We are in constant pursuit to be the best we can be in our profession. Is there a hack to help us? Some days it feels like others have found one. The Baby Boomer hack was to be a Doctor, a Lawyer or work for Goldman Sachs. Millennials believe in the power of social media hacks and that a job at Google is on the Yellow Brick Road. This week I’ll look at other experts and share my opinion that there isn’t an easy solution to professional success.
Those who can’t do teach and those who can’t teach, teach gym. Many of the established ideas that guide people in the wealth advisory business where researched in academia. While their research is credible most academics remain as advisors not a practitioners. William Sharpe might be an exception to this rule. He lost at Long Term Capital but was a recent winner with Financial Engines. Resilient and richer.
Conferences and Media
We attend industry conferences looking for hacks. The concepts presented by the conference sponsors are thoughtful but are often forgotten on our plane ride home. Any follow-up is to sell us something from one of the conference "sponsors". The media also claims to have discovered hacks that grab our attention. Editors of old school media are masters at this and bloggers in new media ride the click bait wave. My skeptical opinion remains how many writers have transitioned their ideas into the commercial arena? Not many.
Many firms require that new hires work as an apprentice to a tenured advisor. This is helpful but I’ve observed two problems. The first is that even when experienced professionals are required to help and train the next gen they spend more time and effort insuring they are paid for their time spent. The next gen apprentices make the naïve and faulty judgment that the job is easy after watching the senior professional work. Wonder if they make the same mistake when they watch sports on TV?
It is fun to look for professional hacks. My search has found the perfect hack doesn’t exist. Michael Kitces continues to look by asking guests on his great podcasts how they grow. Most take a hardline stance against selling. I have found that sales is NOT evil and that hard work and a sincere passion for your work is still the best hack in town. President Roosevelt said it best. Join me in the arena and ask for the order!