Upgrade your knowledge to keep up with market and industry changes

June 18, 2018 | Last updated on June 18, 2018
3 min read


Simran Arora


Associate portfolio manager, MD Financial Management





In the business since:

Eight years; three with his current firm

Typical clients:

Physicians with more than $200,000 to invest

This article is part of the Advisor’s Edge 20 Ways to Be a Better Advisor feature package, published in the June 2018 edition of AE. Click here for more tips and to learn about our 20th anniversary.

Q How do you stay informed on markets, and why does that matter? A I always find new courses and ways to keep growing my knowledge base. For example, I did my CIM designation after about seven years and that’s when I started working as an associate portfolio manager. The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming obsolete. The way the industry is evolving, you need to stay up to date. I have no interest in being forced out. I spend a lot of time reading, whether that’s financial or economic news. I enroll in at least one course a year; and I attend, at least twice per year, whole-day workshops on staying up to date on financial planning and investment topics, which help with CE requirements. These days, with the excess of information, everything is related. If Donald Trump tweets something in the U.S., that can impact markets. All the markets are moving in sync in some ways, so you do need to know what’s happening across the globe. Once you have read the news, then you can better see whether you should be looking at changing a strategy. My clients are all invested globally, though we’ll generally have a home bias due to currency fluctuations.

Q Should advisors leverage experts in their network? A You do need to rely on experts. We have an investment management team that helps us stay updated on our strategies and portfolios, and that provides insights on what changes we should be incorporating. We stay in touch with accountants and some lawyers to ask about scenarios. We also have in-house estate and insurance advisors, and we work as one team. With our in-house experts, we touch base once per week, sometimes daily. We have regular conference calls with the investment team: at minimum, once per month.

Q How does continued learning help you serve clients? A With more knowledge, I’m able to better explain things to clients. I always ask my clients, “At what level are you staying up to date with financial matters?” That helps me understand their knowledge. Some people do tend to follow market news and what impact it has on their portfolios. Also, with CRM2, more clients have deeper understanding of the fee discussion. We definitely get questions. My philosophy is to deal with these topics before they even come up as questions, in presentations to clients. If I cover those, I will come out ahead of the game. If I can’t answer, I’m not coming out as a good advisor. We explain our designations, and the reason is we’re dealing with physicians, who are one of the most educated, knowledgeable client bases. They go through such a long process to get there, so they can understand and relate better when they know their advisor is also knowledgeable. Even if you’re not dealing with these clients, people want to know this.