It is possible for you, similarly, to become the expert on investment strategies that few other advisors will be talking about. After developing this specialty within a traditional financial planning practice myself, I've been asked to participate on panels and been interviewed in local and national publications.

If you choose to integrate sustainable investing into your practice, I recommend building strong business partnerships with sustainable portfolio company representatives. They can help you climb the learning curve faster with product knowledge, marketing support and aid in integrating investment strategies into a portfolio allocation model. Some of my most successful marketing events have included presentations by my business partners from both sustainable and traditional investment companies. 

In my opinion, there's never been a better time to look at incorporating sustainable investing into your client portfolio allocation process. Multiple reports, forecasts and studies indicate that it is moving into the mainstream, and I believe it's my professional duty to make clients aware of this trend. And when clients get excited about it, they share their excitement with others. This is how I doubled my production. With a stubborn recession and high market volatility to worry about, clients appreciate the opportunity to believe that their money matters. 

With a focus on sustainable investing, I've built the kind of long-term relationships with my clients that helped me survive the recent recession with 99% client satisfaction and 98% retention. I'm confident the best is yet to come for advisors and investors who participate in the growing opportunities available through these strategies.

© 2012 Ameriprise Financial Inc. All rights reserved. Paul Ellis, CFP, JD, is the founder of Ellis and Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. He is also a franchise consultant, and is based in upstate New York. He is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of New York, New Hampshire, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota, Kentucky, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.