August/September Newsletter for Advisors

August FA Newsletter

Chasing Leprechaun’s Gold

We’ve all heard a thousand times about the old tale about finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  We all know it’s just supposed to be a humorous and interesting “old wives tale”.  But I find that many financial advisors are constantly chasing after “Leprechaun gold”.

Now don’t get mad at me.  I might not be talking about YOU.  It’s probably another financial advisor or an insurance agent.  But I see too many advisors thinking that some marketing or lead generation “rainbow” will lead them to a “pot of gold”.  I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t be doing “marketing”.  Far from it.

Great marketing is what can grow a firm’s AUM massively.  We’ve seen that with The Mutual Fund Store, Ken Fisher, and even Wealthfront.  Unfortunately too many advisors get caught chasing after something that isn’t going to work, or that is just the latest “snake oil” being peddled by another salesman.

“Internet leads” comes to mind.  Firms that promise to send you qualified leads from the “internet”.  How many advisors and agents have been burned by this rainbow?  Even if someone is a lead, it is being sold to 20 other advisors so that the end result is one annoyed “prospect” that isn’t going to want to talk with you, much less meet with you.

“Templated Websites” also comes to mind.  You may even have one yourself – a cookie cutter website that thousands of other advisors have a similar version of.  Google hates any duplicated content, so when it sees the same “articles” and “calculators” on 18,967 financial advisor websites, they will not rank your website.  Thus, you won’t ever get any organic traffic.  You can try to buy traffic but the “template website” has no lead generation or opt-in capabilities.  And even if it did most advisors don’t have any backend follow-up mechanism to nurture those prospects.

Assuming prospects want to “meet with you” as a first step is a huge pot of Leprechaun gold, something akin to thinking people enjoy getting their teeth drilled in the dentist chair.  (fact is most don’t).  You have to ask people to take some baby steps first.  You can’t get married on the first date!

Most advisors need even the most basic core marketing elements.  I see advisors in need of a new website that is not a template.  They need multiple ways of enticing people to ask for more information and “raise their hand” as a possible lead.  They don’t have any way to capture leads, much less a way to do backend email nurture to those leads.

For those that have some or all of that in place, most advisors have no idea that they could generate their own leads using Youtube, Google, Facebook, webinars, etc.  Or perhaps they know “about those” but don’t know how to go about it.  Many advisors don’t have a clue what a “marketing funnel” is, or how to implement and manage one.

If you can learn how to do some basic marketing strategies, you can create your own real pot of gold, not a fake mirage at the end of a rainbow.  And if you don’t have time or can’t figure it out, find someone that can help you.  And do it one piece at a time as you can afford it.  Or get a “marketing coach” that can direct your efforts monthly and keep you on track.

If you need help, please contact Torrid Tech to see if we have any openings.  Our marketing services have been in high demand lately.  And meanwhile, watch out for the luck ‘o the Irish… most of the time it isn’t really “luck” after all that takes you.

Tim Turner

Torrid Advisory Solutions Helps RIAs Fight Back Against Pure “Robo-Advisors” by Releasing White Label Advisory Platform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Torrid Advisory Solutions Helps RIAs Fight Back Against Pure “Robo-Advisors” by Releasing White Label Advisory Platform

 

Marietta, GA, November 17, 2014 – Torrid Technologies has thrown its hat into the online advisory platform business competing with large financial companies and others using advanced technology integrated with a competing custodian. It is very clear that the online advisory business is growing and here to stay.

 

The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform competes with pure electronic “Robo-Advisors” by helping existing advisors extend their practices to the “cloud” with ease.  This new “Cloud-Advisor” model  shines a light on the “Robo-Advisor” shortcomings, which are mainly a lack of human interaction and guidance.

 

The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform changes the game for advisors looking to leverage the technologies needed to compete with existing solutions and leap over the competition. The service is immediately available for white labeling by Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and advisory firms.

 

As Tim Turner, CEO of Torrid Technologies shared, “Most robo-advisors are simply low-cost portfolio management solutions that rely totally on computer-based decision making.”  One robo-advisor firm, for example, has gathered over $1 billion in assets since 2012.  Unlike such pure “robo-advisors”, Torrid Advisory Solutions is different because it provides a Financial Advisor or Investment Advisory firm the ability to extend their existing financial practice to the cloud.

Doing business in the cloud shouldn’t represent a reduction in services in order to reduce cost. Torrid Advisory Solutions believes “bringing an Advisor’s business to the cloud” means increasing scalability while increasing efficiency and automation, so that an Advisor can manage a business growing without borders.

 

At the heart of the Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platforms is “video”. Whether it is an Investment Advisor looking to share their portfolio management decisions with investors, or a financial advisor performing a video consultation with a client, integrated video conferencing and video communication makes the cloud feel a little closer. Providing Advisory Services is a consultative business and without integrated video, “Robo-Advisors” are little more than a computer program.

 

Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform is more than just video. It provides automatic

rebalancing and simplified portfolio management all without the advisor having to do anything to make a trade. But the icing on the cake is the robust client communications layer. Client’s will never feel left out in the cold with the real-time notifications of portfolio changes (including video explanations), and any other pertinent information shared by the advisor. Combined with Social Media integration, clients and advisors can participate in discussion threads that reach the masses with personal interactions.

 

The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform competes with pure electronic “Robo-Advisors” by helping existing advisors extend their practices to the “cloud” without much effort. a This new “Cloud-Advisor” model  shines a light on the “Robo-Advisor” shortcomings, which are mainly a lack of human interaction and guidance.

Access a demo and solutions-driven white paper:

www.torridadvisorysolutions.com

 

About:

Torrid Technologies RetirementView software is used by thousands of customers including agents, advisors, planners and brokers This top-rated software for both consumers and financial advisors has been seen and reviewed favorably in Forbes, Barron’s, BusinessWeek, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, among many others. Torrid Advisory Solutions is a service of Torrid Technologies, Inc.

A New Opening For Annuities

A New Opening For Annuities

Straight from the IRS:: Under the new IRS guidance, a target date fund may include annuities allowing payments, beginning either immediately after retirement or at a later time, as part of its fixed income investments, even if the funds containing the annuities are limited to employees over a specified age.  The guidance makes clear that plans have the option to offer target date funds that include such annuity contracts either as a default or as a regular investment alternative.

 

The new policy change is another step reflecting the continuing commitment of the Administration to work in a variety of ways to further bolster retirement security and saving.

 

Torrid Tech Explains:  This means that the employer plans have the flexibility to offer the annuity as an option or as a default when employees save into their 401(k) plan.

 

http://blog.insurancenewsnet.com/2014/10/24/new-opening-annuities/#.VFk-2RY_lEs

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

IRS, Treasury Support Annuities Use in 401(k) Plans

IRS, Treasury Support Annuities Use in 401(k) Plans

Straight from the IRS: The new guidance or policy provides plan sponsors an additional option to make it easier for employees to consider using lifetime income.  Instead of having to devote all of their account balance to annuities, employees use a portion of their savings to purchase guaranteed income for life while retaining other savings in other investments.

 

How to use this info to your benefit?

 

Torrid Tech Explains: This means the employee can choose to put some into annuities for lifetime income and still also have savings in other investments like mutual funds.

http://www.financialbuzz.com/irs-treasury-support-annuities-use-in-401-k-plans-market-news-168915

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with using part of your savings for guaranteed lifetime income while using another portion for other investments? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

Treasury, IRS OK Deferred Income Annuities in 401(k)s

Treasury, IRS OK Deferred Income Annuities in 401(k)s

Straight from the IRS:: Many employer-sponsored 401(k) plans offer so-called target date funds as a default investment for participants who do not affirmatively elect a different investment.  Target date funds get their name from the fact that their allocation of investments shifts gradually from equities to fixed income as participants approach an intended target retirement year.

 

How does this apply to you?

 

Torrid Tech Explains: In recent years target date funds have exploded in popularity by offering workers a way to reduce risk in the market as they approach retirement.  Recent abnormal bond pricing has made it difficult to achieve this result and has left many wondering whether target date funds are accomplishing their goal.

 

http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2014/10/24/treasury-irs-ok-deferred-income-annuities-in-401ks

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with target date funds? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

New IRS 401(k) ruling aims to boost retirement income

New IRS 401(k) ruling aims to boost retirement income

Straight from the IRS: Designed to expand the use of income annuities in 401(k) plans, IRS new change makes clear that plan sponsors can include deferred income annuities in target date funds used as a default investment.

 

Your new options?

 

Torrid Tech Explains: Employees saving in their 401(k) plan at work can choose annuities from insurance companies inside their 401(k) plan so they can reduce market losses on their retirement savings by putting their savings into annuities, instead of mutual funds or target date funds.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/irs-401k-ruling-aims-to-boost-retirement-income-2014-10-29

 

Afraid you may outlive your savings? Have youtried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with putting your savings into annuities? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

Torrid Tech Explains Why New Gov’t Policy Is A Green Light For Advisors To Increase Annuity Options In Retirement Plans

torrid_logo.jpg

Torrid Tech Explains Why New Gov’t Policy Is A Green Light For Advisors To Increase Annuity Options In Retirement Plans

Torrid Technologies, a retirement planning software company, breaks down the government financial technobabble and explains to advisors how new U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service policy changes allow them to increase their client’s annuities and why consumers should consider this option.

Marietta, GA, November 8, 2014 – Recently, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service confirmed a new policy change with a goal “to help retirees manage their savings and ensure they have a stream of regular income throughout retirement”. This is good news for financial advisors, professionals and consumers alike. And to better explain the options available, Torrid Technologies has outlined their top 5 Need-to-Know points from the policy, how the changes allow advisors to increase their client’s annuities and why consumers should consider the option to purchase annuities more readily.

 

  1. Designed to expand the use of income annuities in 401(k) plans, the change makes clear that plan sponsors can include deferred income annuities in target date funds used as a default investment

    1. Torrid Tech’s Explanation: Employees saving in their 401(k) plan at work can choose annuities from insurance companies inside their 401(k) plan so they can reduce market losses on their retirement savings by putting their savings into annuities, instead of mutual funds or target date funds.

  2. Many employer-sponsored 401(k) plans offer so-called target date funds as a default investment for participants who do not affirmatively elect a different investment.  Target date funds get their name from the fact that their allocation of investments shifts gradually from equities to fixed income as participants approach an intended target retirement year.

    1. Torrid Tech’s Explanation: In recent years target date funds have exploded in popularity by offering workers a way to reduce risk in the market as they approach retirement.  Recent abnormal bond pricing has made it difficult to achieve this result and has left many wondering whether target date funds are accomplishing their goal.

  3. The new guidance or policy provides plan sponsors an additional option to make it easier for employees to consider using lifetime income.  Instead of having to devote all of their account balance to annuities, employees use a portion of their savings to purchase guaranteed income for life while retaining other savings in other investments.

    1. Torrid Tech’s Explanation: This means the employee can choose to put some into annuities for lifetime income and still also have savings in other investments like mutual funds.

  4. Under the guidance released a few weeks ago, a target date fund may include annuities allowing payments, beginning either immediately after retirement or at a later time, as part of its fixed income investments, even if the funds containing the annuities are limited to employees over a specified age.  The guidance makes clear that plans have the option to offer target date funds that include such annuity contracts either as a default or as a regular investment alternative.

    1. Torrid Tech’s Explanation:  This means that the employer plans have the flexibility to offer the annuity as an option or as a default when employees save into their 401(k) plan.

  5. In an accompanying letter, the Department of Labor also confirmed that target date funds serving as default investment alternatives may include annuities among their fixed income investments.  The letter also describes how ERISA fiduciary standards can be satisfied when a plan sponsor appoints an investment manager that selects the annuity contracts and annuity provider to pay the lifetime income.

    1. Torrid Tech’s Explanation:  This repeats the idea the annuities can be included as part of the fixed income portion of target date funds and that a plan can meet its fiduciary standards by having an investment manager selecting which annuity options are offered.

  6. In July, the Treasury Department and IRS issued final rules on the use of longevity annuities – a type of deferred income annuity that begins at an advanced age – in 401(k) plans and IRAs as part of a broader coordinated effort with the Department of Labor to encourage lifetime income and enhance retirement security.

    1. What does this mean for you? The new policy change is another step reflecting the continuing commitment of the Administration to work in a variety of ways to further bolster retirement security and saving.

Here are a few action steps to take advantage of the green-light:

  • employers need to immediately look into changing their 401(k) plans to offer these new annuity options

  • their plan advisor needs to determine which annuities to offer and add them to their options

  • employees need to be educated about these new options, their value, and why they should take advantage of these new annuity options

  • everyone involved needs to monitor the plan to see if these new rules are working in practice, instead of in theory

Source: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2673.aspx

 

About Torrid Technologies

Torrid Technologies offers a keep it simple retirement planning tool that allows you to hold onto a strong retirement future, even if the powers that be in Washington try to make a grab for it.  You can download a complimentary demo copy from their website at:  http://www.torrid-tech.com

Contact Information:

Torrid Technologies

1860 Sandy Plains Rd.

Suite 204-129

Marietta, GA 30066

770-884-6085

www.torrid-tech.com

miji@torrid-tech.com

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Senior Citizens League wants more for COLA, three percent they demand

Senior Citizens League wants more for COLA, three percent they demand

Last week the Senior Citizens League released an article demanding a higher COLA in response to the Social Security Administration’s announcement of a 1.7% increase in benefits for retirees.

About $113 Missing from Social Security in 2015, Says The Senior Citizens League.

Only a day after Social Security announced a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase for beneficiaries in 2015, The Senior Citizens League is calling for a minimum increase of 3 percent, which was the average before 2010. The group’s leader, Ed Cates, says benefits of the typical Social Security recipient will be about $5,298 lower by the end of 2015 due to the government not maintaining at least a 3 percent increase.

Are your a senior? Do you agree? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/SocialSecurity/2014/20141023_Minimum-Social-Security-COLA-of-Three-Percent-Demanded-by-Senior-Citizens-League.htm

No need to spend 2015 COLA increase on health costs

No need to spend 2015 COLA increase on health costs

Here’s some great news for retirees on fixed budgets that are often stretched by medical expenses. Monthly premiums for Medicare Part B and the related deductible for 2015 will remain the same as in 2013 and 2014, according to a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

It means retirees won’t have to spend any of the latest cost of living increase (COLA) in Social Security benefits — a 1.7 percent rise — on higher Medicare premiums.

Here Steve Vernon outlines the latest about Medicare and it’s relation to the most recent COLA developments.

In what ways have you spent your COLA in the past? Do you spend it on medical costs? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/medicare-costs-that-wont-be-rising-in-2015

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