Friday, May 27, 2016

Protected Investors Acquired by Cambridge Investment Research

 Over the years you’ve seen the name Protected Investors on forms and various communications from me.  PIA has been my Broker-Dealer (BD) since 2002.  That is about to change as PIA has agreed to be acquired by Cambridge Investment Research, a much larger BD.  Next time we meet I can tell you the long version, but the sad, short story is that small BDs can’t compete with the larger firms.  Information about Cambridge is below and you can check out their website: 

This move to Cambridge should have minimal effect on you. You remain the owner of record on your account.  Your account numbers will remain the same and you will continue to receive statements directly from Schwab, First Affirmative Financial and/ or your mutual fund companies.   There is no cost or tax consequences to you associated with this transfer, and your investments will not change.  I will remain your investment advisor and will continue to service your account unless you choose not to sign the Cambridge paperwork that you will receive within the next few months.

For over 80 years, Protected Investors of America (PIA) has served its clients with excellence and integrity. PIA has been in the same office building on Montgomery Street in San Francisco since 1937.  That office will soon close and PIA will be exiting the general retail brokerage business on July 29th.  PIA plans to continue to use the PIA name, as we enter into a new relationship with Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (Cambridge). 

Cambridge is a registered broker-dealer in all 50 states with clearing services offered through National Financial Services (NFS) and Pershing LLC, both members FINRA/ SIPC. Cambridge has more than 2,500 rep-advisors, supported by approximately 590 home office staff.  By comparison, PIA has 50-60 advisors and about 10 staff.

Investment Advisor magazine recently honored Cambridge as 2015 Broker-Dealer of the Year in Division IV – the division representing independent broker-dealers with over 1,000 producing advisors. Cambridge has earned this honor six of the last eight years, and was previously honored in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, and 2007 as Broker-Dealer of the Year in Division IV and in 2003 for Division III.

Cambridge’s full range of products and services, and their receptivity to my ideas and concerns about how to satisfy my clients and support my practice, have convinced me that I have found what I am looking for: a truly independent broker-dealer. PIA has selected Cambridge and elected to move as a group in order to provide the smoothest transition for our clients. I sincerely hope that you will join me at my new firm and allow me to be your Cambridge rep-advisor.

 Vickie or I will be calling you within the next few months to check in.  We can set up a time to meet in my office or talk by phone to review your accounts, complete the new Cambridge forms and answer your questions.  I look forward to servicing your current and future investment needs.  Finally, if you have immediate questions or concerns, please contact me by phone at 916-444-2233 or by email at

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tending Your Money Garden: a book obituary

                I could write a book about my book, but you’ll have to settle for a chapter.
                In the spring of 1997 I started to rewrite and expand my one page tri-fold pamphlet that described Green Investing.  Sixteen months later, 3,000 copies of my 160 page book, “Tending Your Money Garden” (TYMG) were delivered to my office—eight days before my 50th birthday.
                I had been writing newsletters, financial columns and freelance articles, so I had plenty of material I could use for chapters.  I thought of myself as a writer, but NOW I was an author.  My daughter Sonya worked in my office the summer before she started college at UCLA.  She did a fabulous job of marketing my book and getting me interviews on local TV stations and in print media.  I received endorsements from Dave Berry and the Chicken Soup for the Soul guru, Jack Canfield. 
I did book signings and discovered how totally dysfunctional the book business is.  First you try to get your books into book stores, and then you try to make them leave.  That was back when there were a lot more book stores.
TYMG is not your typical money management book; it had some phony endorsements, amusing money quotes and a goofy glossary.  I experienced mild success.  Brisk sales rocketed TYMG to #1034 on Amazon one day, but my cover sucked.  Note:  People do judge and buy books by their cover.
                In 2001, with a fantastic new cover, Rossonya Books (my self-publishing company) printed 3,000 copies of “Tending Your Money Garden,” 2nd Edition.  Another lesson:  Despite a beautiful new cover and cool endorsements, second editions of financial books don’t sell unless you are my phantom nemesis Suzi Ormond.  But I’m not bitter. 
                Why am I talking about TYMG’s obituary now?  Starting in June I will not be able to sell or give my book away.  Long story.  It’s a compliance/regulatory issue. 
                Since I have fewer than 100 of my original 3,000 left, local landfills are not in jeopardy.  So, I am now offering to give these away to anyone you know who might benefit from an easy-to-read (high-school level), smart-ass money management book. It is slightly outdated.  At almost 18 years old, TYMG would be old enough to vote...if it weren’t a book. 
                So if you’d like a copy for a friend, relative or clients, please contact me BEFORE May 30.  I’d love to give away the rest of my babies to a good home.