Posts

Running For President

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Last week’s news cycle was filled with new candidates entering the presidential race and new independent RIAs entering the independence race. Our blog will examine the similarities of the announcements and opine on who will win. My only concern is the permanence of social media posts. They are easy to make but they never go away. 
This last week saw more Democrats declaring their candidacy for president.  It also had the venerable Goldman Sachs buying its way into the independent RIA space with their $750 million purchase of United Capital.  We see more similearities in Goldman’s move and the Depomaratc Presidential candidadtes. Give us 400 words to show you why.
President
At this early stage in the presidential “race” it seems easy to declare you are in.  History warns that to be successful you need to identify an issue and make that a centerpiece  for your campaign.  One item?  Yes one, and repeat it it numerous times on the stump. Statistics have shown that we are one issue voters.  L…

Undervalued

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Our society and social media values winners at the expense of people behind the scenes. Our monthly blog will continue to reference winners but will also highlight undervalued contributors. Sports does a better job than financial services at recognition. We hope to change that this week. 
Training 
One our favorite training podcast is NPR’s Hidden Brian.  The host Shankar Vedantam shares opinions that we believe are correct but scientific facts prove that we are mistaken.  The shared beliefs can also impact our business life and the “blind spots” can cost our business and our clients.  Hidden Brain is a great reminder and it is free with your NPR donation, which I hope you are compelled to make after listening to Shankar.

Under Appreciated 
The NBA playoffs have reached the Conference Finals. While the stars will still make invaluable contributions they can’t win by themselves.  The supporting cast needs to contribute and their contributions are what separates the good from the great team…

2019 IPO Rush

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The IPOs just keep on coming demanding our attention. Unlike the Gold Rush this is not our first IPO Rush. What did we learn from the last cycle and where will all of this new money go?  We will examine that question in this week’s blog. I feel like Llyod Bentsen when I write I knew the last IPO Rush and you are are not an IPO Rush.  What defines an IPO Rush and how can we benefit.

Money In Motion
Financial advisors try to identify money in motion to increase their growth.  Money in Motion is defined by changes in liquidity caused by a corporate event like an IPO.  During the last IPO Rush the firms that underwrote IPOs provided introductions to the corporate executives.  My firm, Montgomery Securities, provided 100 IPO introductions in a single year.  These 100 introductions were mandated to be made to advisors that coordinated with the trading desk and the outsourced money management division.  The introductions benefitted the firm and also helped advisors create large businesses.  Th…

Data Security

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Some people put a higher value on privacy than others. My wife is a privacy zealot and I am indifferent. Recently a panelist at an industry conference accused other firms of selling client data. It’s not quite to a Bezos - National Enquirer level but it caught our attention. Our blog will examine data security and share our thoughts on who owns what, as well as who is responsible for security. While we have opinions we recognize the only opinions that matter are the clients. 
Internet 
When we post anything on The Internet we lose our ownership and transfer our rights to the platform. Numerous government hearings have emphasized this reality and have pushed some platform owners to ask for new government regulations. We have instituted our own family internet regulations that might make us feel good but are not that effective. Our children know more about the internet than we do. That same conundrum is true with FINRA and SEC regulations. They feel good and when we write regulations but …

Voyeur vs. Participant

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The reality of my "value-add" sunk in while I was writing this monthly review.  My reality is I have gravitated to a voyeur who listens to podcasts to increase my knowledge and synthesizes what I learn through my blogs and the consulting I provide independent wealth advisory firms.  Truth be told, most good managers are voyeurs who appreciate the accomplishments of participants who are in the arena.  Good managers have tried to score the basket or hit the curve but live below the Medoza Line.  I’m thankful that technology has allowed us to listen to achievers share their story in the first person.
Voyeurs
Management and teachers use podcasts as a medium to convey their message.  Our favorite this month is  WorkLife from professor Adam Grant.  Podcasts allow the professor to reach stidents with out requiring quizzes or attendance records.  We have found that questions or comments on podcast are more insightful than the in class questions that often times are made for recognitio…

Technology

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The recent acquisition of MoneyGuide Pro by Envestnet deserves our attention and an analysis on how technology can make us better advisors. We will try and answer that question and consider how past technology solutions worked. Our life outside of wealth management has definitely been improved by technology, thank you Steve Jobs. Wealth management is different. We will try to explain why.
Wealth management is multifaceted which creates challenges for technology solutions. We will look at three main areas of wealth management and discuss how technology can help our transition to the future. 
Investments
Technology and the availability of data have improved dramatically.  What we do with all of this new data can be overwhelming. Do any of us actually read the footnotes in financial statements?  Better yet do we understand how to evaluate the footnotes?  If your answers are yes then you won’t need a guide. If your answer is yes and you are male you might need some help so you don’t get lost.…

Unit Economics

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The Lyft IPO filing reminded us why we love the car sharing services.  The price is a bargain - for consumers - not so much for the company which has negative unit economics.  Negative unit economics can’t last forever.  Our favorite podcasts and blogs remind us of this reality.  It is 2019 but some of the IPOs are starting to remind us of the Dotcom euphoria.  Freemium is seductive but someday we must pay.  Those advertisements sandwiched into the podcasts with their tracking systems are essential.  The irony is many of these advertisers have negative unit economics too.
Invest Like The Best
One of my favorite podcasts remains Invest Like The Best.  The podcast delivers the two essential elements of a good podcast.  A knowledgable host who asks great questions and is able to attract guests we want to hear.  Two great episodes that deserve your time are episodes with Peter Zeihan and Michael Kitces.  Who knew that geopolitics and wealth advisory could be so interesting?  Listen and see …