First the rise of robo advisors, now a wild market with no end to volatility in sight – you can’t be blamed for wondering what’s next. But a little extra knowledge and confidence in your own skills can do wonders in helping you feel prepared for any challenge.

For the advisor thinking about taking a refresher course or seeking a better understanding of their craft, we’ve compiled a syllabus geared toward sharpening skills and developing new ones.

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Are You a Stock or a Bond?: Identify Your Own Human Capital for a Secure Financial Future, Updated and Revised 

By: Moshe Milevsky

“This book can help a young planner broaden their thinking when it comes to helping clients plan for retirement. Some of the best results of financial planning come not just from managing the growth of a portfolio and how best to withdraw those funds,” says Eric Sawyer, CFP and director of planning at Texas Tech University. “The best ideas come from melding those financial assets with someone’s human capital because you’re not just extending the life of one’s portfolio, you may wind up extending a life well-lived.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

By: Stephen R. Covey

“Financial planning is a profession that deals with real people on their level,” says Sawyer. “Covey’s Highly Effective People book is great, but I think this version provides insight into family dynamics.”

Winning the Loser's Game, 6th edition: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing

By: Charles Ellis

This is a book fit for anyone who wants to learn about long-term market gains. “It’s short, elegant and easy to read,” says Harold Evensky, CFP, president of Evensky & Katz and Professor of Practice at Texas Tech University. “I’ve given copies to many clients.”

Asset Allocation: Balancing Financial Risk, Fifth Edition 

By Roger Gibson

Need to brush up on asset allocation? There is no book to rely on more than this one, according to Evensky. He calls it, “The bible on asset allocation.”

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

By: John C. Bogle

When it comes to giving advice, common sense is a critical tool in a planner’s arsenal. And while Evensky says that all of Bogle’s books are worth a read, this one is a particular favorite. “Just like the title says, it’s chock full of good common sense,” he says.

The Richest Man in Babylon

By: George Clayson

Not all books planners can learn from are fresh off the presses. “This book contains valuable lessons on managing one’s finances,” says Ron Rhoades, CFP, program director at the Finance Gordon Ford College of Business. “This 89-year old text is very impactful on students, advisors and clients alike.”

The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: And What You Can Do to Escape Its Clutches

By: Larry Swedroe

This book “highlights an evidence-based approach to achieving excellent long-term returns with less risk,” says Rhoades.

Marketing for Financial Advisors: Build Your Business by Establishing Your Brand, Knowing Your Clients and Creating a Marketing Plan 

By: Professors Eric T. Bradlow, Keith E. Niedermeier and Patti Williams 

These authors focus on treating wealth management like a small business. To back up their claims made in the book, these Wharton School professors rely on a study of more than 800 advisors.

Under Pressure: Managing Stress and Engagement on the Job 

By: Sigal Barsade

This work is aimed at helping employees understand the issues that they face with their employers, such as global competition, a growing dependence on  technology and a lower engagement with peers.

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