Preparing for a Post-Pandemic World: 3 Key Tips for Financial Advisors

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Preparing for a Post-Pandemic World: 3 Key Tips for Financial Advisors

For over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses and consumers alike to grow accustomed to meeting online. After so much of this distanced interaction, the pandemic appears to be coming under control. As vaccination rates spread, the CDC has relaxed safety protocols such that in-person business meetings are once more becoming possible, especially between vaccinated individuals.

This is excellent news for financial advisors, as building a personal rapport with clients is vital to a successful practice, and that sort of relationship is much easier to establish in person than online. But even as face-to-face meetings become acceptable once more, it is vital both for public health and the comfort and confidence of one’s clients to provide clear communication about safety precautions.

Get The Word Out

Financial advisors who plan to resume in-person meetings should let existing and potential clients know this option is returning. It is important at this time to check and update all email lists and send out communications detailing any changes in plans or protocols. Financial advisors who have embraced social media are in especially good standing here. These spaces for engagement provide a wonderful opportunity to get the word out to established clients while also catching the attention of individuals looking to begin face-to-face meetings with a new advisor. In the course of making these announcements, financial advisors should always stress the safety measures they mean to implement, as well as their commitment to communicating with and listening to their clients.

Precautions Are Key

Returning to in-person meetings does not mean returning to the way things were before COVID-19. The coronavirus is still at large within the population and even with vaccinations and careful safety measures, there is still a chance of contracting this dangerous illness at a face-to-face meeting. Thus, even with the current CDC guidelines, clients returning to meet in person should be provided with new and more rigorous safety practices for the foreseeable future.

As accustomed as business professionals are to beginning any meeting with a handshake, do not insist on this and make clear to clients that such contact is optional. Regardless of whether clients are comfortable shaking hands, hand sanitizer should be available. Other sorts of PPE such as gloves and disposable face-masks should be on-hand, and holding meetings wearing masks and remaining at a distance of six feet apart should be possible if that is what the client requires. Meetings can also be held outside if such spaces are acceptable, and one can minimize paper sharing by encouraging clients to bring their own tablets, phones, and laptops to review any documents.

Transparency and Flexibility

Proper communication with clients about safety measures may well be even more important than the measures themselves. Face-to-face meetings are meant to build trust and rapport, and there is no better way to demonstrate trustworthiness and protect a relationship than to explain clearly before the client even arrives what precautions and options are available to ensure everyone feels safe attending the meeting.

Financial advisors must consider and convey their own needs as well. It is better to hold meetings in masks and socially distanced than it is to be tense and uncomfortable in one’s own place of business. In this same vein, if a client would prefer to keep meetings online for the time being, they should know this choice is perfectly acceptable. Coming out of such a tense and dangerous period, safety and comfort should be everyone’s first concern.

The pandemic is by no means over and we must take care not to pressure ourselves or our clients. Business practices will return to normal — or find a new normal — in due time, and all we can do is adjust day by day. Just as we come out of the pandemic cautiously and intelligently, we should use our best judgment to create a safe and encouraging environment for our clients to return to a world of handshakes and in-person financial advice.


Christopher Crawford is the Director of Advisor Relationships for the Buffalo Funds. He has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, previously holding positions at Invesco, IMA Financial Group, and Arthur J. Gallagher. At the Buffalo Funds, Christopher works with investment consultant relations, key account management, institutional distribution and client service. His main goal is to partner with advisors to bring business building ideas and provide unparalleled customer support to their business, always striving to make it easy and reliable to work with the entire Buffalo Funds investment team. Christopher received an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.S.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. He also holds licenses for the Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65.


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Christopher Crawford
Director, Advisor Relationships

7 Buffalo Funds Named to IBD Best Mutual Funds 2021 List

7 Buffalo Funds Named to IBD Best Mutual Funds 2021 List

Media Coverage

7 Buffalo Funds Named to IBD Best Mutual Funds 2021 List

Overview

The Buffalo Funds recently had seven funds selected for the Investor’s Business Daily 2021 Best Mutual Funds Award Winner list, in the 6th annual ranking by the investment publication.

Best U.S. Diversified

  • Buffalo Early Stage Growth Fund
  • Buffalo Small Cap Fund
  • Buffalo Discovery Fund
  • Buffalo Large Cap Fund
  • Buffalo Growth Fund

Best Large Cap

  • Buffalo Large Cap Fund
  • Buffalo Growth Fund

Best Mid Cap

  • Buffalo Discovery Fund

Best Small Cap

  • Buffalo Early Stage Growth Fund
  • Buffalo Small Cap Fund

Best International

  • Buffalo International Fund

Best U.S. Taxable Bond

  • Buffalo High Yield Fund

Funds named to IBD’s list were chosen because they have outperformed their benchmark index over the past 1, 3, 5, and 10-year periods, as of 12/31/20. In order to make the list, funds must have outperformed in all four time periods. IBD made its selections from 3,368 mutual funds that met the criteria of having at least 10 years of operation.

We’re honored that our funds have been recognized in this way by IBD. These funds exemplify our firm’s goal of consistently delivering strong risk-adjusted performance to our shareholders, said Kent Gasaway, president of the Buffalo Funds.

To view IBD’s complete list and analysis of the Best Mutual Funds 2021, please visit: https://www.investors.com/etfs-and-funds/mutual-funds/best-mutual-funds-beating-sp-500-over-last-1-3-5-10-years/

Performance data quoted represents past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original value. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. Performance data current to the most recent month-end may be obtained here. Performance data current to the most recent quarter-end may be obtained here. Performance is annualized for periods greater than 1 year.

Opinions expressed are those of the author or Funds and are subject to change, are not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.

References to other mutual funds should not to be considered an offer to buy or sell these securities.

HIGHLIGHT

Seven Buffalo Funds were named to Investor’s Business Daily Best Mutual Funds 2021 list, including the Best U.S. Diversified, Growth, Large Cap, Mid Cap, Small Cap, International, and U.S. Taxable Bond Fund categories.

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Joel Crampton
Director of Marketing
(913) 647-9881
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5 Tips for a Successful Financial Advisor Podcast

Home > Advisor Blog > 5 Tips for a Successful Financial Advisor Podcast

5 Tips for a Successful Financial Advisor Podcast

Reaching current and potential clients is dependent on finding the right method to catch their attention. As financial advisors continue to ensure they’re engaging with clients safely through digital mediums like social media and video conferencing, podcasts are another great way to showcase your expertise and share important insights in investment strategies and challenges. But with approximately 850,000 podcasts — and counting — available to listeners, it can be hard to stand out. For advisors looking to launch their own podcasts, here are a few simple tips to ensure each episode is planned and executed effectively.

Ensure Compliance

First, check with your company to confirm that producing a podcast adheres to corporate policies and current regulations. There are a number of guidelines, including those from SEC and FINRA, that must be abided by to ensure content is not presented in a misleading way. Keeping open communication with your firm and your compliance team about the topics you’ll be covering is your first step in developing a podcast successfully without risk of non-compliance.

Find Your Target Listener — and your voice

Consider the fact that there will be an estimated 117.8 million people in the U.S. who will listen to a podcast on a regular, monthly basis this year — a roughly 10% year-over-year increase. There is incredible potential to capture some of those listeners and build your audience. But who exactly is your target audience? Will you be speaking primarily to other professionals and thus free to use more technical terms? If you’re giving advice to new investors, the language should be simpler and the basic concepts outlined at a slower pace. When you know your audience ahead of time, you can write in a way that speaks to their differing interests and levels of investing experience.

Understanding your audience is just part of the strategy to build an effective podcast. You will also want to establish your own personality and brand. Are you naturally funny and light-hearted or do you approach topics you care about passionately? Make a point of jotting down a few key words that represent who you are and what persona you want to present on your podcast. This persona may evolve, but there should always be an overall identity to guide you from episode to episode. When you wander too far from your established voice, it can be confusing for listeners who expect a certain personality when they tune into your podcast.

Be Consistent

This brings us to our third tip to successful podcasting: be consistent. This is crucial when planning the actual content of the podcast and that strategy begins with choosing the format of the show. How will you discuss your topics on each episode? Will it be a solo “monologue” style podcast? This format is a tried-and-true approach, allowing the host to workshop and curate the message carefully. Panel discussions can produce lively, dynamic shows if well-moderated. Interview podcasts can garner attention with prestigious guests, but it can be challenging to book relevant and interesting guests week to week.

Whichever format you choose, if you are to maintain a regular schedule of episodes at a high level of polish — an absolute must to retain and grow your audience — you cannot scramble to write an episode every week. Ideally, try banking your content and have a few episodes planned out ahead at all times. Outline your first four topics and with every point you wish to make, list a few supporting points for easy reference. Depending on your format, you could write out a full script for each, or just use the outlines as guides for impromptu discussion.

If you’re wondering where the basis for your show’s content comes from, look no further than your experience as a financial advisor. Bring your expertise in understanding your clients and their needs by highlighting the issues that you’ve found are the most pressing for them right now. Many excellent techniques exist for finding topics, but a simple brainstorming list is a good place to start. Develop ideas in any order you like with nothing off-limits, and then organize the ideas into different categories and prioritize from simplest to most advanced. At this stage, aim for as long a list as possible so you can cut ideas and still have plenty to choose from. Part of the joy in listening to podcasts is the ritual and the comfort in their regularity, and your success as a podcaster will hinge on providing a consistent release schedule that can be supported by planning your content in advance.

Invest in the Right Equipment

One of the most important steps in creating a podcast is to use the right equipment. When the only thing that is connecting you with your audience is the sound of your voice, production value is key. Investing in a high quality microphone and editing software can be the difference from a mediocre listening experience to an enjoyable one that reflects your professionalism. If your budget allows for it, consider acoustic paneling for your walls as well. There’s no reason to overspend and buy the most expensive equipment and accessories on the market, but putting money towards the best items you can afford to support the production quality of your show will go a long way in building listeners’ confidence and trust in you.

Spread the Word and Publish

With your content planned and the equipment ready, you’ll also want to consider how you will market your podcast. Your current clients should be the first to know, and they can be encouraged to share your podcast with their inner circles. Make sure to announce the podcast and instructions on how to find it in all of your upcoming client communications and spread the word through your social media channels.

While carefully preparing to debut your show, research available podcast hosting services to know where and how to publish your work. Be sure that all of the major podcasting apps, like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, also carry your show once you’ve uploaded it to your chosen hosting platform. If you’ve properly planned your topics and you can boast consistent quality in content and production values, you’ll already be a cut above the crowd. By implementing a thoughtful strategy at the very beginning stages of your podcast project, you’ll be more likely to find a system that works for you. This will help you expand your position as a financial services thought leader and manage this valuable method of connecting with current and prospective clients on a long-term basis.


Christopher Crawford is the Director of Advisor Relationships for the Buffalo Funds. He has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, previously holding positions at Invesco, IMA Financial Group, and Arthur J. Gallagher. At the Buffalo Funds, Christopher works with investment consultant relations, key account management, institutional distribution and client service. His main goal is to partner with advisors to bring business building ideas and provide unparalleled customer support to their business, always striving to make it easy and reliable to work with the entire Buffalo Funds investment team. Christopher received an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.S.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. He also holds licenses for the Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65.


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Christopher Crawford
Director, Advisor Relationships

Social Media Best Practices for Financial Advisors

Home > Advisor Blog > Social Media Best Practices for Financial Advisors

Social Media Best Practices for Financial Advisors

The challenges of the pandemic have been numerous, but for financial advisors, the real test has been to find ways to improve and foster client relationships. In-person meetings, once the standard in building these relationships, have become less frequent to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. It is therefore crucial for financial advisors to increase their digital literacy and establish new ways to engage with current and potential clients.

We’ve already considered how to grow your practice as a response to COVID-19, as well as how to improve our approach to video conferencing, but there’s another avenue to reach people: social media. With more people on social media than ever before, it has become essential to elevate social media profiles and understand the most effective ways to leverage these platforms to reach clients.

Compliance Check

Before posting on social media, ensure that you are complying with your company’s social media policy. These policies should act as a roadmap to what can and cannot be discussed on all social platforms. Because non-compliance carries significant legal and reputational risk for an organization, it is always wise to consult internal policies before publishing anything. If no social media policy exists, consider the following:

  • Always act as a good representative for your firm.
  • Use common sense when posting. Do not share confidential information.
  • If a statement is your personal opinion, clarify your position as an individual, not as someone speaking in an official capacity on behalf of your firm.
  • Ask management if in doubt.

Know Your Audience

With more than half of the financial advisors in a recent study reporting increased activity on LinkedIn and/or Twitter in the last year, it is clear that more advisors are recognizing the need to build a strong social media presence to expand business opportunities. By understanding which demographic is most likely to be engaged on which social media platform, you will be able to focus your posting efforts and develop connections strategically. Here is a breakdown of the typical audience per platform.

Facebook

Facebook remains the second most used social media platform in the U.S. Only YouTube tops it in usage. According to Pew Research, 69% of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook, with 74% of those users visiting the site at least once a day. In terms of demographics, there is heavy usage across the board.

Instagram

Behind Facebook in terms of daily logins is Instagram, with 63% of users logging in at least once per day. The platform also skews younger.

Twitter

Twenty-two percent of adults use Twitter. Because of its 280-word limit, Twitter posts are most effective to distribute timely news items or customer service responses.

LinkedIn

Though only 22% of U.S. users visit LinkedIn daily, this platform is useful because it is so targeted to professionals. The demographics reflect this, with a majority of users between 25-49 years old.

Focusing on the “Social” in Social Media

Whether speaking to millennials or older clients, adding personal touches to your social posts is always valuable. A statement that starts out with a heavy pitch about your services is an instant reason to delete or ignore a message. In the same sense, remaining authentic is key. Speak to your personal experience, and if you are exchanging direct messages with an existing or potential client, pay attention to that person’s background and interests. There is nothing worse than receiving a message that reads like a template that has been sent to dozens of other people.

Another easy way to maximize engagement is to respond to your news feed. Whether you see a birthday or work anniversary reminder, an important status update, or a news link that your connection has shared, take the time to reply specifically to these updates in your news feed. This demonstrates a personal interest in things that matter in your clients’ lives and will stand out to that person when engaging with them on an individual level.

Staying Organized

Developing a social media content calendar is the best way to stay organized when posting on various platforms. It allows you to plan and schedule relevant content in advance. A calendar also helps with staying consistent with how frequently you post, which is another key to creating an impactful social media presence.

The tools used to create a social media content calendar can be as simple as an Excel sheet that outlines each day of the month and what you will post on those days. There are also free scheduling applications, like Later, Hootsuite and Buffer, that can automatically publish posts on the days that you designate. Planning ahead with the help of a social media calendar and scheduling tools are two easy ways to minimize the stress of managing your social posts.

Posting Cadence

There is no magic formula for how often you should be posting on your social channels. Posting cadence varies from platform to platform, but the most important tip is to uphold the quality of your content and remain consistent with your posting schedule. If publishing social media content three times a week works best for you and your organization, then make that your goal. If this is your first time managing a social media account, start small, like posting twice a week on one platform, and slowly increase the volume of posts and the number of social media channels you use.

Two good places to start are LinkedIn and Facebook. On LinkedIn, 95% of posts generally show a decline in the number of clicks after 5 p.m., with the highest engagement occurring from Tuesday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. On Facebook, because their algorithm is constantly changing, the top priority is on creating quality content. Consistent engagement on posts also occurs from Tuesday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. The hours before 5 a.m. and after 5 p.m. are timeframes to avoid posting, as engagement is lower.

Assess and Refine

Social media is constantly evolving, and so the strategy behind it must change as well. Though the best practices outlined here will serve as a strong foundation, in order to capture engagement continuously among existing and potential clients, you must be willing to revisit your content strategy and refine it as you go.


Christopher Crawford is the Director of Advisor Relationships for the Buffalo Funds. He has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, previously holding positions at Invesco, IMA Financial Group, and Arthur J. Gallagher. At the Buffalo Funds, Christopher works with investment consultant relations, key account management, institutional distribution and client service. His main goal is to partner with advisors to bring business building ideas and provide unparalleled customer support to their business, always striving to make it easy and reliable to work with the entire Buffalo Funds investment team. Christopher received an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.S.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. He also holds licenses for the Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65.


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Christopher Crawford
Director, Advisor Relationships

The Disruption in Healthcare Investing 2020

The Disruption in Healthcare Investing 2020

The Disruption in Healthcare Investing 2020

Healthcare is being disrupted… and we’re just getting started.
The healthcare sector should continue to be one of the most
dynamic investment sectors in the world economy.

Our resident healthcare expert, Ken Laudan, Portfolio Manager for the Buffalo Discovery Fund, has published a new white paper in which he has identified several long-term trends and a major shift in the healthcare system that is having a profound affect on the economy.

He has also included an in-depth section on emerging healthcare themes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this latest white paper from the Buffalo Funds, we discuss the following concepts:
  • Digital technology adoption for diagnosis, monitoring, and alerts, all supported by AI analytics and personal care management
  • Focus on proactive well care vs. a reactive sick care centric model
  • Virtual care and retail health clinics becoming mainstream as lower-cost, more-preferred access points
  • Precision medicine targeting the unique genetics of each individual
  • Rising consumerism and patient engagement empower patients to make more efficient healthcare decisions
  • Convergence of medical with social needs

“Every healthcare organization needs to view themselves as a technology company in the new connected healthcare economy, not just as something they need to have.”

Download the full report detailing the demographic changes, transformative technology, and social and cultural shifts affecting the healthcare industry.

Opinions expressed are those of the author or Funds and are subject to change, are not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.

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