Book Review: 5 Stars for Ascendant Advisor


Book Review: 5 stars for The Ascendant Advisor, an actionable Content Marketing playbook for Wealth

Reprint of Linkedin article by Brendan Kenalty

5 stars for The Ascendant Advisor. A light, but extremely actionable Content Marketing playbook for Wealth Advisors.

Rating = ★★★★★ for The Ascendent Advisor

Over the summer, I read a terrific new book by Richard Heft and Andrew Broadhead. After carrying The Ascendant Advisor around for several months, and I’m so glad I finally found time to read it. They nailed one of the key challenges we hear from wealth management firms and financial advisors – how can they more effectively use content and digital communications to increase visibility, satisfaction and ultimately get more of those precious client referrals that fuel their businesses.

Reality is, that given how their desired prospects now consume and share information, it’s become increasingly difficult for financial advisors to ignore the power of digital communications and great content. It’s not just younger demographic groups; older clients are also finding that digital communications offer them more options for interacting with their financial advisors.

This book is a great way for Advisors to arm themselves for this challenge.

Why The Ascendant Advisor Gets Five Stars

2 reasons for my 5 star rating.

First, I loved the book and found it easy to read – it took me less than two hours to get through, including making highlights and notes on several key ideas. As an aside, I also really enjoyed the way they wove musical references into their messages. Clever guys.

Second, it is a very specific and practical playbook for content marketing. Written by two of the industry’s leading marketing professionals, The Ascendant Advisor offers specific ideas, tips and play-by-play programs that advisors can use right away. These easy-to-use strategies help advisors to create engaging content, as well as offering strategies for distributing that content to the right audiences. By understanding and implementing the strategies contained in The Ascendant Advisor, advisors can build stronger relationships with clients and grow the value of their book of business.

Takeaway #1 – Content is King

The path forward for financial advisors requires a shift in mindset and some creativity. More than ever, financial advisors need to adopt content strategies to build visibility, advocacy and referrals. This idea makes sense coming from two guys who sell content for a living and they’ve created a very practical and specific guide on what to do and how to do it.

One of my key takeaways from the book was how to use content to demonstrate your subject matter knowledge in a way that makes a positive impact for clients. The key is to use content to create an ongoing presence that adds value to your clients’ lives. One way to do this is to maximize your investment in content by slicing and dicing it into smaller chunks that are easier to digest. By breaking your content up into smaller pieces you can also increase the frequency of sharing which enhances your visibility.

Overall, key communication tips include:

  • Customize your approach with each client;
  • Get content ideas from the conversations you have with your clients;
  • Communicate more frequently;
  • Give people what they want;
  • Include calls to action in your communications.

Takeaway #2 – Big Opportunity to Engage Women & Client’s Kids

Heft and Broadhead highlight two key, but currently underserved groups – your clients’ female spouses and their kids – by offering relevant and personalized content sharing which could have a huge impact over the longer term as wealth is transferred.

Women spouses are too often ignored by advisors – and this can be seriously alienating. Since women can be more conservative investors than their male spouses, it’s important to include them in the discussion and understand their risk posture before making recommendations and decisions.

On the topic of communicating with clients’ kids, the authors write: “So, how do you start a conversation with your clients’ children? However they wish. You should ask them how they like to communicate, when they like to communicate and why they like to communicate.”

Heft and Broadhead point out that building a rapport with your clients’ kids is a long term play, not a short term strategy. Kids often leave because there’s no relationship with their parents’ advisor. They recommend that you be respectful, while focusing on educating them and demonstrating your financial knowledge over time. Of course, to do that you need to understand the what, when and how of each person’s communication preferences – then follow through on it. There’s even practical suggestions of what to talk about depending on the age of the children and their stage of life.

Takeway #3 – Email is a Key Tool in Your Content Strategy

Once you have your strategy and content developed, to generate maximum ROI on time and resources you invested, you need to efficiently deliver the right information, to the right person at the right time.

Email is one of the most universal and cost effective ways to communicate digitally with clients and prospects. Doing email intelligently is a bit complicated, but luckily Reachstack and other partners are here to help.

Digital marketing and communication platforms like Reachstack, enable advisors to put their content strategy on autopilot. Drawing on a mix of branded content that you or your marketing team creates, combined with curated third-party content that addresses issues your clients are interested in, the platform assembles the content into a streamlined e-newsletter format and distributes it to your clients.

This ties in well with Heft and Broadhead’s recommendations and suggestions around content campaigns and topics that you can employ with your email newsletter tools.


Overall, The Ascendant Advisor is a great book for advisors who want to up their content game and stand out from the competition. I highly recommend you pick up a copy and read it this weekend!

Check out these links for more information or to get a copy:

About ReachStack

ReachStack is an intelligent email service for Wealth Management. Results of our “Do-it-for-Me” approach, deliver 70% advisor adoption, 20X increase in advisor visibility and 44% increase in your Client’s likeliness to make a referral. For more information, please book a demo or contact us or 1-877-977-8225.

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