Surveying the investing landscape with an eye toward attracting new money on a large scale, most asset managers see the same things: a huge and growing IRA rollover market, the need for young parents to increase college savings and an aging Baby Boomer population fast closing in on retirement.

To capture these opportunities, asset managers are developing and rolling out value-added programs intended to solidify their positions with financial advisers and grow sales through this critically important channel. There is an obvious flaw to this strategy, however: not everyone can win. By failing to effectively tie the asset manager's branding and market position to a product or family of products, many of these high-priced initiatives may end up doing little more than boosting sales for a competitor.

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