Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's issue starts off with a surprising announcement that the CFP Board is considering a questionable proposal about whether to offer CE credit and go into direct competition with the CE sponsors it regulates (with advisors expressing strong concern about the conflict of interest that entails), along with two articles reporting on advisor trends in the industry, including a continued slide in the total number of advisors and wirehouses in particular, along with a contrasting view that the decline of wirehouses and the breakaway broker trend may actually be quite overstated.
From there, we look at a few behavioral-finance-related articles, including a controversial study suggesting that as many of 93% of financial advisors experienced symptoms of PTSD after the 2008 financial crisis and that the recent rise of tactical asset allocation may be a stress-driven response, a review of another recent study suggesting that the world of a fund manager is also a much more emotionally-driven experience than many might have thought, a discussion from the Journal of Financial Planning about the importance of focusing not just on a client's risk tolerance but also his/her risk perceptions (and the ways those perceptions can be distorted), and a review by Joel Bruckenstein of a new software package called Riskalyze that is aiming to provide a slightly newer way to assess client risk tolerance.
In addition, there are a few technology-related articles, including a reminder of the importance of considering not just software vendors and products and integrations in your technology decisions but also the staff that must implement it, some guidance from technology consultant Bill Winterberg about how to protect your firm and clients against so-called "phishing" attacks, a look at how some RIAs are successfully using social media to generate new clients, and a great article by Dan Moisand suggesting that the "rise of the machines" is not so much a threat against advisors as an opportunity for them to use technology for better efficiency.
We wrap up with an article reviewing recent research from Julie Littlechild, suggesting that just relying on client referrals by just making them satisfied and happy with your services isn't enough, given that surveys indicate 88% of clients are willing to provide a referral yet only 2% actually do provide one that successfully closes; instead, the real key is to create engaged clients who will refer you not because they're satisfied, but because you know how to solve the problems of one of their friends or family in need. Enjoy the reading!