Gimlet Media provided all entrepreneurs with a gift chronicling the process of starting their company.The stages were well known but the podcast format allowed us to listen to every aspect of the messy process.The partnership and family conversations made me cringe but they still stick in my memory today.Gimlet named the podcast StartUp and the group they are currently following is a church plant.Ironically there are many similarities between a successful church plant and a successful wealth management practice.Before you hit delete please read why I have faith.
The minister on the podcast asks his members three great questions that we can also use in our wealth advisory practices.The questions are:
What do you want? Statistics on church plants show that they must take a definitive  position on what they believe to attract and retain members.  The three beliefs are do you accept and marry homosexual couples, can women hold senior positions in the church and do you believe in Hell?  Wh…

Growth Stages

The successful pricing of the Focus Financial IPO is a milestone event.Unfortunately the event conjured up an old Wall Street missive in my head – buy on the rumor, sell on the news.How can we use this pithy saying to help us with our independent wealth management practice?We will share our thoughts with you in this week’s blog.
Wealth Management 1.0 The greying of the RIA industry has driven Wealth Management 1.0. When reality hits and older advisors realize they need to monetize their practice they look for buyers.DeVoe and Company tracks these transactions and identifies the major players.This trend still has longer to run but it is closer to the end than the beginning.An iPhone 5 still works but are you thinking about an upgrade?
Wealth Management 2.0 If you are planning on keeping your firm you need to consider the tools you will need to compete going forward.The tools are not cheap but the Bill Good belief that we must continually invest in our firm is a lesson we should all embr…

Follow Me

When professionals change jobs they must make an accurate prediction on who will follow them.This is an important consideration and my experience is the three main players are under and overestimating a key component in the decision.This week I’ll share my real world experiences on changing jobs.Please follow me.
Management When I ran a large wealth management organization I received numerous calls from office managers offering a block move of advisor teams in their office.While the offer sounded compelling 100% of the transactions did not materialize.While the advisor teams liked their branch manager they liked themselves, their family and their clients more.I experienced this reality when I approached many of my ex-advisors when I started Sanctuary expecting them to follow me.The power of the purse trumped my likeability.

Advisor The fear factor for advisors considering changing firms is stoked by their current firm’s misguided belief that clients love the firm more than they love th…


A recent podcast with screenwriter Ed Solomon made me think if this guy is insecure I should stop beating myself up.Ed wrote two blockbuster movies – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Men in Black and he still doesn’t feel confident when he writes a new screenplay.This blog will examine why I feel his pain when I write this blog and why advisors have insecurities when they make client recommendations.
Expectations This is where the rubber meets the road.Our expectations are often too optimistic.Unfortunately the 100 year flood occurs every 7 – 9 years.An essential characteristic of successful advisors is their optimism, many advisors hope to double their revenues every three years.Clients add to the challenge by making the mistake to expect the returns that their “friends” boast about at cocktail parties.The current environment where the return of FANG stocks dominates the financial press doesn’t help.My optimism has caused me to make a lot of mistakes with my family’s portfolio.…


One of the most provocative ideas from the DeVoe and Company M&A + Succession Summit was regarding the optimal age of an employee – 56.The expert presenter shared that the optimal age was where energy and experience intersected.Coincidentally I am 56 and I agree with the conclusion.This week we will examine why I agree.
Millennials Millennials have unbridled energy.Focusing the energy is a team sport.Management can be a good coach especially if they are honest and remember that they too were young and green once.Assigning a mentor can help both parties remain sane.I have watched several successful firms employ this strategy with their new hires.Both professionals will learn from the working together.My experience is the firm needs to hire an experienced professional to build and run the program.You will find that the investment will be your best performing investment.
Restructured Professionals The days of staying at the same company your entire career are over!Not to mention an Ap…

Gardener Vs Carpenter

Alison Gopnik’s book on parenting is a good read and it definitely expanded my perspective on what it takes to be an effective parent.It also opened my mind to how the concepts of a gardener and a carpenter could be applied to business and wealth management.We will take a look at each area in our blog this week.Before we dive in I feel the need to share some self-evaluation.I’m a below average parent, I was an average wealth management advisor and an above average business manager.

We all want to be better parents.Unfortunately we can’t evaluate ourselves until our children have grown up and take their place in society with minimal time on the therapy couch.Professor Gobnik has studied this subject with an academic and unemotional lens and provides us a road map that is superior to our Honor Role and Elite School acceptance.My wife and Mr. Rogers walked this talk and I wish I had appreciated their approach and not focused on the hollow accolades that defined my parental “success…


The lion share of advisors remain at their brand name firms.The financial press leads us to believe that most of them have broken away to work as an independent wealth manager.Is this fake news?This week we will examine why so many advisors have been retained by their current firms.Is the independent positioning lacking or are the established firms smarter than we think?
Inertia is a powerful force.It is easier to stay put that to make a change.Inertia keeps 95% + of employees at their current job.History has shown that shocking events can overcome inertia.If the news is shocking it is by definition impossible to predict.Recruiters and Advisors can address this by researching a viable Plan B when things are calm.Calm environments can make us complacent.Use the calm to create a viable Plan B.Creating a plan is not as risky as executing the plan.That can wait until something shocking happens.
After The Financial Crisis Wall Street raised the fence around their firms and iss…