Business books advisors are turning to amid the coronavirus crisis

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These are troubling times — especially for financial advisors and their clients.

As the novel coronavirus rocks the wealth management industry, causing nation-wide shutdowns of firms and market fluctuations, advisors and executives alike are looking for something to turn to.

Financial Planning asked advisors, wealth management executives and industry experts for book recommendations to help their peers deal with the inevitable doubt and uncertainty creeping into their lives — and those of their clients. These titles have either made a positive impact on themselves or equipped them with tools to succeed in the face of this pandemic.

Whether you’re in search for a roadmap, strategies — or peace of mind for your clients — these recommendations fit the bill.

Click through the list to learn more.

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"Stillness is the Key" by Ryan Holiday
James Poer, President and CEO, Kestra Financial
"Stillness is the Key" was originally recommended by a member of our board who had just finished reading it. The message is focused on how mindfulness and stillness can help clear the mind — something we all need in these challenging times. The book is focused on the three most important areas for stillness: Mind, spirit and body. While much of what's happening with the coronavirus pandemic is out of our immediate control, this book serves as a retreat.
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"The New Rules of Sales and Service" by David Meerman Scott
Jeffrey Tomaneng, Director of Financial Planning, Sapers & Wallack
This book forced me to consider how clients make buying decisions instead of leaning on "old school" interruption marketing techniques. It also reminds me how clients — and consumers in general — want us to meet them where they are. That could be on the phone, via video call, instant message/chat, text, or in-person. This is apropos given the current situation with COVID-19.
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"Dare to Lead" by Brene Brown
Erinn Ford, CEO of Advisor Group's KMS Financial Services
Everyone I’ve talked to has concerns about the current situation, whether it’s about the coronavirus itself or its fallout. We are trying to balance working remotely with keeping our kids busy, declining social interaction, and rising market and economic turmoil. This book is a reminder that leaders must be bold during times of fear and uncertainty, while remaining empathetic to the needs of the people that rely on them for direction.
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"Remote" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Jud Mackrill, Chief Marketing Officer, Carson Group
This moment will be a watershed for all industries — and wealth management will be particularly influenced. Advisors will find they are able to work just as seamlessly as they did in their offices and will end up finding new areas of efficiency through this time. All of your technology should complement this work lifestyle. Advisors who do not set themselves up well now will quickly be eliminated from consideration. "Remote" will help you overcome your own objections to working remotely.
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"Good to Great" by Jim Collins
Kevin C. Leahy, CFP, President and CEO, Connecticut Wealth Management
"Good to Great" forces business leaders and entrepreneurs to examine the foundational elements of their businesses — precisely the sort of thinking needed during times of economic crisis. Jim Collins' business classic is a great read for businesses, whether they're experiencing a plateau or struggling, grappling with questions about personnel and leadership, or want to transform from good to great.
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"Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business" by Gino Wickman
Steve Dudash, President, IHT Wealth Management
This book will help anyone in any industry build a better, more efficient business — which is especially important in today’s suddenly precarious environment. I’ve read it multiple times over the years and each time I learn something new. It can be dry in sections, but overall, it’s a great book for anyone who runs a business.
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"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman
Mitchell Kraus, Principal, Capital Intelligence Advisors
Kahneman is the only Nobel Prize in economics winner who is a psychologist. His research describes how our brains can trick us into doing things that are not in our best interest. Understanding how your brain — and your clients' brains — can act in times of stress can help you make better decisions for both you and them.
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"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni
Jay Shah, CEO, Personal Capital
Today, providing strong leadership and putting your client first is more important than ever. As a CEO in the wealth management industry, the book I recommend for business leaders is "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni. It outlines how to confront team dysfunction by being human, demanding debate, focusing on clarity, confronting difficult issues and focusing on outcomes.
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"Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises" by Robert Z. Aliber and Charles P. Kindleberger
Ric Edelman, Founder and Chairman of Financial Education and Client Experience, Edelman Financial Engines
When it comes to understanding human behavior in crises, it’s important to remind ourselves that crises are common – and human behavior is consistent. It helps us avoid the mistakes of the past.
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"Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History" By S.C. Gwynne
Trey Prescott, Director, Business Development Advisory Services Network
This book holds some of the best leadership and life lessons I’ve read in a long time. It's a tremendous look at what we can learn from history. Finished it in just a few days and wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up again.
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"How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie
Marty Bicknell, CEO, Mariner Wealth Advisors
This book helps us remember the importance of rest. It’s also good to remember the importance of making a decision and taking action.
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"The Great Game of Business" by Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham
Michael Nathanson, CEO, The Colony Group
This book reminds us that we must fully open up our businesses to all team members so everyone understands how their companies work and why optimal performance is so important. In business, it’s far better to be an open book than a black box — especially in times of great uncertainty.
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"Conscious Capitalism" by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
Jamie McLaughlin, Founder, J. H. McLaughlin & Co.
The Whole Foods co-founder and his co-author explore the positives of capitalism and outline how great companies can only be sustained by allegiance to a higher purpose that supports all of their stakeholders; employees, customers and owners. I’m using parts of the book in a core values exercise with a client this week.
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"Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side" by Howard Marks
John Wolff, CFP, Managing Director, Wealthspire Advisors
"Mastering the Market Cycle" brings together some of the key points Marks has made in his publicly available investors' letters by breaking open market cycles — why they happen at all, why they happen the way they do, how to interpret them and what to do about them (or what not to do). To the reader to develop a deeper understanding of market cycles, he instills a sense of confidence that makes it easier to embrace the ups and downs playing such a big part in shaping not only the economy, but also the investing behavior stemming from human perceptions and biases.

His extensive studies and experiences as an investor have enabled him to remind readers of some really crucial ideas and help them avoid being blindsided by sudden changes in markets or emotions. This book provides powerful insights about the nature of patterns, timing, and the success that can result from simply being prudent and going against the crowd at times.
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"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown
Dave Welling, CEO, Mercer Advisors
McKeown explains how to focus on the essential few versus the trivial many. It’s a great time to quiet the mind and strive to focus on what is truly essential — serving clients.
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Abundance by Peter Diamandis
Ric Edelman, Founder and Chairman of Financial Education and Client Experience, Edelman Financial Engines
This book shows how plentiful the world will be thanks to exponential technologies. Without referring directly to this virus, Diamandis does show how AI and biotech will get us through this crisis.
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