Top Advisors at Loring Ward Conference Get Unvarnished Consumer Input, Practice Management Advice

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Conference Themes: Developing a Compelling Personal Story and Behavioral Finance

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Advisors look to us to go above and beyond to provide meaningful, in-depth learning opportunities. This year was another example of how we do that.

Seventy successful advisors heard from some of financial services’ most respected thought leaders, as well as a panel of thirteen affluent consumers at the Loring Ward 2012 National Education Conference, held June 5-7 in Monterey, California.

Highlights included:

  • Former NFL player Bo Eason and CEG Worldwide founder John Bowen presented a four-hour workshop on “Creating Your Personal Story”
  • Professor and author Dr. Meir Statman spoke on “Efficient Markets in Crisis?”
  • Marketing and PR expert Marie Swift provided numerous advisor success stories in her presentation “Marketing That Works for Advisors Today”
  • Philosopher and author Tom Morris provided inspiration in “The Four Foundations of Greatness” session
  • Loring Ward CEO Alex Potts facilitated a candid conversation with Dimensional Fund Advisors’ co-CEO Eduardo Repetto
  • A panel of consumers took the stage to discuss what they are looking for in—and from—a financial advisor.

“We have a reputation for conferences that deliver great, educational content in a collegial environment,” said Alex Potts. “Advisors look to us to go above and beyond to provide meaningful, in-depth learning opportunities. This year was another example of how we do that and help advisors step outside of their day-to-day concerns to take a strategic look at their practices.”

The kick-off of the conference was an evening performance by former NFL Player Bo Eason of his acclaimed one-man show “The Runt of the Litter,” hailed by the New York Times as, “one of the most powerful plays of the last decade.” A highly personal story, it set the context for Eason and Bowen’s half-day workshop on June 6, where advisors developed their own stories to be used to establish trust and intimacy with clients and prospective clients.

In the afternoon, the focus shifted to portfolio strategies as Loring Ward Chief Investment Officer, Joni Clark, discussed insights into asset class investing with Dimensional Fund Advisors’ executives Jed Fogdall, Co-Head of Portfolio Management, and Marlena Lee, Vice President of Research. This was followed by an analysis from Dr. Meir Statman, Glenn Klimek Professor of Finance, Santa Clara University, of efficient, rational and unbeatable markets.

The first afternoon wrapped up with a presentation by marketing and PR expert Marie Swift, President of Impact Communications, about effective tools and techniques advisors are currently using to build their businesses.

On day two, Michael Maslansky, author of “The Language of Trust,” featured a panel of thirteen “off the street” investors who “graded” presentations by several of the advisors in attendance. Each member of the panel used a handheld device to dial in their rating on a scale of 1 to 100, in real time. Advisors learned that sometimes the words they think best describe what they do (e.g., “create an investment policy statement,” “mitigate market volatility”) can be received negatively by the layperson. The panel did not universally understand the difference between brokers, fee-based and fee-only advisors, nor did they understand what it means to be a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner. When advisors presented how they typically asked for referrals, consumer sentiment took a big dive. The panel’s candid comments will be used by Loring Ward to develop additional training, including a white paper, to help advisors better communicate with their clients.

Following this panel presentation, members of the Loring Ward executive team, in the spirit of the previous day’s focus on the power of personal stories, shared their individual journeys, including how they got into the financial services industry and specifically what brought them to Loring Ward. According to the attendees polled in the hallway, the executives’ personal stories were both funny and poignant. A common thread: The executives joined Loring Ward because they believed in the firm’s integrity, investment philosophy and commitment to helping advisors create the best possible experience for clients.

“The agenda was powerful, but what really made a difference was the opportunity for advisors to mingle with the more than 50 Loring Ward employees in attendance, ask questions and share ideas,” said Steve Atkinson, Executive Vice President, Advisor Relations at Loring Ward. “Our competitive edge will always be our people.”

About Loring Ward
Since 1990, Loring Ward (LWI Financial Inc.) has been dedicated to helping independent advisors become the most trusted and valued professional in their clients’ lives.

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Loring Ward is dedicated to bringing science, reason and innovation to wealth management, with solutions tailored to the unique requirements of successful individuals, small businesses and institutions. Loring Ward’s Asset Class Investing philosophy combines more than eight decades of market data, Nobel Prize-winning academic research and the latest discoveries in behavioral finance.

From Investment Management to Business Management to Practice Development, Loring Ward is committed to giving advisors the tools, training and support to provide clients with a world-class experience.    

As of June 2012, Loring Ward has $7 billion in assets under management. For more information, please visit

LWI Financial Inc. (“Loring Ward”) is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Securities transactions may be offered through Loring Ward Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. R 12-246 (Exp 5/14)

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Leslie Swid
Impact Communications
(913) 649-5009
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