Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with a new proposal from the CFP Board to allow CFP certificants with a public disciplinary event (that culminated in a public letter of admonition or one-year suspension of their CFP marks) to potentially scrub their records clean after 5-10 years… raising the question of where the financial planning profession should balance forgiveness and the recognition that people can and do change against the need for consumers to be aware of a potentially problematic history that could indicate a higher risk of recidivism.
From there, we have a number of practice management articles, including a look at when/why an advisory firm should consider hiring a Chief Operating Officer (COO), the questions to ask when interviewing an advisory firm CEO, a fascinating research look from the Harvard Business Review at how real CEOs manage their time, and a good reminder about how, if advisory firm owners want their employees to “act more like owners,” they need to be given opportunities and pathways to actually become owners (and see that their behavior can be rewarded).
We also have several financial advisor marketing articles this week, from a look at how most advisory firms don’t effectively allocate their marketing budgets, to the best (and worst) kinds of content to buy/use when marketing online, how to handle your social media presence during the holiday season (hint: clients and prospects tend to be on social media sites more during the holidays, so don’t take a holiday from your own social media accounts!), and some helpful tips and considerations when buying holiday gifts for clients (or referral sources, or centers of influence).
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of the internet and how we interact with it: the first is a fascinating look at how internet technology is so lowering the costs to deliver goods and services, that startups are now finding ways to leverage the internet to serve the poorest 2 billion people of the world cost-effectively and even profitably (and without requiring them to have smartphones that most of the world’s poor still do not); the second provides a fascinating look at how the first era of the internet was all about decentralized protocols (on which platforms like Yahoo and Google and Facebook were built), how the pendulum has swung to more centralized platforms as those companies built their own proprietary layers on top (potentially limiting innovation), and how decentralized networks like blockchain may bring about a third (more open and more innovative) era of the internet; and the last explores how our behavioral biases not only adversely impact our investing behavior, but can cause us to misperceive the current state of the world, especially in a social media environment where platforms have an incentive to hold our attention (even if it means stoking our biases instead of helping us to overcome them), and how in the process we may be missing out on how incredibly positive world progress has actually been in recent decades!
Enjoy the “light” reading!