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How to Leverage Your Charisma with Kim Seltzer


Business success depends heavily upon the person to person connections that you make. Often we try to make it more complicated than that, but it boils down to the connection human being to human being. Our guest Kim Seltzer, makeover and confidence expert, has helped thousands of people build lasting connections with her Charisma Quotient process and this style advice is readily applicable for any financial advisor who wants to grow his or her business!

Listeners will learn how to leverage your charisma starting from the outside to attract more business abundance and opportunity.

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!

Resources mention in the show

About Kim Seltzer

With a vat of knowledge and experience as a therapist, certified style coach, dating coach, and matchmaker, Kim Seltzer has helped hundreds of people find lasting love and connection and build valuable relationships using her unique “confidence makeover” process. Using an outside-in approach, Kim has changed hundreds of lives by changing their style, emotional and social intelligence using her signature formula, “The Charisma Quotient,” working on body language, first impressions, image and messaging and how it impacts attraction. This Los Angeles-based expert travels the country helping people discover confidence, charisma and connection as a speaker at National Matchmaking Conferences, eHarmony, Neutrogena and iDate, as well as her own annual conference series for men and women, The Makeover Blueprint. Kim is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and, with appearances in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, AskMen, Fox News Magazine, Yahoo Shine and the Washington Examiner, among a myriad of other publications. You can also find Kim as a frequent co-host on the podcasts The Jordan Harbinger Show with Jordan Harbinger as well as past episodes on the traveling live dating show The Great Love Debate, and in her new cable reality dating show, The Romance. You can also listen to her now on her own podcast, The Charisma Quotient.

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How to Charge Your Client a Flat Fee Without Making Anyone Unhappy


The emergence of financial advisors who work for a flat fee is a welcome change in the industry. However in practice, making this work equally well for the client as for the advisor is no simple matter. Here’s some guidance if you are looking to put this into place in your practice.

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How to Talk to CPAs So They Will Like You


CPAs are perhaps the most valuable center of influence (COI) that a financial advisors could have; yet advisors mess it up. Here’s how to talk to CPAs to come across as a robust resource, an indispensable resource to their business, rather than a PowerPoint pushing nuisance.

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Don’t Forget About Generation X!


Financial advisors are so focused on the millennials when the reality is that it’s Generation X not Y that should be your focus at the moment. Here’s why and how you should be reaching them.

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Seasonal Fashion Advice for Financial Advisors


How can financial advisors manage to look professional and incorporate some personality into their look at the same time? I interviewed Michael Ferrera, who is both a financial advisor and a fashion and image consultant, for advice about to dress with the changing seasons, how to dress to counterbalance age bias, and the top three financial advisor fashion mistakes. Tune in!

[Frame 2:30] Fall layering tips – how gloves, hates, and scarves can add style in the colder weather. Did you know you can even layer in Texas? As a West Coaster, Michael gives advice about how to layer in a temperate climate.

[Frame 6:15] Women’s fashion layering tips.

[Frame 7:45] How to commute to work in snow boots and then camouflage the boots during the meeting so it isn’t obvious you brought your boots to the meeting.

[Frame 12:21] How to dress to counteract aging.

[Frame 15:51] How to use style as a brand asset if you are a younger advisor.

[Frame 17:47] The role your appearance plays as an enhancer not as what defines you as an advisor. Some creative ways to adapt to the client you are working with without using plastic surgery or Botox.

[Frame 21:52] Three biggest financial advisor fashion mistakes we commonly see: corner cutting (heels worn down, shoes not shined), neglecting accessories or tailoring, wearing the same thing.

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!


Ferrera, Michael. 2018, July 23rd. The Suit Advisors Should Wear: The Importance of Color. Advisor Perspectives. Retrieved from

Michael Ferrera custom clothing: 

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Game Show [Extremely Humorous]


This episode of the Sara Grillo podcast was a game show featuring a famous judge and four financial advisor contestants. Bob Huebscher, CEO of Advisor Perspectives magazine, acted as the judge. The four financial advisor contestants were Frazer Rice, John Conte, Eric Broda, and Douglas Boneparth.

The show was highly entertaining and comical, including such elements as:

  • Contestants attempting to refute the judge’s rewarding of points to the competition
  • Mudslinging
  • Host arguing with contestants
  • Contestants arguing with other contestants
  • Financial advisors getting brutally grilled about social media and marketing concepts
  • Cutthroat competition all around
  • A tie for first place which resulted in a high pressure overtime round

You will not regret listening to this humorous episode and please don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review this podcast!

Correction: 64% of people ages 50 to 64 use social media.

Resources mentioned in this show

Kallas, Priit. (2 August, 2018). Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites and Apps [August 2018]. DreamGrow. Retrieved from

Murnane, Kevin. (3 March, 2018). Which Social Media Platform Is The Most Popular In The US? Forbes. Retrieved from



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What it Takes to be Insightful with Bill Bengen


Bill Bengen’s 4% Rule was a revolutionary insight that changed the way portfolios are managed. To this day his thinking governs modern money management. I was honored to speak with Bill about what it took to generate that level of game-changing insight and how financial advisors who wish to set their brands apart may do the same.

Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast.

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Marketing Tips for CFA® Charterholders


From the perspective of someone who is both a CFA® charterholder and a businesswoman, I’m going to talk about how CFA® charterholders can use not necessarily just their credential but the experience that they have been through to get new clients and to develop new business for themselves. Here are some rare, practical, actionable marketing tips for CFA® charterholders.

You’re Way Tougher Than You Think You Are

This is something I messed up with in my own life when I was younger and got laid off from Lehman Brothers.

I (kind of) had a little bit of an entitled attitude where I felt like because I had the designation jobs should come easily to me, that people when they saw it would just pick me for the job.

Well, boy was I wrong.

No fault of the CFA designation itself, it was really my attitude. The first thing is, understand that in order to get the CFA designation you have to be pretty tough. I mean, there are always those whiz people who will say it was a breeze. Fine – this podcast is not for you. Go listen to someone else’s show. For most of us, the process was grueling and took a fair amount of determination and mental tenacity.

I know for myself, I was an English major. When I decided early in my career that I wanted to take the exam and become a portfolio manager, I met with alot of resistance. One person even said, “But Sara, you’re just a marketing girl. This is a finance exam.” Well, I’m the kind of person that if you tell me I can’t do something, it just makes me want to do it more.

Maybe I was just too naive to know any better, but even to this day I’m just not willing to accept what other people determine to be my limits. Understand that if you’ve been through this process, the same probably applies to you to some extent. To go through the exams, you’ve probably been through a fair amount of mental testing and you’ve had to have alot of perseverance to get there.

Now, I feel like many people kind of let this fall of when they get the designation and get into their practice. For many of us this is where the high determination ends. I think it may have something to do with our pride. When you are going for the exam, there’s all this hype about it. Everyone is asking you. There’s alot you have to swallow by telling people you failed. It’s public. So naturally that increases our motivation.

But what about your business? I know when I was a financial advisor, I was underperforming. I was not a great marketer. I passed the exam and from then on failed to go about developing my business as an advisor with the same tenacity.

Bring back that same determination. Do you know what it takes to get past the FRA material in the derivatives section? McCaulay vs. Modified duration. Remember the fair value accounting rules? Think about how you were punching the bag so hard.

Don’t let go of that. That is #1 of my marketing tips for CFA® charterholders. It’s a little bit abstract, but just hearken back to the days when you had a fire in the belly to pass the exam and understand how tough you really are.

I remember I told a reporter once that if it took me 80 years, it was going to say “Sara Grillo, CFA” on my tombstone. I wish I had been able to apply the same tenacity to the work I was doing at that point in developing leads for my business as a financial advisor.

Bring Back the Rigor

Take the discipline and translate it into action. Here are the kinds of things you should be doing to create more opportunity for yourself by taking action.

Think about the kinds of incredible actions you had to take to pass the exam. You see people studying all day on Saturday, telling their friends and family they can’t see them for days and weeks at a time. I remember once I went to Italy with my family and I had that book attached to my hip. Every single time we were waiting for a bus or at the airport, I cracked open the book and I was studying. It was those Schweser notes.

One night I was studying put-call parity and there was a blackout. I lit a candle so that I could study by candle light. In my episode Shoot the Ball, I talk about how much activity you really should be taking if you are in a business development role and you want to get new clients.

If you are a business owner or salesperson, there’s really no way to get around the numbers. In a way it is just as much of a test as the CFA exam. At the end of the day, you have to ring the bell and in order to ring that bell there is a certain amount of knocking on doors you have to do. You can’t get around it.

I have a call recorder sheet that tracks the amount of calls you should be making each day and the results of each. Contact me about that because at the end of the day it really does come down to how many people you get in front of.

This is perhaps the most valuable of my marketing tips for CFA® charterholders – take daily action. I’ve noticed in my own business that regardless of skill level, the advisors I coach who do the best in getting new clients are the ones who take the most action.

We Trust Each Other

I have found in my businesses that CFA® charterholders  do like to do business with each other. It’s kind of this tacit understanding that we have. I do personally feel like I can trust another CFA charterholder more than the average financial advisor when it comes to managing money for a few reasons.

  • One, they are bound to a code of ethics and if they break it then they get all they worked for taken away. After going through the painful process to get this, nobody want to lose it.
  • Two, there are some pretty tough questions on the ethics section of the exams. Just by virtue of the fact that you had to study this material, I feel a CFA charterholder has had training that goes way beyond the common level of knowledge.

If you’re a financial advisor, look for other charterholders who aren’t in the money management business and who respect the designation. Marketing people, salespeople, government employees, there’s alot of us; not everyone is out there cracking trades every day. There are in fact hundreds of thousands of people out there who are CFA® charterholders . I think they are more likely to connect with you than they would be with the average advisor.

It’s also a good position to be in to be someone’s Plan B. Even if the charterholder is managing their own money, everyone needs a back up that can be called upon if something happens to them.

Although the CFA is widely recognized within certain business communities, to the average retail person, they’re looking for CFPs when it comes to personal financial advice. Many people don’t grasp the real differences between CFPs, CFA® charterholders , and CPAs.  Be able to explain this.

The designation is more recognized among certain very educated business populations such as attorneys, MBAs, and accountants. Often these people socialize with other educated people and know someone who has been through the program.

That’s the third of my marketing tips for CFA® charterholders!

Utilize CFA Social Media Resources

The CFA Institute has done a great job creating a spectacular online presence for itself and its members. Use it.

For the fourth of my marketing tips for CFA® charterholders, I suggest using LinkedIn groups that you can join because you are a CFA Institute member. I used to post into the CFA Candidates Group which has over 180k members and a great deal of business came of it. There’s a number of other groups as well that I list out in my Advisor Perspectives article here.

Create CFA Charterholder Specific Financial Products

Now, we all know that CFA® charterholders  tend to be investment focused people. But are they as psyched about financial planning?


Why doesn’t somebody create a financial product, a course or a financial planning service, targeted towards CFA® charterholders  who already have the investment side covered? Don’t just offer the generic financial planning service that everyone else offers. Why don’t you put a twist on it and say, okay so I’m not managing your money but here are some things about your investments that you might want to be looking at. Have your beneficiaries changed? Is the risk tolerance on your account still correct?

Or even better, offer to be a second set of eyes and review their investments on an annual basis? Don’t try to take away the investment side when the person wants to manage it themselves. You’ll just annoy them and breach their trust. There’s alot of value in being that back up. You just never know when things could change and the person says, “I’m so tired of this. I don’t have time anymore.”

Hint: people are more motivated to hire a money managers after they mess up. We’re in a long bull market but once the next 20% correction happens, some people might kind of be open to your advice. This is one of the most surprising marketing tips for CFA® charterholders – be in the right position.

Be a Guest Writer

Financial Analysts Journal, CFA Institute Enterprising Investor.

These are all publications offered by the CFA Institute and to my knowledge they do welcome submissions from CFA® charterholders . True, mostly other CFA® charterholders  will be reading it, but you never know when that CPA or estate attorney may be reading.

And by the way, write about being a CFA charterholder on your own blog. Go past just stating that you hold the designation. Explain the value specifically in terms of the experience that the client has that they would not have if you didn’t have the designation.

Example: Write a blog about something like this.

When I was a candidate for the CFA exam, I studied extensively the ethics section because I had to answer questions about things like client confidentiality. Here was an example of the kind of question I had to answer (present some example of someone overhearing something in a restaurant or something).

In other words, one of the best marketing tips for CFA® charterholders is to show the substance of your training. Show people the kinds of concepts you had to master in order to score well enough to be awarded the designation. This will make them grasp what it really means to be dealing with someone with higher awareness of certain things, things like confidentiality that matter to them, and how their experience as your client may be better as a result.

Tap Into Millennial CFA Candidates

Use the CFA Candidate pool which is full of what we call HENRYs to get in front of high earning millennials or GenXers who may not have the portfolio right now but probably will in the future. There’s a CFA Candidates group and Analyst Forum has discussions about this as well. Whenever I talk about how to pass the exam on my YouTube channel people gobble this content up and that is because people are voracious about getting this advice.

Understand that not every CFA candidate is going to come out on top. Yes, I said it. Some people are going to die off after they fail Level Two a million times. Someone who you make contact with when they are a candidate and who later fails out is potentially a great candidate for your services. Some will pursue portfolio management careers despite having flunked out of the program while others will go work selling pharmaceuticals. Hardworking, intelligent, motivated – these are great potential clients. Sounds good to me!

If you’re trying to meet millennials, which you should be, check out my “How to Talk to Millennials So They Actually Listen” about how to do that.

Summary on Marketing Tips for CFA® charterholders

The CFA designation is a potent arrow in your marketing quiver – not just in the bragging value, though. Maximize the value as a prospecting tool whether you are a financial advisor or not. I have many other marketing tips for CFA® charterholders so please reach out to me here if you want to discuss.

I am also a public speaker on CFA marketing topics such as this, so if you are involved with your local CFA society then please reach out to me to come and speak. I know there is at least one person in your group that is going to benefit from what I have to say.

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



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Is 1% Dead and Gone? With Scott MacKillop


Does the emergence of new technologies such as TAMPS and roboadvisors have to mean a deflated revenue stream for financial advisors? Not necessarily. Join me and my guest Scott MacKillop of First Ascent Asset Management as we discuss the new model for managing assets and how advisors can make it work for them without becoming poverty stricken.

[1:28] What Scott is working on nowadays – outsourced portfolio management services on a flat fee basis. The cost is $500 per year per account regardless of size. Households capped at $1,000.

[2:26] Scott’s motivation for introducing flat fees to the asset management world.

[3:33] How operationally does this flat fee model work? Similar to a roboadvisor, the technology is very advanced (paperless account set up, etc.) This is a tremendous benefit to an advisor.

[5:10] The gripes/fears that advisors tend to have about a flat fee investment management model like this. Concerns over service quality, etc.

[6:50] The dim outlook for AUM fee and why flat fees (retainer-based fees) are becoming the norm not just for investment management but also for the other services that advisors provide (planning, etc.)

[8:23] The underestimation that many people have about how far you can actually scale a business using technology.

[9:50] How this is a different kind of TAMP in terms of the ways fees are charged.

[11:14] How using technology such as this will free up time for advisors to market their firm, contact prospects, fill up the pipeline.

[12:24] Why a TAMP isn’t only good for small portfolios, contrary to what many advisors believe.

[13:03] Why the days of charging 1% for a large portfolio that is not complex and is “easy money” for the advisors are vulnerable accounts now for advisors. Advisors should use this TAMP technology as an opportunity to say, “I can save you $40k a year” and decrease even the internal expense ratios within that portfolio.

Advisors will have to work harder to earn that $40k back in fees, but the reality is that if you don’t make this move then somebody else will. Create a relationship with a TAMP or robo and save the client fees (then find a way to earn it back by providing higher value) or the relationship is going to inevitably leave you.

How long do you think you are going to be able to charge 10x more? How long is this really going to last?

Clients care about all in fees and they like it when you’re not too mongering about your fees. Reduce fees by providing a lower cost investment management solution whose quality is just as good, and then earn the value back by offering more to clients.

Or else the account is going to be leaving you!

[17:40] How does a TAMP differ from a roboadvisor? Both are low cost technology solutions. How do you pick one over the other?

[19:10] What the fact that many robos have not been through a recession yet means for the robo service model. For example, in a market downturn, are you really going to be happy with a robo suspending trading on your client accounts with no handholding or client service or explanation of why or what is really going on?

[21:35] How does a TAMP interact with advisors? What is their experience likely to be at a firm like Scott’s?

[23:50] Fun advisor questions Sara gets Scott’s perspectives on. Should advisors have a beard? How can advisors drive leads using your car? How can you use your dog or cat as a marketing tool?

[31:00] Bad sales training that advisors should ignore or delete from their memory.

Resources cited in this show

Shoot the Ball by Sara Grillo

Shoot the Ball