They’ve changed the rules of the game for retail stores, travel, movie going, music, dating and marketing to financial advisors.

In large part due to companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (FANG), as many as 70% of your financial advisor prospects will make a decision about doing business without ever speaking to you. Their decision will be based only your digital footprint.

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If you missed Part 1 of The Wealth Manager’s Perfect Storm of Risk, click here.

One of our biggest jobs as wealth managers is to protect our clients from unnecessary risk. The tools we use to diversify, allocate, rebalance and tax harvest have radically evolved in recent years.

In Part 1 of this blog series about risk, we talked about the “Perfect Storm” created by 3 intensifying risks that will impact your aging clientele’s retirement outcome:

  1. The 8-Year-Old Bull Market
  2. The End of the Bond Bull Market
  3. The Hidden Risks of Longevity

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The bull market marked its 8th anniversary this year. But as the Wall Street Journal reported March 8th, “Stocks Have Tripled Since Crisis, but Low Rates Are Still Squeezing Savers.”

Retirees have reacted to low interest rates by opting for higher-risk investment strategies, exposing themselves to volatility and sequence risk in an effort to make sure they don’t outlive their assets.

This week the Fed began to ratchet up rates. This might mark the end of the bull market in bonds. The Fed’s actions expose those retirees’ remaining fixed allocations to risks associated with rising rates.

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Dr. Wade Pfau’s research helps us understand that systematic withdrawal plans do not obviously outperform annuities as a way to meet retirement spending goals as well as providing support for contingencies and legacy. He adds:

“Advisors with aversion to income annuities think carefully about whether their advice is serving the best interest of their clients.”

– Dr. Wade D. Pfau, Retirement Income Showdown: Risk Pooling vs. Risk Premium, 2016 Professor of Retirement Income at The American College

Check out the complete paper here.

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Stories stick in our minds and connect with us at an emotional level. Good stories change our perspective. What’s really memorable about Super Bowl ads? Most would agree, it’s the story they tell.

Narratives matter but storytelling matters more.

Storytelling has become one of the latest marketing buzz words. Maybe we should say “over-used.” We find it used to describe everything from anecdotes to case studies.

There’s actually a process for creating genuine corporate brand stories that leverages the science of persuasion to motivate behavioral change. Most of us would credit the work of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell and his work, The Hero’s Journey, as creating the road map we marketers follow today.

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Research shows that most advisors are ignoring you. “More than one in two advisors never bother to review 90% or more of the marketing materials they’re flooded with, a Practical Perspectives survey of advisors reported.”

The new DOL fiduciary rule gives you a chance to reverse that trend.

Otto Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa patented the first bread slicer in the early 1900’s. He died bankrupt. It wasn’t until almost 1930 that Wonder Bread marketed the first packaged loaf of sliced bread. “The best idea since sliced bread.”

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We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

We have all been blown into a new reality. The DOL released its final rule re-defining the role of fiduciaries. Even if we click our heels 3 times, we’re not going back to the “suitability” standard. While this new rule applies to 401ks, IRAs and the like; we can’t really have our feet in different places so we should anticipate that the SEC, FINRA and state regulators will bring everything into synch with the DOL fiduciary standard for all lines of business. (Fact Sheet: Department of Labor)

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