", says the Peak Excell Meetings take a "decidedly different approach."

The concept of Peak is to bring a group of successful advisors together in a sharing environment with the goal of making those advisors even more successful. Come to get inspired. Leave with ideas that will transform your practice.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Which is Best: Bond Mutual Funds or an Individual Bond Portfolio?

Get the answers you need to make the best decisions for your clients.

Attend Bob Veres' Insiders Forum in Dallas.

Don't miss this session from bond analytic experts Brian Battle and Jason Stuck from 
Performance Trust Analytics Group.

To register for the Bob Veres' Insider's Forum visit

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finom Helps Investors Find Financial Advisors Based on Performance, Not Platitudes

First-of-its-Kind Platform Helps People Find, Meet and Hire the Best Investment Advisor for Them Based on Verified Performance Data, Personalized Goals and Preferences

Finom, the pioneer in the analysis of investment adviser performance, and the only free decision-making tool that helps consumers find the best financial advisers based on personalized needs, goals and adviser performance track record, announced today the launch of its web platform available now at The company is rolling out its service in the Chicago market with plans to expand its offering to additional markets later this year.

“Until now, consumers have not had access to data, technology or tools to properly assess advisers in an objective and personalized manner. Choosing an investment adviser is one of the most important decisions investors will ever make,” said Aziz Lalljee, co-founder and co-CEO of Finom. “Instead of handing over your entire investment portfolio and retirement savings to someone based on a tip from a friend during a round of golf, we believe consumers should be able to make informed, data-driven decisions based on transparency and trust.”

The free, easy-to-use website gives users the ability to search, compare and meet with investment advisors who best match their needs. Users create a personalized investment profile based on their responses to a five-minute risk assessment and adviser-fit questionnaire related to age, geography, investable assets, financial commitments, investing history, risk tolerance and goals. The platform then returns a list of matching advisers with detailed qualitative profiles and risk-adjusted performance measures for each adviser. Adviser profiles list services offered, client types, investment approach, fee schedule, services offerings, areas of expertise and firm history.

Finom’s powerful proprietary platform includes a rating ("Enthusiastic," "Strong" or "Reserved") of each adviser tailored to the user’s specific investment objectives and preferences. The platform even simulates how the user’s investments would have fared, after fees, under each suggested adviser's management, thus empowering financial consumers with actionable and personalized intelligence for the first time ever.

Users can sort and view profiles, compare up to three advisers side-by-side and choose to meet with as many advisers as they like, free of charge. If a user decides to hire an investment adviser found on Finom, the company will charge the selected adviser a fee that cannot be passed on to the client per Finom’s agreement.

All advisers on the Finom platform have gone through regulatory checks and a robust screening process; they are all independent, fee-only investment advisers who are registered with either the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or with their appropriate state regulator(s). Advisers on the platform have provided Finom with client-specific, monthly holdings data for the universe of their client accounts, typically over 5-7 years and updated quarterly. Finom analyzes, displays, and scores historical risk-adjusted returns across a range of investment horizons, risk tolerances and asset classes.

Finom aims to do for financial advisers what Morningstar did for mutual funds – provide comprehensive and rigorous intelligence on adviser practice and performance – thereby empowering consumers to make a more educated and informed decision when selecting a financial adviser to meet and potentially hire.

Finom, a pioneer in financial adviser comparison technology, brings radical transparency and analytical rigor to the financial adviser search and selection process. Finom helps consumers search, find and meet with investment advisers in a personalized, rigorous, and transparent way - with unprecedented access to performance and practice information. Advisers are featured based on a user’s specific investment goals and preferences, and assessed and rated with analytical rigor. The company was founded by David Gomel and Aziz Lalljee in 2011 out of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and is headquartered in Chicago. Finom Financial LLC is registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For more information, visit