10 Top Books by Advisors, for Advisors

Summer's not over yet. There's plenty of time to catch up on your reading – and what your peers are writing. Many of your fellow advisors are also authors. Here we've compiled a list of 10 books written by current or former financial advisors and recommended by other advisors, executives and industry observers. These books cover a range of topics from succession planning and practice management, to investment advice and tips on smart retirement planning.

Love to read? Click through to see the books your peers have written to pass on their insights and experiences in wealth management. -- Editorial Staff

View a single-page version of the list here.

The Steady Climb

Author: Jay Hack, Advisor at Hack Wealth Management of Raymond James

Recommended by: Tash Elwyn, President of Raymond James & Associates

“This book aligns lessons learned in mountain climbing (take the long view, there are no shortcuts to success) with those of financial planning and investing. Jay is a former mountain guide and son of successful financial advisor Paul Hack … readers will learn not just about climbing, but also the strength of a father-son relationship and the importance of investing time in what matters in life.”

Seven Stages of Money Maturity

Author: George Kinder, former advisor, Founder of The Kinder Institute of Life Planning

Recommended by: Michael Kitces, Partner of Pinnacle Advisory Group

Kinder, a Buddhism expert, offers a spiritual approach to money management that helps readers understand the role money plays in the lives of clients. He focuses on the emotions involved and skills need for "money maturity," and describes seven stages for achieving both financial and personal security.

Tested in the Trenches: A 9-Step Plan for Building and Sustaining a Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice

Author: Ron Carson, CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group and Steve Sanduski, President of Belay Advisor

Recommended by: Robert Wheatley, Advisor, Infinity Financial Partners

“This is a great book on how to implement and streamline processes in your practice," says Wheatley. "He [Carson] also incorporates his “Blueprinting” process that helps intertwine both life and business goals.”

Note: An updated version of the book entitled Tested in the Trenches: A 9-Step Plan for Success As A New-Era Advisor was published in 2012.

Finding Your Money’s Greater Purpose, How to Make Your Legacy Count

Author: Patrick G. Renn, CEO of The Renn Wealth Management Group

Recommended by: Alfred P. Robertson, Advisor, Peachtree Planning Corporation

Renn delves into the importance of estate planning especially for clients inclined toward philanthropy. “This book provides wonderful insight into planning and decision making for both future stability and legacy.”

A Wealth of Common Sense

Author: Ben Carlson, Portfolio Manager at Van Andel Institute

Recommended by: Jeff Spears, CEO of Sanctuary Wealth Services

“Ben is a knowledgeable voice who captures the essence of what a good wealth advisor should adopt."

The Game of Numbers

Author: Nick Murray, former advisor, author of 11 books on financial services

Recommended by: Andrew Lin, Managing Director of Signature Investment Advisors

“The art of interacting with new and prospective clients can often be either too structured or rigid where the prospect has trouble connecting or it can be too loose without clear goals without structure to establish a firm professional advisory relationship,” Lin says. “Nick's book helps provide tangible steps to establish a productive forward moving process from the start.”

StorySelling for Financial Advisors

Author: Scott West, former advisor, head of Invesco Consulting and Mitch Anthony, Founder of Financial Life Planning Institute

Recommended by: Michael Kitces, Partner, Pinnacle Advisory Group

The authors tap into what they say is one of the most powerful methods for building and developing client relationships—Storytelling. Real stories are used to demonstrate practical strategies that any financial advisor can put to use.

Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports

Author: Howard Schilit, Founder of the Center for Financial Research & Analysis

Recommended by: Kim Caughey Forrest, vice president and senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group

“It’s the best book for people that pick stocks," says Caughey Forrest. "The book teaches readers what to look for in financial statements and provides very practical advice for investors.”

The Wedge for Financial Advisors

Author: Randy Schwantz, CEO, The Wedge Group

Recommended by: Andrew McNair, CEO of SWAN Capital

“Basically, you are creating the value you add between the existing advisors that they haven't talked to in like three years,” McNair says. “You might have all these great ideas about how you can add value to a client, but if they don't end their current relationship, then you can't help them. [The book provides] a very systematic approach before you have to have that hard conversation.”
He further adds, “The hardest part is firing someone with whom you've worked with for 30 years. It's not that easy. So you have to explain [to the client] why this is a better decision for their financial future. Your exiting advisor isn't a bad guy, but he doesn't specialize this.”

The Behavior Gap

Author: Carl Richards, Director of Investor Education, BAM Alliance

Recommended by: Michael Kitces, Partner, Pinnacle Advisory Group

Behavior Gap is the first book by planner and New York Times 'Sketch Guy' columnist Carl Richards. His sketches and writing help illustrate the challenges people face when overcoming the emotions that can derail smart financial decision making. His second book, The One-Page Financial Plan, made our first summer reading list this year – check it out here.