Showing posts from October, 2017

Hot Dot

Cryptocurrencies are the new rage.  The sales vernacular for this is they are "The Hot Dot”.  Most of the time Hot Dots should be ignored and their glow will fade.  How can we tell if cryptocurrencies are here to stay or are they another Hot Dot?  There are a few experts on this subject, I am not one of them, but I have read some thoughtful and well-researched pieces on the subject and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
It would be nice if there were just a few cryptocurrencies to choose from but there aren’t.  There are 1,182 and rising.  We have all heard of Bitcoin and my instinct is if I’m going to stick my toe in the crypto water Bitcoin is a good place to start.  My reasons start with liquidity and end with price transparency.  The downside to liquidity and price transparency is they promote volatility, but let’s be honest with ourselves; isn’t that why we are buying Bitcoin NOT IBM.
Big Wigs
Two big wigs in the financial services industry have shar…

Old Guard

When I started managing the PCS group at Montgomery Securities in 1999 John Straus and Greg Fleming were established leaders at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.John joined the independent ranks in 2015 and the news this week that another icon of the Old Guard, Greg Fleming, was joining Rockefeller caught my attention.  The news made me want to reach out and offer my advice on how his new world was similar but also very different.
Good management skills are like riding a bike.Once you learn and perfect them you can take them anywhere.John and Greg were known as great managers because they understood the unique needs of the ultra high net worth client and they embraced the advisors that could meet these needs.This combination worked as the advisors established robust businesses and John and Greg were known as people who could guide them to this Promised Land.  Unfortunately Morgan Stanley and Merrill believed that their brands and products were a huge contributor too.

Robber B…

Different Script

Private equity has dabbled in the Independent Wealth Management (RIA) space over the last few years.Some of their initial investments are reaching their seven to ten year maturity and private equity investors are following a familiar script.Their script calls for a sale, but a few investors are doubling down. New investors have arrived with an optimistic outlook for the wealth management business model.I hope they have learned from the mistakes of their peers and they adjust their script.
Recent largePrivate Equity investments in RIAsgot our attention and caused us to ask why do Private Equity firms think that wealth management is such a great investment?In our opinion Wealth Management firms might not have the obvious inefficiencies that can be solved and drive Private Equity value. The comparison that helps me is how I buy a suit.When it’s time to buy a new suit for work, I have two clear choices.One option is to buy a custom suit from a master tailor near my office in downtown San …