Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with a deeper-dive look at the SECURE Act (now that it is officially signed into law), as advisors get up to speed on the real-world planning implications and conversations that must happen with clients in the coming year. Also in the news this week is a major across-the-board fee cut from DFA, which ultimately amounts to ‘just’ 1-8 basis points of fee cuts and an asset-weighted cut of just 8% of their fees, but still sends a signal that even DFA is feeling the growing pressure of fee cuts (though in the end, such cuts may hurt DFA’s competitors even more?).
From there, we have several articles on cash flow and spending behaviors, from an “investment pyramid” of the areas to focus on first (i.e., set goals before trying to focus, have good savings habits before worrying about asset allocation, etc.), the second looks at how complex strategies can help create wealth but it’s crucial to fix the ‘simple’ behaviors first (most notably, spending less than we make and having ongoing savings!), and the last examines the research around whether the shift to cashless “e-money” through smartphones will lead us to lose control of our spending (hint: perhaps not, as seeing the money subtracted from our e-wallet immediately may still yield the digital equivalent of the pain of paying [with cash]).
We also have a few articles on marketing, from why email is not dead but buying email lists is (and how to build your own email list instead), what “marketing brand archetypes” are and how they can help you refine your marketing messaging, why paying for “reach” to get your marketing message out more widely isn’t necessarily a good idea (it’s about reaching the right people, not just more people), and how you can get through a marketing (or writing) mental block by trying to picture one specific person you’re aiming to help (and then craft your messaging to be relevant and on-target for that specific person… and likely everyone else similar to them who may also need your help!).
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of New Year’s resolutions and habit change: the first explores the research about why it is that New Year’s resolutions (and habit change in general) so often fails; the second delves even further into the problem with trying to make “SMART” concrete new Year’s goals (instead of trying to appeal to our own ‘superordinate goals’ of what we aspire towards); and the last provides some even more concrete tips about how to actually get more done in the coming year as 2019 comes to a close.
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!