How Scammers Steal Your Proprietary Materials

— and What You Can Do About It

Scammers abound. You’ll find them in your community, on the Internet, and everywhere in between.

A year ago, while researching technology specialists in the financial industry, I came across a website that seemed oddly familiar. It was a carbon copy of another site I had seen! Someone had stolen every page, every picture, the logo, and even a list of outsourcers from the first site.

I notified the real owner of the site, who thanked me for alerting her to this theft. Her web designer went through the steps to get the scammer’s site shut down.

Occasionally, I’ll find one of my articles on someone else’s site. Sometimes it shows me as the author, but other times they’ve stolen the credit. In both instances, the article was used without permission. Before a hosting service will take the page down, I have to sign a legal document showing that the article was mine.


Practice Management Monthly Recap May 2015

Welcome to the “Practice Management Monthly Recap” edition of my newsletter. So many of you complimented me on the content of the first two editions in this format that this format will become a monthly staple.  Today’s edition contains 2 months’ worth of my favorite practice management articles. We’re all caught up now!

Practice Management Monthly Recap contains articles that are worthy of your reading, thought-provoking ideas, and “to doing” items. Take 1 idea from just 1 article each month and “do it”. While all the articles are worthy of your reading, the articles at the top of each category, in my opinion, were the best of the best.

And here’s one of my tips if you’re considering sending similar content to your ideal clients, prospects or blog viewers. Match the categories you choose in your newsletter to that of your blog, printed newsletter, or membership site.   This way you’re being consistent across all your marketing.


FAs: 7 Helpful Resources To Refine Your Niche

Have you been thinking about refining or redefining your niche? Maybe you’re ready to consider niching as a way to have more time to work with clients? If so, you’ll find the blog articles and webinar resources below “more than helpful”.

158+ Advisor Niches: This is an ever expanding list of possible niches to get you thinking. They are sectioned off into three categories — what I call the 3 P’s: population and product (which most financial advisors think about when they are considering niching) AND passion (yours and your clients).

13 Reasons Why You Should Niche: This is a list of niching benefits gleaned over 16 years.

Working Smarter: Hitting YOUR Niche Wouldn’t you like to be SOUGHT OUT by prospects instead of constantly chasing them? If prospects aren’t finding YOU, you are missing your niche. This webinar training is free and available 24/7 includes our 3 P’s training, will walk you through the process of choosing a niche

Less IS MORE When It Comes to Running a Successful Practice.


Advisors: Say No & Set Boundaries for Freebie Seekers

Establishing where free ends and fee begins can be challenging, difficult and even nerve racking! However, learning the art of declining gracefully, when that’s really what you want to do, is an essential skill that helps you focus on what’s important in your practice.

“So, you’re a financial advisor…have any hot stock tips? What should I be buying? Can I take you out for coffee, pick your brain, and get your opinion on my portfolio?”

Sad but true, you’re probably shaking your head, rolling your eyes, or chuckling knowingly to yourself. If you only had a nickel for every time someone asked you for free, off-the-cuff advice, right? But be honest — how often do you set aside your reluctance, give in to a sense of obligation and actually answer the questions?

Even though I haven’t been a Wall Street trader for many years, the questions about tips never stop coming.


Financial Advisors: How are you using Skype in your business?

skypeThe platform is there for you to use in your business. Its technology that works well 95% of the time.

The technology platform is there for you to use in your business. Its works well 95% of the time.

You can use it from the comfort of your home or office. It’s a great platform that allows you to connect with clients more often when they are not local to you. Many business owners use Skype with clients who are local because it gives your clients the option of sitting in their backyard (or not sitting in traffic) while working with you.

Skype gives financial advisors the opportunity to meet with clients more often or for short amounts of time because no one is driving anywhere. Skype has phone and visual features that help you work smarter on the road. I use Skype as my backup business phone system (for less than $50 a year!) Skype is especially important if you have a virtual office — as it helps you serve clients without spending the funds for a co-working situation.


Wanted Female Pheasant Age, Doesn’t Matter


My wife and I lived in the area that is now called Poulsbo Place.  In an effort to find a new home, seven or so years ago, we resettled on Hamilton CT near 1st Ave.

We loved having the run of the place.  There are lots of open spaces with green grass to run across (ergo my nickname, “Road Runner”).  We found just enough trees, including some with low-lying branches, which made a great home for our children.  You see, we hide our nest on the ground, not up in trees.

Life was more than great.

Then it happened.  I lost my mate.

I don’t know where she went.  NO more do I frolic around the neighborhood.  Instead, I spend my days looking for Mrs. Road Runner.

Once, I found a shiny new black car, and I jumped on top and found her.  Every morning, somewhere between 6am and 9am, I’d meet that car and peck and peck at her but she never came to life.  


Since starting your small business, what have you learned about taxes?

Read what 10 experts are saying about the subject here.



Here’s #9  (from me!)  As seen on the My Corporation website

9. “The biggest tip I have regarding taxes is to hire a bookkeeper to update whatever accounting program your firm uses. Depending on the size of your small business, they can arrive at a business weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Small business owners are best left to work with clients, vs. do their own bookkeeping. Have the bookkeeper leave you with printed reports that will help you see where your money is going and look at the sales tax, income numbers, and employment taxes for accuracy. It’s so much easier to catch mistakes (yours or theirs!) when you look at the reports often. And your accountant or CPA can then take a copy of your file at year end to do your taxes, too.” –Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business



Outsource HR to Protect & Grow Your Financial Firm

Most financial advisors delay the task of hiring employees because learning about HR processes such as hiring, training, retaining, or firing employees takes time away from working with clients.  Implementing HR correctly (and legally) involves learning about various state and federal labor laws in order to set up HR processes, employee forms, and manuals.


When you’re ready to grow your firm with the right people and HR is not one of your strengths as an advisor-owner, it’s best to hire a professional HR consultant.  The right HR person is worth their weight in gold; while they do their job, you can grow your practice and keep your sanity.  HR consultants focus on your hiring needs and protect your organization from employee lawsuits, which can average $75k-$250k per event.  Having a dedicated HR professional’s help ensures that your employees understand their job responsibilities, how they will be evaluated, and what rules to follow.


8 Website Mistakes Make That Turn Away Serious Prospects

A prospect visits your financial advisory website after a friend gave them a referral to you.  They like what they see and would like to take the next step — to speak with you.  They never contact you.

Instead they leave your website annoyed (actually pissed off that they just wasted their time on your site).


You’ve probably made one (or more) of the 8 website mistakes listed below that annoy prospects and make them leave a website (even when they are looking to hire someone):

Have you given your website visitors all the ways they can contact you?

Have you given your website visitors all the ways they can contact you?


1) You’ve Made It a Hassle to Contact You #1

There is no “contact us”, “let’s talk”, or “schedule a call” link clearly positioned in the navigation bar. Or it’s there, but it’s hidden or so small that they can’t find it.  As a financial professional, you must reflect accessibility!