Coffee With Cott

5 Simple (but Great) Fall Cleaning Tips for Financial Advisors

Coffee With Cott is a blog from The Options Industry Council's Financial Advisor Division. Eric Cott, the author, is a former advisor who has been the Director of Financial Advisor Education at the OIC since he developed the organization's outreach program in 2009. Coffee With Cott offers percolating insight on options strategies, as well as practice management ideas.

The media and retail outlets often barrage us with the necessity of a fall clean-up so that we can get prepared for the change in seasons. Full disclosure: As a resident of the Southern U.S., that may not be at the top of my to-do list, but for many of you advisors in other parts of the country it surely may be a requirement.

But these days that may be secondary to the fact that you can't turn on the TV or pick up the paper without seeing headlines about the economy, trade uncertainty or geopolitical unrest. Does it have you or your clients amped up, like you've had a whole pot of espresso?

What's worth remembering is there's always going to be something to worry about, whether the markets are good, bad or neutral. A key part of any advisor's role is to help clients calmly navigate the turbulence by serving as a steady voice of reason. Of course, that's easier said than done sometimes, and that's why in this edition of Coffee With Cott, I'm going to serve up five digestible, and satisfying, fall cleaning steps that can be put in to action right now with the intent to help you and your clientele.

  1. You may want to skip the gutters around the house for the time being and focus instead on tidying up your clients' portfolios. Why now? While there's no need to panic, you do have a gradually closing window to get some important work done. Once October's over, your clients will start planning for the year-end holidays, thinking about how to complete their annual work goals and scheduling family gatherings. It makes sense to get ahead of all that now by reassessing your clients' asset allocation plans and tactical investment strategies.
  2. Consider putting the rake down, forgetting about washing the windows, and don't worry about decluttering. Review what The Options Industry Council has to offer for ideas and options education. Our focus is on providing unbiased information about the benefits and the risks of options, and we work directly with financial advisors on how they can better understand and implement these investment strategies. We believe that options, although not necessarily a fit for every situation, can be meaningful tools for managing risk and creating an income stream.
  3. Look back through the advisor-focused topics we've discussed in the Coffee With Cott blog. We've covered a lot of ground (and grounds …) in 2019 on both defensive strategies, like protective puts, and income opportunities, such as covered calls, that can be found through options. We've got several ways to help guide your conversation with your clients about options, including posts like Overcoming the Misconceptions About Options and Option Strategies That Can Potentially Protect Capital Gains.
  4. Visit our Advisor Center, because we have more flavors than your local coffee shop in terms of resources, marketing materials and research to help seasoned advisors or the ones who are just getting started. You can sign in or register – completely for free – to learn about what we do for practitioners. You can read our white papers and also find information about why you might want to consider making options part of your practice.
  5. Sign up for our free online events that are scheduled over the next three months. They're all going to be time well spent, but I'll tell you why you should be at the October Summit in particular: Not only will we have a host of options industry professionals on hand, but I'll be leading a special panel that's geared toward financial advisors. During the panel, we'll talk about the Cerulli study on how options are used, integrating options in to client portfolios, and what might influence your decision to manage options strategies yourself or to consider hiring a subadvisor.

As a former advisor myself, I know your time is valuable. I also know that connecting with your clients and offering new ideas is important, too. That's why I wanted to share this list. I want to make it clear that with OIC there's a pathway – one that doesn't have to be convoluted – to having meaningful talks with your clients about how options work, either as a standard implementation or as a custom blend.

Here's another step you can take: Email me any time at ecott@theocc.com or contact OIC's Investor Services team, either at options@theocc.com or by calling them at 1-888-OPTIONS. We're here to answer all your options questions and walk you through the various option strategies that are available so you can create practical solutions for your clients. When you're ready to dive in, let us know.

Lastly, if you'll be at the NAPFA Fall National Conference in Chicago in early October or the FPA Annual Conference in Minneapolis later in the month, send me a note. We'll set up a time to grab a coffee, talk shop and see if options might just be what your practice has been missing.

Do you have a topic you want to see covered in the Coffee With Cott blog? Let us know by writing to options@theocc.com. We want to hear from advisors like you with all your questions on options

Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Individuals should not enter into options transactions until they have read and understood the risk disclosure document, Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options, which may be obtained from your broker, from any exchange on which options are traded or by visiting www.OptionsEducation.org. Any strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell securities. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. ©2019 The Options Industry Council. All rights reserved.

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