Issue 2

1.

A fascinating podcast interview with Dave Chilton, famous author of The Wealthy Barber and dragon on Canada’s Dragon’s Den. I loved the story of how his book went viral in the second year, after he had basically given up on the project. A fun and interesting 100 minutes.

2.

Related to last week’s Amazon article, Ben Carlson ponders on the bull market of the last 8 years. Although in hindsight it looks obvious, there have been choppy waters during which panic set in. “Markets always seem easy when looking through the rearview mirror because knowing what already happened makes us all feel that everything in the past was blatantly obvious. It makes us feel that we would perfectly navigate those markets if only we had the chance to invest in the same scenario again.” Who can now bring to mind the events we all “knew” would bring to an end the post-crisis recovery? Greece, the Taper Tantrum, Ebola, etc…

3.

Given the average age of advisers worldwide, there is a need for the next generation to be guided and mentored as they find their feet and develop their own careers. For those who are inclined this presents an opportunity to mentor this generation. This is an interesting list of pointers to those who may have fallen into the trap of giving out the answers rather than allowing the mentee to find their own way.

If you’re a young adviser, are you looking to be the kind of employee who will help build a practice, make it stronger and share in the rewards, or are you just seeking to feather your own nest? If the interests of the business owners and the next generation are aligned, this will be to the benefit of both.

4.

As markets continue to slow down, advice costs will continue to come under scrutiny. Are you ready to explain your value in that moment? There is no longer an excuse for not being able to articulate what you do for clients. Bob Veres outlines a few benefits which proper financial planners provide to clients, and Barry Ritholtz gives an example of how one of the fastest growing advice firms in the US position their value.

5.

How much of what you read today will you still care about a year from now? Morgan Housel encourages us to read more timeless material, noting that doing so will provide a lens with which to evaluate the short term noise. “The point, then, isn’t that you should watch less CNBC and read more Ben Graham. It’s that if you read more Ben Graham you’ll have an easier time understanding what you should or shouldn’t pay attention to on CNBC. This applies to most fields.”

6.

Bronnie Ware spent her career as a palliative care nurse, working exclusively with people who were 3 to 12 months from death. She made a habit of asking them about their greatest regrets, and she heard the same five regrets time and time again. As financial planners, can we prevent our clients from making some of these mistakes?

7.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services will likely be the first trillion-dollar AUM wealth management firm providing personal, human-led planning and investments in a consistent, digitally-powered and mobile-friendly way. And they are delivering a dedicated planner and a managed portfolio for a fee of 0.3%.

“The only thing holding Vanguard back right now is that they can’t hire financial planners fast enough to service all the clients coming their way. And where are all those clients coming from? Some of them were going to be your future clients. Some of them could be your existing ones.”

The article also provides a concise summary of the current digital advice landscape. What’s your value proposition again?

8.

Ending on a technical note, a reminder of the impact that sequence of investment returns can have on  a client’s life. Does your planning process consider this risk?