Financial Advisor Reading List: October 2023

Oct 16, 2023 | Blog Posts

It’s October, which means jump scares, hacking together costumes, a scary movie or two, and eating more candy than you said you were going to. There’s lots of great reading material out too! Here’s our top picks for October. 

1. Which of the 10 Money Languages Do You Speak?

Source: Kiplinger

Ever heard of the concept of the five “Love Languages” by Gary Chapman? It’s all about understanding how you give and receive love. Turns out there may also be “Money Languages” too! Money can stir up some strong emotions, just like love does, and understanding your money language can make a big difference in your financial life:

  1. Stress: Money-related stress is a common cause of issues in relationships.
  2. Greed: Greed can be both a driving force for success and a source of moral conflict.
  3. Anxiety: Despite financial success, some individuals still harbor concerns about money.
  4. Happiness: For some, money is a source of joy, enabling various aspects of life.
  5. Pride: Accumulating wealth can evoke feelings of pride and accomplishment.
  6. Envy: Envy of others’ financial success can harm one’s well-being.
  7. Guilt: Accumulating money may lead to regret when others have less.
  8. Fear: Fear of how money may change someone or their relationships is common.
  9. Security: Money often provides a sense of security and peace of mind.
  10. Love: Some individuals are enamored with money and crave more of it.

The article encourages readers to identify their primary money language and consider their loved ones’ money languages. The author suggests that discussing and understanding these money languages can improve relationships with both money and each other.

2. Make philanthropy a family affair

Source: J. P. Morgan

J.P. Morgan has an interesting piece about the importance of involving younger generations in philanthropic endeavors, particularly during the holiday season. Philanthropy can serve as a means to impart values and passions, fostering a sense of fulfillment in the next generation of wealth holders.

To encourage budding philanthropists among children, parents, and grandparents can consider the following strategies:

  • Allow children to have a say in choosing the organizations they wish to support, aligning with their interests.
  • Introduce the concept of saving, dividing funds into expenses, savings, and giving to establish financial management habits.
  • Demonstrate the impact of their contributions by selecting charities where small donations yield measurable benefits.
  • Promote hands-on involvement, such as volunteering for various charitable activities.
  • Tailor philanthropic activities to children’s hobbies and interests, making the experience more meaningful.
  • Encourage philanthropic engagement to evolve and expand into adulthood through positions on nonprofit boards or establishing more structured giving mechanisms.

Says the author, “It’s never too early to engage in philanthropy. Families can bond over a common purpose as they work to make a difference in a personally meaningful way. Allowing kids a say in where they direct their time or funds can make for a positive experience with giving that strengthens key values like generosity and compassion for the world around them.” 

3. Talent retention is the top staffing concern for wealth managers

Source: Private Banker International 

Wealth management firms in 2023 are primarily concerned with talent development. This critical internal factor is crucial for their overall success, according to GlobalData’s Q3 2023 Wealth Management Industry Poll, with over 44% of firms expressing this concern.

These concerns are particularly relevant for providing exceptional client services. While the wealth management industry has effectively managed external market challenges like economic growth and inflation, internal factors related to staffing are essential for maintaining competitiveness.

Retaining talent is a global concern, driven by changing employee expectations, job dissatisfaction, and a desire for better career opportunities. To address these challenges, wealth management firms should take strategic steps such as offering competitive compensation, promoting work-life balance, and cultivating a strong company culture. These measures can contribute to a more positive work environment, increasing employee satisfaction among current staff and attracting new talent. 

The primary message is that wealth management firms must prioritize talent retention by adapting to evolving employee expectations and creating a conducive work environment.

4. 7 wealth management takeaways from Arizent’s 2023 DEI research

Source: Financial-Planning.com

A clear and consistent plan for enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the wealth management industry is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. This plan can significantly affect the career paths of underrepresented financial planners, providing them with opportunities to make a lasting impact.

Landon Tan, the founder of Query Capital, emphasizes the importance of having a dedicated DEI team within large firms. The presence of such a team influenced Tan’s choice to join LPL. He highlights the significance of individuals prioritizing diversity and inclusion, ensuring that concerns affecting minorities are addressed and resolved.

Although the benefits of true equity in the industry are well-recognized, there remain obstacles to its full realization. Some firms have been reluctant to embrace inclusivity, potentially due to conflicting beliefs and values among insiders.

Arizent’s third annual DEI study delves into the state of inclusion across various industries and examines the profound impact a dedicated DEI strategy can have on businesses. The study also explores how leaders in financial services can further champion diversity.

The research aims to understand how a genuine commitment to inclusion and diversity in leadership can positively affect employees’ experiences, irrespective of their demographic characteristics.

This article underscores the growing importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in wealth management, reflecting the need for proactive DEI strategies to foster a more inclusive and equitable environment.

5. Advisors Divided on How Much Employer Stock Clients Should Own

Source: Think Advisor

Owning employer stock is generally considered risky due to the concentration risk and positive correlation with human capital. While research recommends minimal or zero allocations to employer stock, financial advisor perceptions of the associated risks vary.

A recent survey of 209 financial advisors revealed differences in their perception of the maximum percentage of a client’s assets that should be allocated to speculative assets and employer stock. Advisors typically limit allocations to speculative assets to 5% but are more comfortable with allocations to employer stock, setting a limit of 10% of financial assets.

Advisors also differ in their discount requirements for recommending employer stock. About 15% (ranging from 10% to 20%) is the average discount considered necessary before recommending employer stock.

The implications of owning employer stock vary based on individual investor situations, preferences, and the risks associated with the specific employer security. Advisors should consider economic and behavioral factors, such as the fear of missing out, when guiding clients on allocations to employer stock.

Advisors should work with clients to set appropriate expectations regarding the risks and returns of owning individual securities.

6. Wells Fargo rolls out financial planning tool to almost 70 million customers

Source: Yahoo Finance

Wells Fargo is expanding access to its Life Sync financial planning tool to nearly 70 million customers, following an initial offering to wealth clients.

The Life Sync tool enables mobile users to set and track financial goals, access their credit scores, and connect with financial advisors. Approximately 100,000 goals have already been set on the tool, with a cumulative value of $24 billion in financial plans. Life Sync will allow users to invest and transfer money between accounts through their mobile app.

Wells Fargo’s deployment of digital tools has allowed for a 10% reduction in branch staff and a 4% decrease in branch locations, contributing to cost savings. Online financial tools can be lucrative, as demonstrated by the success of rivals like Bank of America’s Life Plan, which attracted over $55 billion in new investments since its introduction. The expansion aims to provide customers with speed, usability, and insights, allowing them to monitor their financial plans anytime during the day.

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Disclosures
This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal, or tax advice.

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