Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (July 3-4)

Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (July 3-4)

Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with a discussion of some recent White House proposals that would crack down on popular high-net-worth estate planning strategies, including dynasty trusts and IDGTs, as the administration increasingly focuses not on increasing estate tax rates or reducing the estate tax exemption, but on tightening enforcement to just make it more difficult to avoid the estate tax system as it currently exists.

Also in the industry news this week are a number of other interesting headlines:

  • A Spectrem Group study finding that what clients value most now is “unbiased advice” and expertise (“having knowledge [the client] is lacking”), while “helps me avoid emotional financial decisions” is actually one of the least valued services according to consumers themselves
  • How the IBD model is evolving away from being a broker-dealer altogether, as the entire advisory industry continues the transition from commissions to fees

From there, we have several interesting articles on communication with clients and prospects:

  • Tips on ‘icebreaker’ questions to ask in an initial prospect meeting to get the conversation going
  • How to prepare for a difficult conversation with a client (e.g., when it’s time to raise your fees!)
  • How to accelerate the trust-building process with new prospects in the first meeting

We’ve also included a number of articles on practice management, including:

  • Why it’s so important to manage client capacity to avoid burnout (and what’s a realistic number of clients/advisor before hitting the capacity wall)
  • What it takes to scale an advisory firm from a small practice into a large business
  • Why the fastest path to achieving scalability may not be implementing better technology, but instead in reducing the number of service options offered to clients in the first place

We wrap up with three final articles, all around the theme of the ever-evolving office of the future:

  • Why the idea that “offices are necessary to promote spontaneous interactions for innovation” may not actually be valid
  • How firms are shifting to “bonding trips” as a way to promote team connection in the absence of offices
  • Why we may miss the daily commute even if we prefer to work from home (because it was actually more beneficial as a time to clear our heads than we may have ever realized?)

Enjoy the ‘light’ reading, and happy 4th of July weekend!

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