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Down The Rabbit Hole

An advisor set up a charitable remainder trust for a client.  While the irrevocability of the trust was made abundantly clear, two years later the client found an investment he wanted to make and the only place he had any liquid assets was in the trust. The advisor, wanting to keep his client happy, came up with a novel solution: As trustee, he went to the bank, took the money out and closed the account.

The move was inspiring to some, as this unique, proprietary strategy—just taking money out of a charitable remainder trust—attracted positive attention from many other industry professionals. Some financial institutions even offered the advisor considerable sums to share his methodology.

In this case, smarter minds prevailed and the monies were returned to the trust. Still, the interest in the advisor’s strategies continues.

Welcome to Wonderland!

A professional decided that there’s a great, unmet need for whole disability insurance—a disability policy that has large, tax-free cash buildup with the aim of eventually being self-funding.

The professional, realizing the obvious appeal of such a policy to athletes and high-net-worth individuals, put out feelers for the best whole disability insurance. The response was nearly immediate. A plethora of advisors contacted him to get whole disability insurance for their clients.

This army of professionals was very willing to split the cases with the advisor who first asked around. For more than four months, the advisor, with the help of a very expensive attorney, worked out fee-splitting arrangements with a network of other professionals. They even had their own mini-conference.

The only complication is that there’s no such thing as whole disability insurance.
Welcome to Wonderland!

Virtually all professionals are looking for new business—new clients. What’s special about the industry is that, for a price, advisors are often willing to share their secrets. Just consider …

• An advisor, focusing on a niche target audience, developed a series of fairly unique marketing strategies, like taking prospects on shopping expeditions and inviting them to sleepover parties. While some advisors might raise an eyebrow at these approaches, many others have expressed an eagerness to try them out on their own prospects.

• An advisor sold an island to a very wealthy individual, making him a tidy sum. This happened because the stars perfectly—absolutely perfectly—aligned in ways that are impossible to replicate. His new marketing strategy is to sell five to 10 islands per year. A line of professionals is queuing up to hear from this advisor, eager to understand how to sell islands. The fact that funding for the advisor’s original island deal came from Bear Stearns does not seem to be dampening interest.

• An advisor is doing amazingly well working with non-U.S. investors who can’t explain the source of their funds. The advisor knows there’s no problem with these clients, as they’re really quite nice people. He’s getting a lot of interest from other advisors who want to serve this market segment, so he’s thinking of setting up his very own institute.
Welcome to Wonderland!


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