Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Your Perspective Determines Your Prospects

It is our job as savvy advisors to start rebuilding people’s faith in their ability to retire successfully and stop the despair about the problems that exist in the economy today. A look back at history teaches that when one door closes, another one always opens. Just think of what would have happened if our grandparents had given up on the country during the Depression, had stopped dreaming the American dream and working toward a better future for their children. 

Yes, the pendulum always swings too far but giving up-on government or on the economic possibilities is not the answer. As long as we have our capitalist spirit alive and motivating us as part of our inherent nature, then we can work to create our own success and move our clients back to a feeling of control over their futures.

For the investor looking for growth but protection of principal the index annuity is an excellent alternative to CDs and the risk inherent in the stock market. People believe that they have two places to invest – the stock market and the bank. Now is the time to educate your clients about the opportunity for great gains; no losses; a retirement income you can’t outlive; and protection against increased cost of living expenses due to health issues.

Discuss with your clients that your job is to Preserve, Protect, and Defend their retirement Nest Egg. Preserve their retirement income for life, Protect against the ravages of the stock market, and Defend it against the highly confiscatory tax system.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Why Cold Marketing Doesn’t Make Sense

Attracting the wrong kind of client is like dumping trash into your sales pipeline. So why do so many advisors think that getting a huge list of cold leads rather than looking in their own backyard is the right move? If you cram tons of cold leads into your pipeline, soon it gets so clogged that you don’t have any room for the right clients.

The traditional sales pipeline has schooled many of us to think that we should throw as many leads as possible into our pipeline, including so-called leads from mailers and advertising sent to the masses. The problem is the advisor’s message isn’t reaching targeted groups of prospects - the message is broadcast to ice cold leads. If that’s your strategy, you may as well save a few bucks and open your local phone book and start mailing. While you may get a few sales after spending thousands of dollars sending thousands of postcards out based on a list you got out of the White Pages or a list you bought from the same company everyone else uses, cold marketing strategies are highly inefficient and never pan out the way that you hope.

All cold leads really do is create a ton of busy work and waste your valuable time. To successfully market to a targeted group of qualified people, you only need to work smarter, not harder. The trick is knowing how to generate more customers who are ready to buy with heartier leads. Getting the right people into your sales pipeline is what drives sales, not increasing the number of wrong people.

Your “ideal” clients will not only understand the need for your services but they naturally pass on the information to people they know. Never underestimate word of mouth and the power a client has to bring others just like them to your door. After all, people tend to associate with others who possess similar qualities, have similar financial situations, have similar concerns and have similar planning issues. The more you associate with your “ideal” clients, the better the chance you have at converting their similarly situated friends, relatives or acquaintances into your new clients.

Advisors need to create an inbound marketing approach to building their practice. It takes some skill and specialized planning, but it’s much more sustainable and you will yield better results. By focusing on marketing channels that work, you can systemize your marketing process, increase the number of prospects you touch and dramatically increase your selling appointments.

Friday, April 22, 2016

What You Missed in Vegas

The popular saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” certainly doesn’t define Table Bay’s overwhelmingly successful Advisors Summit in Las Vegas. 

Here is what advisors are saying about Table Bay’s Advisors Summit in Las Vegas…

“Thank you once again for providing as always a value added venue via the recent Las Vegas Summit, it was encouraging, and highly worth attending. I learned a great deal.”

“The absolute best meeting I have attended in 40 years in this business.”

“A total Home run”

“The most efficient and educational agenda I have ever experienced.”

“Table Bay has out done itself….”

“I was so impressed with your whole organization and team message and the warm and wonderful staff that you have working with you!”

“There is so much information- I am overwhelmed and glad I came.”

“It was educational, inspirational and a lot of fun!”

“This was the best business meeting I have been to and I’ve been in this business for many years.”

Did you miss out on this incredible event?  If so, keep an eye out for news about Table Bay’s next Advisors Summit in Las Vegas that will likely be slated around late 2016 or early 2017.

Table Bay staff members and advisors at the President's Reception
Table Bay staff members and advisors at the President's Reception
Attendees at the Welcome Breakfast
Attendees at the Welcome Breakfast
Attendees getting comfortable before the start of the presentations
Rick Nefzer welcoming the attendees
Table Bay President, Barry Bulakites, welcoming the attendees
Dan Biagini from Allianz giving his presentation
Barry Bulakites introducing the 5th Risk to Retirement
Denise Appleby giving her "Essential IRA Tips" presentation
Jack Marrion presenting

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Can Your Clients Really Trust Their Trust?

As the old saying goes, “people with trusts get them because they don’t trust.” If you have clients with a trust, are they sure that the trust terms are designed to distribute their assets the way they want? We always stress the importance of periodic reviews of your clients’ critical documents like beneficiary designation forms, especially whenever they experience a life changing event such as a birth, death, marriage or divorce. But have your clients also reviewed their trust and estate plan lately?

Many clients fail to understand that just because they may have spent a lot of time and money having a trust created, that doesn’t mean that they never need to look back once the ink is dry. They may have had the best law firm in their area draw up a comprehensive trust instrument, but what if their planning strategy and goals have changed? What if new laws have since been enacted?

Recently, an advisor’s client discovered that the trust her husband set up contained provisions that conflicted with their recently modified financial plan and distribution goals. The trust had been drafted several years before and they never reviewed the trust terms despite the fact that not only had many life changing events occurred in their family but their financial strategy and planning goals had also changed. Unfortunately, the client’s husband passed away and she is now stuck with the flawed trust terms, resulting in irreparable and unintended results for their beneficiaries, their children and grandchildren.

Marriage, divorce, birth or death may occur at any given time. Tax law changes go into effect on a routine basis. Even though you cannot predict what will happen and when it will happen, your clients can adjust their estate plan as needed when any life changing event occurs or new legislation affects their tax planning.

Help your clients ensure their assets flow the way they want and in the most tax efficient manner possible. It is important that clients regularly review important documents such as wills, trusts, beneficiary forms, powers of attorney and anything else they may have in place to provide for and protect their loved ones.

Do you know how to conduct document reviews with your clients? Table Bay advisors have exclusive access to our proprietary Discovery Checklist System. Our checklists were designed to help advisors and their clients identify potential problems and preventative steps can be taken before it is too late.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tax Tip: Using In-Service Withdrawals for Planning Strategies

Do you have a 401(k) and want to use a portion of your funds for something else that is well suited to your planning goals and retirement needs? In-service withdrawals may be available from your 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan while you are still working and contributing to the plan.

In-service withdrawals may be directly trans
ferred to an IRA or other qualified plan that offers you additional or alternative investment and retirement distribution options.

It is important to find out from the plan administrator what your plan’s limitations are before initiating an in-service withdrawal. There could be, for example, eligibility restrictions. This type of information should also be contained in your plan documents.

Using in-service withdrawals for planning strategies to help achieve your retirement goals can be great, but it is important to first discuss this option with your personal retirement distribution planning specialist or other professional advisor to help ensure this is appropriate for your situation.

*Keep in mind that an in-service withdrawal is not the same as a hardship withdrawal.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Embracing Annuities

Here at Table Bay Financial, we love annuities. I continue to be amazed at the reticence of some consumers and their advisors to use annuities to help solve the intractable challenges of financial security in retirement. Whether seeking a secure way to accumulate additional savings for retirement or a way to guarantee a stream of lifetime income, it seems that non-annuity alternatives continue to be explored and promoted as the only viable alternatives. However, what often is missing in the equation is the simplicity with which annuities can help consumers reach their financial goals. As one ages, it seems that simplicity is an increasingly important virtue.

As clients age and experience cognitive decline, financial solutions that are self-completing and require little if any oversight would seem to be of value. While complex withdrawal strategies have their place in providing more liquid non-annuity alternatives that some retirees and their financial professionals prefer, the fact remains that there can be no guarantee that the professional oversight required to execute a complex strategy will remain consistent and present throughout the retiree’s life.

Given these considerations, it would seem that a core holding of many retirees needing sustainable retirement solutions should include annuities, either classic income annuities or deferred annuities with lifetime withdrawal features. Rather than minimize the value of the financial professional in the process, these self-completing solutions can be a core holding and ensure that the financial professional’s legacy of prudent planning is executed throughout the client’s lifetime, regardless of the presence of the financial professional.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Power of a Multi-Generational Strategy

Your clients may not understand the power of a Multi-Generational IRA strategy so it’s important that you, the advisor, not only fully understand an MGIRA strategy and how it works, but you must be able to effectively explain the MGIRA concept to your clients.

The Multi-Generational IRA (MGIRA) concept has been around since 1999 when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in a Private Letter Ruling, stated that a man who inherited his mother’s seven-figure IRA could name his own beneficiaries. Your clients must understand that an MGIRA is not a product; it’s a strategy available to them. MGIRA is a term used in the retirement planning industry to refer to the ability of your clients’ IRA beneficiaries to stretch distributions over their individual life expectancies.  Since the IRS began embracing the concept of stretching distributions, your clients now have the power to create a legacy of income for their children and grandchildren. You can help your clients set up an MGIRA strategy so their loved ones can enjoy the benefit of tax-deferred growth on IRA assets they inherit long after the client passes away, leaving their family members with not only fond memories but a financial legacy.

What if Your Client’s IRA Custodian Does Not Allow an MGIRA Strategy?

An MGIRA strategy may be used for an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) and SEP-IRA funds. The opportunity for your clients’ beneficiaries to “stretch” distributions over their individual life expectancies is available only if the IRA plan document or custodial agreement allows it and specific steps are taken. Many financial service institutions will allow beneficiaries to use an MGIRA distribution strategy but, unfortunately, not all of them do. Your clients’ IRA plan documents will include provisions or language that tells you what their specific distribution options are. The key is to ask the IRA custodian the right questions. If a financial institution does not have the right answers and cannot offer your clients what they want, start a conversation about transferring the IRA to an MGIRA “friendly” custodian that will give your clients what they want to help them reach their retirement planning goals.

Absent an MGIRA, your clients’ beneficiaries could get hit with a huge tax bill that could literally drain every penny and leave their heirs with nothing. Do not assume that legal documents such as wills and trusts will take the place of properly completed beneficiary designations-they will not and they do not. Your clients need more than the average advisor; they need a Retirement Distribution Expert to help them… are you ready?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Take Flight with Top Gun Sales Strategies

Table Bay is dedicated to making 2016 a year to remember! Training is the hallmark of what makes Table Bay the organization that will help you reach the next level in your career. Get trained on critical topics over three days at our beautiful San Diego home office location. Our industry is increasingly complex and your clients are demanding and expecting much more from financial advisors.

Will you struggle to survive in the years ahead or will you thrive? Some of the challenges we face include a volatile economy, low interest rates and ever-increasing regulatory pressures. What are you doing to overcome these obstacles?

Do you have a steady stream of quality leads? Do you have a simple, compelling, and motivational story to tell? As a graduate of Table Bay’s Top Gun Sales Strategies Program, you will be able to successfully address these challenges.

Table Bay’s upcoming Top Gun Sales Strategies Training School will show you how to create 2,400 selling opportunities each year and help you define your uniqueness, thereby giving you a clear and distinct advantage over the competition. We then wrap it all up with a sales philosophy and system that compels people to do business TODAY, not tomorrow.

Register HERE today for next week’s session; April 20th – 22nd here in San Diego!

Monday, April 11, 2016

How Much of Your Nest Egg Would You Like Guaranteed?

You may have heard me ask this question, “How much of your nest egg would you like guaranteed?” The answer almost always is “100%”.

Annuities offer very strong guarantees. The reason why some clients don’t have at least some of their nest egg in annuities is because they think that annuities have high costs, low liquidity, low earnings potential, etc….

We need to help them become more educated on the costs, liquidity, earnings potential, etc… of our annuity products.

Let’s take a look at the earnings potential, since I think this may be one of the main reasons why clients may not be looking to annuities.

I’ve been talking about Opportunity Cost with agents and how the crediting potential of annuities compares to other options. While it is true that products like Fixed Indexed Annuities may be capped on the maximum your client may receive in crediting, you need to remember that annuities should not be compared to equities.

These products are a great safe money alternative. What do you normally consider as a safe money vehicle? When you compare the crediting potential of the annuity to those other safe money vehicles, you can see there really is either no opportunity cost or very little opportunity cost.

Do you think that with no opportunity cost or very little opportunity cost and stronger guarantees, clients may prefer an annuity over other alternatives?
I do.

Friday, April 8, 2016

DOL Rule Released

High fees. Conflicts of interest. Inappropriate investments.

The Obama administration is going after a host of perceived rip-offs with the new rules it unveiled Wednesday for brokers who recommend investments for retirement savers.

No longer will brokers who sell stocks, bonds, annuities and other products be required just to recommend investments that are "suitable" for a client. They'll now have to meet a stricter standard that has long applied to registered advisers: They will be considered "fiduciaries" — trustees who must put their clients' best interests above all.

The new rules, which will be phased in starting a year from now, follow intense lobbying by both consumer advocates and the financial industry. Full compliance will be required by January 2018.

At stake are about $4.5 trillion in 401(k) retirement accounts, plus $2 trillion in other defined-contribution plans such as federal employees' plans and $7.3 trillion in IRAs, according to the Investment Company Institute.

The administration has said investors will save about $4 billion annually under the new rules. The industry has countered that investment firms will have to shell out more than that just to comply with the rules. Financial firms also argue that the stricter rules will likely shrink Americans' investment options and could cause brokers to abandon retirement savers with smaller accounts.

Americans increasingly seek guidance in navigating their options for retirement savings. Many professionals provide advice. But not all are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest.
"This is a huge win for the middle class," Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. "We are putting in place a fundamental principle of consumer protection."

Here are some questions and answers:

It's significant. Brokers buy and sell securities and other financial products on behalf of their clients. They also can provide financial advice, with one key stipulation: They must recommend only investments that are "suitable" for a client based on his or her age, finances and risk tolerance.

So they can't, for example, pitch penny stocks or real estate investment trusts to an 85-year-old woman living on a pension. But brokers can nudge clients toward a mutual fund or variable annuity that pays the broker a higher commission — even without disclosing that conflict of interest to the client.

Registered investment advisers, on the other hand, are "fiduciaries." In that way, they're more like doctors or lawyers — obligated to put their clients' interests even ahead of their own. That means disclosing fees, commissions, potential conflicts and any disciplinary actions they have faced.

Advisers must tell a client if they or their firm receive money from a mutual fund company to promote a product. And they must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, thereby opening themselves to inspections and supervision.


They put brokers under the stricter requirements when they handle clients' retirement accounts. The Labor Department has grappled with the issue for years. The department withdrew an earlier proposal in 2010 amid an outcry from the financial industry, which warned that it would hurt investors by limiting choices.

The rules update the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, known as ERISA, enacted in 1975. That was a far different time. Traditional company pension plans were still the dominant source of retirement income. Now, traditional pensions are increasingly gone. In their place are 401(k)-type plans, which require workers to set aside pre-tax money but also add a new layer of risk: Employees themselves must decide how to invest their retirement money, and many seek professional advice.


Consumer, labor and civil rights groups have pushed for the new rules. They say the current system provides a loophole that lets brokers drain money from retirement accounts in fees they receive that can tilt the investment advice they give clients.
Ordinary investors with relatively small balances in their retirement accounts could especially benefit from the changes, according to Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America. These are the people who are now most likely to get "a sales pitch dressed up as advice" from brokers, Roper says.


Wall Street lobbying groups, mutual fund companies, life insurance firms and other industry interests have opposed the rules as proposed last year and pushed the Labor Department to revise them.

They say the stricter requirements could limit many people's access to financial guidance and retirement planning and their choice of investment products. They warn that that would fall especially hard on mid- and low-income employees with smaller retirement balances — say, less than $50,000 — who could be abandoned by brokers.

The new requirement to act in a client's best interest means, in many cases, that the practice of charging commissions on every trade would be replaced by a set fee for a broker as a proportion of a customer's assets. Some brokers may decide that the smaller fees aren't worth their trouble, opponents say.

Some financial companies and groups may take the government to court over the new rules.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

8 Common Tax Mistakes To Avoid

1. Wrong Or Missing Social Security Numbers: Be sure you enter all SSNs on your tax return exactly as they are on the Social Security Cards.

2. Wrong Names: Be sure you spell the names of everyone on your tax return exactly as they are on their Social Security cards.

3. Filing Status Error: Some people use the wrong filing status, such as Head of Household instead of Single. The Interactive Tax Assistant on can help you choose the right one. Tax software helps e-filers choose.

4. Math Mistakes: Double-check your math. For example, be careful when you add or subtract or figure items on a form or worksheet. Tax preparation software does all the math for e-filers.

5. Errors In Figuring Credits Or Deductions: Many filers make mistakes figuring their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, and the standard deduction. If you're not e-filing, follow the instructions carefully when figuring credits and deductions. For example, if you're age 65 or older or blind, be sure you claim the correct, higher standard deduction.

6. Wrong Bank Account Numbers: You should choose to get your refund by direct deposit. But it's important that you use the right bank account numbers on your return. The fastest and safest way to get a tax refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.

7. Forms Not Signed Or Dated: An unsigned tax return is like an unsigned check - it's not valid. Remember that both spouses must sign a joint return.

8. Electronic Filing Pin Errors: When you e-file, you sign your return electronically with a Personal Identification Number. If you know last year's e-file PIN, you can use that. If not, you'll need to enter the Adjusted Gross Income from your originally-filed 2012 federal tax return. Don't use the AGI amount from an amended 2012 return or a 2012 return that the IRA corrected.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Truth about FIAs

Not one Fixed Index Annuity owner has ever lost their principal or profits from market volatility or insurance company failure. Not one time, not one dime!
  • Traditional market investments don't offer this.
  • Banks can't say this.
  • Bondholders can't say this.
  • Money market owners can't say this.
  • Real Estate investors can't say this.
  • Precious metal investors can't say this.
  • Variable annuity investors can't say this.

Get informed about Fixed Index Annuities — the ultimate safe-growth strategy.

Defining the “Perfect” Investment – Can your investment do these things?

1. Protect 100% of your principal – No Principal Loss
2. Allow you to participate in the upside of the market without limits
3. Locks in a gains
4. Allows you to “reset” where gains are measured from annually resetting the starting point at the low point even through you never lost money
5. Be tax-deferred
6. At death convert to a 100% Death Benefit to your heirs
7. Provide you a GUARANTEED sustainable stream of income that you can’t outlive even if your account value goes to ZERO
8. The amount of that income will exceed any safe income withdrawal rate
9. The guaranteed income amount will TRIPLE if you are confined to a nursing home, hospital, or hospice
10. Have the income generated grow with inflation

Friday, April 1, 2016

Winning The Sales War

Table Bay Financial has the great pleasure of working with and consulting with successful advisors throughout the country. The truth is, we all want the same thing…we want a greater level of success.

Everyone’s definition of success may be slightly different… some advisors with whom we work want a higher level of personal income, some are focused on building a more efficient business, and some just want more free time to enjoy the successes they’ve worked hard to achieve.

There are only three ways to increase your level of success. When I share these three variables with advisors with whom we consult, there’s usually an instant moment of clarity. The irony is that these three success variables aren’t earth shattering, but having a clear understanding of the impact they can have on the bottom line is essential.

Success variable #1 – WALLET SHARE - if you get more wallets share from the clients you currently have and from prospective clients, you’ll obviously drive more premium and increase your income. This is accomplished by adding products and services into your overall mix.

Success variable #2 – INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES - in baseball terms, this is simple… The more at-bats that you get, the more hits you will get. In business terms, this is marketing. Get in front of more people. Frankly, this is one of the biggest things we work with advisors on – helping them create effective marketing campaigns to increase their opportunities. As much as we hate the cliché that “it’s a numbers game,” guess what… It’s a numbers game!

Success variable #3 – INCREASE CLOSING PERCENTAGE – if we want to stick with the baseball analogy, this is about getting in the batting cages working on your approach at the plate in order to increase your batting average. In business terms, this means becoming a more effective rainmaker – closing more opportunities.