Coffin Experience


Do the coffin experience. I have recommended this every December for my consulting clients. Go somewhere quiet and imagine you have died and see your family, friends, employes, clients, and associates walk by your casket and tell you what they think of your life up to today. Listen for the positives and negatives. Then see what changes come from what you hear. Only the courageous will do this. If you do, it will be a life transforming exercise. [Every major change in my life has occurred because of this exercise and looking back after doing this annually for forty-three years, I have no regrets, regarding those decisions.] I encourage you to try this.

The following is paper I received from a client. He found this on Linkedin and it confirms the value of this exercise: Confronting Our Final Deadline


Best Business Book Ever Written

I just reread this book, which I tend to do every year of so and was again amazed at Drucker's insight into business and human nature.  

This new edition covers sixty years of Drucker's writings from twenty-six different books. No one has impacted modern business more than he.  

If you have not read Drucker before, this is a great introduction. If you have read him, then this condenses all of his key concepts into a single volume. 

Highly recommended. 

Bridge to Change



What to create a change in 2013. The follow five steps will get you from where you are to where you want to be.

  • Step 1. Write a paragraph about where your life and business are today 
  • Step 2. Write a paragraph about where you want your life and business to be in 3-5 yrs. 
  • Step 3. Identify as bullet points all the differences between the two paragraphs 
  • Step 4. Select the three most important differences 
  • Step 5. Create the Next Physical Action for each of the three differences to remove them

How To Run Your Meetings Like Apple and Google



Meeting can either be a waste of time or a catalyst to productivity. Are your meetings as effective as you would like? If not, Sean Blanda from 99U has written an excellent article outlining how several truly productive companies make the most of each meeting. Learn from Apple, Google, and others.

The following is a short excerpt from the article.

Rapid experimentation with meetings in the past decade by startups and Fortune 500 companies alike has produced a new set of rules to consider. Here are three that seem to be universal:

  • All meetings must have a stated purpose or agenda. Without an agenda, meetings can easily turn into aimless social gatherings rather than productive working sessions.
  • Attendees should walk away with concrete next steps or Action Items. We love Action Items here, but we're not the only ones. From Apple to the Toastmasters, the world's most successful organizations demand that attendees leave meetings with actionable tasks.
  • The meeting should have an end time. Constraints breed creativity. By not placing an endtime, we encourage rambling, off-topic and useless conversation.

Of course, there's no need to stop there. Truly productive companies always continue tweaking to suit their specific culture.

Your meetings can be productive. To read the entire article and hear what Apple and Google do, click here.

Three Tools Broadcast Call (NEW)

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Screen Shot 2012-03-26 at Mon, 26 Mar, 11.16 AM

A financial advisor must have the best tool to excel in the marketplace today. We will present in a 1 hour broadcast call:

  • The Best Practice Tool
  • The Best Presentation Tool
  • The Best Process Tool


Tool #1 - The Best Five Questions to prepare for all meetings and appointments. Eliminate confusion and prospects' lack of action.

Tool #2 - The Best PowerPoint Presentation

 to focus on the major concern of this generation and position you as the solution for your prospects' needs.

Tool #3 - The Best Investment Process

 is also the simplest to implement and maintain. Focus your time on your client relationships and protect their assets.



  • Pre-call PDF
  • One-Hour Conference Call on the Three Tools
  • Five Questions Worksheet
  • PowerPoint Presentation for Prospects with notes
  • Free trial to Best Counter Intuitive Solution




: April 4 or 25 (attend either)


: 4:00 pm Eastern (1 hour call)

Dial-In Number: 206-402-0100

Caller PIN: 876422#



TO REGISTER: Send your name, firm, and email address to

Don't Break The Chain

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Screen Shot 2012-01-01 at Sun, 1 Jan, 11.29 AM

This is a simple tool to help you incorporate a new habit into your life or practice. Decide on some activity you want to do daily and check of each day it is done. See how many consecutive days you can do. It will not be long before the activity is a habit.

Link to download it here.

Happy New Year to all.

Countdown to CII 3.0 Workshop and Action Sheet Launch

2-Week Conference Call Workshop Series

Does the volatility of the markets bother you and your clients? Below is a quote from an alumni of the workshop.

The problem 10 years ago was I had no effective way to deal with it in clients' portfolios. Now I do and I thank God every day that my Branch Manager introduced us to you three and a half years ago. - Tony Liokossis - BMO

Time is running out to register for the workshop. See the Countdown Timer in the sidebar.

  • Would you like to know the answers to the five most important investment questions every day?
  • Did your clients have negative returns in 2008?
  • Do you want to protect your clients' assets from future market volatility?
  • Would you like to better manage the risk in your portfolios?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you will want to participant in these two complimentary conference calls. Learn the Counter Intuitive Investing process that can help you avoid the large declines in stocks by using Relative Strength. Today’s technology puts you back in control of your practice and gives you the ability to protect your clients' assets.

CII Conference Call Workshop Details Dates: Tuesday, August 2nd and August 9th Time: 4:00-5:00 pm Eastern Cost: Complimentary Conference Call To Register: Send your name, firm, and email address to

 Introducing Action Sheets

The most useful investment tool I have ever found is now available. Whether you use stocks, bonds, mutual funds, managers, ETFs, closed-end funds, or a combination, the new Action Sheet will provide the answers you need to better manage your clients' assets. Never before has all of this information been available in one place and so easy to access, customize, and implement.

Below is a chart of the performance of the Action Sheet for the past five years compared to all stocks or a 60/40 portfolio. Notice the positive return in 2008. Register to find out more about this powerful tool that will help you better manage your client portfolios.

To Register: Send your name, firm, and email address to


Action Sheet Performance Chart

During the workshop you will receive all performance data to help you in marketing. The workshop will also include sample client and prospect presentations. Read below to see what others have to say about this workshop.

What Previous Attendees Said:

“A quantum leap forward! I have been in the business for over 7 years now. In March I became a monthly coaching client of Lloyds, and since have joined the Counter Intuitive conference call series. As a technical analyst fan, I was ecstatic that Lloyd brought forward the system presented in the series. It makes sense, it is straight forward, and you can customize it to your own style. Once again Lloyd has provided massive value for my clients, my team, my business and my own personal goals. Nothing feels better than having crystal clear clarity for the operation of your business. Imagine building and running your business day to day and having the bandwidth to focus on what matters most; all the while having a system to manage your participation in the markets - which you do not have any control over. I highly recommend Lloyd’s series for anyone who is committed to making a step forward.” - SB


“Just thought you’d like to know that the three IA’s who are working through your Counter Intuitive Investing program are more engaged and excited than I have seen them in their careers! They have the confidence and conviction that is infectious. One described it as “what he has been waiting for all his career”. They are excited to roll this out to clients and have no doubt that, along with the Relationship Conversation, they have the best offering in the city! I wish we could get all 37 IA’s this excited and engaged.” - DS – Branch Manager


“I cannot say enough about the great help you have provided my team in terms of stressing the importance of the “Client Relationship”. However, your recent emphasis, via the Conference Call Workshop Series, dealing with the “Financial Relationship” has been awesome! I wish I knew this material long ago!” - DH


“We continue to be incredibly excited about the coaching, conference calls and the Point & Figure process you are introducing us to! Thank you.” - JR


“Great program, by the way! I am moving to change the way that I run my business and inherently the way we manage the risk of client investments. I do so agree that these times require new tools. Your program is very useful to me thus far!!” - PM


“Good class and we have at least one new item to add this week to help us to the next bigger step, thank you.” - DB


“This process is helping me answer some of the nagging questions my clients or I have had over the years, which were thrown into sharp relief in 2008. I can’t see myself being limited only to traditional asset allocation and fundamental strategies for the future.” - LK

Sign up to participate in what many are calling the “most valuable workshop in my career.”

To Register: Send your name, firm, and email address to

Wendell Berry: Ten Hopes (Commencement Address)

In 1989, Wendell Berry delivered a Commencement Address at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine that included not Ten Commandments but ten hopes.

  1. Beware the justice of Nature.
  2. Understand that there can be no successful human economy apart from Nature or in defiance of Nature.
  3. Understand that no amount of education can overcome the innate limits of human intelligence and responsibility. We are not smart enough or conscious enough or alert enough to work responsibly on a gigantic scale.
  4. In making things always bigger and more centralized, we make them both more vulnerable in themselves and more dangerous to everything else. Learn, therefore, to prefer small-scale elegance and generosity to large-scale greed, crudity, and glamour.
  5. Make a home. Help to make a community. Be loyal to what you have made.
  6. Put the interest of the community first.
  7. Love your neighbors–not the neighbors you pick out, but the ones you have.
  8. Love this miraculous world that we did not make, that is a gift to us.
  9. As far as you are able make your lives dependent upon your local place, neighborhood, and household–which thrive by care and generosity–and independent of the industrial economy, which thrives by damage.
  10. Find work, if you can, that does no damage. Enjoy your work. Work well.

Source: Scott Walters - Theatre Ideas

Interesting Chart: Home Prices and Gold

The compound effect of the decline in real estate and the strength of commodities has created an interesting comparison. The important decision is how to position yourself now.

Subscriber Only Content Subscribers should do a comparison of IAU over the past five years to see just how strong commodities are on a relative strength basis.

Presentation Skills: Preparing the Field

Two often when a group presentation is made to prospects, the solution is delivered too early. It is like a farmer planting a field that hasn't yet been prepared. A presentation should identify the fear the client has and the problems the client faces. You should lay the groundwork by plowing up the ground, then tilling to chop up the dirt so that later when the solution is cast on to the ground, as seeds out into a field, they are cast to a ground that is ready to receive the seeds.

If you try to present your solution in your initial presentation, you waste it, like trying to seed unprepared ground. There is no trust. There is no understanding of the need or problem they have to solve. There is no understanding of the fear that leads to their discomfort.

First, understand and establish the purpose of your presentation: education, information, or new clients. make sure that this purpose is present throughout your presentation. Too often advisors conduct group presentations with the intention of creating new clients, but are caught up in the information delivery and then wonder why few scheduled any follow-up meetings. The "purpose was lost in the presentation." Know your purpose and stay on topic.

Second, focus on the problem and the need: the volatility that exists in the market place, the future return of another 2008, the myths of the marketplace, the fact that most solutions will not work again, and most of all the audience's need to become and remain retireable.

Third, once the need is established, a Relationship Conversation is needed to identify their future and better understand their desires. Are their dreams important enough to them to be the destination they want to go after. If they are, then we need to build a bridge to get to that dream to get you from where they are to where they want to go. That is going to require an action plan. To build the action plan we need an analysis to build a road map from where they are today to where they want to be in the future.

Fourth, confirmation of their trust by others. While you are preparing the analysis, the prospect talks with two advocates to answer questions concerning what it is like to work with you. Third party confirmation is a necessary step.

Now the field is prepared to receive the seed of your solution. Here is where you present your solution: after trust is established, their problem is clarified, their goals are identified, and their trust is confirmed by others.

What you've done in your initial presentation is laid the foundation for the need for them to come in for that analysis. So before you can give a solution you must understand them at a deeper level and be able to connect the solution to their real situation. Too often, people deliver the solution up front when the ground is too hard and unplowed and untilled, and the seed dries up and dies.

Now when they come in for the third time, once at the seminar, once for the conversation, and now for the presentation of your solution, the soil is prepared to receive the seed of your solution.

Remember: Know you purpose and prepare your prospect, before you present your solution.  

Interesting Chart: Future of Commodities?

Source: Jeremy Grantham - GMO Quarterly Letter - April 2011

  When the world's fastest growing economy is consuming commodities at these rates... what is the future of commodities?

Subscriber Only Content For more information on the impact of consumption will have on commodities and their position in the marketplace and client portfolios please download summary page from Jeremy Grantham's Letter. Made available by permission from the publisher.

Interesting Chart: Gasoline

Source: Chart of the Day

The SIA Market Report portfolio has an 8% position in United States Gasoline FD LP (GAS) as one of the strongest relative strength commodities. See chart below.

Source: SIA Market Report

If you are not a subscriber and you would like to gain access to the full portfolio details, you may receive a 14 day free trial at and be sure to select Lloyd Williams as referrer to have access to the Subscriber Only training and resources.

Please share your comments or forward post to others.

Another Reason for Tangibles

Colin Barr wrote an interesting article for Fortune last week, titled Lost decade? We've Already Had One. The article sheds further light on the blog post earlier concerning the increase in earning on the S&P 500.

GDP that stems from new debt — mainly deficit spending — is phony: it is debt-financed consumption, not prosperity. Net of deficit spending, our prosperity is nearly unchanged from 1998, 13 years ago. - Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates

The article reinforces our concentration in commodities and commodity-driven markets as the assets with the greatest relative strength. Domestic US equities substantially lag in strength and hold a minority position in the portfolio currently.

Subscribers will recall the importance of the low correlation between tangibles and intangibles. These two large market categories comprise the macro movement of the markets, as they shift over long periods of time from tangibles to intangibles. Those investors limited to only the intangibles of stocks, bonds, and cash are handicapped in all markets conditions.

Please add your thoughts and comments above.

New DISC / PIAV Assessment Tool Available

The DISC and PIAV assessments are now consolidated into a single report called Success Insights Behaviors and Motivators. The new single report includes all the content of the two previous reports with additional Team Building and Action Points.

If you have team members who have not done an assessment recently this is a good time to assess their skills. You can access the Registration Form here.

Client Newsletters

Client Newsletters are an important form of communication. They allow you to talk to your entire client base at once. This mass communication format will save you hours of one-on-one phone calls to answer the same questions that can easily be illustrated in a newsletter. Accompany this with a monthly or quarterly conference call and you are able to proactively answer clients' questions and concerns.

This will free your time to focus on your client relationships and prospects. Proactivity is the solution. Communicate education and service in bulk and strategic planning one-on-one.

Subscriber Only Content: If you are a subscriber, you can download the full version of the client newsletter illustrated above.

If you are not a subscriber, you may receive a 14 day free trial at and be sure to select Lloyd Williams as referrer to have access to the Subscriber Only training and resources.

Special Note: This client newsletter example is based - with permission - on documents provided to advisors who are subscribers to The Sherman Sheet. For more information please visit