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Hail, Mighty Amazon!

Is Amazon the next big player in financial services? Listen to hear Ric Edelman's take as well as his advice for what it means to be competitive in the digital age of financial advice.

To quote the great Ric Edelman, who I was honored to have as my guest on this episode of my show,

“Either run your practice the right way using technology correctly or join another practice where they’re doing it on your behalf…We need to recognize that the way you’ve been building your practice for the past 20 years is not the way you’re going to be able to continue operating your practice for the next 20 years.”

The options are: join the movement, or join the movement.

And so here we are in the age of Amazon where the customer experience is king. Will the tech giants be the next big players? Or does brick and mortar still have an appeal?

Listen to hear more about what being competitive means in the digital age of financial advice. You’ll also hear all about Ric Edelman’s fantastic sock collection as  shown below:

Ric Edelman has quite an interesting sock collection, as evidenced below.


Resources mentioned in this show

How Amazon Will Dominate Wealth Management


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Financial Advisor Who Gets Leads from YouTube

Here is a story of a financial advisor who gets leads from YouTube.

This podcast episode is about to knock your socks off.

Meet my buddy Josh Scandlen of Heritage Wealth Planning. In the one year since Josh went independent as a financial advisor, his YouTube channel has furnished him with enough leads to where (in only one year of being in business) he has stopped taking new clients.

Listen to this story of a financial advisor who gets leads from YouTube. We’ll talk about how and why he did it and what advice he has for advisors who want to stop fighting Google and build their businesses through social media.

Enjoy! And if you don’t mind, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast.

Resources mentioned in this show

Miles Beckler YouTube channel

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Ways to Get Rich People to Go To Your Website

In this interview with Kirk Deis of Treehouse51 financial advisors will learn the ways to get rich people to go to your website.

One of the biggest frustrations that financial advisors have is that their websites don’t attract high net worth clients. Much of this has to do with the way that the website is designed. Do you know what Google is looking for?

We’ve got Kirk Deis of Treehouse51 here with us to talk about what web developers don’t tell you regarding the ways that financial advisors can get rich people to go to their websites.

  • Difference between custom and template websites in terms of what it offers you in terms of getting rich people to go to your website
  • Advantage and disadvantages of using a template website – how it impacts your ability to get rich people to go to your website
  • How much you will spend on each type of website and what you get for the price
  • Things a low cost web developer may do that would not be in your favor as a financial advisor
  • What a custom website can typically cost (initially) and how to negotiate with a developer for the best price
  • The costs you need to think about if you have a custom website on an ongoing basis
  • What you should do first if you are thinking about using paid advertising to attract high net worth investors to your website
  • What you’re missing if you’re not using the data that Google gives you and how can kill your marketing ROI
  • How you can target high net worth investors using Google because Google knows everything about us
  • The exciting things you can do with YouTube that nobody is really doing in the financial advisor space
  • The shortcut to getting in front of a high net worth audience that your competitor or an influencer has already done the hard work to gather
  • How ranking well in YouTube can be better than blogs in terms of getting found on Google
  • What it can potentially cost to do paid advertising – what you should budget
  • Some tips for your Google Adwords campaign

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!


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Talking about Risk does not have to be a Molotov Cocktail

There are a variety of reasons that advisors feel like clients just don’t “get it” when it comes to risk. I’m going to name a few.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • They want low risk but high returns
  • They don’t grasp the idea of uncertainty or loss until they feel it
  • They don’t understand long term investing
  • They have recency bias
  • They don’t get it that long term growth comes with short term volatility
  • They view short term volatility as a risk
  • Clients answer the exact same risk tolerance questionnaire differently each time they complete it
  • They don’t fully grasp the concept of risk when talk about interest rate risk and purchasing power risk
  • They think they can tolerate more risk than they really can (usually revealed when markets drop)

Ridiculous. And, explosively dangerous.

Why is this so hard? Does client risk tolerance have to be as incendiary as as Molotov cocktail?

We can’t change our clients’ behavioral tendencies. But what is well within our control is our ability to understand and respond to their attitudes towards risk, no matter what they may be. This is the only solution. Blaming or arguing with the client is a pointless conversation.

I’m so excited to have Hugh Massie, founder of DNA Behavior, on the show to discuss exactly that!

You will hear about:

  • What does risk mean? The difference between risk need, risk capacity, and a client’s natural level of risk.
  • That the words matter. Example: “risk tolerance” vs “loss aversion”
  • How advisors themselves may have a different risk profile than the client, and how this skews things
  • Behavioral biases and cognitive biases that people have
  • One of the most neglected topics- people’s spending patterns and the impact of that on risk
  • Why the risk tolerance questionnaire is situationally-biased and should not be relied upon on its own as a measurement of risk
  • How to adapt your communication style to serve the client on their terms– people hear risk differently depending upon their personality
  • Why you should consider using a team approach to make sure there is proper client-advisor match
  • Methods for integrating a behavioral assessment into your practice
  • What to do if two partners have a completely different risk measurement

Thanks for listening and please subscribe, rate, and review my podcast!



Grillo Investment Management, LLC does not guarantee any specific level of performance, the success of any strategy that Grillo Investment Management, LLC may use, or the success of any program.

Grillo Investment Management, LLC will strive to maintain current information however it may become out of date. Grillo Investment Management, LLC is under no obligation to advise users of subsequent changes to statements or information contained herein. This information is general in nature; for specific advice applicable to your current situation please contact a consultant or advisor.

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5 Independent Broker Dealer CEOs with the Best Hair in 2019

Here are the best hairstyles I see the top independent broker dealer CEOs pulling off, and how they brands they lead have benefited.

Hair matters. In no particular order, here are the best hairstyles I see the top independent broker dealer CEOs pulling off, and how the brands they lead have benefited.

#1 Dan Arnold of LPL

Why he made the 2019 “Best Broker Dealer CEO Hair” list

I love how Dan Arnold has hair that moves.


It’s such a departure from the stiff hair that you usually see in people in this role. This look his bio picture is soft and free flowing, nicely complimenting his oval facial shape.

What it does for the firm’s brand

His hair makes him relatable.

In this clip of Dan talking about LPL’s culture change, look at how alive he is. He’s not going for superiority here. Sporting the “no tie” look well, his understated dress and dynamic, engaging body language convey the point he’s trying to make – that LPL wants to connect with clients on a human level.

Nicely done.

Style tips if you wear this look

When you go with a longer hair style, you’ve got to constantly keep up with it. This can cross over to shaggy or windblown motif if not maintained.

Set that recurring meeting up with the barber for every 2-3 weeks otherwise you may wind up looking like you drove to work on your motorcycle.

Paul Reilly of Raymond James

Why he made the 2019 “Best Broker Dealer CEO Hair” list

I have to give it to Paul Reilly for having the highest ratio of total hair per square inch than any other broker dealer CEO I have seen. He makes every strand of it work, though!

What it does for the firm’s brand

Just like RJ’s ability to be a publicly traded company yet avoid the bulge bracket-ish feeling that people run from, Paul’s hair and mustache combo has it all together. Neat and organized with a touch of character, Paul and his firm have style.

Style tips if you wear this look

Be aware that when you have a high volume of hair included in your look, you may have to tone down other aspects of your style to avoid being too busy. Paul does this well; for example in this clip of him speaking, he’s gone with glasses with no bottom rim. Nicely balanced.

Downplay the accessories, in other words. Beard or mustache are bringing enough character to the picture.

Penny Pennington of Edward Jones

Why she made the 2019 “Best Broker Dealer CEO Hair” list

I love what Penny Pennington’s hair does for her delicate facial features. Her wispy bangs add softness and are just the right length while accentuating her eyes to convey an expression of confidence. The whole look just works.

What it does for the firm’s brand

I love how Penny is able to represent her brand as its Managing Partner powerfully as a female leader and look so stylish at the same time. Diversity and inclusion are important for a financial brand in this modern age and are an inspiration.

Style tips if you wear this look

Anytime you are using a highly styled look involving product such as gel you want to make sure not to apply too much and making it obvious. This is especially important for shorter styles.

Philip J. Sanders of Waddell & Reed

Why he made the 2019 “Best Broker Dealer CEO Hair” list

Philip Sanders makes the best hair list because of his clean cut and versatile hairstyle. As shown on his bio page, he can wear it with a side part or slightly elevated and brushed straight back for more volume.

What it does for the firm’s brand

A conservative look for a traditional kind of firm.

Style tips if you wear this look

This is the Toyota of hairstyles. It’s durable and you can get a lot of mileage out of it. However it’s not the most dynamic style.

Consider adding short sideburns if you want to give it some vavoom!

Dennis R. Glass of Lincoln Financial

Why he made the 2019 “Best Broker Dealer CEO Hair” list

First of all, what a great bio picture. Dennis looks sincerely happy and his overall vibe is warm and inviting.

The long on top style works out okay here. He’s probably applied product, but it seems like the right amount. The hair falls nicely but doesn’t seem overly floppy.

What it does for the firm’s brand

This style reminds me of Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1990’s. This is cool, youthful style goes well with a brand that has over the years shifted its focus to be on empowering families rather than being the typical insurance broker.

Style tips if you wear this look

Long on top styles have to be carefully monitored to avoid poofing on the sides. If the sides get too long and start to extend past ear level, you risk losing the overall shape and having the whole thing balloon into a mushroom.

Sara’s Upshot

Are you a financial firm CEO who’d like me to review your style in the next blog? If so drop me a line.

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Redesigning the Briefcase Bag

If I were to design a briefcase bag, here’s what it would look like.

For years I’ve been searching for a briefcase bag that is professional yet stylish at the same time – and I’m constantly frustrated. If I were to design a briefcase bag, here’s what it would look like.

Why the current options stink

I find it unfulfilling every time I have to buy a briefcase bag. I feel as if I have to sacrifice either style or functionality and can never achieve them both.

It is at the point where I seriously have considered starting my own bag line. I just can’t not seem to find a bag that looks stylish while at the same time does what I need it to do for me namely:

  • Carries my shoes. This is my #1 struggle in business commuting. I’ve come to the sad conclusion that it may not actually be possible to carry your high heels in the same bag as your business items. They always crush or soil the bag’s contents.
  • Has a “quick grab” place for my phone, keys, and subway card where these items can’t slosh around and get lost.
  • Contains a glasses compartment where my spectacles won’t get scratched or broken.
  • Has a place to put my touch up cosmetics such as lipstick etc. Things leak no matter how well sealed so this would have to be waterproof.
  • Stores my laptop
  • Stores my business papers without them getting crinkled or torn
  • Has a pen holder. Have you ever gone to get a deal signed and can’t find your pen? Ruins the whole close.

Every bag I find is either too heavy or too bulky and makes me feel like I’m getting ready to fly Delta out of LaGuardia. I am about to throw it all in my kid’s Disney Princess backpack and call it a day.

How’s that for de haute couture?

In store results – unfulfilling

I recently took to the stores. But do you know how hard it is to go briefcase bag shopping in Manhattan with kids? The high end places can see the circus coming.

“Ma’am please tell your kids to stop getting their fingerprints on the merchandise.”

To which my response is, “You’re right. Give me three tickets. I’ll pick them up in an hour – where’s your baggage claim?”

So it’s clear I have a limited capacity to shop in store. So I had to go online, but even then, here’s what I found to be the most viable candidates. And even these don’t really do it for me.

Michael Kors Whitney

This is a tote bag but from what I gathered you could probably get away with fitting a laptop into it. The strap length would allow me to carry it without making it too heavy. I like how the zipper is on the top invisible from the outside – too many zippers and I feel like I’m going skiing in the Swiss Alps.

The interior is spacious but there’s no real segmentation to accommodate my list of needs (see above). I envision crumpled papers and things getting crushed as a result.

Retails at $298.00

If you like this style but want a slightly lower price point see the Ralph Lauren Andover Tote.

Longchamp Roseau

If you’re willing to pay over $500 for a bag, this would be a good candidate. It’s made of high quality materials and seems like it can take a beating. Although it is roomy enough to fit all that you’d need, there’s only a zipper pocket and no compartmentalization. Crumpling and soiling likely.

Coach Willis Top Handle

This is a solid multi-unction bag. It would work well for business and personal life and it goes for a little less than $500. The flap gives it a little personality. I also noticed several compartments however if you want to take your laptop along this is probably not for you.

Bebe Janet Satchel

Having made ourselves unpopular in the luxury stores I ventured out to T.J. Maxx where I found this beauty on sale. I’m a sucker for quilted bags. Although this isn’t as roomy as the others I think you could maybe squeeze in your laptop. Not sure if you can get this in the stores anymore but I did find some entries for it on Pinterest.

Redesigning the briefcase bag

If I were to design a briefcase bag, here are two ways I would possibly do it.

Model One

One is a stacked model. The bag is lengthy with two layers, one on top of the other. The layer on the bottom is waterproof and carries shoes and makeup while the top layer is for papers and laptop with a “grab compartment” for the quick access items.

You’d be able to access the bottom layer from the side to avoid having to rummage through your top lawyer to get to the bottom layer. You’d have to wear collapsible shoes (such as slipper shoes) while commuting and carry your heels in a separate bag. Once you got to the meeting you change into the heels and store the commuting shoes in the bottom layer of the bag.

Here’s a rudimentary sketch. This is a side view:

Model Two

This one is a one layer bag wider than it is long with document/laptop storage in the middle and compartments on either side. One compartment is for the grab items while the other is waterproof and stores the shoes and makeup.

Here’s a view from the top looking down into the bag:

As for the styling of the bag’s exterior, there would be a see through panel where you can plug in different patterns depending on the meeting such as:

  • Leopard
  • Polka dot
  • Swirls
  • Your company logo and name
  • Geometric shapes

Sara’s Upshot

I would love to hear your thoughts on my designs and on business briefcase bags in general. Please kindly comment here or send me a message.

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Cash in Those Sock Options

Here are some great sock options that you can consider that won’t make you sacrifice your professionalism or your style.

Does anyone agree with me that pantyhose is perhaps the most uncomfortable piece of clothing on the face of the earth?  Here are some sock options that you can consider that won’t make you sacrifice your professionalism or your style.

Why I threw mine in the pail

I’ve never been a fan of nylons from a financial standpoint. I find it extremely vexing that they go for $8 a pair yet they tear as easily as tissue paper. How do they get away with this rip off? There should be a money back guarantee.

What finally led me to escape was my first pregnancy. I had never before in life stored something the size of a basketball in my stomach.  Oh, the bruised ribcage!

I got one of those pairs of pregnancy nylons (and believe me, those cost a fortune) but by the eight month, I felt like a tube of toothpaste being squeezed with the cap still on. I literally could not breathe.

I finally decided enough was enough, and emerged from the company bathroom leaving the dreaded things in the trash pail. I was stared down passing by the cubicle of a coworker who muttered, “That is so against company policy (eyes rolling)” loudly enough for the people around her to hear.

“So is making pregnant employees feel like a balloon that’s about to burst!” I responded.

It just slipped.

What can I say, I’m too “bad” for Corporate America anyways.

It’s not cool how women are expected to squeeze, cover, clip, dye, or cover up parts of our bodies 100% of the time so we can meet standards. We’re all worthy of feeling beautiful as we are.

What do you think about these options?

Going bare

Admittedly I’ve sported this look before, as the nylon section of my drawer has been vacant for several years. To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of bareleggedness in business. Especially if you are working in a conservative industry like finance, you never know whom you will offend.

You have to be really careful that you are wearing a long enough skirt – at least past knee length. Make sure you test this by sitting down.  The risk here is that any exposure of thigh skin is going to attract unwanted attention and you know what that does to your credibility.

If you go bare, consider that some people may be offended by this, even with the appropriate length of skirt. Consider how formal the company is that you will be keeping. If you aren’t sure, stash a pair of nude tights in your handbag as a safety measure.

Women’s trouser Socks: boring but more comfortable

Consider trouser socks. You’ve probably worn something like these before.

No Nonsense Women’s Flat Knit Crew Sock

Women’s 6 Pack Silky Sheer Knee High trouser socks

I’m still frustrated.

There were some interesting patterns such as polka dots and zig zags. Overall nothing too exciting. Plus, these sheer trouser socks often are lacy. I kind of feel like a doily when I wear lace.

What shoes do you wear with knit trouser socks? Maybe try Oxfords or loafers with a heel. Too masculine? I have some more feminine shoe options to discuss later in this article.

Men’s trouser socks: cash ’em in!

If you share my frustration with the lack of eye-catching women’s trouser socks, I would suggest throwing caution to the wind and purchasing men’s trouser socks.

I found some men’s trouser socks that make a statement. Although these were created for men, to me they don’t appear overly masculine.

Teal up the runway

Look at these beauties. Teal heatmap swirls with some yellow accents throw in there, zig zags. Fun!


Now we’re talking!

Value pack

Just be careful with the striped one; you don’t want to look like Where’s Waldo.

How to wear men’s trouser socks femininely

Now, let’s say you wanted to wear trouser socks with a skirt.


Yes, it can be done although consider your company. If you are going to be around people who have a heart attack over every little thing, this may not be the best look.

Here are some combos to consider:

  • Midi skirt with high heeled stiletto ankle boots. Leave a little sock (about an inch) showing up high and this looks great.
  • A-line skirt with pointy toe pumps. Match the pumps to the skirt and use a patterned sock.
  • Trouser skirt with t-straps or mary jane heels. If you wear a patterned sock, make sure it doesn’t look weird where the shoe cuts the ankle in half. Striped socks may be the best option here.

Sara’s Upshot

If you have a particular fashion look you’d like me to consider writing about, feel free to send me a message. I’d love to hear it.