From there, we have several practice management articles this week, including: tips and techniques for better growing referrals from Centers of Influence (hint: make it about just serving current clients better first, and referrals second); why the industry needs to back off its urgent pleas to advisors about succession planning and recognize that it's simply not what most want to do; a look at the consequences of "dithering" about engaging in continuity planning as an advisor; and a review of two new designation programs recently launched to help advisors bone up on their Social Security planning techniques.
We also have several investment articles, from a Rob Arnott discussion about what "smart beta" should mean (and how to better distinguish the legitimate smart beta strategies), to a discussion from Robert Shiller about the sustained elevation of cyclically-adjusted P/E ratios over the past 20 years and whether it's a permanent or temporary phenomenon, to the recent announcement that Vanguard is now closing in on a whopping $3 trillion of AUM (and its Total Stock Market Index recently become the world's largest mutual fund as well). There's also an article about how "expensive" it actually is to pay insurance premiums on a monthly or quarterly basis rather than annually, with markups equivalent to APRs in the (sometimes high) double digits!
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first looks at how many financial planners fail to engage prospective clients by appealing too much to their rational side alone and not recognizing that many buying decisions - including the selection of a financial advisor - has a significant emotional component; the second explores how a simple "client service calendar" can become a tool to help communicate an advisor's ongoing value to current (and even prospective) clients; and the last provides a nice reminder about all the ways that financial planners can add "alpha" to a client's life beyond just adding to portfolio returns.
And be certain to check out Bill Winterberg's "Bits & Bytes" video on the latest in advisor tech news at the end, including the explosive growth of Laser App which now has 115,000 advisors using 32,000 "paperless" online forms! Enjoy the reading!