After a long, hot — and depressingly slow — summer, clients returned from vacation last month, and with them, came that annoying paperwork that takes far too much of your time. How can you cut through the morass of documents and spend more of your day focused on clients' needs? Read Virtual-Office Tools for a High-Margin Practice: How Client-Centered Financial Advisers Can Cut Paperwork, a forthcoming Bloomberg Press tome by David J. Drucker and Joel P. Bruckenstein. The book provides advice on employee training, software use and organizing files and client rosters.

Once your desk is clean, you'll have more time to read up on the latest trends. For example, Investing in Separate Accounts, by Erik Davidson and Kevin Freeman, with Brian O'Connell, published by McGraw-Hill, tells you everything you need to know about that fast-growing niche.