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Award-winning adviser and author Deena Katz outlines the importance of conversation, academic training and the rise of fee-based advice in the US

‘‘One of the problems advisers have is they don’t know when to keep their mouths shut,” says Deena Katz, professor of personal financial planning at Texas Tech University.

The 67-year-old, one of America’s most sought-after financial advisers, has chosen client communication as the topic for her latest book, due to be published next year.

“A good listener needs few words,” is the most important piece of advice she gives her students. “You ask any adviser when they bring on a new client what do they do, they tell their client all about their company. I don’t do that. I ask all about the client. It’s a book of conversations; how to have client conversations,” she reveals.

Katz, a recipient of an array of awards for her work in financial planning, is best known internationally for her book Deena Katz on Practice Management.

Published in 1999, while she was running Miami-based independent financial advice firm Evensky and Katz, the book aims to teach advisers how to run a business.

“My friend and I were on a panel together talking to financial advisers. In the middle of the debate she announces I am writing a book on practice management. So I had to do it,” she recalls.

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