Issue 11

1.

There are many reasons to be negative about our industry. Ben Carlson explains why he’s optimistic about the future of the finance industry, explaining that the next generation gives him hope.

2.

It’s easy to forget that clients are unlikely to be able to differentiate between financial planners on technical skill alone. They’ve likely come to you because they know very little. It’s not your recommendations that will blow them away. It’s far more likely that the client experience, and your ability to communicate, will lead them to choose you. How are you different?

3.

I suspect that most financial planning review meetings are nothing more than a discussion about fund returns. David Haintz argues that as clients start being shown more clearly what they are paying for advice, they will demand far more. He suggests that these meetings should be forward looking (progress meetings rather than review meetings) and revolve around lifetime cash flow modelling. This will force clients to be realistic about the tradeoffs they are making.

4.

Conor Witt wrote about the strategy that Ritholtz Wealth Management has taken in marketing their firm.

“Simply put, by candidly showing who you are, what you care about, and what you believe on a consistent basis, your customers find you.”

Barry Ritholtz followed up.

Morgan Housel this week argued that everyone should write.

If you have any doubt that this is where marketing and branding are headed (I’d argue it’s already there), watch this.

5.

Fast Company did a good cover of Betterment’s CEO, Jon Stein. Their focus is shifting to personalization and advice. It seems that traditional advice firms are rushing to become more “robo”, and robo-advisors are trying their best to become more human. Soon it will be difficult to tell the difference.