New Financial Advisor? Here's 4 Tips to Starting Your Financial Planning Practice
*found on EZine Articles

by: Valerie Love

A financial advisor career has multiple benefits, including good pay, great client relationships and learning galore. It's an opportunity to engage in a highly respected field, and to provide a valuable service to clients who rely on your expertise.

I enjoyed being in the financial planning industry for several years and was privileged to serve over 200 clients in my financial planning practice.

Here are 4 tips if you're planning to become a financial advisor that will get you started on the right foot:

1. Hire help immediately. This is one of the best decisions I ever made in my financial advisor carer. I immediately hired a college student to do paperwork and make phone calls. She was a lifesaver. With all the new responsibilities of being a financial advisor, this investment was well worth it for me.

2. Have a paper management system, and stick with it! Determine early on a paper management system that will work for you to keep all your important papers and documents in order. The financial services industry is heavy on paper, and it's easy to get bogged down in a white mass of papers on your desk (and all over your office) if you're not equipped with a way to handle all the paper that comes at you on a daily basis.

3. Set office hours and stick with them! Right up front, set your office hours. The beginning years of building a financial planning practice often mean long hours. There's no doubt you'll work very hard in the beginning, but you've got to give yourself time to rejuvenate and time for the other things in life that are important to you.

4. Determine early on who your ideal client is, then go to all the places they hang out. Become a speaker to those organizations. Frequent the places where your ideal clients can be found. This puts you in direct contact with potential clients without you spending a boatload of money on marketing.

A financial advisor career can be a rewarding one. Enjoy your new venture.

Charging Up Your Personal Productivity
*found on EZine Artlicles

by: HS Tan

Have you ever wondered that there are so many things to do but yet so little time to use? Have you always been busy at work? Have you always been saying, "I'm busy", "not now..." or "I do not have enough time!" At the end of the day, you feel there is no sense of achievement from a long day at work and you have no clue about it. Have you always envy the performance and time management of your co-workers? (Or you simply don't care). Do you want to power up your personal productivity and improve your time management like your co-workers?

We're going to introduce you a power concept that will make you efficient and productive at work. It's called the 24-hour pay check. It's the base principle in getting self-disciplined for time management (good time management requires self-disciplined). Everyday, you are given a pay check of 24-hours. No more, no less. However, this "free" pay check can only be utilized in a day. Like a one-day voucher at the shopping mall. You cannot ask for more (time) in the check nor can you deposit and reuse it for another day. You have to use it in that day only.

In a normal weekday, you spend 7 hours sleeping. 3 hours traveling to and from the office. You work average a day of 8 ½ hours with lunch breaks included. Now how much time do we have left? That's an estimated 5 ½ hours left in the pay check. With the remaining 5 ½ hours left, you need to have breakfast, buy groceries, shower, dinner and washing the dishes. Say that takes another 3 hours. You've got 2 ½ hours left. These 2 ½ hours will be your only leisure and self-improvement time. Not forgetting if you have kids, part of the remaining hours will be used attending to their needs... And all this CANNOT be brought forward to the next day!

Now you can see that time is a precious commodity and we should treasure every expense of it. Using this powerful concept, we can identify what are the time wasters and what are the things to do to be productive. The time spent at the workplace is an average of 8 ½ hours. 1 hour is used for lunch break. ½ hour is used for tea break. Another ½ hours maybe spent at the water cooler on gossips and rumors. Back at your desk, you enter into procrastination mode for another ½ hours in and out throughout the day. You received an average 6 phone calls of 5 minutes interval every day and this sums up to another ½ hour being used.

How much time is left from the 8 ½ hours? We've left with 5 ½ hours... yes, we're not finished yet. You have to handle fire-fighting tasks such as co-workers' enquiries/requests and attend to emails. That will be another 1 ½ hours. You spent time chatting on the instant messenger for another 1 hour throughout the day. This includes time to respond to your buddy and time wasted flipping your tasks and the instant messenger. Finally, with all the things going on in the workplace, you give yourself another ½ hour of personal breaks throughout the day. Let's not also forget that there are people who spend time reading newspaper or looking at stock prices at work...

Now how much time do we have left? Only 3 hours is left for you to do actual productive work. Can you see how much time is really effective used if you were operating daily like this? If you can optimize the time, wouldn't you be able to achieve more things in a day? Now re-look your daily schedule in the workplace. Does it resemble anything like that? If it does, our advice is you need to rethink of the important things in life (and office) for yourself. Of course, "important things" can mean differently with people. But if you stumbled upon here seeking for time management solution, you will know deep in your heart the definition of "important things".

What Would a Customer Service Professional Do? They Become "The One" to Follow
What would a Customer Service Professional do?

A Professional becomes "The One" to look up to.

They hold themselves to higher standards. They ask of themselves before they ask of others. They are constantly looking inward first, then outward.

They take the time to make sure they have it right before they move on to something else. They are the first to arrive, the last to leave and they stay throughout the long day.

They believe in taking care of the business at hand and they look out for their Customers because it is the right thing to do and not because they are paid to do it.

They believe in listening first and generously and they ask questions before they start trying to tell the Customer the answer.

Does this sound like someone you want to look up to? You can start by identifying the key differences between the rest and "The One."

Here are the 5 Key Components that every Professional has that makes them stand above the rest. See if you know someone like this.

Professionally Dressed, Positive Attitude, Persistent, Persuasive, Personal Power.

If you have met one of these people the first thing that stands out is their personal appearance. They dress like they supposed to which means their clothes match the company culture.

To them their personal appearance is their visual business card. If the company culture is white collar, not only will they be white collar, it will be 10% better through accessories and neatness.

Are you Professional in your appearance?

Their Positive Attitude spreads out before them like sunshine at daybreak. When they come into the room it is as if a light switch has turned on. Their Attitude is so strong that you begin to feel good no matter how bad you were feeling a minute before.

They protect and grow their Positive Attitude because to them, it's the difference between success and failure.

Do you protect and grow your Positive Attitude?

They are Persistent to the point of annoyance. They just don't know when or how to stop. They are focused on what they want, they know how they are going to get it and they just don't quit. This also gives them strength and allows others to borrow strength from them when needed. It is the basis of Persuasiveness.

Are you Persistent?

Being Persuasive comes from Persistence and is based on their belief in themselves, their goals, and their game plan and on the faith they have in members of their Team. They are Persuasive because they know with every fiber of their being that what they are telling you will work. Their Persuasiveness is contagious.

Are you Persuasively Contagious?

Lastly, they have Personal Power which comes from their commitment to themselves to learn more, be more and achieve more. They spend a portion of every day studying, learning and practicing to be better.

They know what needs to be done before what needs to be done knows. And they do it.

Their Personal Power comes from their personal commitment to achieving victory over every obstacle by turning them into opportunities. They continually look past the moments that others believe to be "the final answer" and look to the possibilities.

Do you have Personal Power?

Look around you and find this person in your organization. Decide for yourself that you want to be more like them than like others who are "wanting and lacking" while complaining about everything.

Be Professional.

3 Ways to Overcome Marketing Overwhelm
*found on Zero Million

by: Michele PW Pariza Wacek

If you're like many entrepreneurs, the thought of marketing makes you slightly sick to your stomach. And it's more then a simple like or dislike of marketing, it's the idea of trying to fit it into your to-do list. You already have a million things going on, how can you possibly fit marketing in?

So, instead, you end up not doing anything...until you run out of work that is. Then you desperately race around, trying to cram as much marketing as possible into as short amount of time as possible to try and ramp up your business.

Business picks up, you stop marketing again.

As I'm sure you already know, this isn't a great way to grow a business on any level. But what do you do? You're already overwhelmed with everything you have to do in your business, not to mention everything you have to do in your life, so how can you possibly fit marketing into that?

Never fear, that's what the below 3 tips are designed to do, get you out of marketing overwhelm and into marketing superstar.

1. Make marketing a priority. Okay, don't stop reading yet. This one might be tough to swallow but it has to be said. Marketing your business HAS to be a priority. If it's not, then you will doom yourself to a "feast or famine" business model (where you oscillate between too many and too few clients, and because you're in a constant roller coaster, you can never get enough traction to actually start growing your business).

But, I can hear you say, my priority needs to be on getting the work done. That's what my clients are paying me for, and because they're paying, then they have to be my top priority.

My response to that is well, not exactly. You're right, you need to get the work done, and do a good job, or you're going to run out of income pretty quickly. But, if you trade doing the client work over marketing, then you're never going to get ahead.

(And, to be honest, it's not fair to your clients either to have you constantly stressed about your business because you don't know what's in the pipeline. You owe it to yourself AND your clients to have a successful, thriving business.)

You need to have the mindset that marketing your business is JUST as important as doing the client work. Without the marketing, you WILL always struggle.

However, with that said, there's no need to panic because...

2. You don't have to do it all alone. There's no law that says just because marketing is a priority means you need to do everything yourself. You can (and should) build a team. In fact, I would go one step further and tell you your team can ALSO help you with client work or admin work or just about anything.

Now with marketing, as with anything, there will probably be tasks you need to do yourself. But there will be many tasks you can easily outsource. The trick is to figure out what tasks you really need to do (and make time to do them) then outsource the rest.

But, I can hear you saying, what if I don't have the cash flow to outsource? See, that's the beauty of outsourcing marketing. There's a very clear ROI. So let's say one new client is worth $500 a month. Do you think regular marketing will bring you at least one new client? Of course. So maybe you set aside $250 a month for a virtual assistant to help you with some marketing tasks, knowing one new client will more than pay for your VA and any more clients above and beyond will be gravy.

(If you need help with marketing strategy to know what to outsource, drop me an email. I create marketing strategies for my clients, as well as do the work for them.)

3. Start small. This is what I did in my own business. You'll notice I have a lot of marketing tasks going on right now -- I have my newsletter, I blog, I podcast, I'm on social networking sites, I'm doing direct mail. I didn't wake up one morning and say "I'm going to start everything today." No, I did things one at a time. I started with my newsletter, then I added blogging, then podcasting, then social networking, etc. After I mastered one task, I went on to add another. So my marketing wouldn't seem so overwhelming to me.

But remember, the biggest thing is to actually DO something. Start taking some action in your marketing, and the rest of the pieces should start to fall into place.

Read more:

Software for Small Business
Software for Small Business When starting a small business, whether online or offline, it is extremely important to keep in mind what types of software will be needed to provide you with the information, record keeping abilities, productivity, comfortability, security, and management capabilities that will help you succeed. There are, literally, billions of different types of software ranging from informational to security to management types for you to choose from. It is always a key step in the early stages of forming the business to sit down and write out what needs, both current and future, will be necessary for the company to survive from a software standpoint.

Surviving the first year the small business is formed is always the hardest. Software for small business can aid you through these initial steps if you choose appropriately to match your small business needs. Depending on your type of small business there will always be a few types of ��"specialized” software needed, but there are certain types of software for small business that are common to all new companies. Let' examine the software for small business that is common to almost all new companies:

1. Accounting Software
2. Communication Software
3. Security Software
4. Database Software
5. Ecommerce Software
6. Management Software
7. Sales Software
8. Industry Specific Software

As you can see, there is a formidable amount of small business software that is considered the essentials for starting a new business in today's world. While the software listed is not in any way all the small business software you will need, it does cover the majority of the basics needed. It is important to also note that small business software is often bundled in packages where you can actually get multiple needs covered for one price.

There are many brands for each of the essential small business software needs listed above, many of which have their own unique benefits ranging from price to ease of implementation to adaptability. When looking for small business software it is always a good idea to sit down and construct a list of pros and cons for each software product to compare them before making a purchase. Going on brand name recognition alone has lead many companies astray. It is crucial to decide what your needs are first, and then to decide which of the potential small business software products best fulfills those needs. Malcolm Young is a financial services entrepreneur.. Article on software for small business, small business software, small businesses, software small businesses by Malcolm Young

Read more:

5 Small Businesses Marketing Tips
Starting a small business can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. You need a wide variety of skills for setting up and marketing your new business, especially if you choose to market online. Before you get started though, there are several things you might want to consider. By setting a firm foundation for your business before you build it, you’re more likely to see success. 1. Find the focus of your business. This is a primary mistake I see many small businesses make because many haven’t taken the time to really decide what is most important in their businesses. This includes determining who your customers are, what your goals are in starting a business, and what you’re trying to sell. You may also want to consider the value of your product or service for your target market, as well as how much competition you face. Although competition is good for your business, if you choose the wrong market, or you choose one that’s too competitive, like travel, you may find yourself having trouble connecting with your market at all. The lifeblood of any business is your customers, and if you fail to connect with them, or you fail to offer an appropriate solution to their problems, you can find yourself out of business fast.

1.Focus on the tasks in your business that will help you reach your goals and don’t waste time on things that won’t grow your business.

2. Know the value of your business. Price is an important issue in business, but it’s not the only factor. Quality, as well as providing an appropriate solution for your customers is also important. Use what your business offers to appropriately market your business, and consider the value of your product when pricing. If you offer physical products, the cost of making, marketing, and distributing your products is an issue. You want to make sure you correctly mark up the price of your product so that not only is it a fair price, but you also cover the cost of making your products. You should consider this BEFORE making your product.

3. Become the best in your industry. It’s not enough to know a lot about your product or service. You want to become the expert in your field. This will bring customers to you. The way to do this is to know as much as possible about your topic, which means constant educating yourself on the latest information in your industry. You also want to provide stellar customer service. This means going the extra mile to make sure your customers are satisfied with the purchases they make. Build value into your products or services and strive for constant improvement. Word travels fast on the internet, and you want others to say positive things about your business.

4. Emphasize customer care. There are many ways to do this. Providing FAQs not only helps you because it keeps you from answering the same questions over and over, but it also offers your customers additional information on your products. Answering support tickets promptly, as well as issuing refunds quickly when necessary gives your business a more professional appearance, but it also shows that you are attentive to your customers’ needs. The secret to a well run customer system is to automate your systems as much as possible, especially if you sell digital products. The way to do this is to sell your products through systems that allow you to automate the sales process so the customer is immediately taken to the product. If you sell physical products, then you’ll need to process orders as quickly as possible. Just make sure you have a system in place. Personalize your communications with customers, as well as your readers. Using autoresponders can help with this, as well as writing conversational messages that are easy to understand.

5. Design an effective marketing strategy for your business. Although I believe that every free internet marketing technique will work for every business, we’re all different, and there may be certain techniques you are more comfortable doing when first starting out. Design your marketing plan ahead of time, select the appropriate techniques to try, and then test and track those techniques to get the results you want.

Globally Effecting Small Businesses
Written by Shelley Godra

A small business in the United States need to be aware of the undeniable affect globalization has on their future profits. For example, when managing an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, one must realize that there are global factors that affect the business. These factors can be affected by political, social, and economic changes. Political relations can change people’s view of Italy. Social changes can affect customer’s tastes and demands. Economic factors can affect prices of imports and in turn raise the prices of the Italian restaurant.

First, political factors can range from new regulations to country relationships. For example, new regulation has been set in place regarding the United States and Mexico. There are more immigration laws and barriers; therefore, fewer Mexican immigrants are coming into the US. This can hurt the Italian restaurant because there are fewer prospective employees that will work for low wages, and the restaurant must spend more money on its employees’ salaries. The United States and Italy currently have a good political relationship; however, if political relations changed in the future, the change may influence customer’s opinions of Italy. Customers who think less of Italy because of unfavorable relations will eat less Italian food and this would also hurt the restaurant.

Second, social changes can affect where consumers choose to eat. In the past twenty-five years, people’s tastes have changed dramatically to become more sophisticated and cultured. In order to keep up with the chic changes, the Italian restaurant may decide to incorporate a larger variety of food into its menu. The restaurant could also attract more of the sophisticated crowd by inviting a celebrity chief to come and cook one night for its customers. There have also been social changes specifically in the Philadelphian region. Two decades ago, Southern Philadelphia was inhabited with many Italians; since then the Italians have moved out to the suburbs and Southern Philadelphia is populated with other ethnic groups. This change in residents could change the kind of food demanded in the area. The restaurant can no longer assume that the population wants the traditional Italian food and, like overcoming the sophisticated class, the restaurant could offer more variety in its menu.

Finally, economic changes most often than not affect the meal prices of the restaurant. Global food shortages, specifically in Italy, due to weather could increase the prices of imports. Many of the ingredients the restaurant needs, such as olive oil, would come from Italy. Currently, our economy is not doing well, and United States residents have less disposable income. Less disposable income means less money to spend on luxury goods like eating out. Also, the price of oil has been steadily increasing in the past few years. This would deter people from driving into the city from the suburbs because gas is too expensive; this change would cause a shortage in customers.

In conclusion, there are many factors that affect managing an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia. Some factors can be controlled, however, global factors are outside our reach of influence. Global factors such as political, economic, and social changes can hurt an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia by creating higher priced imports, less employees, and less customers. Some of these changes can be overcome by offering new food options and keeping up with what the consumers want.

Remote Working: Turning Them Into Us
*found on BNET

By: Wayne Turmel

The problem with team-building (remote or co-located) is that sometimes it feels like you’re trying really hard to be a good teammate, but other people are letting you down - it feels like it’s not you, it’s "them".

Whether "they" are head office, our guy in Birmingham or that inscrutable group in Bangalore, it’s impossible to create a truly effective team unless you start thinking us. We develop trust when our goals, motives and competencies are aligned. But when you are miles apart, how can managers ensure people are pulling in the same direction?

Without getting all soppy, here are some tips for helping create stronger ties between team members.

Who are these people?

Studies have shown that when you have a visual picture of someone, you immediately begin to form a tighter bond with them. Putting faces to names is an important part of how we assess the strength of information we receive, whether we can trust people and whether we want to make an effort to work closely with them.


Find a place to post photos on your intranet, social networking site (NING or Facebook are free) or just send out pictures (preferably candid but non-incriminating) periodically so that people know who they are dealing with.

What’s their problem?

Humans are naturally suspicious creatures. When faced with a lack of hard evidence, they tend to make things up - and it’s seldom the best-case scenario (it's nature’s way of helping you avoid becoming someone’s lunch). Why did she miss that deadline? Obviously she’s an idiot, is a prime example. Of course, most people are not idiots, but when lacking information to the contrary, it’s just easier to make that assumption. Constant updates and honest feedback on how projects are progressing and what challenges teammates face will keep people in the loop and encourage active assistance rather than reactive situations where the deadline passes and panic ensues.


Encourage people to post regularly to discussion boards and social network sites, where the first person or best person to answer can help. When you get an individual message from a team member with a problem or question, suggest they post to the group site. This is better than just bombarding people with emails because they won’t have to hunt for the file or wonder if they are reading the latest version. You also get a small piece of your life back.

I have no idea how they got that job

Did you know that idiot in your New York office has an advanced degree from the same university that rejected you? Or that she worked on a high-level project before winding up on your team? Knowing the backgrounds of your teammates is often helpful, not just for creating human connections but knowing to whom you should turn for answers.


Post profiles of your team members where people can find them, and make sure that all new members provide a profile on their first day of work. Besides education and credentials, personal information like whether or not you have children, your hobbies and whether you work from home or an office are all important.

What do they do all day?

One of the biggest causes of mistrust in remote teams is waiting for information and assuming it’s being withheld for some reason. We sent the request why don’t they respond? The simple fact could be that they are busy with something else, or they don’t know you’re waiting for that response, tapping your foot and calling them names. It could be the middle of the night where they are and dragging themselves out of bed to give you that piece of information just never occurred to them. Whatever the reason, it helps if we know what others are working on and have a clear indication of their priorities.


Take time at the beginning of a team meeting, teleconference or Webmeeting for updates. If you work as part of a large team, this might take up too much time, so try showcasing one person, team or location for each meeting. A client of mine in the non-profit sector regularly rotates meeting-host duties to showcase individual team members. Each host offers an update on their work.

It’s just easier for me (the manager) to do it

You’ve been there. A team member asks for a piece of information, or the latest version of something that another team member elsewhere has sent. You could tell them that’s why you have shared drives and they can find it on the SharePoint group site you spent so much time and money on, but it’s the path of least resistance to just stop what you’re doing and re-send it. Stop that, you’re enabling bad habits.


When someone requests the latest version of a piece of group work, take the time to send a polite but firm note to remind them where that information resides. You might even suggest that they contact the teammate responsible for that information directly and just let you know how that works out for them.

Use good old people skills to augment technology if you want to facilitate human contact and develop trust in your team. It will dramatically increase the return on your investment.

Evaluating three find-an-adviser websites
Before deciding where to wine and dine your significant other, chances are you will take a gander at a restaurant review or two online.

These days, a plethora of review sites and tools have made the Internet most people's first stop when shopping for restaurants, cars and almost everything else.

Although still in their infancy, similar websites all created by entrepreneurial financial advisers have sprung up to help investors find or evaluate financial professionals.

These sites include,, and, as well as a fourth due to launch next month. (The founders of that site prefer that it remain unnamed until the launch date is closer.)

Industry leaders and advisers, though optimistic about the future of such sites, are skeptical about how much real value they deliver to consumers now.

Investors are questioning things more than ever before, so it is natural that you would see people coming up with sites like these, said Financial Planning Association president Richard Salmen, who is also senior vice president of GTrust Financial Partners. The firm manages $400 million in assets.

Conceptually I like the idea of these sites. I hardly buy anything that I don't go out on the web and research, but what worries me about [the sites] is that it is extremely difficult to quantify or convey the overall value of what a good adviser provides, only part of which is investing, Mr. Salmen said.

Other advisers applaud the attempts, though they say that the sites need more work.

There hasn't really been anything like this [EvaluateMyAdvisor] before; it is a good shot across the bow of our industry, but I don't see this or any of these sites as the end-all. Hopefully they will evolve, said Dennis Nolte, a senior wealth adviser with Partners Wealth Management, which manages $90 million in assets.

He said that in the case of EvaluateMyAdvisor, its analytical ability seemed a bit limited. But when asked if he would like to see similar tools available from LPL Financial, his broker-dealer, Mr. Nolte wholeheartedly agreed.

It would be great to have similar tools to allow us to be better armed and ready when discussions of performance come up, he said.

I looked at the websites mentioned; below is a brief overview and some basics about each:


Founder: Norman Pappous, most recently a Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. financial adviser.

Inspiration: The low level of investment knowledge displayed by wirehouse advisers.

Overview: Amazed by the skill of the quant jocks he worked with on the institutional side of the business, Mr. Pappous was dismayed when he switched to retail. The site is his attempt to provide small investors with an analytical approach to deciding whether an adviser is adding to or subtracting from the value of their portfolios. After inputting historic return data or persuading an adviser to do it an investor will get back a paper report detailing how his returns compared with a benchmark, based on the asset allocation model he had agreed to with his adviser.

Cost: $500 for a performance report.

Pros: This is the first attempt I am aware of to package such a service for retail investors. If nothing else, it should prompt advisers to think about how to share or better interpret and illustrate their performance to clients.

Cons: This isn't a site your average Grandma is going to grasp (not yet anyway). It needs more detail and a better basic description of its mechanics. I would suggest adding two explanatory sections to the How it Works pages, one for investors and one for advisers.


Founder: Brandon Gadoci, who most recently worked for Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Inspiration: Mr. Gadoci said that he was sick to death of cold calling, seminars and networking breakfasts and wanted to find a creative way to bring advisers and clients together.

Overview:Once out of beta, the site will provide users with advanced-search capabilities that can match them up with advisers based on criteria such as years of experience, proximity, types of products or advice being sought, etc. Revenue will come from premium features, including tools that allow advisers to receive client query results that include them, use the platform to connect with clients and generate investment proposals.

Cost: None for now. Once fully launched, premium services will cost between $15 and $30 a month.

Pros: An attractive and engaging site design. It already has attracted a lot of attention through its use of social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Mr. Gadoci said that the site is close to its goal of enlisting 1,500 beta users to flesh out and test its services.

Cons: Reaching a critical mass of advisers will be key to the site's success.


Founder and CEO: Brian Robertson, an adviser with Ackley Financial Group Inc.

Inspiration: The Madoff scandal led Mr. Robertson to wonder if a website where investors could find straightforward information on investing and advisers as well as second opinions on both could avert such conflagrations in the future.

Overview: The site provides lists of investment questions and answers that can be added to by investors and advisers, who also can post their own questions. Advisers who claim their profile on the board Mr. Robertson has the names and locations of 20,000 advisers and firms, gathered from various public sources can also set up a blog and post to it once they have updated their profile.

Cost: Free.

Pros: The site has the potential to become an unbiased repository of investment information. It also won't hurt an adviser's search engine results if they flesh out their profiles on the site.

Cons: It remains largely a blank slate waiting to be filled in by both potential clients and advisers. The site's creators deserve kudos for their intent to provide investors with a place to publish anonymous ratings of advisers.

But the feature could mean trouble for the site's owners from regulatory bodies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. and the Securities and Exchange Commission over potential compliance issues, not to mention from disgruntled and/or litigious advisers.

E-mail Davis D. Janowski at

Doctors voice fears over flu phoneline...
*found on Euronews 24


* See...not just here...

LONDON - An overwhelming majority of doctors fear that infections and serious diseases could be missed because swine flu is being diagnosed over the phone, a poll showed Wednesday.

Nearly 90 percent of 251 general practitioners questioned by GP newspaper fear that conditions such as tonsilitis or bronchitis and potentially fatal illnesses such as meningitis may be overlooked.

The swine flu hotline was launched to reduce pressure on doctors because Britain has more cases of the virus than any other country in Europe, with an estimated 110,000 new cases a week for the past two weeks.

About half of people being diagnosed with swine flu are receiving their diagnosis over the telephone by staff without medical training who work from a checklist of symptoms.

But one doctor said it was blindingly obvious that a telephone diagnosis will very rarely, but very significantly, miss an alternative diagnosis which could lead to severe morbidity or mortality.

Another commented: The symptoms are so vague and wide-ranging, swine flu can masquerade as a vast array of other diseases.

More than 30 people have died from the A virus in the country, although almost all had pre-existing serious health problems.


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