Wealth management roundup: Can narcissism make you a better advisor?

RelSci 5 is a recurring digital resource for and about wealth managers. Its curated articles and insights revolve around a different theme each week and will help you do your job better. This week’s theme is Question Everything.

1. You should be asking for it. Referral business is the lifeblood of any client services industry, and yet there’s still a small part of you that feels uncomfortable approaching your current clients about it, isn’t there? Get over it. According to a recent survey, 47 percent of high-net-worth investors are willing to refer business to their advisors without their advisors asking for it. Consider this: Another 47 percent indicated they’d refer business to their advisors, but only if their advisors asked for it. And if you’re not willing to ask the question, you’re losing out to those who are.  

2. Go ahead, embrace the “dark triad.” You know them—the ladder climbers, the rainmakers, the big names with the big books of business. You rail against their ruthlessness in public, but secretly, you admire them a little for getting what they want. It turns out you might be on to something. In the extreme, the dark triad of personality types—narcissistic, manipulative and antisocial—as defined by psychologists are highly disruptive, but in small doses, all three come with advantages you can leverage in your business. Manipulators are good negotiators. Narcissists are all-star idea pitchers and make great first impressions. Antisocial types are creative. It may be time to take a page from the dark side.

3. Five questions you’re all asking. Author and industry expert Matt Oeschli gets asked a lot of the same questions over and over again. To spare us all a little time, he kindly wrote down the five most popular ones (with answers, of course). You can stop asking now:

  1. What will the advisor of the future look like?
  2. What are affluent investors looking for in an advisor?
  3. How important is it to socialize with affluent clients?
  4. What are the differences between affluent men and women when providing financial advice?
  5. How important is social media, and what role will it play in the future?


4. Can Alan Mulally get Google’s self-driving cars out of the garage? 
Is automotive automation the next big investment opportunity? Well, Google’s getting serious about it. The tech giant just announced the appointment of former Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally to its board. The move comes less than two months after Google debuted the latest prototype of its driverless car. Mulally will surely bring his years of corporate and technical leadership to bear in Google’s campaign for autonomous vehicles, but who else from his manufacturing- and engineering-heavy network can he leverage as he helps redefine the automotive industry?

5. Question your choices. Business Insider has its updated list of the most obnoxious Wall Street bars out. If you’re a frequent patron of any of these, well, it’s time to take a good, hard look at your taste. 

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