Financial History Courses By Mark J. Higgins On Advisors4Advisors Hot

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Studying inflation crises that occurred in the distant past enables advisors to see why America is experiencing persistent inflation today. More importantly, understanding how the Fed responded to past crises makes it easier to envision how they is likely to respond to the current one. It also reveals that limited knowledge of financial history is often an investor’s greatest weakness. It causes us to misinterpret current events because we only see them through the lens of limited personal experience during your lifetime. Yet many financial crises have precedents that occurred long before we can remember, or even before we were born.


I’ve spent the last four months creating a series of financial history classes with author and financial historian, Mark J. Higgins, CFA, CFP®. The experience taught me to appreciate how the post-Covid inflation crisis is not unprecedented. It only appears so because nobody alive today experienced a nearly identical crisis that occurred after World War I and the Spanish Influenza.


Inflation initially soared during the final years of World War I, which is a typical phenomenon in a total-mobilization war. But contrary to expectations, inflation persisted after World War I and the Spanish Influenza ended in the winter of 1918. It was only aggressive action by the Federal Reserve in 1920 that brought the post-war/post-pandemic inflation to an end.  Does this sound familiar?


Mark and I have collaborated closely to produce financial history CE/CPE courses for investment and financial professionals. It proves CE/CPE for investment professionals need not only consist of “check the box” information sessions. It can be deeply insightful, revelatory, and extraordinarily beneficial to the clients whom you serve. 


Some history about Mark Higgins, CFA, CFP®: After advising trustees who managed more than $60 billion in assets on investment strategy for 12 years, Mark discovered that studying financial history proved much more valuable in the formulation of his investment outlook than tracking the latest economic data. After obsessively researching financial history for months, he could not find a complete financial history of the United States contained in a single book. So, Mark decided to write one in March 2020. His classes on A4A are drawn from his upcoming book, Becoming an Enlightened Investor, which is expected in bookstores in the Fall of 2023.


Financial history classes give investment advisors deep insight into how the financial system evolved into its present state and provide a glimpse of the potential future. For example, understanding why the Federal Reserve failed to contain inflation in the 1960s and 1970s made it much easier to see why the Fed would continue to raise interest rates aggressively in 2022. But this was not apparent to people who only recalled the dovish bias that the Fed has exhibited over the past 40 years. Instead, they expected the Fed to behave in the same way they had become accustomed. 


In closing, we are excited to share these financial history classes with the A4A community. It is our belief that the time and money invested in these courses will provide asymmetric benefits to all who attend. Read the full course descriptions at:


Financial Economic History, Mark Higgins' Quarterly Course

Post-COVID Inflation and Federal Reserve Policy




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