Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the big industry news that Vanguard has completed its first ever external acquisition… of JustInvest, a direct indexing platform, specifically to offer it to financial advisors using Vanguard, as even Vanguard is now placing a bet that direct indexing is going to be a major part of the advisor’s investment management services in the future (whether to maximize tax-loss-harvesting benefits, or simply to craft more ‘customized’ indices for clients based on the advisor’s investment philosophy, or the clients’ own ESG- or other purpose-based investment preferences).
Also in the industry news this week are a number of other interesting headlines:
- A new Executive Order from the White House raises the possibility of a crackdown on advisory industry non-compete and non-solicit agreements in the coming years
- Carson Group’s $17B of AUM is valued at more than $1B of enterprise value as Bain Capital takes a stake in the rapidly-growing RIA channel
From there, we have several more interesting articles on advisory firm acquisitions and valuations:
- Advisory firm M&A slows slightly in Q2 over Q1, but is still up more than 50% over 2020 as firms rebound and rising valuations tempt more advisors to sell
- Concerns are growing that advisory firm valuations may be rising too much and too quickly… even as others simply suggest that firms have been undervalued all along and the industry is just now recognizing how valuable ongoing fiduciary relationships really are
- How advisory firm consolidation is leading some to suggest that the small independent advisor may be doomed… even as the reality is that today’s consolidators were small firms that took market share from the mega-firms of 20 years ago!
We’ve also included a number of articles on focusing an advisory firm’s marketing and growth, including:
- How sometimes “less is more” when it comes to having a clear focus for an ideal clientele (that helps the firm stand out for those prospects with a premium offering)
- Why advisory firms that focus into a niche don’t have to say “no” to non-niche clients, but may want to in order to accelerate their own growth
- Why newer advisors are beginning to focus on niches from the start as an alternative to the traditional “natural market” approach
We wrap up with three final articles, all around the theme of managing our own focus:
- How having discipline in our habits ultimately grants more freedom to take exceptions from those habits when we need to
- Why the scarcest resource to manage is not our money, nor our time, but our attention
- How creating more flexibility for ourselves to have more options is ultimately what drives our own happiness
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!