Best Books for Financial Planners

Best Books for Financial Planners

Whether you're a new financial planner looking for help setting up your practice or a seasoned veteran seeking to expand, you'll find no shortage of authors ready to help you achieve your goals.

Novices can get an overview of the industry, tips on setting up shop and marketing advice in Getting Started as a Financial Planner, Revised and Updated Edition by Jeffrey Rattiner, CPA, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Registered Financial Consultant. Be sure to buy the updated version published in 2005. Rattiner, a columnist for Financial Planning magazine and author of six financial-planning books, targets more experienced planners in Rattiner's Financial Planner's Bible.

Another book that provides a bird's-eye view of the financial-planning industry is So You Want to Be a Financial Planner, 3rd Edition by Nancy Langdon Jones, CFP. Jones covers employment in different types of companies, including wirehouses, banks, independent planners, broker/dealers and insurance companies. She says readers will see themselves in the stories about new planners who go directly into sole proprietorships, become associated with networks or start as registered reps.

In writing In Search of the Perfect Model: The Distinctive Business Strategies of Leading Financial Planners, New York Times personal financial columnist Mary Rowland interviewed 55 successful advisors about marketing, client retention, disclosure and networking. The book gives new planners insight into different players' market strategies.

Richard Koreto, editor of Advising Boomers magazine, followed a similar plan in writing Run It Like a Business: Top Financial Planners Weigh in on Practice Management, which covers setting up your practice, drawing new clients and improving your sales ability.

Planners looking to set up an independent shop rather than work for a brokerage might want to check out Deena Katz's Tools and Templates for Your Practice: For Financial Advisors, Planners and Wealth Managers. Katz warns planners who want to go out on their own to remember two things:

  • Never underestimate your startup costs, including replacing research, software and due-diligence activities.  
  • If you think going out on your own will mitigate your liability for compliance think again. You can outsource compliance, but not your responsibility for it.

Advice for the Advisors

Finally, even financial advisors occasionally need nuts-and-bolts financial advice, hence Practice Made Perfect: The Discipline of Business Management for Financial Advisors by Mark Tibergien, a principal at Moss Adams Advisory Services, a Seattle-based accounting firm specializing in advising financial-planning firms.

No matter where you are in your financial-planning career, there's always an author ready to supply a new viewpoint, some advice or a handy checklist to measure your success. And while no book can do your job for you, reading about the many ways the job may be done can help you recharge, rethink and re-examine the way you approach financial planning.