Painkillers vs. Vitamins

November 15 is a big date for hedge fund investors and their managers.  November 15 is the date investors must inform managers that they would like their money back in January.  The October statements could scare clients into making the decision to redeem.  Successful investors warn against making emotional decisions we might eventually regret.  While we might block out past erroneous decisions, a good investor and their experienced advisors can be a good sounding board.  This week we will look at resources that can help us make good decisions on November 15 and beyond.
Wealth managers often reference the results of the annual Dalbar study.  The poor results that retail investors continue to experience were at first shocking but have now become ‘Meh”. Our advice is to educate your clients on how they can avoid the Dalbar pit.  We have found that establishing an IPS during calm times and reminding our clients the importance of adhering to the IPS commitments when markets become …


Now that the Midterms have finally come and gone, we will have more brain capacity and TV capacity to focus on other issues in our life.  An October 26, 2018 episode of Hidden Brain entitled "Too Little, Too Much" shared some academic research on our limited brain capacity that can guide us.  Freeing up the Midterm capacity will create mental capacity that will allow bloggers and investors the opportunity to focus on issues that impact our financial and emotional lives. This post will address what the wealth management industry can learn from successful midterm strategies without clouding our judgment by requiring we pick a side.
We are shocked and appalled by the billions spent on political campaigns.  Let’s examine where the money was spent and examine where the strategies worked.

The financial crisis created brand backlash against Wall Street.  This backlash opened the door for independent advisory firms to position themselves as the anti-Wall Street and helped the…

Same Side

After a tumultuous week I find it is helpful to ask what did I learn?  The weekend financial press is full of anecdotes to instruct us on what to do next.  I’ve found that either I forget their advice or find that it is not effective.  While listening to Brene Brown on a recent Armchair Expert podcast I gleaned some wisdom that I will share.  Her wisdom was to focus on our own pain before we create pain by criticising others.  This week I will focus on the pain in the wealth advisory business above and beyond the recent market swoon.
The fiduciary mantra of putting the client’s interest ahead of our own can be tested during times like last week.  We will look at what got tested and how we can address the three main challenges from the same side of the table as our clients.
We offer clients numerous services that are all bundled into the fee we charge.  The services include financial planning, investment management, retirement planning, family governance, estate planning  and …


The recent swoon in the global financial markets has shifted the focus of business consultants to a soft subject  that they can control. Established thinkers like Mark Tibergian, Seth Godin, Mike Blackman and Sarah Kay have started to talk about experiences. This week’s blog will expand on their ideas and hopefully create a positive experience for our readers.
What are my favorite consiglieres talking about?  None of them is talking about the financial markets or ETFs.  They are writing and talking about big issues that impact our lives.
Most of us believe that the grass of someone else’s life is greaner than ours.  Social media has stoked this belief and the tweets of celebrities create an unrealistic view that their life is perfect.  I will never forget an interview with Debra Winger when she was at the pinicle of her fame after the success of  An Officer and a Gentleman.  The interviewer asked Ms. Winger for information about her life that would surprise us.  She pause…


We are all concerned that robots are scheming to take our jobs.  Inefficiencies in all industries stoke the robot concerns and fuel the Silicon Valley investors' belief that they can optimize every issue.  Our blog this week will look at the main fintech solutions from both sides and hopefully allay any concerns that robots will take all of our jobs.
Potentially successful fintech  solutions can be identified with an honest business model evaluation that will show procedures that are consistently experiencing issues.  Optimizing procedural performance should also increase profit margins that are being squeezed by fee compression.  This reality alone is a good reason to consider fintech solutions for your business.  A recent research report from Aite Group is a good place to start. Their Digital Advisory Matrix of nine solutions identifies several solutions that should be investigated. Our favorites include Client onboarding, Portfolio constraints/compliance and Fee …

Let's Investigate

The senate confirmation process of a potential Supreme Court justice and the recent FBI investigation was at times painful but necessary.  The extensive two-sided nature seems merited since a court appointment has no term limit.  This week’s blog will examine how we make other decisions that could have a lengthy term.  Are we diligent or partisan?  Let’s investigate.
Effectively choosing a wealth advisor should be as comprehensive as our senate confirmation process.  Thankfully we have numerous tools that we can use to make this important decision.  Let’s take a look.
Broker Check
Many advisors either work at a regulated brokerage firm or they did at one time in their career. The broker check system archives any complaints that have been filed against the registered professional. It will allow you to be the FBI and ask the advisor about alleged customer complaints that happened over the last ten years.  Their answer can be very helpful to your final vote.  FINRA now requires that all …


Tiger Woods' Tour Championship victory has been deemed the greatest comeback story in golf history.The record TV ratings prove we agree and our love hate meter with Tiger is now firmly in the love camp.Tiger had not won a professional golf tournament since 2013.Investors have a love hate relationship with hedge funds that has remained on the hate side since 2009.This week’s blog will examine what Tiger can teach hedge fund managers and their investors.

Don’t read the press
The press and blogs have a large case of schadenfreude.Most of their stories have a failure bias not just a political bias.Athletes and money managers make a lot more money than reporters and the average American.Our jealous dark side would like to see them come down to our zip code.Athletes and hedge fund managers need to focus on their successes and not be brought down by the naysayers.Comebacks are 90% mental.
Great athletes and great investors have unique talent.Athletic coaches appreciate talent…