Guest Blog Post: Words to avoid in your investment communications with regular folks

By | Advisor Education, Client Communications | No Comments

SusaFinancial Advisor Trainingn B. Weiner, Investment Writing, is our guest blogger today. Susan helps financial advisors to increase the impact of their writing on clients and prospects. She writes and edits white papers, articles, and investment commentary for leading investment and wealth management firms. Her Investment Writing blog is popular with advisors who care about writing that deepens their connections with clients and prospects.

Big words make your readers work harder to grasp your message. This is particularly true of jargon, such as “duration,” unless your piece is strictly for investment professionals.

Below are some words to avoid when communicating with regular folks. Most of them are financial jargon. Others—like “mitigate“—are unnecessarily long or confusing. Replace jargon and long words with shorter, less technical words that pack more punch. They also make it easier for readers to absorb your message.

  • Accommodative monetary policy
  • Active share
  • Alpha
  • Barbell
  • Basis points
  • Constructive, as in “we are constructive on small-cap stocks”
  • Contango
  • Convexity
  • Disseminate
  • Drawdown
  • Duration
  • Ecosystem
  • Efficient frontier
  • Expected return
  • Flight to quality
  • Headwinds/tailwinds
  • Inverted yield curve
  • Levered names
  • Liquidity
  • Long/short
  • Mitigate
  • Pricing power
  • Rerate
  • Reversion to the mean
  • Risk assets
  • Risk on/risk off
  • Risks to the upside
  • Secular
  • Sharpe ratio
  • Spread product—a Google Alert on “spread product” yielded results related to margarine and Vegemite
  • Tranche

On a related note, don’t use acronyms without first defining them. This means words such as AUM, CAGR, CAPM, CLO, DOL, EBITDA, EPS, LIBOR, MBS, MLP, TTM, YOY, and YTD. It’s often best to avoid acronyms completely. I’ve discussed this in “How to capitalize financial acronyms.”

Want to learn more from Susan? Susan’s class “How to Write Blog Posts People Will Read” for financial advisors starts on Monday, February 27. Register hereregistration ends February 24.


Myth: You should always financially take care of your family.

By | Financial Psychology, Podcasts | No Comments

financially take care of family

Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP®, Founder and President, Your Greatest Contribution (YGC)

When do you, or should you, stop taking care of your family financially and does this myth affect women and wealth more than men? The idea that you should let your family deal with the consequences of their financial choices may be harder for women to handle than men. In today’s episode, Kathleen and Rianka explore this money mindset and how it negatively affects having financially responsible family members.

Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP® is the Founder and President of Your Greatest Contribution (YGC), a virtual fee-only comprehensive financial planning firm dedicated to serving professionals in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. A strong advocate for young professionals, she served as 2016 National President of Financial Planning Association’s NexGen community, and currently sits on CNBC’s Financial Advisors Council. Rianka has been recognized by Investment News 2015 list of top “40 Under 40” financial services professionals, and in Wealth Management and Financial Advisor Magazine’s 2016 list of top 10 CFP holders in the country. For more information, visit Rianka’s website at

Twitter: @Rianka_D  and  @YGCPlanning
Special Offer: Breaking Money Silence™ listeners will receive a free e-book, Five Steps to Keep More Money in Your Pocket, when you visit the Your Greatest Contribution home page and click on the DOWNLOAD NOW button.

How to Educate Your Female Clients

By | Advisor Education, Financial Psychology, Women and Wealth | No Comments

Women want advisors to educate them. In fact, ninety-percent of women want to be more involved in their financial planning in general. Watch this video and discover how to ask questions to learn more about your client’s educational needs and learning style. By taking a collaborative approach to teaching clients about finance, you foster more trust, and attract more high-quality clients. Now that is a win-win scenario.

What is your recommendation on how to find out what your female client is interested in learning? (Click to Tweet)

Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel to receive the latest video each week.

Myth: Money is the root of all evil.

By | Financial Psychology, Podcasts | No Comments

financial mentality money root of all evil

Megan McAvoy, President of Aspire to Retire Rich

How many times have you heard that money is the root of all evil? Actually, the true phrase is “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Quite a different meaning, isn’t it? Listen to Megan and Kathleen discuss how believing that money is the root of all evil affects your financial health and how you can change that mindset by shifting your understanding that there is nothing wrong with money or the possession of money. It is only when money begins to control us that the trouble starts.

Megan McAvoy inspires and impacts successful women in business to achieve personal wellbeing, business freedom, and financial security so that they may have everlasting fulfillment. She is the President of Aspire to Retire Rich and believes that there has never been a better time for women to understand their relationship to wealth. For more information visit her new site: or e-mail her at 

Twitter: @Megan_McAvoy

Special Offer for Breaking Money Silence Podcast Listeners:
Sign up for Megan’s e-mail list and receive a free, 5-Day Women’s Wealth & Wellbeing Master Class.

Also check out the Aspire to Retire Rich Facebook group community at and interact with Megan regularly.

How Helping Female Clients Redefine Retirement Clarifies Financial Goals

By | Advisor Education, Women and Wealth | No Comments

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “retirement”? Is it the retiree on the porch in a creaking rocking chair occasionally looking at his gold watch and reminiscing about the ‘good old days’? Do women really resonate with this image of retirement? Do they like the word, or would they prefer to use another term to refer to this next phase of their lives? I decided to find out.

Watch this brief video and learn what I discovered about wealth and women, simply by asking one open-ended question: “If you could use another word to describe retirement, what would it be and why?” (Click to Tweet)

Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel to receive the latest video each week.

Myth: Aging parents communicate with you about money.

By | Family and Money, Podcasts | No Comments

Aging parents communicate about money

Kelly Pelissier, Creative Director and owner of Sage Hill Design

Does talking to your parents about money make you feel like a child? As our parents age, we may find ourselves in the position of parent in many aspects. Kelly and Kathleen delve into this money myth in today’s episode. Listen and learn how to approach your parents for this difficult conversation.

Key take aways include:

  1. Starting the conversation with loving intent.
  2. Acknowledging your parents’ difficult feelings about the topic.
  3. Introducing the idea and then letting them set up a time later on to discuss the topic in more detail.
  4. Know that it is a journey not a one time conversation.
  5. Give your parents control over what financial information to share and when.
  6. Know that breaking money silence with your aging parents allows you to learn more about your family history and more about them as people, not just parents.

Kelly Pelissier – Having more than 15 years in the creative industry, Kelly decided to put the long commutes behind her and begin her own firm, Sage Hill Design in 2008. Her prior experience as both Art Director and Adjunct Design Professor have given her advantages in both corporate and educational realms. Her irrational fear of boredom and sense of global responsibility have led her to start a small organic farm with her husband. 

Kelly has worked with KBK Wealth Connection since its inception and continues to be an important part of the team.

Special Offer: For Breaking Money Silence(TM) podcast listeners:  Complimentary 30 minute consultation with Kelly to discuss your branding and creative needs. Just mention that you hear about Sage Hill Design from this broadcast.

For more information:


Female-Friendly Practices – Two-thirds of Women Don’t Have Advisors

By | Advisor Education, Women and Wealth | No Comments

Women control $11.2 trillion in assets. There is both good and bad news about that. The bad news is that two-thirds of these women are not working with advisors. The good news? This is a great business opportunity for advisors who want to develop female-friendly practices or who already have one.

Each week, I will be showcasing one of my short videos with tips, tools, and practical strategies to help you develop a female-friendly practice. Subscribe to my Youtube channel today and you will get a new video weekly.

What is your best tip, tool, or practical strategy when you work with your female clients?(Click to Tweet)

Does talking about money make you uncomfortable?

By | Advisor Education | No Comments

talking moneyIf the answer is yes, then resolve to break money silence in 2017! Breaking money silence means that you no longer abide by the societal taboo against talking openly and honestly about finances.(Click to Tweet) Instead, you bust open money myths that keep you quiet and empower yourself to communicate your thoughts and feelings about money with loved ones.

There are many reasons to learn how to discuss money matters with others. It can improve your relationships and aid in your efforts to successfully pass down wealth to the next generation. It also can help you raise financially fit kids and improve your business revenues! If that sounds good, then here are three ways to start breaking money silence in the New Year. 

Download Five Tips for Breaking Money Silence in Your Life
It is so easy to make a resolution. But it is more challenging to keep one. To assist you in acting on your resolution to talk about money in 2017, click here for a free downloadable tip sheet on how to do so in your life. Each idea is short, sweet, and achievable. So download it, print it out, and post it on your refrigerator. Even the act of doing so may trigger a financial conversation at home. 

Listen to the Breaking Money Silence® podcast.
An easy way to open up a money conversation is to listen to my podcast in the car. Whether you are driving your kids to hockey practice or riding with your partner to work, each 20-minute episode will spur a discussion about how you think and feel about money. Just click here to tune in. 

Participate in the writing of Breaking Money Silence.
My next book, Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life, will be published by Praeger later this year. To open a financial dialogue, ask a loved one or friend to fill out my book survey then discuss the answers together.

What other ideas do you have for breaking money silence personal or professionally in the New Year?

3 Tips for Improving Your Client Communication Skills in the New Year

By | Advisor Education, Women and Wealth | No Comments

‘Tis the season to be busy! But if you find a quiet moment in your holiday schedule, reflect on what you can do in the New Year to improve your client communications in 2017.

As the old saying goes, “A confused buyer never buys.” Women and couples are no exceptions. They appreciate advisors and lenders who are clear and concise in their written and verbal communication. Even if you think you are a top-notch communicator there is always room for improvement. So in 2016, make a commitment to improving these skills by practicing these 3 tips:

Use Stories and Analogies. Financial lessons are more powerful and memorable if you make your examples relate to your clients’ real life experiences. Make a point of using stories and analogies that resonate with your clients. For example, if you advise a hockey mom and you are talking about the value of a diversified portfolio, use the analogy of shots on net. Or if you are educating a couple regarding inflation, ask them how much gas they would get for $50 today versus how much gas they would be able to buy in 25 years for the same amount of money.

Use Collaborative Language. Words such as “us,” “we,” and “our” are collaborative and demonstrate a team approach to lending and advising. Women especially appreciate this style of communication and men benefit from it as well. So the next time you are tempted to say, “Here is what I recommend….” Replace it with “Let us look at these recommendations together.” It is a subtle, yet powerful difference. 

Give Clients Permission to Interrupt. Many women, especially those from the Traditionalist and Baby Boomer generation, have been socialized to not speak up unless they are given permission to do so. To make sure your clients feel comfortable asking questions when they are confused or need clarification, encourage them to politely interrupt you in meetings. The questions they raise will help guide you in the financial planning process and provide a great opportunity to enrich the advisor-client relationship. It may take them a while to speak up, but giving them permission to do so fosters trust and helps you build a solid working relationship.

What is one action you will take in the New Year to improve your client communication? (Click to Tweet)

When in Doubt…..Put One Foot in Front of the Other

By | Business Coaching, Financial Psychology | No Comments

When in DoubtThose words, sung by the Winter Warlock in the television special Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, played in my head as I skinned up Stark Mountain on Thanksgiving Day. The lifts were closed, but the ski trails were full of freshly fallen snow. Like any good Vermonter, I climbed to the summit and earned my first turns of the season.

Skinning up a mountain is very similar to being an entrepreneur. You need to take a long-term view, but be mindful of every step you take. When the path to success is unclear, you just need to trust that clarity is right around the corner. On my trek, success came in the form of a warming hut at the top of the double chair. In business, it may be landing a new client, signing a book deal, or partnering on a project. Whatever form it takes, remember to enjoy the journey.

Here are three tips I learned skinning that could help you realistically evaluate your progress in 2016—and set your sights on reaching a new summit in 2017.

1. Go slow and firmly plant your feet. Skinning up a mountain involves putting material on the bottom of your skis that provides traction so you can hike up the hill. These pieces are called skins because they were originally made of animal skins. Once you get to the summit, you take the skins off and ski down unencumbered. This sport takes a lot of patience, and going slow is the key to making it to the top.

Entrepreneurs often struggle when progress is slow. We like immediate gratification, but that is not how the business world works. So as you evaluate your successes and challenges this past year, remember to be kind to yourself. Being strategic and persistent will ultimately get you further than going too fast and burning out before you reach your goals.

2. Keep good company. Climbing up a mountain pre-season can be lonely. The quiet is wonderful, but keeping your morale high when you are tired is a challenge. That is why I like to skin with my husband. He sets a good pace, waits for me when I need a rest, and acts like a cheerleader when the summit feels too far away.

Every successful businessperson needs to keep good company. A coach, supportive colleagues and a team backing you up are all key to achieving success. I am fortunate to have a supportive partner, powerful female friends, and a team of assistants that make my job look easy. Think about what supports you have in place and what company you may want to keep in 2017. The ride to the top is always better with others in tow.

3. Look up the hill. My friend Lori, who has been skinning for years, gave me one tip before I headed out Thanksgiving Day: Look up the hill. She explained that it helps with balance and alignment as you move up the mountain. As I skinned up, I realized how many times I looked down. I caught myself each time and then set my sights on what was in front of me. When I looked up, I felt stronger and more optimistic.

Being in business requires you to be in the moment and, at the same time, keep your eye on what is next. (Click to Tweet) Whether it is a new industry trend or an opportunity to increase revenue, looking to the future is vital to continued success. When you get discouraged, take a deep breath and give yourself a moment to reflect on what went wrong. Then, force yourself to look straight ahead. Because great things are coming your way!