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Top 10 MUST READ Books for Financial Advisors

How often do you read a non-fiction book (or any book at all) as a financial advisor?  What I have come to sadly realize is that most financial advisors are not reading enough, or in many cases, not at all.  But I can’t think of a better way to sharpen your skills and become a better salesperson, a better presenter, a better marketer, and a smarter person than to consistently read new books.

And that is why I came up with the Top 10 MUST READ books for financial advisors.

These are in no specific order, but they truly are all must read books if you are a financial advisor.  Perhaps put a goal out there for yourself to read these 10 books over the rest of the year…even if you have already read a couple of them before…read them again.  One thing I can say for sure is that you will have an edge on your competition if you have read these 10 books and your competitor next door has not.  And that is assuming you just read all 10 books and don’t implement much, if anything.

However, if you take the extra step to implement just 1 big idea in each of these 10 books, then watch out competitors!  This might sound hard to believe but these 10 books have personally helped me make in excess of $100,000 over the past couple of years from the ideas that I garnered from them.  So to ignore these books could cost you money.  And the best news is that I even did the research for you and provided direct links to each book on Amazon (just click on any of the book pictures below to go directly to the Amazon page to purchase).

#1.  “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs”

If you want to know how some financial advisors give such great sales presentations and never look flustered in front of a crowd, the answer is that they probably read this must read book for financial advisors about how Steve Jobs learned to do such powerful and captivating presentations.  If you currently speak in front of people in seminars, workshops, client appreciation events, conferences, or even if you have always dreamed of speaking but have been too afraid to, this book is a real game-changer.

#2. “The No B.S. Guide to Marketing to the Affluent” by Dan Kennedy

If you are a financial advisor today I would hope that most of you would love to have more affluent clients.  Well then this book, which is 100% about marketing to the affluent with many tips for financial advisors in particular, is your ticket to get more of these affluent clients.  Dan Kennedy has targeted and mastered the process of marketing to the affluent in countless industries (including helping out a handful of hugely successful financial advisors that you probably know), and he gives away all of his best secrets in this book.  Don’t skip this one!

3. “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement”

This is one of the most popular and best laid out books on creating a streamlined, profitable, and efficient business that has ever been published.  The late brilliant doctorate Eliyahu Goldratt created a really fun and real life story to get his message across, and you will come away knowing EXACTLY what the “Goal” of your specific business is once you read this one.

4. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

I am guessing that out of the 10 books listed, this is probably the most read book in the financial services industry.  However, even if you have read it once, I urge you to read it again. In fact, I have read “Think and Grow Rich” over 10 times now, and I have a ritual where I read the book over the Christmas / New Year’s Holiday every single year as I have found it has been the best tool available in terms of annual goal setting.

For those of you not familiar with “Think and Grow Rich”, this has to be the book that more super-successful entrepreneurs and billionaire’s claim was one that impacted their life the most.  So for no other reason than than, you MUST read this book as it truly is a MUST read book for financial advisors.

5. “Cold Calling for Chickens”

Whether you actually close business over the phone, or simply use the phone to speak with associates, wholesalers, and vendors, this book can literally change the way that you use the phone.  When I ran a phone sales team years ago, I made all of the sales associates read this book and for a couple of them it truly was a life-changing book.  This book will make you use the phone more effectively, will give you some great “one-liners” to get clients and vendors to call you back or to get their full attention, and will train you on how to be an effective closer over the phone.

6. “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

For those of you that watched our 31 live Google Hangouts in 31 days, you certainly heard Luke and I mention this book a few times.  In today’s age of information and stimulation overload, you MUST STAND OUT from the crowd.  Especially in an industry where you are selling commodities like annuities, life insurance, stocks, mutual funds, and EFT’s that your clients can get anywhere.  The second that you start to just blend in as a financial advisor is the same moment that you start to see your business slowly (or quickly) disappear.

The book “Purple Cow” will give you all kinds of tips on how to stand out, how to position yourself and your brand in today’s world for maximum exposure and “sharability”, not to mention how to crush your competition who doesn’t understand the “Purple Cow” mentality.

7. “The Demographic Cliff” by Harry S. Dent, Jr

Now before you skip this one saying you don’t agree with Harry Dent and his predictions, this book has some powerful demographic information which will affect your baby boomer clients that you can’t afford NOT to read.  This book is heavily geared towards the future of retirement planning and investing based on some pretty tough to ignore demographic data.  And even though I do not personally agree with many of his points in the book, some of the other unarguable points make this a MUST READ book for financial advisors.  If you plan on staying in the financial services business for the next 10 years, you need to read this one.

8.”Steal like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative”

This book is $6.46 and was worth thousands for me as it opened up my eyes to an entire new world of content creation.  If you have any desire to blog, to do videos, or any other content marketing, you need to spend the $6.46 and buy this one.  It can be read in an afternoon and it will leave you excited and full of ideas about creating awesome content!

9. “What if Boomers Can’t Retire?  How to Build Real Security, Not Phantom Wealth”

This book was one of the best written books on retirement out there, yet it never went mainstream because it beat up on Wall Street a little too much by saying things like “Individual Stocks only create paper wealth” and said that most of Wall Street’s instruments are ticking time bombs for retirees.  You will be glad you read this one and so will your baby boomer clients.  Definitely add this to your list today!  There is a reason it made the Top 10 must read books for financial advisors.

10. “How to win Friends and Influence People”

Let’s face it, if you can’t influence people, then you are out of business.  As a financial professional, you must influence clients to give you money and trust you, you must influence your employees and co-workers, and you must influence beneficiaries, lawyers, and countless others along the way.  This is another one of those staple books that many of us have read, and most of us have forgotten half of the amazing advice in here.  I urge you all to read this book (if you haven’t already), and to re-read it if you have read it in the past.


Did you read Part 2 of the Top 10 Must Read Books for financial advisors yet?

That’s right, after all of your feedback, I created a second Top 10 list. Check it out here.


Special Marketing Book Bonus!

There was a very special marketing book that I read shortly after publishing this blog. In fact, this book is the #1 Must Read Marketing Book for Financial Professionals in 2014. Check out the review here.

I hope that you enjoyed this list of my Top 10 Must Read Books for Financial Advisors.  Do you have any other favorites or must read books that you recommend?  If so, PLEASE post them in the comment section below.  If I get enough good book tips, I will do a second blog and mention you and your recommendation.


P.S. – Here is the Live Google Hangout that I did on the subject of Must Read Books for Financial Professionals.


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Fernando Godinez

Fernando Godinez is the CEO of Advisor Internet Marketing. He’s been the architect behind some of the top financial advisors online presence in the country and help them triple their practice through online lead generation. Over the past few years he has been responsible for generating over 500k leads through online marketing and lead generation campaigns for independent financial advisors.

  • Ray Alkalai
    11:35 AM, 29 April 2014

    I read 6 out of the ten on this list… I have some reading to do…

    • Joe Simonds
      11:52 AM, 29 April 2014

      Only 4 more to go Ray!

  • Joe Simonds
    12:16 PM, 29 April 2014

    Thanks for the two great book additions Randy! I have read Cialdini’s book and it is awesome! Will certainly add “Mastery” to the list as well.

  • Joe Simonds
    12:16 PM, 29 April 2014

    Thanks for the comment Jim!

  • Tomo
    12:19 PM, 10 September 2014

    Good on you Joe have read most of these but a great list for any fellow IFA/ Broker etc

    • Joe Simonds
      12:32 PM, 10 September 2014

      Thanks Tom!

      I will be coming up with a follow up to this (with 10 more Must read books for advisors) soon.

  • Irfan
    6:22 PM, 17 October 2014

    Good collection of must reads…!!!

    • Joe Simonds
      8:47 PM, 17 October 2014

      Thanks Irfan!

      I will be updating Round 2 of the next 10 books soon. Stay tuned and let me know of any of your personal favorites.

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