Small-group seminars have brought in more than $30 million to Terry Cohea of D.A. Davidson in Helena, Mont., over the past two years. Perhaps it's the special flair of her private afternoon teas and dessert evenings at several nearby bed-and-breakfast inns.
Only women are invited to afternoon teas and couples to evening desserts. About 10 to 15 people attend on average.
At the two-hour events, Cohea saves just the final 45 minutes for a presentation. It's informal. She sits at the table with her guests explaining how stocks, bonds and mutual funds work, and shows a stock portfolio she recommends. "No one felt uncomfortable because you were just sitting together at a table with a cup of tea."