Providing best-in-class care for your clients is about more than having the fanciest tools. It’s about being in tune with the climate of the industry to know how to serve your clients best. That professionalism starts with understanding the market.

How do you reinvent your advisory practice in a fast-paced industry? In this 7-part blog series, Mike Cozart, Cornerstone Financial Network managing partner, answers pressing questions facing financial advisors. Today’s question is Part 2.


How Does a Financial Advisor Develop an Understanding of the Financial Market?

Have you ever planned a trip with the help of a travel agent? It’s easy to tell when they’ve actually visited the destination they’re giving you tips about. Their clients can feel the difference between authentic experience and fabricated expertise.

Similarly, faking your way through the financial industry will only get you so far. The families you serve can feel the difference.


3 Ways to Understand the Financial Market

When it comes to reinventing your advisory practice, you don’t need to be a living encyclopedia of all things financial. That being said, your clients should be able to look to you and your advisors as respected authorities on the business.

Practical ways to maintain and build your industry knowledge include:

  • Staying informed about industry news through major outlets and niche publications alike.
  • Paying attention to what’s happening outside your industry. How should current events and/or the socioeconomic climate influence your advisors’ tone in communicating with clientele?
  • Continuing your formal education. Consider obtaining your Series 7 and 63 licenses. Then take things a step further and stand out from your competition by becoming a Certified Financial Planner or a Chartered Financial Analyst.
  • Networking with others in the business. In-person connections are always the most valuable, but don’t overlook ways to broaden your network online. You’d be surprised how often conversations that begin in a LinkedIn thread, Facebook group, or Instagram comments section lead to real-world connections.


Put It In Action

What’s one action you can take today in your journey to understand the financial markets? Maybe you start with a subscription to The Wall Street Journal or The Economist, or peruse @Forbes on social media—any simple practice that can lead to a regular habit of reading.

With these approaches in mind, now I’ve got a question for you. What sources of information have you found to be most helpful in your journey to understand the financial markets? (Your uncle on Facebook doesn’t count.) I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments. Even better, tag the resource if they have a social platform so we can all follow the good stuff you’re getting!

Next time, we’ll take a look at a resource all too overlooked in the modern age: you. See you then!