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Book Review: The Million Dollar Financial Advisor

This is not a normal book for me.  I am not a natural marketer by any means.  I have read a lot of marketing books in my time, but I am not a natural marketer.  I am reluctant to put myself forward, and boast.

But marketing does not have to be that way.  What if you could maintain and attract clients by giving them consistent attention, contacting them once a month and being a friend to them?  Now, granted, you have to give them good service, but what a lot of people are looking for is someone that they trust, who is out for their best interests.

You don’t have to be the best.  Show clients that you care, and give them high quality service as a wealth manager, and the question of the best returns goes out the window.  Just don’t blow it and lose a lot of money in the process.

As I read this as an investment advisor, I realized this book was best suited for wealth managers, but I concluded that the main lesson was show your largest clients personal care; their trust in you will grow, and they will stick with you unless you really blow it.

Indeed, one hallmark in the book is taking a lower-risk approach with client assets — most wealth managements clients are not looking for their manager to hit the cover off the ball, they just want him to reliably hit singles over time.

What I take away from this as an asset manager is to take moderate risks that are prudent for clients, and keep in touch with clients.  Show them that you care about them, and business becomes more sticky.  Also, if you can do it, ask your clients for referrals.  Remember, the best advertising is via word of mouth.

I write this as one growing an asset management business.  For me what would work well is to sub-advise wealth managers because I am good at beating the equity market, but I will continue to manage the assets of small investors for best return.


As with most marketing books there is the usual amount of boasting.  This one is better, in that these people have been tested and now have stable practices.  Still, you have to endure the jargon…

Who would benefit from this book:

All young wealth managers would benefit from this book.  Beyond that, I think most small investment advisors could learn from this book.  Caring about your clients is a core value to any business, but often gets forgotten in investing.

If you want to, you can buy it here: The Million-Dollar Financial Advisor.

Full disclosure: I bought this book.

If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.

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David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

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