As we enter a new decade we need to evaluated how we can improve personally and professionally. Our blog this week will focus on professional improvements. The changes are driven by technology and can seem overwhelming. We will examine three areas. We need to understand where we came from and how we are to proceed. Our industry is changing. Hopefully we are progressing too.

Investments When the independent wealth management industry began. Many of the advisors and their clients came from the accounting industry. The professionals were expert at planning but they were difficient in managing publically traded securities portfolios. This reality created an opportunity for DFA to help. $160 billion of client assets and got the attention of other money management firms. The ETF evolved. Today most new investment $ are flowing into ETFs and DFA is restructuring. I’m confident the next decade will produce new investment solutions.  ETFs and DFA will feel like yesterday’s news. 
Technology  On…

Happy 2020

Welcome to the new year and the new decade. I hope all of your resolutions are realized. This post will continue to share my social media recommendations. In 2019 I made two social media resolutions. I achieved one and the other of creating my own podcast never happened. This year I’m adding a resolution to partner with an independent RIA. That keeps me below Duchess Meghan who has 4 resolutions.

The rise in the new number of podcasts is creating a capacity challenge for me and my Apple Podcast App, but it should create demand for this monthly missive.

The evolution of podcasts has caused more interesting people to agree to podcast interviews. My favorite this month is Dolly Parton’s America. Dolly has a heart and her professional drive can inspire us all.

I will admit it in 2020 that I’m fixated with HBS!  My favorite podcast is The Disruptive Voice with Clayton Christensen. His books are great and his classes are always full, but his podcast is free. I learn somet…


This time of year we can slow down and examine the many things that we are grateful for in our life. I’m very grateful for the acceptance and support regarding my MS diagnosis. No need to revisit that, but if you need to learn more read my blog on the subject.  This week I’ll share who and what I’m grateful for since it is easier for me to write to this group than talk to them in person. I need to work on that, but after 57 years I’m not optimistic about changing anytime soon. Sorry

I have great friends from my school and my job. Even though we might not talk daily, we can pick up easily where we left off. My friends’ spouses are great too. They love my wife and in many cases have led the generous efforts supporting my family. Boys will be boys so I’m very grateful for their love and support too. If any of us are doubting the power of diversity then my experience should blow that out of the water! I’m grateful.

I always complained about attending required family events. …


The impeachment hearings have dominated our news feeds. How will you feel if the decision doesn’t go your way?  Our blog this week will examine how we feel after we make a big decision like resigning our job or hiring a new wealth manager. Our experience and observations can help but unfortunately they leave us wanting more.


Making a change feels good until it doesn’t. Unfortunately our new job has many of the same problems that existed at our old job. I tell my colleagues when they resign that “the grass is brown everywhere”. The same buyers remorse is true for clients when they choose a new wealth advisory firm. Once the new firm smell has disappated. The way we can address this issue is to remind the person why they made the change.  Don’t assume everything is fine. Check-in and assure the person why they made the change and that you and your firm are happy they joined. Experience has shown that if we don’t support their decision their joy will be ephemeral.



Our in-boxes and social media feeds have been filled with the new streaming offerings from Disney and Apple et al.  If we haven’t already, we might be compelled to cut our cable. Our monthly podcast recommendations will hopefully cause you to also turn off your radio and stream one of our recommended podcasts.

I started my career on Wall Street. Our edge was research discussed on our morning call. I still need morning information and I turn to Robinhood Snacks. Informative and funny.

I scratch my desire to learn by listening to  Pivot. The hosts are a tech journalist and a NYU professor.

Real Life
I know we are adults, but I always learn something from Mr. Rogers.  Finding Fred will remind you why we need to love more.

The car companies are on board too. Linking your phone via Bluetooth is a required option.


Don’t worry this will not be another blog on The Schwab/TD “merger”.  I will link to several of my favorite posts on the deal, but my focus will be on the impact the deal will have on clients and independent wealth management firms. Hopefully this time will be different but looking at old playbooks can help. I’ll look at the most popular plays and close with how we can write a new playbook chapter.

Cost Cutting 

Corporate legacies are made through consolidation and the ensuing cost cuts that are identified in the ivory tower board rooms. The redundant costs seem too easy to reduce. I can still remember Chainsaw Al and the press’ love affair with his “genius’. The benefits were short-lived because the beneficiaries were narrow. There was definitely fat that needed to be cut. Time has shown the fat was the benefits of corporate executives. Since they were in charge of the cost cutting they didn’t cut their friends until it was too late. Sounds like income inequality. 




The public impeachment hearings have made me think. How will me make a final decision?  My blog this week will examine how we make big decisions. It isn’t easy but the old school titles confuse more than they help. This blog focuses on Wealth Advisory decisions we all need to make. Thankfully we are not making the impeachment decision but we can learn something from the process.   We will start our journey on the numerous business models and end with an opinion I learned from my children.

Business Models
Each business model requires different titles to work at their firm. A CPA or a CFP can be table stakes for wealth advisory firms. A degree from an elite university gets you in the door on Wall Street and firms like Facebook or Google. The degrees can open the door and agitate friends who don’t want to hear again that you went to HBS. Few successful firms make decisions exclusively on your title. They will require a face to face interview. Bad news for Singer and prep schools who base…