Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - Practice Management Edition! This week's edition kicks off with the results of the FPA's latest practice management study on time management, which finds that if you feel like you're not in full command of your time and schedule as a financial advisor, you're not alone; as the results show, only about 1/3rd of advisors are feeling in control of their time these days! The FPA study provides some suggestions of "what's working" for advisors who do feel in control of their schedules, and is part of their broader rollout of practice management guidance under the new Research and Practice Institution.
From there, we have a long list of practice management articles this week, including: how to protect your practice against thieves trying to commit wire fraud against your clients (and what you must do to avoid liability for a mistaken transfer!); how to craft a social media policy for your firm and roll out social media across your employees; the "right" way to attend a conference to get value (hint: meet as many people as you can); how the key to improving your firm is about trying to improve things one step at a time, rather than delaying until there are lots of problems and trying to fix them at once (which is overwhelming and rarely works); how to manage the coming "crunch" in advisor compensation as competition heats up (key takeaway: go big or go niche); ideas in better implementing common practice management tips; some wisdom in how to ensure your prospective merger with another advisory firm goes smoothly in the long run; and recent survey of CFP certificants suggesting that at least some advisors believe the recent CFP Board "scandals" have been taking a toll on its credibility.
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first suggests that perhaps we should back away from trying to set financial goals for/with clients, and instead try to focus on the systems and habits that will make them financially successful in the long run; the second looks at the psychology of tax refunds and some research suggesting that for clients who have difficulty saving, getting a big tax refund might not be such a bad thing after all (and in fact, bigger may be better); and the last explores how being a successful leader means at some point, leaning to say "no" and limiting how people can access your time and attention, or you will struggle to achieve your own goals and priorities. Enjoy the reading!