Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (July 6-7)

Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that broker-dealers are stepping up their efforts to fight the CFP Board’s fiduciary rule taking effect in October, with a formal letter through the American Securities Association asking the CFP Board to accept Reg BI compliance as sufficient, and the CFP Board responding that it won’t back down from a full fiduciary requirement for CFP certificants and is willing to lose thousands of CFP certificants if necessary to maintain its differentiation (but may partially relent by delaying enforcement and allowing broker-dealers more time to adapt their compliance oversight).
Also in the news this week was an announcement that Morningstar is engaging in its first major overhaul of its Analyst Ratings since 2011 to focus even more on cost (as one of the few factors that is persistently predictive) and benchmark active managers on both a net-of-fees and risk-adjusted basis when comparing to benchmarks and peers, along with a new study by Spectrem Group about why clients leave advisors besides investment performance alone (hint: failure to respond promptly when clients call is still the #1 reason clients fire advisors outside of investment performance!).
From there, we have several marketing-related articles, including tips on how to take baby steps towards enacting a marketing plan for the first time, strategies to expand the visibility and footprint of your advisory firm’s brand, and why it’s better to memorize stories to communicate your value proposition and ‘pitch’ to prospective clients (rather than just trying to memorize the right words alone).
We also have a few practice management articles this week, from the reasons why advisory firms should focus on improving productivity and their systems before just hiring more employees, to what makes billion-dollar RIA standouts more successful than the rest (hint: their speed at which they do reinvest into both their systems and their people), and the concept of “Meta Roles” that employees can (and should be encourage to) take on to help everyone work better together as a team.
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of how to take (effective and better) vacation as a financial advisor: the first provides a helpful series of Do’s and Don’ts reminders about how to prepare for a vacation (and what should and should not be communicated to clients in advance); the second gives tips on how to craft the right Out Of Office (OOO) message while you’re out, to ensure the right tone is set with clients and prospects while you’re gone; and the last looks at how the research in behavioral finance can be applied to taking vacations (e.g., focus on experiences over goods, build the anticipation, and always do a big activity at the end given that we most often remember what came last/most recently anyway).
Enjoy the “light” reading!
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