Monday, December 25, 2023
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The Best Of Weekend Reading 2023: Top 25 Articles You Might Have Missed

Each week in Weekend Reading For Financial Planners, we seek to bring you synopses and commentaries on 12 articles covering news for financial advisors including topics covering technical planning, practice management, advisor marketing, career development, and more. And as 2023 draws to a close, we wanted to highlight 25 of the most popular and insightful articles that were featured throughout the year (that you might have missed!). 

We start with several articles on retirement planning:

  • Data showing where American retirees currently stand, from their average net worth to how they spend each hour of the day
  • How, according to a recent study, delaying Social Security benefits typically leads to greater lifetime wealth than claiming benefits early in order to reduce portfolio withdrawals
  • Why common advisor concerns about Monte Carlo analysis are more about the software tools they use rather than the technique itself

From there, we have several articles on investment planning:

  • Why holding on to stocks, rather than moving to cash, could be a smart move, even if a recession is expected to occur
  • A recent study found that investors lagged the performance of the funds in which they invested by 1.7% per year over the past decade, suggesting a potential role for advisors in helping them overcome this “behavior gap”

We also have a number of articles on cash flow planning:

  • Why it can be valuable for clients to consider the ‘hidden’ costs of buying a vacation home before jumping into a purchase
  • What being “upper-middle class” actually means in dollar terms
  • A recent study suggests a causal connection between married couples who use a joint bank account and increased relationship happiness
  • How setting a spending cap can help couples reduce money conflicts and enjoy more guilt-free spending

We continue with 3 articles on tax planning:

  • How advisors can help clients take advantage of the 0% long-term capital gains tax bracket
  • How IRMAA surcharges, while a nuisance, tend to represent a relatively small percentage of a retiree’s income
  • How advisors can help clients reduce the amount of their Social Security benefits (and overall income) subject to taxation

Next, we have a few articles on insurance planning:

  • How advisors can add value for clients by helping them make better Medicare decisions
  • Why high-deductible health plans with paired HSAs could be the most cost-effective and tax-efficient health insurance option for many clients 
  • Why an advisor decided to buy an indexed universal life insurance policy for himself

We also have a number of articles on practice management:

  • 10 ‘harsh’ lessons one business owner learned on his entrepreneurial path and how they apply to financial advisors
  • What actions advisory firm owners can take when they find they have too much work on their plate
  • Why stressed-out firm owners might consider downsizing their client base rather than selling their firm

From there, we have several articles on financial advisor marketing:

  • Why ChatGPT could be a valuable tool to support advisor marketing, from creating ad copy to drafting prospect emails
  • How offering a “second-opinion service” can help advisors generate more referrals from clients and centers of influence
  • How to optimize the 5 most important pages on an advisory firm website

We wrap up with 3 final articles, all about career development:

  • How a series of mental exercises can help individuals build resilience and overcome challenges they face
  • How both “macro” and “micro” focus can contribute to productive, fulfilling work 
  • How cultivating a sense of moxie can help individuals address “impostor syndrome”
  • Why showing poise, the combination of style and substance, is often at the heart of a successful career

Thanks for letting us be a part of your reading list each week and we’ll look forward to highlighting more insightful articles in 2024!

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