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The Ties That Bind

Power networking pays off during good times and bad.

C. Marie Swift, 01/15/2009

While some advisors and allied service professionals might have pulled back on their marketing and public relations efforts in fall, many of the industry's best and brightest have strategically ramped up their efforts.

"Tough times are the best time to see and be seen," said Brett Ellen, president of American Financial Network, a financial-planning and wealth-management firm in Calabasas, Calif. A tenured professional with more than 20 years in the business, Ellen has weathered previous market downturns and come out smiling.

"When you think of it, it's really quite amazing that Brett has been a top advisor with every organization he's been affiliated with over the past 20 years," AFN managing director Denise Villanueva said.

"Based on advisory assets under management, Brett has been a top five advisor since he joined our firm in 2004," said Janine Wertheim, chief marketing officer for Securities America, Inc, one of the nation's largest independent broker/dealers. "He is an incredibly talented advisor and overall generous and wonderful person. We are very pleased to work with high-caliber advisors like Brett."

Blogging for Kids
A busy executive with strong community ties, Ellen has a passion for educating not just corporate executives--his core clientele--but children as well.

"My kids and the dozens of others I've coached over the years via youth sports programs in the community got me inspired," Ellen said. "Now I find myself teaching fifth-graders about stocks, bonds, saving for long-term goals; blogging about personal finance for children; and recording educational video clips in an effort to help kids improve their financial IQ."

Ellen's newly established blog, http://www.kidsfinancecoach.com, and winning way with children have not gone unnoticed.

"Parents and educators in the community are beginning to comment in a very positive way," Villanueva said. "We also expect to attract the media's attention through a series of podcasts, news releases and media alerts."

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