Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the latest release of FINRA’s 2019 budget, which once again shows flat revenue as broker-dealers struggle with stagnating growth and a decline in the number of people taking licensing exams to become brokers, forcing FINRA to rely on as much as $185.8M of its reserves this year just to meet its operating and capital expenses… and raising the question of whether FINRA will eventually be forced to restructure, or substantially increase member fees to broker-dealers… which in turn may only further accelerate the broker-dealer decline as regulatory costs rise.
From there, we have a number of articles around household cash-flow planning, including a fascinating new job-skills training program that focuses on those with problem-solving and perseverance skills and has lifted low-income individuals from an average of $18,000 to $85,000 of income, some tips to keep “lifestyle inflation” in check as income grows, the dynamics of trying to transfer not just financial assets but instill financial and other values for the children of affluent households, and how it’s increasingly necessary to look not just at a household’s own budget and cash flow but also to ask about their potential obligations for other family members (from children who may need to support elderly parents, or parents who may need to support adult children).
There are also several marketing-related articles this week, from tips to quickly and easily adapt “generic” marketing content into something more customized (and more likely to be effective) for clients, “growth hacks” that can accelerate a firm’s marketing success, how the techniques of a hostage negotiator (who must build rapport quickly in high-stakes situations) can inform the way we try to introduces ourselves and connect to prospects, and tips on how to respond to the infamous conversation-ender where you introduce yourself as a financial advisor and someone quickly responds, “I already have a financial advisor!”
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of how we spend our time and focus our attention: the first explores the benefits of doing a “time audit” to better understand how you really spend your time (and whether it’s truly on the important tasks, including not just the urgent but also the long-term important ones); the second looks at how scheduling free-time and leisure activities actually reduces their enjoyment (because then it’s just another scheduled task/chore to do!), and why “rough scheduling” with flexibility timing is better; and the last provides a fascinating look at the importance of being cognizant of and deliberate in what you really “measure” in your life (and how that impacts the way you focus your time and effort).
Enjoy the “light” reading!