Steve Booren, Capital Consulting, Englewood, Colo. Steve Booren doesn't like to take time away from serving his clients. "You won't hear me on the radio or see me on TV," he says. Nor will you find him doing much marketing and prospecting. He asks his clients to do that for him.
As the owner of Capital Consulting, which operates under the Linsco/ Private Ledger umbrella in Englewood, Colo., Booren devised a marketing campaign called "Raving Fans," a takeoff from the book by Ken Blanchard of the same name. Clients actively refer new business.
"I like to say that I have 500 people in my marketing department," says Booren, referring to his customer base. He spells out his strictly referral-based concept to his clients at the outset of their relationship. "I explain to them that if I am going to spend all of my time on them, then they have to do something for me."
It seems to have worked: Booren has 250 million dollars in assets under management, with 1999 production of 1.2 million dollars. His average account size is 400,000 dollars.
What clients can expect from Booren is honest advice on stocks, bonds and mutual funds. "I work mostly on a fee basis, so I'm not biased toward trading, and I'm independent, so I'm not biased toward product," says Booren, who left an 18-year career at Salomon Smith Barney four years ago to strike out on his own.
Booren is admittedly regimented, tenacious and opinionated. That nature didn't fit well in a corporate structure. For example, Booren believes clients should be debt-free. "If they get a 500,000 dollars inheritance and they have a 300,000 dollars mortgage, guess where that money is going?" he asks.
On a typical day, Booren arrives at the office at 5:45 a.m. From 6 o'clock until 7:30, he does research and hand posts each of his accounts. "I want to literally have my fingers on all of my accounts," he says.
At 7:30 a.m., Booren begins trading and managing assets straight through until 11:30.
After that, he has lunch at his desk and meets with new prospects after noon. He leaves the office at 4:30 each day.
Eager to embrace technology, Booren maintains an active Web site at www.lpl.com/steve.booren and encourages clients to e-mail him and his staff of four. "We try to use electronic communication as efficiently as possible," he says. He also issues a printed newsletter quarterly.
To show appreciation for his "marketing department," Booren runs an "I love you" campaign. At different times throughout the year he sends special gifts to his clients. "I try not to do it on holidays because that's when it's expected," he says.
Around the holidays instead, Booren spends time helping the needy through the Colorado Coalition of the Homeless and the Denver Rescue Mission. In 1999, he adopted two families, and supplied gifts and food for all. Capital Consulting also makes donations to charities on behalf of clients at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Booren is married to his college sweetheart and has two boys ages 14 and 9. "I'm really involved in their lives," he says. He and his wife home school their children. This past year he took up hockey with his children, coaching and learning to skate. "It's a good sport. It teaches kids to never, ever give up and never, ever let your guard down," he says. "It's the same as the market."