The 75th anniversary of D-Day was moving and made me appreciate the power of history. This week we will examine the history of the wealth advisory business. As is the case with any history, there are some good items we need to remember and several we don’t want to repeat. This is easier said than done but History can be our helpful guide.
The statistics and photographs of D Day evoke many feelings. The soldiers were BRAVE but the mission was satistically doomed. What can we learn from their experience. I vacillate between anger and awe. My hope is that we leverage our young to help our country move forward. Youth has energy and is full of new ideas. We need to provide them experienced information and engage in honest conversations that allows each generation to avoid the statement of “they don’t get it”. History can only help us if we share accurate information about our past.
Change is difficult. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal summarizes the problems established law firms are having getting their senior attorneys to use new technology solutions. We are experiencing similar challenges in the wealth advisory business. As the industry ages, the average professional is over sixty years old, we need to avoid falling back on familiar solutions. Experienced advisors that arrived with a CPA use insurance and experienced advisors that arrive from Wall Street believe they can identify stocks that will outperform the stock market. A student of history will realize that both approaches do not work. Hopefully new educated advisors will provide a better solution.
The independent advisory business continues to evolve and improve. Learning from what worked in our history and what didn’t work is essential. When we meet advisors and firms that honor their history but are always are looking for tools that improve their service, we will know we have found a good match. These improvements take time but clients and advisors should continue to look. Bravery remains an essential trait for soldiers and character and competency will remain essential for advisors.
History does NOT repeat itself, but it rhymes. Wealth advisory firms should be looking for words that rhyme with “heart”.