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PRACTICE MANAGEMENT CANADA: Reaching More People On The Radio

8 February 2012   Dow Jones News Service

(c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 

    By Evelyn Juan 

TORONTO (Dow Jones)–Promoting a product is no longer the key tactic for advisers to reach potential clients. For many of them, marketing their knowledge and experience is increasingly more effective, allowing them to cast a wider net and attract people to listen.

"People are fed up with glossy brochures," says Ted Wernham, a certified financial services broker and principal of London, Ontario-based Wernham Wealth Management Inc.

So instead of meeting people just to offer products, Wernham opted to offer a free 2.5-hour seminar four years ago on helping boomers create a retirement blueprint. And these days, he also conducts a radio program every Saturday afternoon entitled "Building Wealth" although his services still include offering segregated funds, annuities, life insurance an critical illness insurance.

At the monthly seminars, Wernham sticks to helping people craft a retirement blueprint. His weekly radio shows that are also archived through online podcasts cover a wider range of topics, such as new tax initiatives, arranging estate plans for a second spouse or the children of first marriage, or government initiatives for old age security. Although he spends roughly C$1,000 per month on both projects, the investment seems to be paying off. Over the past few years, close to 100% of the prospective new clients who call his office have heard him on the radio. Just recently, he heard from a couple who had been listening to his program since it was aired for the first time three years ago. They are now clients. "I wanted to create an environment that would attract people for us to provide knowledge" says Wernham. "It's a process of familiarity."

Jim Brogan, president and founder of Knoxville, Tennessee-based Brogan Financial agrees. He himself hosts a radio talk show every Saturday morning called "More Living with Jim Brogan" geared for citizens over age 50.

Brogan also teaches a two-week non-credit course at the University of Tennessee and Pellissippi State Community College's Hardin Valley and Blount County campuses. The people sitting in his class are often retirees from different walks of life so he tries to cover a broad range of topics that will affect at least 80% of the members of his audience. He discusses retirement taxes, preparing for healthcare catastrophes, legal documents for retirement, how to pass on retirement accounts, and investment and income planning.

He sees heaviest attendance during February and March–when retirees are trying to figure out how to manage finances better for the rest of the year. "It's educating people about what they need to do to be successful" as retirees.

(Evelyn Juan writes about financial advisers and their jobs, with a particular focus on news, trends, business strategies, organizational changes, and regulatory issues relevant to the retail brokerage sector in Canada. She also writes about wealth management practice and personal financial issues. She can be reached at 416-306-2025 orevelyn.juan@dowjones.com and is on Twitter @evelynjuan)

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Ted Wernham
Ted Wernham
Ranked # 1 in London by MDRT, the Premier Association of Financial Professionals. retirement income manager, Host Retirement Ready! Radio on AM1290 Ted Wernham