Publishing Monthly Investment Newsletter

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Jan 17, 2007 10:40 pm

Ladies & gentlemen,


I'm going to be publishing a personal monthly newsletter (I know, a tall order).  Other than the obvious task of running everything by compliance, what other advice do you have? 


Of most appreciated value will be the comments of anyone who has experience in such a matter. 


Thanks,


ManDate

Jan 17, 2007 11:24 pm

That is a ton of work. check out www.icgnews.com they will do the work for you and let you publish an article or two per month if you'd like.

Jan 18, 2007 1:20 am

I publish our newsletter once each quarter.



The topics have included:



1.) Staff Profile of each individual within my group (I have 7) - who they

are, and who does what.

2.) Asset class profile (covers the specifics of each asset class we invest

within and why...) - Covers Convertible bonds, high yield bonds, large cap

value, growth, international, etc.

3.) Why we conduct 'risk profiling' for our clients

4.) Discretion vs. Non-discretion

5.) Roth IRA conversions and why

6.) Estate planning issues - TOD accounts, trusts

7.) General market issues - i.e. why/why not be concerned at market

peaks, market history.

8.) Individual market history topics - i.e. what is the only stock within the

Dow which was originally in the Dow when founded (answer: GE)

9.) Interesting individual investment profile: Berkshire Hathaway at

$107k per share. What is it, and who are they?

10.) A few rants about fad investments that do not stand the test of time

(i.e. gold, silver, blah, blah...)



We write, create, and publish everything right down to the photos. We

send an electronic version to our clients who would prefer to get it via e-

mail, and then provide the file and mailing list to a copy shop who prints,

folds, addresses and stamps the whole bunch and mails it out within 2

days.



400 pieces mailed, $700 per quarter.



Lots of satisfaction in creating our own newsletter. We write it, we own it.



C



Jan 18, 2007 4:21 am

This is the single best thing you can do for your business...IF YOU DO IT THE RIGHT WAY!!!  First thing, do not buy some "off the shelf" newsletter.  That is a complete waste of money.  Your clients and prospects will totally see it for what it is...i.e. something someone else wrote that you are trying to pass off as your own.
The best thing you can do is write the entire thing, from begining to end.  Mine is four pages and is printed on the front and back of an 8 1/2 x 17" sheet.  I have it double folded and mail it out once a month.  I write it and my wife lays it out.  If I didn't have my wife, then I'd hire a someone at Kinko's to lay it out for me. 
THe critical thing is the content.  Don't make the mistake of thinking people will be interested in reading your opinion on the direction of the market or the latest nuances of 529 college planning.  You have to use your newsletter to connect with people and let them see who you are.  The best thing I've founfd is to intertwine persoanl stories from your life with very basic investing concepts.  For example, this month I'm writing about my six year old daughter.  SHe found a stray puppy and wanted to keep him.  I had to make a very difficult decision, one that upset her terribly, that we could'nt keep the pup.  I knew in the long run, keeping a dog was a bad idea.  Spoeaking of the long run...that's what we should be looking toward when we buy equity mutual funds...then I spend a few minutes talking about buy and holding and market timing , etc...
THE THING IS, NO ONE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT THE INVESTING ADVICE I'M GIVING THEM.  WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT IS HEARING A PERSONAL STORY FROM MY LIFE THAT THEY CAN RELATE TOO!!!  Believe me, nothing will make people warm up to you and trust you like relay ing these kinds of stories.
Every month, I have a main article that starts off with a persoanl anecdote and is then tied to some very basic investing concept.  I have a short articel offering something, like a free education analysis or a new brochure my firm has put out.  I thank people who have sent me referalls in a short blurb - EVERY MONTH.  I also have a fun story I find on the internet that may have nothing to do with investing.  I offer a couple of "Quoates of the Month" and sometimes a "Profile in COurage" type of article.  If I've been on vacation, I'll include a couple of pictures from my trip.
Keep it very folksy and homespun.  DO NOT TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK SLICK!!  You want the feel of it to be more Readers Digest not Wall Street JOurnal.
I send it out everymonth to my existing clients and qualified prospects I've aquired.

Jan 18, 2007 10:45 am

BillyBob, Do you use MS Publisher or something like that to set up the content? Also, how much time do you spend on it each month?


I have a buddy who's using Swiftpage to create an email newsletter each month. You can design the page with info and pictures. Then you insert links to various articles. The nice thing is you get a report back showing who read the email and who clicked on what links so you can gauge their interest in each subject.


Just another idea that might save some postage, but some folks like getting things in the mail...


Jan 18, 2007 12:39 pm

My wife uses MS Publisher.  My branch manager pays the postage, so I mail out 100% of my newletters.  I don't use e-mail for this.

Jan 18, 2007 2:28 pm

I call BS on BillyBob!


BS! If your BOM lets you mail this out and you do it monthly and you are sending it out to more than 10 clients, prospects, strangers, rural route boxholders, Martians, whatever. You are advertising and if you are advertising without proper approval.... Let's put it this way, You Are NOT!


BS!


Mr. A


BTW, the story about the puppy is a minefield! Oh so you sent the puppy to be euthanized? What kind of thoughtless cruel daddy are you?

Jan 18, 2007 2:49 pm
mranonymous2u:

I call BS on BillyBob!


BS! If your BOM lets you mail this out and you do it monthly and you are sending it out to more than 10 clients, prospects, strangers, rural route boxholders, Martians, whatever. You are advertising and if you are advertising without proper approval.... Let's put it this way, You Are NOT!


BS!


Mr. A


BTW, the story about the puppy is a minefield! Oh so you sent the puppy to be euthanized? What kind of thoughtless cruel daddy are you?



Mr. A is correct on this.  I don't believe you are doing a monthly newsletter either.


I need to have even an innocuous invitation letter sent to clients for a luncheon go through compliance. Writing a newsletter is a royal pain in the rear.  Takes forever and they keep coming back with changes.   You can buy pre approved articles that have NASD holy water sprinkled on them, but they will STILL need to go through compliance. 


I also tried the premade newsletter when I first when indy and it was a waste of time.  The newsletter said nothing that I would say, and did not resonate with my clients. 


I'm in the process of making a powerpoint presentation on generic business retirement plans and you can't believe what an annoying compliance process this is.  Unfortunately the canned seminars from companies like Emerald and other companies, while nice are geared to the rep who is going to be drawing in hundreds of seminar participants.  Not going to happen in my area and they are priced way over my cost effectiveness curve. So I do my own.  No big deal.  Just time consuming.


I must say this IS something that I do miss about the Jones marketing machine.  They have nice newsletters and it is important to drip all over your prospects and clients

Jan 18, 2007 2:54 pm
BILLYBOB:

This is the single best thing you can do for your business...IF YOU DO IT THE RIGHT WAY!!!  First thing, do not buy some "off the shelf" newsletter.  That is a complete waste of money.  Your clients and prospects will totally see it for what it is...i.e. something someone else wrote that you are trying to pass off as your own.
The best thing you can do is write the entire thing, from begining to end.  Mine is four pages and is printed on the front and back of an 8 1/2 x 17" sheet.  I have it double folded and mail it out once a month.  I write it and my wife lays it out.  If I didn't have my wife, then I'd hire a someone at Kinko's to lay it out for me. 
THe critical thing is the content.  Don't make the mistake of thinking people will be interested in reading your opinion on the direction of the market or the latest nuances of 529 college planning.  You have to use your newsletter to connect with people and let them see who you are.  The best thing I've founfd is to intertwine persoanl stories from your life with very basic investing concepts.  For example, this month I'm writing about my six year old daughter.  SHe found a stray puppy and wanted to keep him.  I had to make a very difficult decision, one that upset her terribly, that we could'nt keep the pup.  I knew in the long run, keeping a dog was a bad idea.  Spoeaking of the long run...that's what we should be looking toward when we buy equity mutual funds...then I spend a few minutes talking about buy and holding and market timing , etc...
THE THING IS, NO ONE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT THE INVESTING ADVICE I'M GIVING THEM.  WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT IS HEARING A PERSONAL STORY FROM MY LIFE THAT THEY CAN RELATE TOO!!!  Believe me, nothing will make people warm up to you and trust you like relay ing these kinds of stories.
Every month, I have a main article that starts off with a persoanl anecdote and is then tied to some very basic investing concept.  I have a short articel offering something, like a free education analysis or a new brochure my firm has put out.  I thank people who have sent me referalls in a short blurb - EVERY MONTH.  I also have a fun story I find on the internet that may have nothing to do with investing.  I offer a couple of "Quoates of the Month" and sometimes a "Profile in COurage" type of article.  If I've been on vacation, I'll include a couple of pictures from my trip.
Keep it very folksy and homespun.  DO NOT TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK SLICK!!  You want the feel of it to be more Readers Digest not Wall Street JOurnal.
I send it out everymonth to my existing clients and qualified prospects I've aquired.


I like a lot of what you're saying here. How does it fly with compliance?


What type of firm do you work for, Indy, wire, regional?


Jan 18, 2007 4:24 pm
babbling looney:
mranonymous2u:

I call BS on BillyBob!


BS! If your BOM lets you mail this out and you do it monthly and you are sending it out to more than 10 clients, prospects, strangers, rural route boxholders, Martians, whatever. You are advertising and if you are advertising without proper approval.... Let's put it this way, You Are NOT!


BS!


Mr. A


BTW, the story about the puppy is a minefield! Oh so you sent the puppy to be euthanized? What kind of thoughtless cruel daddy are you?



Mr. A is correct on this.  I don't believe you are doing a monthly newsletter either.


I need to have even an innocuous invitation letter sent to clients for a luncheon go through compliance. Writing a newsletter is a royal pain in the rear.  Takes forever and they keep coming back with changes.   You can buy pre approved articles that have NASD holy water sprinkled on them, but they will STILL need to go through compliance. 


I also tried the premade newsletter when I first when indy and it was a waste of time.  The newsletter said nothing that I would say, and did not resonate with my clients. 


I'm in the process of making a powerpoint presentation on generic business retirement plans and you can't believe what an annoying compliance process this is.  Unfortunately the canned seminars from companies like Emerald and other companies, while nice are geared to the rep who is going to be drawing in hundreds of seminar participants.  Not going to happen in my area and they are priced way over my cost effectiveness curve. So I do my own.  No big deal.  Just time consuming.


I must say this IS something that I do miss about the Jones marketing machine.  They have nice newsletters and it is important to drip all over your prospects and clients



OK, you're smarter than me.  You're right, I just troll message boards to impress people of all the cool things I do with my life...LIKE WRITE A CHEESY MONTHLY NEWSLETTER.  (That is sarcasm, you idiot!)


I most certainly do write a monthly newsletter and I'm telling you it has been the best thing I've done for my business.  I think everyone should do it...it's a lot less work than a seminar.  But YOU CANNOT USE SOME BOILER PLATE HOME OFFICE LETTER THAT WAS WRITTEN BY SOMEONE ELSE!! 


Here's how I do it:  I write the copy of the letter in MS Word and send it up to compliance.  I've been doing these things for 4 years now and pretty much know what I can and cannot say.  Every single month, complaince has corrections and tells me what I have to change.  It's usually not much and generally involves adding a discalimer here or there.  NO BIG DEAL.


When I get the copy back from compliance, my wife lays it out in MS Publisher.  She adds some pictures and clip art.  She saves it on a CD, which I take to Sir Speedy and they print and fold them for me.  This takes just a couple of hours and cost about $200, which I pay.


I mail out around 600 newsletters a month - about 300 to my best client households and another 300 to the prospects in my pipeline.  It is a great way for people to get to know me and feel a certain level of trust.   My receptionist puts the labels and postage on the newsletters.  My branch manager pays for the postage...and has said as long as it continues to bring in business he will pay.  I usually start working on the newsletter around the middle of the month.  It takes about 4 hours to write ...which I do either early in the morning or when I'm being lazy in the afternoon.


The key is to make them FUN TO READ>  I've written about everything from my experiances in the Navy, changing dirty diapers, going to chick flicks with my wife, Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies, my love for college football, cute things my kids do, stupid stuff our pets have done, trying to lose weight, and just whatever else pops into my mind.  I try to make it humorous and self effacing.  Whatever the subject, I tie it to some sort of investemtn planning concept.  A couple of months ago our cat killed the family goldfish..I turned the story into why you ought to buy Long Term Care Insuarnce.  It was stupid and funny...but guess what?  I sold a few policies of LTC.


Do this and have fun with it.  We're all selling the same thing...people will do business with people they like and they trust.  A newsletter can accomplish both.  DO NOT BORE PEOPLE TO DEATH WITH INVESTMENT SPEAK!  NO ONE REALLY CARES WHAT YOUR OPINION IS OF THE GLOBAL MACRO ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT.  DON'T TAKE YOUR SEFL SO SERIOUSLY...OPEN UP AND WRITE FROM YOUR HEART!!

Jan 18, 2007 4:28 pm
BondGuy:
BILLYBOB:

This is the single best thing you can do for your business...IF YOU DO IT THE RIGHT WAY!!!  First thing, do not buy some "off the shelf" newsletter.  That is a complete waste of money.  Your clients and prospects will totally see it for what it is...i.e. something someone else wrote that you are trying to pass off as your own.
The best thing you can do is write the entire thing, from begining to end.  Mine is four pages and is printed on the front and back of an 8 1/2 x 17" sheet.  I have it double folded and mail it out once a month.  I write it and my wife lays it out.  If I didn't have my wife, then I'd hire a someone at Kinko's to lay it out for me. 
THe critical thing is the content.  Don't make the mistake of thinking people will be interested in reading your opinion on the direction of the market or the latest nuances of 529 college planning.  You have to use your newsletter to connect with people and let them see who you are.  The best thing I've founfd is to intertwine persoanl stories from your life with very basic investing concepts.  For example, this month I'm writing about my six year old daughter.  SHe found a stray puppy and wanted to keep him.  I had to make a very difficult decision, one that upset her terribly, that we could'nt keep the pup.  I knew in the long run, keeping a dog was a bad idea.  Spoeaking of the long run...that's what we should be looking toward when we buy equity mutual funds...then I spend a few minutes talking about buy and holding and market timing , etc...
THE THING IS, NO ONE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT THE INVESTING ADVICE I'M GIVING THEM.  WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT IS HEARING A PERSONAL STORY FROM MY LIFE THAT THEY CAN RELATE TOO!!!  Believe me, nothing will make people warm up to you and trust you like relay ing these kinds of stories.
Every month, I have a main article that starts off with a persoanl anecdote and is then tied to some very basic investing concept.  I have a short articel offering something, like a free education analysis or a new brochure my firm has put out.  I thank people who have sent me referalls in a short blurb - EVERY MONTH.  I also have a fun story I find on the internet that may have nothing to do with investing.  I offer a couple of "Quoates of the Month" and sometimes a "Profile in COurage" type of article.  If I've been on vacation, I'll include a couple of pictures from my trip.
Keep it very folksy and homespun.  DO NOT TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK SLICK!!  You want the feel of it to be more Readers Digest not Wall Street JOurnal.
I send it out everymonth to my existing clients and qualified prospects I've aquired.


I like a lot of what you're saying here. How does it fly with compliance?


What type of firm do you work for, Indy, wire, regional?





I work for A.G. Edwards.  (Which by the way is a great place to work and they are now paying us bonuses to recruit new brokers...if you're interested in moving, let me know)

Jan 18, 2007 4:43 pm

BS!


Mr. A

Jan 18, 2007 5:14 pm
BILLYBOB:
BondGuy:
BILLYBOB:

This is the single best thing you can do for your business...IF YOU DO IT THE RIGHT WAY!!!  First thing, do not buy some "off the shelf" newsletter.  That is a complete waste of money.  Your clients and prospects will totally see it for what it is...i.e. something someone else wrote that you are trying to pass off as your own.
The best thing you can do is write the entire thing, from begining to end.  Mine is four pages and is printed on the front and back of an 8 1/2 x 17" sheet.  I have it double folded and mail it out once a month.  I write it and my wife lays it out.  If I didn't have my wife, then I'd hire a someone at Kinko's to lay it out for me. 
THe critical thing is the content.  Don't make the mistake of thinking people will be interested in reading your opinion on the direction of the market or the latest nuances of 529 college planning.  You have to use your newsletter to connect with people and let them see who you are.  The best thing I've founfd is to intertwine persoanl stories from your life with very basic investing concepts.  For example, this month I'm writing about my six year old daughter.  SHe found a stray puppy and wanted to keep him.  I had to make a very difficult decision, one that upset her terribly, that we could'nt keep the pup.  I knew in the long run, keeping a dog was a bad idea.  Spoeaking of the long run...that's what we should be looking toward when we buy equity mutual funds...then I spend a few minutes talking about buy and holding and market timing , etc...
THE THING IS, NO ONE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT THE INVESTING ADVICE I'M GIVING THEM.  WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT IS HEARING A PERSONAL STORY FROM MY LIFE THAT THEY CAN RELATE TOO!!!  Believe me, nothing will make people warm up to you and trust you like relay ing these kinds of stories.
Every month, I have a main article that starts off with a persoanl anecdote and is then tied to some very basic investing concept.  I have a short articel offering something, like a free education analysis or a new brochure my firm has put out.  I thank people who have sent me referalls in a short blurb - EVERY MONTH.  I also have a fun story I find on the internet that may have nothing to do with investing.  I offer a couple of "Quoates of the Month" and sometimes a "Profile in COurage" type of article.  If I've been on vacation, I'll include a couple of pictures from my trip.
Keep it very folksy and homespun.  DO NOT TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK SLICK!!  You want the feel of it to be more Readers Digest not Wall Street JOurnal.
I send it out everymonth to my existing clients and qualified prospects I've aquired.


I like a lot of what you're saying here. How does it fly with compliance?


What type of firm do you work for, Indy, wire, regional?





I work for A.G. Edwards.  (Which by the way is a great place to work and they are now paying us bonuses to recruit new brokers...if you're interested in moving, let me know)



AG lets this fly? Ok


I'll pass on the offer for a move to AGE. Good firm though, best of luck there.

Jan 19, 2007 4:28 pm

I like your ideas.  Do you mention the folks who provided referals by name or just include a generic line?


Thanks!