It takes a giant leap of faith in handing off control over your life savings to an outsider and we understand that but in a world devoid of employer provided pensions where a pension fund manager would likely be at the helm of your investments, making decisions on your behalf and ensuring that your savings lasts your lifetime, there are not that many options left. And we want to be there to fill that gap and in effect become your pension fund manager in helping you implement a plan to reach your goals whatever they might be. But for some of you, we might not be the best fit – we might be too old-school for you and that’s perfectly fine. As Morgan Housel correctly characterizes…“10% don’t need help; they get it. 10% can’t be helped; they are compulsive gamblers. The remaining 80% want/need good advice”. We are in business for those 80%. Trust and confidence in our process is crucial in making sure that you reach the goals you are saving for. Markets will remain volatile but to harness the benefits of the continued growth of capitalism across the globe, we need to look past that and remain focused on our plans. We will do everything we can to bridge that confidence gap.
We believe that the role of an advisor is planning and behavioral relationship management. Advice is not about whether you should buy Coke or Pepsi right into the earnings or should you buy S&P Small Cap 600 instead of Russell 2000. That’s not advice. That’s tactic and yes, that’s interesting but that’s not going to help anyone. What will help is having a firm that has a relationship with you and your family and is committed to serving you hopefully for decades to come.
So if someone comes to us and they have a very specific sense of what their portfolio is going to look like, it’s really tough to turn that situation around and explain to them that no, we actually have to figure out what you are trying to accomplish with your money, what your risk tolerance is and what your priorities are and when will you be using that money, what your tax bracket is etc. We have to figure that out first and then and only then we are equipped to have a conversation about your portfolio. We have to mutually understand that from the get go because that’s what’s going to carry us through in the long run.
And there are a lot of people we are not a good fit for and that might sound anathema to the industry we are in but we would never be able to have someone refer us and help us grow if we were to say yes to everyone. Because by taking on clients who have expectations greater than what we can deliver, we actually impede our growth and diminish the value of what we are trying to accomplish. We actually impede the ability to service the good clients because we are trying to change the bad ones and that’s not bad in the judgmental sense but bad because of a bad fit.
So this might not be the best firm for you if you are looking for a hedge fund type behavior from a pension fund manager. Or if you come to us with a million dollars and slice up that million into 5 pieces handing each piece to 5 different firms and waiting a year to test run the performance results to see who came ahead to then decide to go with the one who made you the most money, we hate to say it but that’s not a game we want to be a part of. You are setting up an idiotic incentive system because you have these five guys and they have a year and guess what, they are all swinging for the fences…with your money. And if they don’t win, well it was not their money. They’ve got nothing to lose. If they swing for the fences and win, they then have your million dollars to manage and then God help you.
We are likely not a good fit if –
- You’re not ready to put some effort into your financial future. This process is a partnership and will require a bit of upfront work on your part in getting all the data in place to help us articulate a financial plan and setting a path for long-term success through constant ongoing communication.
- You are into chasing returns or constantly wanting to discuss the latest hot stock tip or are looking for the next big thing.
- You think we can get you in and out of the markets at the ‘right’ time.
- You’re looking for a swanky office with lots of pinstripe suits and complicated jargon.
- You think that the government is going to collapse and all your money should be in gold.
- You want to talk about your portfolio returns daily.
And there are times we won’t be a good fit for reasons such as bad timing or personality mismatch and that’s absolutely fine. We simply need to be efficient and respectful of each other’s time and effort and move on.
We have a 100 year business plan with succession planning in the wings so we are looking for that 100 year inter-generational relationship to grow with you. We want clients who are able to recognize our value and who (at least at a high level) understand how we manage your plans and again, we will do all we can to bridge that confidence gap but this will require at least some effort on your end to understand our core philosophy around how we manage your savings.
Feel free to reach out to us with more questions at 510-366-0306 or at adviceATonceusaveDOTcom.