Agents and other financial services practitioners are often interested in differentiating their practice from that of other agents or practitioners. They may choose to highlight their differences through the use of personal brochures that describe some aspect of their practice.
The typical brochure highlights personal achievements, education, professional designations, membership in civic and professional associations as well as the products and services being offered. As in so many other communications, the ethical requirement is to avoid anything that would mislead the brochure's reader. Areas in a personal brochure that may be abused include:
claiming to have a professional designation, expertise or education not really possessed
misstating personal or professional accomplishments
failure to include important information, such as that the services offered or results claimed are provided through the use of stocks, bonds, life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, etc.
The guiding ethical principle when developing a personal brochure is that-at the very least-the brochure must provide information sufficient to allow the reader to understand the:
identity of the practitioner
business or businesses the practitioner engages in
products sold to accomplish the objectives stated in the brochure
companies represented, their addresses and telephone numbers, and
practitioner's address and telephone number.
Personal brochures can provide a big lift to an agent's marketing efforts. It is important for ethical and legal reasons, however, to follow these guidelines when creating a personal brochure.