October 27, at PM EDT - CE credit. Cybersecurity: A Critical Investment Theme for a Secure Future. Nasdaq/First Trust/ Consumer Technology. Today's conversation is with President at Solin Strategic LLC and Evidence Based service that works exclusively with evidence-based investment advisors. Dan Solin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Smartest series of books which include: The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read. ENFOREX MADRID ERFAHRUNGPUNKTE
And then I wrote a series of investing books intended to keep investors on the right path. And then at the same time, I became a wealth advisor trying to do the right thing for investors, following the same investment philosophy that the two of you follow with PWL, an evidence-based philosophy based on strong academic support, rather than kind of musing and an intuition.
From there, I was just kind of curious as to why I was fairly well known for writing books, but I didn't seem to be any better at converting prospects into clients than people who weren't as well known as I. And so I just took a year to study neuroscience and how the brain functions, and why people react the way they do. Really it was part of a self-improvement program, but that turned into a book called the Smartest Sales Book You'll Ever Read. And then that book turned into a consulting career where I now wander around wherever people will have me, trying to help evidence-based advisors like you, who are doing the right thing for their clients.
I want you all to be as successful as possible, because I fully understand better than most that every time you convert a prospect into a client, you've saved that prospect from the ravages of the traditional securities industry. That's so interesting, Dan, and I've known you now well over 10 years, and the common thread that I see in you is evidence. Your career started in evidence and continued on through the securities industry and then also helping advisors, then into sales.
Why and how does evidence plays such a big role in your life? Well, I think it started, Cameron, when I was a lawyer, or actually in law school. In law school, your opinions are worth nothing, but the data is worth everything. Meaning prior cases are worth everything. And so we're trained to be very rational, dispassionate, and to find support for whatever position we're taking and to try to persuade a judge or jury that our support is better than the support Marshall buyer adversary.
So I think that training is what led me to be so susceptible when I learned, and it was a big epiphany for me, as it may have been for the two of you, that there was actually a better way to invest that wasn't It didn't depend on somebody's opinion of the day or some expert, but there was sound peer review data. It just made perfect sense to me and always has.
So Dan, while you were a lawyer, obviously you saw a lot of different cases. Do you think that there was a specific turning point that you realized that you needed to actually get on the ground and start helping people? There were a number of cases that I had been where it was so clear to me that the lives of my clients had been completely ruined by reprehensible conduct of their brokers. But over here in the States, we have a very unfair system that requires investors to go before, basically, tribunal administered by the securities industry itself.
They don't get access to courts and to a jury of their peers. So winning these cases was very difficult. And there was a guy, a pig farmer from Georgia, who had an eighth grade education who had inherited a couple of hundred thousand dollars from his uncle, and who called me from the library collect because he couldn't afford the phone call at the time. And he lost it all to a broker who invested in penny stocks.
Absolutely devastating. And he was terribly sick at the time. It was a horrible story. It really tugged at my heart, and I lost that case, and that's when I just said I really have to be more proactive. I just can't wait for the system to catch up with fairness and justice. It's never going to happen. One of the greatest examples that I can recall of you in the public forum doing just that was the time you were on CNBC, and the financial stock picking station. And you made the comment that they should play more in Vogle we trust as opposed to in Kramer in we trust, contrasting the difference between Jack Vogle, one of the evangelists of index passive investing, and Jim Kramer, who at best as a bombastic active stock picker on CNBC.
And I remember that I tried to find it. It's no longer online, but the article is there. But you made the point that indexing makes so much sense, and that just set him off. Can you tell us about that episode? That actually was a pretty dramatic event in my life that I enjoyed immensely to this day.
So thanks for reminding me about it. I was invited quite frequently to go on CNBC. I think more as a punching bag than anything else, because my position always was evidence-based investing makes sense, stock picking, market timing, trying to pick out performing mutual fund managers. Basically the daily grist of CNBC is just misleading.
And Kramer was an object for me of many, many blogs, because I felt I didn't buy that he's just entertainment. I really felt that his program really harmed investors, and that really affected me. So at that last What turned out, not surprisingly, to be the last time I was invited to go on CNBC they gave me one of those openings where they said, "Tell us what you think investors should do and how to deal with the problems.
I said, "You should have more in Vogle we trust and less in Kramer we trust. So that did create quite a stir. But I think that was around or so. And of course everything had happened since more than justified the position I took.
And that just shows you how important the work you're doing is. I think we see that everywhere, not just in the United States, but also in Canada. Most of the programs on any financial media television show, it's all about active management and what's going on in the market and what you should be doing, and almost nothing about evidence-based investing. I actually think, and you know that I love Canadians. I think it's a wonderful country and with wonderful people.
So I say this from a point of view of really kindness, but I think what goes on in Canada is, in some respects, even more insidious than what goes on in the US. Because you've got the domination by five major banks who have a lot of conflicts of interest and have a lot of ability to cross sell. And instead of using that tremendous leverage for good, to a large extent they use it to perpetuate the sale of actively managed very expensive products.
And by doing so, they're really no different or better than brokers are in the US. Where they're more dangerous is that they control much more of the market, so they can do much more harm. And in fact, they do. And we see exactly that in Canada. With people like you spreading the message of evidence-based investing in the United States, the RIA model has grown substantially. And I think evidence-based investing is getting a bit of a foothold.
It is getting a foothold in the United States, whereas in Canada it's still a tiny, tiny fraction of the overall asset. I wonder why that is. So maybe people listening to this podcast who are looking for a career with potential will become evidence-based advisors, because I see a tremendous future. Logic ultimately prevails. It did here. Nobody predicted what happened here. Many of us, not just me, who have been writing about this for decades, marshaling the evidence.
And it did feel like we were talking into a deep hole and nobody was really paying any attention. And then there just was an inflection point where I think the mountain of evidence was so overwhelming it could not be denied. Although active managers are still making, I think, pathetic efforts to justify their existence. But it's not based on evidence. It's just based on rhetoric. So I think you're going to see it there. Understanding the evidence is not easy. And we know it's very hard to change people's minds.
People have to get there on their own, and once they do, that's when we finally reached out to firms like ours. Do you agree with that? I do agree with that. And the problem I struggled with here, Cameron, and that I think is a common problem in Canada. Sometimes ideas are so big that people can't wrap their arms around them. And I used to get this comment all the time. If you're right, Goldman Sachs is wrong.
How can that be? And that's a tough argument. So if you're right, five of the largest, most prestigious banks in the world, I would say, they're based in Canada, they have to be wrong. And it's very, very difficult for people to accept that, even though I could convince any jury that that's right. But convincing individual investors is very challenging. So we're going down a bit of a rabbit hole about the investment industry, and investing in general in Canada and the US.
But in your most recent book, one of the things that we wanted to talk to you about came from that. So in your most recent book, it wasn't about happiness. It was about how to get through to potential clients and work with clients. But you ended up talking about happiness fairly extensively. So we wanted to ask you how did that happen?
And why did you make happiness such a focus of that book? So it's about a third of the book. I just went where the research took me. So the purpose of that book to help advisors be more successful in converting prospects into clients.
And I got there through very basic neuroscience research. But when I was doing the research, I found that one of the things that contributes to success is happiness. In other words, happy people are more likely to be successful. Prior to that, I thought successful people were more likely to be happy. And so once I looked at that research and said, "No, happy people are more likely to be successful," I felt, "OK, if I'm writing a book trying to tell advisors how to be more successful, an important element of that is to show them how to be happier.
Yes, complete accident. Had never researched it before. I was stunned by what I found. And I know you've been helping us for years so much so that we, as you know, named one of our meeting rooms after you. And you've coached us a lot about the power of asking questions.
Was this the biggest epiphany you found in doing the research for your book? That was one of them. But the biggest epiphany I found was neuroscience research, a Harvard study that said it's not just asking questions, because if you say to advisors, "Ask questions," their question will be, "What are your liquid assets? Those are questions. But what the research showed was when you empower people to talk about themselves, that the prefrontal cortex of their brain oxytocin flows into it, giving them an enormous feelings of pleasure, comparable to the most pleasurable events in their life.
That was the epiphany. Then I just converted that to, okay, you want to create the best possible impression on someone else? Show a genuine interest in them and empower them to talk about themselves. Combination of asking questions and what kinds of questions to ask. So interesting. And that has had a large impact on I believe your life, and also on our lives and how we communicate with the clients that we have, and in our personal relationships as well. It's definitely That's very gratifying to hear, Ben.
So thank you for saying that, but it has definitely had a major impact on my life, because as We could talk about this if you want to. As an introvert, there are many situations in which I used to feel acutely uncomfortable. They tend to be situations where there's a lot of stimulation, like many people in a room, a lot of noise. And when I figured out that all I really had to do was rather than entertain people and try to be charming and engaging, all I had to do is really just ask some questions, it reduced my stress level enormously.
And it also had very positive impacts on my, as you point out, personal and business relationships. When you show a genuine interest in someone, the impact is really seismic and immediate. You mentioned something that relates to one of the questions that I wanted to ask you. You were talking about how this way of interacting with people makes you feel.
Now you're not the same as everybody else. Obviously everybody's different. I think that we often let the media define happiness or wellbeing, but wellbeing is different for every person. And so, in the spirit of sharing, a few years ago I launched my list of " Recommended Book Reading for Financial Advisors ", and it was so well received that in I also started sharing my annual "Summer Reading List" for financial advisors of the best books I'd read in the preceding year.
It quickly became a perennial favorite on Nerd's Eye View, and so I've updated it every year, with new lists of books in , , , , , , , and a fresh round last year in So as the summer season gets underway, and summer vacations return, I hope that you find this suggested summer reading list of books for financial planners to be helpful… and please do share your own suggestions in the comments at the end of the article about the best books you've read over the past year as well!
Accordingly, the most successful advisors were also the most effective hunters — who could go out into the world and find prospective clients to do business with. Which is challenging for most financial advisors, because we were never trained in how to market ourselves to attract prospects to begin with.
Will it rob you? But shortly thereafter, another advisory firm decided to use the ad design instead… and within days, discovered that it was producing a 4X! Not because the bold piggy bank was such a compelling reason to sign up for a seminar… but because it was too bold to ignore the ad the way our brains are tuned to tune out the rest of the advertising content that bombards us on a continuous basis.
The starting point — and the place that most advisory firms fail — is in being Bold enough to be noticed in the first place. As a result, many industry pundits have suggested that it is only a matter of time before financial advisors, too, convert to the hourly model of delivering financial advice. In part, because actually getting clients to take and implement the advice is greatly enhanced by having a strong relationship with the client , where the advisor can function as an accountability partner to help them adhere to and follow through on the advice.
And in part, because retaining clients — especially in the inevitable times where the situation gets tough e. Yet while at least some advisory firms may teach how to sell financial advice to a prospective client and how to deliver a financial plan to a new client, remarkably few ever teach and train how to develop relationships with those clients. Notably, the point of 'Ask'-ing is not simply to get the answers to the questions in order to gain more knowledge about the client.
Instead, the reality is that physiologically, when we talk about ourselves, it literally feels good — as it leads the brain to release both dopamine and oxytocin, hormones that drive both our own positive mood and our feelings of connectedness with others.
October 26, We welcome a good friend and someone who has had a massive influence on our lives and work.
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