plans are run by a single financial firm, and those firms may be leery of having other advisors speak with employees. “You can go to your human resource department and see if it’s possible to have an African American financial advisor put on a specialty workshop,” she says. “Some companies are cooperative. We did one for Quaker Oats during Black History Month.” If you get permission, you can contact the National Association of Securities Professionals (www.nasphq.com) for leads to local advisors who’ll speak to your company.
Inviting a financial professional to address your group may pose a problem because these so-called workshops can turn out to be product pitches. “But you can reduce that risk by pre-screening the individuals who are coming in,” says Edwin Fox, an investment representative with Edward Jones Investments in Louisville. “Ask for references from other groups.”
DWELL ON THE DETAILS
Whether you’re planning a large or small meeting, don’t underestimate the time and effort that will be involved. “You have to get the word out,” says Owens, “and that may mean mailing out brochures or other printed pieces. If you are working with local financial firms, they may have mailing lists you can use. In any case, find out how much advertising will cost.”
Food and beverage needs should be included in cost projections. Having a well-known luncheon speaker may also increase attendance.
“People who attended one workshop were upset that they couldn’t attend another that was held at the same time,” says Owens. “See if the advisors putting on the workshops will do them twice to reduce conflicts.” When you’re spreading the word, you want to be sure everyone has a chance to hear it.