Posts Tagged ‘Tier One’
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
In Monday’s email, I talked about the positive impact of sending clients a regular email with a link to an article or video from a credible source. Not only does this keep you top of mind, but it reminds clients of the ongoing reading and research you’re doing on their behalf – and depending on the source can enhance your credibility.
What makes sources credible?
Over the years, I’ve talked to investors about the information sources that inspire confidence, and some clear patterns emerge:
1. Non-Canadian sources rank higher than Canadian sources.
This isn’t just part of our national inferiority complex – many investors take the view that they can easily access domestic sources themselves, they’re looking to their advisors for information that they couldn’t find on their own.
2. Business and financial sources score higher than broader based news organizations (with one striking exception).
3. Brand name recognition matters.
We live in a star driven society; brand recognition is just as important for information sources as for sports stars and entertainers.
4. The YouTube world has arrived.
An increasing number of investors prefer to get their content on video rather than by reading an article, and video packs an emotional punch that paper can’t match. (To see this, read an article about Warren Buffett and then watch him interviewed on Bloomberg or Charlie Rose. You’ll be amazed by the difference in impact.)
5. Internal publications are at the bottom of the credibility ladder.
Clients look to advisors for information that is relevant, timely, and also objective.
Fairly or not, investors generally put more credence in information that comes from a third party source than something produced by an advisor’s firm.
The information source hierarchy
Given these patterns, information sources fall into a clear hierarchy:
The Wall Street Journal: Even clients who have never read the WSJ know the name, it evokes objectivity. Note that the Journal is behind a paywall for much of its content, you can find special subscription offers to the online WSJ for $150 a year.
Financial Times and The Economist: While they don’t have the name brand recognition of the Wall Street Journal, they convey a high level of sophistication and credibility among more worldly investors.
The New York Times: The exception to the rule about financial specialist publications, another example of the power of a respected brand name. The NYT has moved to a subscription model, after you’ve read 20 articles in a month, but you can avoid this by Googling the article title and getting in the back door.
Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes and Fortune: While more business than investment focused, these also bring strong credibility.
Barrons: Great, in depth content in a publication that suffers from lower awareness, it can be very effective with more sophisticated clients, and sometimes the level of analysis offsets the lack of awareness. This is another publication that requires a subscription to access all its content.
Time and Newsweek: Generalist publications that are more effective among older clients who remember them in their glory days, these work less well with clients under 50.
Globe and Mail Report on Business: First on the credibility hierarchy among Canadian sources by a substantial margin, Canada’s equivalent of the New York Times.
National Post, Canadian Business: While lagging the Globe in credibility, these do have good awareness and strong followings.
In house publications: Sad but true, for the reasons outlined above.
Local newspapers: These suffer from over familiarity and lack of credibility as specialist resources on financial issues.
Video is a classic star-driven medium, what makes video credible is the expert talking rather than the source; Warren Buffett, Ben Bernanke and to a lesser extent Mark Carney , the head of the IMF (Christine Lagarde) or the World Bank (Robert Zoellick) will all get client’s attention.
The most prolific sources for video are CNBC and Bloomberg, the PBS interview programs Consuelo Mack and Charlie Rose can also be good sources of interesting interviews.
Making this work in your day
While providing great content, keeping track of the content in these information sources could be a full time job. Here’s a routine to make keeping on top of these manageable, recognizing that many advisors already spend a significant amount of time staying abreast of market developments.
1. Set aside 30 minutes each morning to review that day’s news
Carve out the time that works for you, whether it is getting up early at home or getting in the office half an hour early. What you read in that 30 minutes is your personal preference. As a starting point for your daily publications, I recommend the Globe and Wall Street Journal first, then the Financial Times and New York Times.
If you’re disciplined, you can scan the headlines in half an hour and read a few articles in their entirety; any longer pieces can be read at the end of the day or at home that night.
2. Set aside 90 minutes a week to look at weekly publications
Find a consistent time on the weekend to catch up on more in depth news. Here’s where you visit the online sites for publications such as The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes and Fortune. Again you’re scanning for important information, you can go back to read long articles later if time permits. This is also when you can look at the sites for Consuelo Mack and Charlie Rose to see whom they interviewed that week.
Given today’s volatile markets, investors want to know that their advisor is on top of important developments. By adopting a consistent routine such as the one I’ve described – and sharing some of the information you come across with your clients – you’ll be in a position that they’re working with the right advisor for today’s market environment.
Tags: Brand Name Recognition, Brand Recognition, Canadian Sources, Charlie Rose, Credence, Credible Source, Domestic Sources, Driven Society, Emotional Punch, Financial Sources, Impact 5, Inferiority, Information Sources, Internal Publications, Party Source, Source Hierarchy, Sports Stars, Tier One, Wall Street Journal, Warren Buffett
Posted in Dan Richards | Comments Off