Guest post: “Personalized Risk Management Planning–A Great New Business Opportunity”

Risk management is one of Mike Carpenter’s passions, as I quickly realized when I met him. His guest post discusses how risk management planning offers opportunities for financial advisors and others who wish to grow their businesses.

Personalized Risk Management Planning

– A Great New Business Opportunity

By Michael T. Carpenter

Financial advisors, wealth managers, and asset management firms can attract more assets and grow their business more easily by meeting the enormous unmet need for user-friendly, nontechnical, personal risk management planning.

Everyone’s Worried About Risk

“Risk” is THE word of the day. It’s on everyone’s mind. Client-centered, personalized risk management planning is a massive unmet need.  Increasing concerns about risk pervades all aspects of our lives. As we’ve recently and so tragically seen in Japan, we can’t even count on the powerful forces of the earth and oceans not to reach out and surprise us with devastating consequences.

Today the entire world seems to be an unguided missile rocketing off into the future with more speed than control. Things that aren’t supposed to happen are happening more and more frequently.  These increasing uncertainties and uncomfortable feelings of the risks controlling us rather than us controlling them, have led to increased anxieties, fears, and even more concerns about risk.  This unsettling environment presents both an enormous challenge and a wonderful opportunity for those of us in the investment business to help investors better understand and manage risk. However, capitalizing on it requires we look at our business, at risk, and risk management in a new way, and offer a more holistic, user friendly, non technical (less quantitative) and more practical solution.

Knowledge, Understanding, and Preparation Are the Solution

The key to converting investor concerns, anxieties and fears about uncertainty and risk from business frustrations and impediments into powerful business building forces is to follow through on the observation made by thought leader Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Over 150 years ago he stated,  “Knowledge is that antidote to fear.”  The power of his insight is the simple fact that risks we’ve identified, thoroughly understand, and are fully prepared for cannot harm us, and as a result carry much less anxiety. Better identification, knowledge and understanding of risks, and how to plan for and manage them more effectively, in both our clients’ minds and their portfolios is the answer. The big challenge for most investors is that the vast majority of them don’t really understand the true nature of risk or how to manage it effectively. That critical understanding is the key first step to minimizing their anxiety, fear, and emotional decision making and successfully executing risk management planning at the portfolio level.

Meet an Enormous Unmet Need

Who can individual investors seek out to help them identify, understand, more effectively plan for and manage the many risks they face in our increasingly less certain world?  Who can help them identify, prioritize and address the risks they’re most worried about and those they should be concerned with but aren’t? Who can help them determine which risks to totally avoid, which risks to accept and manage, and the risks they can accept outright, while also helping them make necessary adjustments over time?

Right now the answer to that question is “NO ONE.” Insurance providers can be very helpful in providing casualty and life insurance solutions. However insurance addresses only a few of the many risks (both financial and non financial) investors face.

A 6-Step Implementation Process

Of course many people, including your clients, have financial plans. But how many have personal risk management plans? Doesn’t living and investing successfully in the most rapidly changing period in human history require both?  The comprehensive identification and assessment of the risk faced be each client, very early in the planning process, makes risk management planning, investment policy, asset allocation, and portfolio design easier and more effective.

The heart of this change is to insert a thorough personal risk identification and analysis session into the beginning of your client fact-finding and discovery process. The steps go in this order:

1. Discussion. This is not a brief, simple risk quiz or a cursory questionnaire. This is a detailed, two-way interview and identification by investors of the risks that concern them now and in the future.

2. Follow-up. Continue the discussion of the specific risks of greatest concern of each client, as well as the risks that you know clients will likely face and should plan for, even if those risks are not mentioned initially by the client.

3. Prioritization. Help the client to prioritize those risks based on the potential personal impact, even if the likelihood of the risk(s) occurring is low. Also, agree on risk management strategies for each risk.

4. Agreement. Gain agreement about the importance of integrating those risks and risk management strategies into the financial planning & asset allocation process

5. Document. Create a written & signed personalized risk management plan

6.Monitoring. Establishing a regular, formal risk management plan review process, to be integrated into  your normal  investment or financial plan review process.

Give Yourself a Competitive Advantage

Offering comprehensive, personalized, user friendly, non-technical risk management education and planning, alongside financial and investment planning will meet a critical need.  It will also convert the uncertainties and anxieties created by the accelerating pace of worldwide change into powerful business building forces, instead of the business impediments they are now.

That enormous and growing unmet need represents a wonderful opportunity for investment sponsors, wealth managers, and financial advisors to enhance their services and their business.  Forty years ago comprehensive financial planning was in its infancy, now it’s mainstream and advisors who don’t provide it are considered unethical.  Today comprehensive risk management planning is where financial planning was in the 1970s. The only difference is that the accelerating pace of worldwide change, and the increased uncertainty, risks, and opportunities it generates insures that strategic risk management planning will become mainstream much more quickly.

Offering strategic risk management planning before it becomes mainstream will provide you an attractive and powerful competitive advantage.

Michael T. Carpenter is author of the advisor and investor book The “Risk-Wise” Investor- How To Better Understand and Manage Risk, published globally by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  ( ).  He consults, conducts presentations, workshops and seminars on risk management for boards, business people, investment management firms, financial advisors, and their clients, and can be reached at

Guest post: “Articles You Publish in Financial Trade Publications Will Impress Prospects”

PR expert Beth Chapman has years of experience helping financial advisors. Plus, she’s a longtime friend and one of my first guest bloggers. It’s a pleasure to welcome her back to my blog in response to a comment by one of my Facebook followers.

Articles You Publish in Financial Trade Publications Will Impress Prospects:

You can post them on web sites and include them in prospecting kits

By Lisbeth Wiley Chapman

Contacting trade publications with good story ideas can be a straight path to great clips that enhance your reputation and increase good referrals.

Yes, trade publications speak to your competitors.  Understood.  Stay open to the idea that the result of contributing an article to a trade publication gives you a better opportunity to impress clients, prospects and your centers of influence than a one-paragraph quote in a national publication, as ego-boosting as that can be.

Many advisors are disappointed when rebuffed by their local newspapers.  The usual explanation for not taking original material is that they would have to do it for all your competitors.  This has some truth to it, as the local newspapers need the advertising of you and your competitors.  Also, local papers use syndicated columnists regularly.  It is far better use of your time to contact syndicated columnists, whose work appears in your local newspapers, and convince them to use you as a source on a story idea you are providing.

Contribute an Article and Bask in the Glow

There are numbers of trade publications that want your input

You will find many articles in your financial trade publications, both print and online, that have been written by a peer or colleague.  The publications themselves are always looking for the thoughts of those people in the field who are dealing with the issues of financial planning every day.

Editors are particularly interested if you are doing something differently and it is working. Some topics that have appeared recently in the trade pubs that were authored by advisors, have included the following:

·  How to manage ethics training for the entire firm.

·  The financial issues faced by senior couples who choose to marry

·  The hidden fees in group annuity/401(k) plans.

In each case, the advisor, after receiving proper reprint permission, was able to use this information by posting it on their web site, sending it via an e-mail campaign, printing it and including it in prospecting kits, and using it as a handout at a seminar.

The challenge, of course, is to find a topic that the publications have identified as important to their readers.  Your persuasive cover e-mail to the editor will specifically state why this issue is of interest to their readers and why you are an expert on this issue.

In addition to the financial advisory trades, don’t forget that all of your best clients have earned their wealth in an industry or profession.  If you have a wealthy contractor, search for publications that speak to other contractors.  If you have a large percentage of doctors, look for publications that are read by the doctors in multiple-physician practices who need help with employee benefits, 401(k) plans, and insurance.

Articles in Prospecting Packages Create Trust

Articles that you have written get attention from prospects

Think about handing a prospect a marketing package that has numerous articles that you have written.  Prospects are not likely to notice that the article has appeared in a financial trade such as Investment Advisor.  What they notice is that not only were you smart enough to write it, but you also were perceived as expert by the publication, or they would not have published it.

You are aware that most clients will now stealthily cruise through your web site before talking with you.  A web site that has your authored articles posted or linked back to the publication adds an extra amount of shine to your reputation.  You are using the third-party credibility that comes when a publication deems you to be an expert.

Your clients want to trust you.  They want to be able to turn to you for advice, but first they have to be convinced.  There is no better way than offering your prospects articles you have written.  They go a long way in convincing a prospect to trust you.

Use Your Articles as Requests for Referral

Send your clients, your prospects and those professionals who are positioned to send you referrals copies of the articles you have had published.

A cover letter can go something like the following:

Dear Client:  Recently, I was quoted in (name of publication), a publication that goes to XXX,XXX financial professionals, on the topic of (give the title of the article and explain its premise.  If it is an online publication, give them the topic title and the entire URL.  Consider sending this by e-mail so accessing the article is just one click.)

You have already made the decision that working with a financial advisor is important to you by becoming a client of this firm.  Please pass the attached copy of the article to your friends who may be struggling with the difficult decision about whom to trust with their financial affairs.    If you need additional copies, please call our the office (phone number.) We would be happy to speak with your friends and colleagues about any financial issues, whether a single pressing question, or a need for comprehensive financial planning.

Thank you for your business and enjoy the article.

Requesting referrals and at the same time offering important information that educates your clients as well as their friends who may become clients, is an important strategy for your firm.

Career strategies for wealth managers without a “book of business”

“I can’t get a job because I don’t have a book of business.”

I’ve heard many CFA charterholders in the field of wealth management say their career prospects are limited by their lack of clients who will follow them to a new employer. If you’re in this fix, I have some suggestions for you, thanks to a lively discussion on the CFA Institute’s LinkedIn Group. I’ve quoted only LinkedIn Group members who gave me their permission.

The wealth manager’s dilemma

Sometimes your technical skills aren’t enough to attract potential employers, especially now.

“When the times are good, the industry will place more value on the technical skills because of more demand for labor. When the times are bad, the industry will place more value on soft skills because of more demand for assets to manage in order to pay for labor,” says James H. Barker, Jr., CFA, managing director of Haynes Barker Investment Management in Tennessee.

The skills necessary to earn your CFA charter and to manage money for individuals and families won’t build your client base. At least not overnight. So what can you do if you need a job, but lack that all-important “book”?

In the near term, you can pursue one of the following courses.
1. Look for a company–most likely a large company–that hires specialists.
2. Become a consultant or start your own business using your analytical skills.
3. Become a great networker and marketer.

Career strategy #1: Work for a large company

If you want to focus solely on your technical skills, look for a company–most likely a large company–that hires specialists.

Ted Everett, CFA, a fellow Boston Security Analysts Society member, says “Larger firms accept a higher rate of turnover in clients as a necessary evil of their firm size but offset it with efforts by dedicated sales teams. They are more apt to add personnel to fill a gap in coverage without the portfolio manager having to bring a book with him/her. ”

Barker says, “Small companies will desire their employee/owners to be proficient with both technical and soft skills. Large companies will desire their employees to provide skills for what each is specifically hired for. To survive the bad times with a large company, you better have a book of business or the ability to communicate effectively to retain business and build for the future.”

Career strategy #2: Start your own business

You can become a consultant or start your own business using your analytical skills. This will require some marketing–but not necessarily asset-gathering–skills. However, consulting and some businesses don’t require as much of a “book of business” as a wealth management company would seek.

I know some consultants who work for only one client at a time. It’s a lot like having a regular job. The downside? These consultants are always looking for the next gig–or they have down time when they’re not making money. I’ve experienced this at times as a freelance writer. It helps to have an emergency fund to tide you over.

Here’s what David Malone, CFA, a fellow Boston Security Analysts Society member, says about his business.

I have found that without my own book, I cost too much, at least today. To solve this problem I started Wintergreen, which focuses on stock research versus asset-gathering. If a CIO is under cost pressure and cannot hire enough staff, I can fill the temporary stock picking needs on a contract basis.

This eliminates my need to gather assets and allows me to focus on what I love. I enjoy networking and informing CIOs and other managers that I can help them.

Career strategy #3: Become a great networker

If you hone your networking skills, you’ll be in touch with the right people once the right job becomes available. You’ll also have a better shot at developing the all-important book of business.

“Part of the answer, in my opinion, is to work on networking and telling one’s own story. This is not comfortable for many of us, but it is the only way to really participate in the market for knowledge work,” says David Robertson, CFA, CEO of Arete Asset Management in Baltimore, Md.

Other CFA charterholders recommend the following:

  • Taking public speaking or sales classes–I notice the New York Society of Security Analysts sponsors free Toastmasters meetings
  • Giving talks or seminars
  • Joining a chamber of commerce or other local organizations
  • Going wherever you can to meet prospective clients and referral sources

Should the CFA Institute and local societies play a larger role?

Several LinkedIn Group members suggested that the CFA Institute should more actively publicize the value of the CFA credential for wealth management. There’s also interest in local CFA societies helping members to develop their soft skills.

Financial advisor prescription by Statman evokes strong response

“Teaching clients the science of human behavior” is how financial advisors can help clients to overcome the fears that prompt bad decisions, writes Meir Statman in “Client fears and financial advisor services,” his guest post on my blog.

That may be easier said than done. As financial technology blogger Bill Winterberg said, “For a minority of clients, I think teaching the science of behavior may work in changing habits, but for the overwhelming majority, primitive survival instincts are seemingly impossible to counteract.”

I asked some experts–Rick Kahler, Justin Reckers, and Kathleen Burns Kingsbury–to contribute brief reactions to this controversy. Here are their responses.

Kahler: Partnering with a financial psychologist helps

Based on my experience with financial psychology, it is doubtful that all it would take for most investors to change their financial behaviors when feeling fear is more information about how the brain works. While more information will be enough for some investors to change their destructive, it really won’t help the majority.

Changing harmful financial decisions is similar to changing the behavior of any addiction. More information on alcoholism won’t be enough to change the destructive behavior of most alcoholics. Knowing you have a drinking problem is certainly the first step, but “knowing” isn’t “doing.” The same principals go for over-eaters or over-spenders. More information is rarely enough.

It takes a deeper “re-wiring” of the brain to create new neuropathways to change the manner in which we respond to difficult emotions, like fear. There are many tools available to help people do this, the most well-known being various forms of psychotherapy and group psychotherapy.

This is an example where a financial planner who partners with a financial psychologist can have such a positive impact on hurtful financial behaviors.

Rick Kahler is president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D. He writes the Financial Awakenings blog and is a pioneer in the evolution of integrating financial psychology with traditional financial planning profession.

Reckers: Professionals who work directly with clients will make the practical breakthroughs

I think an understanding of the science of human behavior is valuable in any setting. I do not believe “teaching clients the science of human behavior” will do much to counteract economically “irrational” behavior in financial decision-making. This is especially true when the decisions are made in the midst of emotions like fear or greed. Emotional biases are difficult if not impossible to dispel. They often require an advisor to adapt their own behavior to help work with the client’s emotional decision-making rather than try to change them. Advisors must remember that the fear exhibited by their clients is a reflection of the individual’s financial reality. I agree with Statman when he says “the fear of clients is normal.” I also believe one of the most important functions of an investment advisor is to help clients make fully informed decisions whether beset by fear or not. So I do not think the term characterizes what we should be concerned about. We will return to bull market territory and the emotions with which advisors contend will shift from fear to greed.

The real revolutionary contribution to Behavioral Finance will be a framework for advisors to apply concepts while working with clients. This framework will be developed by professionals who actually work with clients. The contributions of Statman, the Libertarian Paternalism of Thaler, the Heuristics of Kahneman & Tversky, the experiments and research of Ariely and so on, are amazing, important and exciting. But they mostly miss the next step: application to real individual lives. (Note: I have not read Statman’s book in its entirety. I will.) Otherwise we are left to contemplate whether “teaching clients the science of human behavior” will make any difference in how they actually behave at the moment of truth. I believe calculated interactions, interventions and nudges are necessary to truly have a positive effect on the financial decision-making of our clients.

Justin A. Reckers CFP, CDFA, AIF, is director of financial planning at Pacific Wealth Management. He writes with clinical psychologist Robert Simon, Ph.D., in the Practice Builder section of and on their blog

Kingsbury: Rationality vs. “Fight or flight” response

Meir Statman’s prescription for financial advisors is right on the money.  Clients do react, and often overreact, when emotions are involved in financial decision-making.  Numerous behavioral finance experiments, some mentioned in Statman’s blog post, show how rational thought is overruled by a desire to minimize the pain of a financial loss.

Neuroscience tells us that the brain actually processes financial losses differently than gains. This results in clients experiencing the anticipation or actual pain of loss three times more than the joy of a financial windfall.  Scans of the brain tell us that the limbic system, normally accessed during sudden or traumatic events, is used when facing a potential loss. In contrast, the frontal lobes, the part of your brain where rational thought and executive functions,  processes financial gains.  By knowing this science and educating clients about it, financial advisor can help counteract the fight-or-flight response when fear is part of the equation by offering rational, longer-term solutions.

Understanding behavioral finance and the human side of financial advising is paramount to offering client-centric services.  Not only will this knowledge help the advisor in guiding his client, it will empower the client to understand his own psychology and use the advisor more effectively.  Like it or not, all of us are flawed, emotional human beings.

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury is founder and CEO of KBK Wealth Connection, a company passionate about helping financial services professionals and their clients master their money mindset through wealth psychology. She is the author of a new audio program called Creating Wealth from the Inside Out.

Financial advisor prospecting: Not all non-clients are the same

Getting new clients for your investment or wealth management business is always on your mind. But there are so many prospects and so little time. One way to narrow your scope is to focus on a target market, as I described in “First pick your target market and niche.” A next step is to distinguish between prospects, leads, and opportunities as defined in The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia.

“Don’t confuse prospects with leads,” says the book. “Prospects are individuals you believe may be interested in your services. Leads, on the other hand, are prospects who have already indicated a certain level of interest in what you have to offer.” Moving along the continuum from prospect to client, an opportunity is “a lead who has given you a chance to present your services, discuss a project, or quote a job.”

Action step: Look at your universe of potential clients. How many fall into each of these categories? If you’re short on prospects, do research to build their numbers. Once you’ve got enough prospects, focus on moving your prospects, leads, and opportunities through your funnel.

Follow-up will be the key to your success.

Disclosure: I received a free press copy of this book.

Guest post: “Client fears and financial advisor services”

Fear prompts financial advisors’ clients to make bad decisions, as Meir Statman explains in his guest post below. He’s a renowned scholar in the area of behavioral finance, so I’m delighted to receive his guest contribution and a free copy of his new book, What Investors Really Want, thanks to my friends at McGraw-Hill.

Client fears and financial advisor services

By Meir Statman

Many financial advisors encountered clients who were urged by fear to cash all their stocks in late 2008 and early 2009. Today, some advisors encounter clients who are urged by fear to replace stocks and bonds with gold.

Clients are often urged by cognitive errors and emotions to act in ways that damage their long term financial health. In that, clients are like patients who are urged by cravings to smoke or eat more than is prudent. Financial advisors are financial physicians. Good financial advisors listen carefully, empathize with clients fears, diagnose, educate, prescribe solutions, and follow up. Physicians do their work with the tools of science. So do financial advisors who teach clients the science of financial markets and the science of human behavior.

We know from the science of human behavior that we are less willing to take risk when we are frightened than when we are calm. In one experiment, a group of students were offered money to stand before the class the following week and tell a joke. A flat joke can be embarrassing, so it is not surprising that some students who agreed to tell a joke withdrew in fear when the time came to stand and tell a joke. But students who were frightened were more likely to withdraw than students who were not. Half the students in the experiment were shown a fear-inducing film clip from The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror film, before deciding whether to tell a joke or withdraw. It turned out that a greater proportion of them withdrew.

Fear misleads us to avoid risk even when it is wise to take risk. Here is an investment game: I’ll toss a coin right before your eyes. If it comes out heads, I’ll pay you $1.50. If it comes out tails, you’ll pay me $1.

We’ll play 20 rounds of this game. Before each round you can choose to participate or sit it out. Ready? Suppose that you have lost three dollars in the first three rounds because all three tosses came out tails. Do you choose to participate in the fourth round or do you choose to sit out?

Three losses in a row would arouse fear in normal investors. Many choose to sit out the fourth round. But there is no good reason to be afraid because the game is stacked in favor of those who play all 20 rounds. In each round we have a 50/50 chance to lose $1 or gain $1.50. Our maximum loss is $20 while our maximum gain is $30. And even if we lose, a $20 loss is hardly catastrophic. Yet brain-damaged players were more reasoned at the game than normal players. Undeterred by fear, brain-damaged players played more rounds of the game than normal players and won more money.

There is a lesson here for advisors and clients.  Fear grips us when we watch our portfolios day by day and see so many losing days.  Fear grips us even more strongly when we watch losses in our portfolios over many months or even years, as happened in 2008 and early 2009.  Fear urges us to sell our stocks and invest the money in gold or put it under a mattress.  The fear of clients is normal, and financial advisors can counter it by teaching clients the science of human behavior.

Meir Statman is the Glenn Klimek Professor of Finance at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, and Visiting Professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and the author of What Investors Really Want (McGraw-Hill). His research on behavioral finance has been supported by the National Science Foundation, CFA Institute, and Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) and has been published in the Journal of Finance, Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Portfolio Management, and many other publications. A recipient of two IMCA Journal Awards, the Moskowitz Prize for Best Paper on Socially Responsible Investing, and three Graham and Dodd Awards, Statman consults with many investment companies and presents his work to academics and professionals in the U.S. and abroad. Visit his blog

Poll: Which high-impact prospecting technique works best for you?

Some marketing techniques work better than others for financial advisors.

The five most effective techniques for freelancers (who share key characteristics with financial advisors) include the following, as described in The Wealthy Freelancer:


  1. Tapping your network
  2. Getting more out of existing clients
  3. Investing in smart local networking
  4. Leveraging social media as a networking tool
  5. Employing direct mail

My network has always worked best for me, but the other four techniques help, too.

My referrals come mostly from current and past clients, many of whom subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, another big contributor to my marketing successes. Although my clients typically work for large companies that aren’t big on social media, they seem impressed by my social media visibility. Social media has expanded my network to include some great professional colleagues, referral sources, and an occasional client.

Smart local networking inspired me to launch my business. Many Bostonians have been generous with their time, advice, and connections. The Boston Security Analysts Society became one of my first clients and its timely presentations have provided the topics for many of my blog posts.

Direct mail has been the least effective technique for me. But I probably haven’t given the U.S. mail a fair chance because I’ve been so lucky with referrals from my network.

Thank you, all of my colleagues and referral sources, who have encouraged me! Every little bit helps.

What works best for you? Please answer the poll in the right-hand column of this blog. Feel free to leave a comment, too. I’ll report on the results in my January 2011 e-newsletter.

Reader challenge: What’s the writing lesson from Physicians Mutual?

You’re getting smarter about writing investment and financial communications, so I’m giving you a challenge: watch this video and then tell me what lesson it teaches writers.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Guide to e-newsletters

If you have questions about e-newsletters, mosey on over to “The freelancer’s guide to e-newsletters” on Michelle Rafter’s WordCount blog. I’m quoted extensively in answers to questions including

  • What’s so great about e-newsletters?
  • How long should it be?
  • What kind of software can I use?
  • How can I get subscribers?

If you’re a financial blogger, you can recycle your blog posts in your newsletter, perhaps adding one unique bit of content for your subscribers.

It takes time to build an e-newsletter email list. Even if you don’t think you need one yet, start building your newsletter now.

Introverts, steal this idea for your next conference!

Conferences can be shy financial advisors’ worst nightmares. You spend so much time among so many strangers. You feel intimidated if many attendees seem to know one another. As an introvert, I feel your pain. My shyness inspired an idea that may help outgoing as well as shy financial professionals.

Create a provocative badge.
“If I can’t strike up conversations about my professional services, can I make people ask me about them?”

This is the badge that helped me meet people despite my being an introvert.

That’s the question I asked myself before I attended the CFA Institute’s annual conference in Boston. So I created a homemade badge to spark conversation. My badge, printed on bright yellow paper and slipped inside a name tag holder, said “Ask me about top 10 tips for investment commentary.”

You can customize your badge to use any good conversation starter.

Offer an incentive.
Everybody likes to get something valuable for free, so offer a free report, consultation, or other benefit to the people who ask about your badge. At the CFA Institute conference, attendees who asked about my badge could give me their business card to receive a free special report via email. It was a win-win situation. They got tips honed by my investment commentary presentations to CFA societies across the U.S. and Canada. I got the chance to deepen my relationship with them.

Note: I tweaked this post on May 30, 2013.

Shy/Bold image courtesy of Stuart Miles at