Guest post: “How Seeking Alpha Can Build Your Professional Reputation” looks like a great way for investment professionals to share their opinions and market themselves. So when I met Geoff Considine and learned he’d done exactly that, I asked him to guest-blog about his experience.

How Seeking Alpha Can Build Your Professional Reputation

by Geoff Considine

Writing for has helped me develop my professional reputation and gain attention for my quantitative modeling software and consulting services. Financial professionals can build a substantial brand from SeekingAlpha.  Quite a few writers, advisors, consultants, and others have developed enormous reach on the basis of SeekingAlpha.  I am certainly not even among the most successful.

If I can do it, so can you, especially if you follow the six rules I give at the end of this article.

My experience publishing on

I have been writing for since January 2006.  At that time, I had fairly recently launched a software tool for financial advisors and individual investors and I was trying to drum up some attention.  All in, I have written 127 articles on, even though I have not written for them since September 2009.  I have written a lot over the last year, but I have developed a sufficiently deep audience that I have only been writing for advisor-focused publications such as Advisor Perspectives.  I am quite confident that I never would have been able to write for these professional publications without the experience and reputation gained from writing for

Quantext, my small company, gets about 100,000 hits a month on its website in a good month.  I sell software and e-books, along with doing consulting on analytical models for portfolio management and asset allocation.  The only marketing that I have ever done for my business is writing—and was the only place that I published articles (aside from my own website) in the first couple of years of building out the software side of my business.

Once something is published on a site like SA, people will go back and look at what you have said in the past—it’s a fairly permanent record.  This can be great when your thinking is validated, but can pose reputational risk if you make some outlandish statement.  Back in 2007, for example, one of The Motley Fool’s best-known columnists came out and said that he risk measures such as Beta and volatility just didn’t matter at all, not matter what all the academics say.  His timing was very unfortunate.  Investors who ignored standard risk measures are likely to have suffered disproportionately large losses in the subsequent decline.  This type of reputational risk is quite easy to avoid if you stay away from making assertions in articles that strain common sense or that fly in the face of all standards of practice.

One of the ways to build credibility with articles is to identify thought leaders with whom your thinking is consistent.  One of my early articles looked at Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio using my portfolio analysis software.  My software identified a number of ways that Berkshire’s portfolio looked very attractive.  If my analysis had suggested that Warren Buffett didn’t know what he was doing, I would have had something of a problem.  I have also analyzed portfolios and strategies proposed by David Swensen (head of Yale’s endowment), Mohammed El-Erian (co-head of PIMCO), and Jeremy Grantham.

The previous paragraph notwithstanding, I am not suggesting that writers steer away from controversy.  If you can make a really solid case for a contrarian theme and publish it in an open forum, you can really stake out territory for your thought leadership.  One of my major early themes that I wrote about in 2006-2007 was that there were a number of really robust reasons to believe that market volatility would skyrocket.  This theme in a number of my SA articles got the attention of an editor at Kiplinger’s and resulted in an interview that appeared in the magazine in early 2008.  As the market conditions have evolved, my writing on this theme has continued to get me very positive attention.

If SA is so great, why don’t I publish much there anymore?  The answer is that I have found that my audience is mainly professional advisors, there are better publications to reach this targeted audience, and I get paid to write these days.  There is a significant opportunity cost for me to write a piece for SA.  If I have more time on my hands in the future, I would certainly put more pieces in SA.

How YOU can thrive on

There are a few guidelines that I would offer for financial professionals who want to use Seeking Alpha to develop their professional brands:

1)     Make sure that you have something to say, and good arguments to support your ideas

2)     Craft your writing carefully

3)     Use feedback on your articles to develop your writing style

4)     Respond to comments—be an active member of the community

5)     Write regularly and consistently

6)     Learn your special niche

Seeking Alpha can be a powerful channel for reaching your audience, but you need a long-term strategy for how to tap this channel.  If you simply plan to write one article, SA won’t do much for you.  If you write a consistent series of articles that is well articulated and make sense, SA can be enormously powerful.  When I started writing there, I thought of SA as a somewhat narrow channel for getting my ideas out there.  Whether or not I was correct then I am not sure, but this is certainly not the case today.  SA has enormous reach.

Should the Morningstar style box go 3-D? Quality counts, says Atlanta Capital

Investment professionals and financial advisors are familiar with the Morningstar style box, which categorizes stock funds by market capitalization and style. A recent CFA Magazine article made me wonder if Morningstar should turn the style box into a style cube by adding a third dimension: quality.

Stock quality may overwhelm size and style

Quality counts for just as much as size and style.

That’s according to Brian Smith, director of institutional services and principal at Atlanta Capital Management, in “3-D Investing” in the Sept.-Oct. issue of CFA Magazine. The CFA Magazine article is based on a longer white paper, “The Third Dimension: An Investor’s Guide to Understanding the Impact of ‘Quality’ on Portfolio Performance.” To access the original white paper, click on “Publications” across the top of the Atlanta Capital website.

“…our research indicates that ignoring quality and investing solely by capitalization and style dimensions is unwise. In fact, the performance of high- and low-quality stocks can have a significant influence on an investor’s risk and return characteristics, in many cases overwhelming the influence of either size or style,” writes Smith in his CFA Magazine article.

I wondered if there might be something other than quality at work.  Could one style be more associated with quality than another?

Smith notes in the white paper that certain value and growth styles are sometimes associated with high- or low-quality stocks. “Conservative growth” and “relative value” tend toward high-quality vs. low-quality for “absolute value” and “aggressive growth,” he says. Smith refers to this as a “hidden quality bias.”

Smith compared returns by quality, size, and style using Russell indexes and custom benchmarks based on the Standard and Poor’s Earnings and Dividend rankings. Looking at 2009 returns, he found that “Clearly, each size, style, and quality index responded differently to the same economic stimuli….”

In other words, the correlations among the quality, size, and style indexes were weak.

The “quality cycle” in the stock market

Smith suggests that a “quality cycle” exists because fluctuations in the performance of high- and low-quality stocks are associated with the economic and stock market cycle. Low-quality stocks briefly outperform high-quality stocks at both ends of a market cycle. This is probably because they’re more sensitive to the economy, the availability of credit, and investor speculation. High-quality stocks win the rest of the time.

Smith concludes,”If history is a guide, high-quality stock should post stronger relative returns in 2010 and 2011….”

Do you agree? You’ll probably want to read more of the CFA Magazine article or Atlanta Capital white paper before you decide.

Guest post: “Generate Quality, Low Cost Leads with Facebook Ads”

Kristin Harad’s video series on marketing for financial advisors caught my eye-especially because she talks about niche marketing. I’m a big believer in niche marketing.  So I was delighted when she offered to write a guest post for my blog.

By coincidence, Kristin’s guest post arrived not long after a wealth management firm executive suggested to me that Facebook ads could be a powerful tool for financial advisors.

Generate Quality, Low Cost Leads with Facebook Ads

by Kristin Harad, CFP®

Adding new prospects to your sales funnel can be a costly endeavor for financial advisors.  Workshops, mailings and other tactics can be effective, but the cost-per-lead from these channels is often quite high.  Recently, I’ve discovered how to effectively use a new marketing channel that’s been right under my nose to bring in a steady stream of quality leads at an incredibly low cost:  Facebook.

Now, you probably know that Facebook has become the second largest Web site in the world and last month it was all over the news for registering its 500 millionth user.  But what you perhaps didn’t know is that Facebook also offers an incredible self-service advertising platform that is an absolutely amazing tool for laser-targeting ads to your precise audience.  There are four reasons I really love Facebook Ads:

1)  It’s really easy to create and manage ads.  No technical nor design expertise required.
2)  You can target practically any niche.  Target your ads by location, demographics and interests. You can reach your EXACT audience.
3) It’s highly effective. Put together a well thought-through campaign and you can move people through your sales funnel to becoming paying clients!
4)  It’s really cheap! You don’t pay anything for impressions and some of our ads cost just six cents per click!  I’m adding targeted prospects to my marketing database at a cost of just 83 cents each.

It’s fast and easy to start testing your own Facebook Ads campaign.

Start by going to where you can sign up online in just a few minutes and instantly begin creating ads that appear on nearly every page of Facebook.  It’s very easy to create the ads — you can make one in just a couple minutes and you don’t need to have any technical or design expertise.

Be sure to design at least five different ads so that you can test different ideas to see which performs best.  The headline and the image you use in your ads have the most impact on click-through rates, so write a few very pithy headlines.  Images of people generally attract better click-through rates.  The more often people click on your ad, the more it will be shown and Facebook will actually reward you with a much lower price.

Next, and most importantly, think carefully about how to target your ad.

Start with location.  My firm mostly serves families within 25 miles of San Francisco, so in the Location section, I target by City, then type in San Francisco and select cities within 25 miles.  Under demographics, identify who your best potential clients are.

Next comes age, relationship status, likes and interests. Since I work with expectant parents and young families, most of my clients are between their late 20s and early 40s, so I put 28 – 44 as the age bracket.  I choose ALL for relationship status, especially since many people on Facebook don’t state theirs.  However, many advisors base their niche off of relationship status, so it can be a really power way to target.  (If you are focused on couples who are getting married, think of the precise messaging you can deliver when you target people who are engaged!)  Then, you’ll come to the small Likes & Interests section, which is where the real power targeting comes from.  This identifies users by what they have placed on their own Facebook page, and you can target them based on practically anything!

As an example, I put in ‘pregnant’ and ‘pregnancy’ as two keywords.  Based on what I picked for location, age, gender and these two keywords, Facebook estimates that my ad will reach 2,200 people.  That’s 2,200 pregnant women between 28 – 44 in the San Francisco Bay Area — my exact customer demographic!  You can’t find that kind of precision anywhere else.  More importantly, now that I know exactly who is going to see these ads, I can write messages that speak directly to them.  For instance, “Pregnant in San Francisco?” or “What New Bay Area Moms Must Know.”  It’s pretty easy to catch my audience’s attention when I know exactly who they are.  Plus, I can quickly create other ad campaigns that micro-target other groups, like expectant fathers or parents of a kindergartner.

These ads work incredibly well for me.  Dozens of people click on them each day, visiting special pages on my Web site that I’ve set up for them.  About 1-in-5 visitors take a further action on my Web site, like subscribing to my email newsletter or signing up for the monthly events that I hold.   It’s critical that you design a Web page with a specific action in mind for these visitors.  Send them to your company’s home page and they will bounce off without spending two minutes on your site.  But, if you offer an informative and relevant free report in exchange for their email address, they will opt-in to your marketing database by the dozens!

That’s what makes Facebook a great way to fill the top of the sales funnel.  Is anyone going to click on a small ad and instantly purchase complex financial products for thousands of dollars?  Of course not!  But by structuring a well-thought out campaign that is designed to pull targeted prospects into the start of my sales funnel, I can begin to form a relationship with them that will evolve over the months ahead and I absolutely convert a portion of these leads into paying clients over time!

Finally, Facebook ads are incredibly low cost.  You can set your own budget, and I’m only spending about $25 per day.  You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and the price is usually well under one dollar per click.  I think it’s a great marketing tool that is absolutely worth experimenting with, so give it a try today at

About the Author:  Kristin Harad, CFP® is the President of VitaVie Financial Planning, a fee-only financial planning firm in San Francisco.  She offers a free video series on marketing strategies for financial advisors at

Great blog posts don’t matter…

…if people don’t read them. As the saying goes, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Don’t count on readers for your financial advice or investment services blog posts to come to your blog. Grow your audience by making your content available the way your readers prefer.

A client recently reinforced this lesson for me. She said, “Susan, I love those links you post on LinkedIn!” I was surprised. This client had declined my offer to send her my e-newsletter, which is the main way my clients read my blog posts. However, my content developed greater appeal when delivered via LinkedIn, a way that suits her style. Linking to my blog posts in my LinkedIn status updates is a bigger success than I’d realized.

Here are some ways you can make your blog posts available to satisfy your readers’ preferences.

1. LinkedIn status updates. I explain how to post links in “Reader question: How can I share my investment commentary on LinkedIn?”

2. LinkedIn groups. If you’ve found a LinkedIn group that gets good traffic, then share your post there.

3. E-newsletter. An e-newsletter is a great way to package your blog posts for readers who’ll never visit a blog or use an RSS feed.

4. Other social media: Twitter, Facebook, and more. You can post links to your blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites much as you would on LinkedIn. Of course, link-posting will reach a point of diminishing returns. Figure out which sites yield your best results, and then focus on them.

You may find that more of your prospects are on Facebook than Twitter or other social media sites.

5. Guest posts. Appearing as a guest on someone else’s blog is another way to get your content seen. While many blogs want original content for their guest spots, some don’t. You can learn more in “How to guest-blog on personal finance or investments, Part I: Your approach” and “Part II Blogs that accept posts from financial advisors.”

If you’re not using any of these methods, it’s time to re-think your approach to blogging.

“CFA credential implies a standard of care not always upheld,” says Forbes opinion piece

Edward Siedle questions the integrity of some CFA charterholders in “Investors Misled By Brokers Masquerading As Fiduciaries: CFA credential implies a standard of care not always upheld, an August 9 “Expert View” on Siedle is a former SEC attorney and the president of Benchmark Financial Services.

While I think Siedle overstates his case, he raises an interesting point.

Suitability standard vs. fiduciary duty

His basic argument: If CFA charterholders work for broker-dealers, they’re bound to a standard of suitability, rather than fiduciary duty. This is a conflict I hadn’t thought about before reading his article.

Apparently many brokerage firms handle the potential conflict by forbidding use of the CFA credential by those who use the suitability standard.

Siedle quotes Robert Dannhauser, the CFA Institute’s director of advocacy outreach. Dannhauser says, “…in many such instances, the firms do not allow CFA charterholders to display the CFA designation after their name on business cards or other publicly available material, so that clients do not perceive any different standard than what the firm has adopted for all of its employees. This hopefully offers clients a clearer view of what they’re getting. The key is for practitioners to not represent themselves as one thing but offer a different level of service than might otherwise be expected given that representation.”

Siedle counters by saying, “However, in my experience, many brokers do use their CFA status in marketing themselves to investors–especially to institutional and high-net-worth investors who are most likely to be familiar with the designation.” Moreover, “Unfortunately, it’s only after the retail broker dressed up like a fiduciary screws up that the investor might discover that he and his employer do not accept a fiduciary standard of duty.” I don’t know the details of the case that Siedle uses as an example.

Siedle seems to imply that every charterholder who works for a company such as Bank of America works for a broker-dealer. This is an exaggeration. The companies he names are not pure broker-dealers. Many of the charterholders at these firms may work for registered investment advisors that explicitly require them to act as fiduciaries.

Challenge for the CFA Institute’s ethics curriculum

Still, I’d be curious to know if the conflict between fiduciary duty and the suitability standard comes up in the CFA Institute’s ethics curriculum. If not, it sounds like a good topic for the future. As a CFA charterholder myself, I feel confident that the CFA Institute will tackle this issue.

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

Poll: Should you make investment predictions that can backfire?

The investment strategies of Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of PIMCO, influence the asset allocations of investment professionals around the world.  Should he also influence your approach to your market commentary?

Vigilante on the move,” a profile of PIMCO that appeared in The Economist, got me thinking with the following paragraph.

“Some colleagues might welcome a lower profile for Mr Gross, whose utterances occasionally backfire. In a typically punchy commentary in January he recommended avoiding British government debt, which was ‘resting on a bed of nitroglycerine’. But gilts failed to explode, and PIMCO was forced to reverse course.”

When you make investment predictions, you’re bound to be wrong some of the time.

Is this embarrassment something that you should avoid at all costs by shunning predictions and strong opinions? Some managers hedge their bets with wording such as “a continued recovery is more likely than a double-dip recession, however….” Or, should you embrace controversy?

What strategy will help you most with clients, prospects, and referral sources?

Please answer the poll that will appear in the right-hand column of this blog until I take it down next month. I’ll comment on the results in my September e-newsletter. Or you can leave comments below.

Poll question

Clients and prospects will respond best when asset managers’ market commentary…

  • Never makes predictions
  • Makes qualified predictions that give them an “out”
  • Sometimes makes predictions
  • Always expresses at least one strong opinion
  • None of the above (Please leave a comment)

POLL: How can Boston make itself more competitive as an investment management center?

Boston’s asset managers need to boost their competitiveness, according to the leaders who spoke on “Where Are We Heading? The Future of Investment Management in Boston.”

Our new poll asks “What does Boston need more of to achieve this goal?”

Please check as many answers as apply in the poll that appears in the right-hand column of this blog. You’ll need to scroll down below “Recent Posts.” If I missed something, please leave a comment.

The poll will run until I’m ready to report the results in my August e-newsletter. Not a subscriber to my free monthly? Sign up today! As bonus, you’ll receive a free electronic copy of my Top Tips.

Stop! Get a better title, or forget winning readers

Would YOU eagerly read an article with the following title?

Gulf Oil Spill

Impact on State and Local Government

Analysis of original title: Not another oil spill story!

Thousands of articles about BP’s oil spill are fighting for your attention. “Not another oil spill story!” is probably the reaction of many readers who scan this title. The big problem: The title doesn’t say why you should read it.

Let’s look at the first paragraph to find a reason that you can highlight in a new title.

The Gulf Oil Spill will certainly have long-term repercussions for the fishing and tourism industries as well as the overall environment in the impact areas of the Gulf region. It is early in the disaster to fully evaluate the long-term effect on the states most at risk of contamination: Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. We do not anticipate immediate negative credit implications at the state level for those in question, but feel concerns are more likely to materialize at the local level at this time. We are continuously monitoring developments in the Gulf and considering our credit exposure in these areas.

Aha! Now I get it. Look at the phrases above that I bolded. Readers of this wealth management firm’s newsletter should realize that the firm is looking out for the safety of their municipal bond portfolios. Too bad the title didn’t tell them that.

The introductory paragraph doesn’t help either. It starts with generic information that doesn’t relate directly to investments. Even worse, it buries the most important information in the paragraph’s second half.

Also, if readers aren’t fixed income geeks, they may not realize that “negative credit implications” translates into “possible bond downgrades that could trim the value of your municipal bond portfolio.”

Please stop here. Before you read any more, jot down a new title and first sentence for this article.

Looking for a better title

Here are some alternative titles.

  1. Will Your Municipal Bond Portfolio Spill Like BP’s Well?
  2. No Need to Worry Yet About the Oil Spill’s Impact on Your Bond Portfolio
  3. Assessing the Oil Spill’s Impact on Muni Bonds: The Three Most Important Factors

Which do you like best? Feel free to share your title ideas.

Related posts

“Where Are We Heading? The Future of Investment Management in Boston”

The future of investment management in Boston was the focus of a panel presentation to the Boston Security Analysts Society’s annual meeting on June 24.

The view that Boston is being left behind made the greatest impact on me, but I’ll report some of the opinions of the four speakers, all of whom are industry veterans.

Reamer: Emphasis on actively managed equities hurts Boston

The investment world is shifting toward aggressive hedge funds and passive quantitative funds, said Norton Reamer, vice-chairman and founder, Asset Management Finance LLC. There’s also currently an emphasis on fixed income. This is because the public has been discouraged by the stock market returns of the past two years. They want defensive, safe investments. On a related note, large pension funds are moving more toward indexing.

These trends don’t favor Boston, the home of the original mutual fund, because local firms emphasize actively managed mutual funds. At least these trends don’t bode well in the immediate future.

For Boston to prosper, it must attract assets from around the world, said Reamer. However, he sees the action shifting to New York, London, and even Philadelphia and California. Boston has only one of the 10 largest hedge funds and three of the 30 largest. While Boston has a history of venture capital, venture capital is less important than private equity, which is concentrated elsewhere, said Reamer.

One of Reamer’s comments held a glimmer of hope. Universities–along with arbitrage groups, traders, and others–are the source of the new ideas that are changing the investment world. Boston has some great universities. Perhaps the universities can fuel the region’s resurgence as an investment center. I’m happy to note that the Boston Security Analysts Society’s program committee has a subcommittee devoting to inviting speakers from academia.

Putnam: Four trends will create many losers, few winners

Investment management is a craft, said Don Putnam, managing partner of Grail Partners, who moderated the panel. He emphasized the need to avoid losing sight of the craft before he described the four trends that he believes are changing the industry.

As a result of these trends, there will be many losers and few winners, said Putnam. The winners will be global firms as well as small cadres of capable people. The big challenge for money management will be to connect these two groups.

Trend 1: The long, complicated supply chain is reordering. For example, people are seeing the problems with “the slices taken off for people who deliver golf balls.” I assume Putnam was referring to wholesalers and the broader issue of 12b-1 fees and the like, though he said that he was not making a case for fee-only advisors. Changes are coming as a result of regulatory pressures, client demands, and “better mousetraps,” such as ETFs and active ETFs. Putnam said he’s sceptical about growth opportunities for the mutual fund industry.

Trend 2: The relevance of specialization is declining. Why? Because the efficient frontier–and the need to diversify into many slices of the market–has been challenged. “It has been proven to be nonsense for the client,” said Putnam. Clients’ “true utility equation” can be delivered more efficiently with quantitative solutions, he added.

Trend 3: The arithmetic of the investment business is changing with the rising importance of asset allocation. As the utility of money management has declined, fees have risen, said Putnam. This can’t last. While clients have bought the “myth of comfort and control,” the past three years have increased client dissatisfaction.

Trend 4: Technology is increasing in importance. Technology should be woven into every aspect of money management, said Putnam. Technology’s influence on money management has barely begun.

Manning: Structure your firm to have an edge over your competition

You must deliver great results to keep assets, said Robert J. Manning, who spoke as CEO of MFS Investment Management, but is scheduled to become the firm’s chairman on July 1. This means you must structure your firm to have an edge over your competition. Manning discussed three key elements of MFS’ structure.

1. Follow a long-term investment philosophy. The world is preoccupied with short-term investment returns. However, MFS believes that you need a culture of long-term investing backed by an appropriate compensation structure. When MFS conducts performance reviews, it only considers periods of three years or longer.

2. Create a global footprint. If your people are only in Boston, you can’t be a winner, said Manning. For example, if you don’t have staff in Europe, you can’t respond quickly enough when credit default swaps widen in Europe. As part of the global footprint discussion, Manning emphasized the need to integrate the firm’s fixed income and equity teams.

3. Analysts are more important than portfolio managers. The old model is broken, said Manning. The most important employees are career analysts who have expertise in specific sectors. MFS has eight global sector heads. These are the people who, if they “see a storm coming” get the entire firm out before it hits.

The increased importance of analysts has been driven partly by the fact that clients want to buy “specialized sleeves of alpha.” This is reflected in analysts’ compensation. At MFS, analysts earn more than portfolio managers.

We sell the global research platform, not the portfolio manager, said Manning. The portfolio manager simply assembles the alpha streams from the analysts the way that clients want.

Hughes: Confident in Boston’s future

Larry Hughes, CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, said that Boston’s talent and innovation makes his firm feel confident about Boston’s future.

Still, the next decade will pose challenges for wealth managers in terms of how to protect clients against continued market volatility and how to capture the related opportunities. Hughes suggested three areas for focus.

1. Investment innovation–The “set it and forget it” ways of the past won’t work any more, said Hughes. It’s important to capture trends that develop–and disappear–in months, or perhaps even just weeks.

2. Seamless and dynamic planning–Wealth managers must “plan across silos,” considering all aspects of clients’ lives, including taxes, estate planning, health care, and more.

3. Better manager-client engagement–It’s important to speak in your clients’ terms. Clients don’t talk about the efficient frontier, standard deviation, or r-squared, said Hughes. So neither should wealth managers. Instead, wealth managers should present issues in straightforward terms, such as “helping you maintain your lifestyle.”