Showing posts from 2020

Don’t Waste This Crisis

During the Financial Crisis Rahm Emanuel shared his opinion that is now legend. We are in another crisis that our blog this week will chronicle how we can draft off of Mr. Emanuel’s statement. We know that every crisis is different but as Mark Twain said it often rhymes. Let’s look at ways we can use our time to not waste this unfortunate crisis. 
Social Media
Social Media is this generation’s cocktail party. While we never want to miss a party we know who to avoid. Successful Social Media accepts that most of the opinions are fake, BUT just like a cocktail party there are people who you need to seek out. This exercise starts with what platform we want to visit and who is going to be at “The Party” ?  Your partner doesn’t need to answer who will be at the party. A good platform lists their guests. Since we have time to look, look!  Bill Gurley shares that he uses Twitter to evaluate potential firms he is considering. Our recommendation is to create a Social Media account for your fir…

Shelter in Place

Today marks  the one week anniversary that our mayors, governors and self aware bosses asked us to shelter in place. The week seems like it took longer than my college grades took to arrive in the mail. After we accepted the boredom we began to identify people and  technology that can help us survive the next few weeks. Our blog will summarize our favorites.  
Business Apps
Many of our service providers have scheduled conference calls to continue our training or to teach us new skills that will be helpful after we received an all clear. Most  group call technology didn’t make the grade. The only lesson I learned is that bandwidth matters and the time  you start the call matters. Starting the call at the the top of an hour is “me too” and will create a bandwidth issue. Starting the call at at 15 after or before works best. We all need to accept that we will have to wait. What else will you do rather than check the death toll.  Our favorite conference call programs are listed below. A g…

Wind Changed Updated 3-18-2020

We have had a great run in the capital markets and in the wealth advisory business.  Unfortunately, the recent market action signals that the wind is no longer at our back.  This week we will look back and discuss what we can expect going forward.


The wind has been at our back longer than the recently ended 11 year bull market.  It helped the Trust Banks attract clients and manage their money investing in lists of well known blue chip stocks.  The wind changed and accounts lost value causing angry clients to look for new firms to invest their money.  Professional money mangers emerged and over the next cycle they thrived until the wind changed.  The next business that picked up the investment torch was the lower cost funds who passively replicated the major market indices.  Now that the wind has changed we should start to look for the firm that has washed their hands and found an improved investment strategy.

Donald Rumsfeld introduced us to an idea that that there are

The Cure

COVID-19 has dominated our news and impacted our markets.  There are numerous qualified organizations who are looking for a cure to this disease and we ALL hope they find it soon.  Our monthly examination of Podcasts can hopefully cure our souls.  We will look for our cure in the familiar places of True Crime, Education and Morning Messages.

True Crime
Our favorite is a podcast that summarizes the HBO documentary on the group that stole McDonalds monopoly game pieces.  A shocking story.

We learn a lot from history.  Our favorite podcast is regarding the history of conflicts between businesses that were fighting for market share.   

Morning Message
While most read a paper or visit a website, I listen to a Podcast.  My favorite is Business Casual hosted by a brilliant millennial. 

While none of these Podcasts will cure COVID-19 I hope they cure your soul ....


Twenty-Five years ago, our oldest daughter, Page, was born in Dallas! The next day my wife and I “decided” to move to San Francisco.The area’s beauty was breath-taking, but I had a lot to learn.The first items were the cost of living and the dinner party topics regarding the internet and Stanford.The other major item I needed to address was my judgmental opinions of people who had a different opinion.It wasn’t long before I met ArmisteaMaupin.He cured my shallow opinion on gay people because of his heart, intellect  and our common Southern roots.Recently our country fears the outbreak of COVID-19.Our advice is to seek the advice of a knowledgeable Dr. instead of social media self-proclaimed experts.Our blog this week is about how we can address our judgmental opinions to personally and professional grow.I’ll begin with an inspirational TED Talk with the disclaimer that I’m not Black and I’m not gay.Neither are a valid excuse to not expand our personal or professional scope.



The Democratic Presidential race has brought two major issues to the voters.Medicare for ALL and higher taxes on the wealthy.While they “trend” on social media ultimately it is our vote that counts.In addition to the election we read many announcements about bankruptcies this week.We will look at the failures and see if there are similarities that can benefit our business.Our capitalist system works and making knee jerk conclusions can be dangerous.Let’s look.

Old Gen
The capitalist business model doesn’t play favorites.This week several old school firms filed for bankruptcy protection.We will examine two that failed for different reason.The Boy Scouts filed because of the harassment charges against them were adding up.The scouts oath to do the right thing seems to mean different things to different people.The other firm that filed was Pier One.Low prices drive traffic but don’t equate to profits.We can learn from both!

Next Gen
The VC funding craze that was looking for Unicorns seems …


Relationships are the life blood of our personal and professional lives.We are constantly reminded of this fact by our “friends” at Hallmark and recently at Tender.Relationships are on our minds as we recently celebrated Galentine’s or Valentine’s day.  Heck, we spent a record amount on Valentine's this year.  Our blog this week discusses the importance of relationships for Wealth Advisory firms and more importantly their clients.

First Date

We put too much pressure on our first date.“Can you set me up?” makes some major assumptions that you like the same type of person that I like and more importantly they will like me!Referrals are a major source of growth for most wealth management firms.The assumptions here are even greater and potentially serious.A diversified portfolio that works for me might not work for you and your family.What can we do?Our experience is to spend time with the advisory firm and to read any thought pieces that the firm produces.Hopefully this will help you…


I know we are tired of the impeachment debate around calling witnesses.  Polls showed that 75% of the people wanted witnesses so we are going to scratch that itch with our monthly podcast recommendations.  Our favorites are organized in three sections.

True Crime
The golden age of radio featured stories before we were addicted to our TV or to streaming services.  Podcasts have joined the fight with True Crime stories cast with stars from movies.  Our favorite is Blood Ties.

Most Podcast lovers prefer voice over print.  Our favorite educational podcast is The Journal.  The tagline of money, business and power works!

Most of us listen to podcasts on our morning commute.  In the morning we want to be entertained and our favorite Morning Show is Snacks Daily.  The hosts play-off of each other better than me and my friend Dave do on the tables in Vegas.

Our final recommendation is for Mayor Pete.  He said he watched cartoons instead of the Impeachment hearings.  We think h…


I was surprised that only 35% of adults have 20/20 vision.  This reality made me think how many investors have 20/20 wealth vision and what can we do to increase their score?  Our blog this week will examine what we should do.  I admit the content has been improved by my new colleagues at Burford Brothers.  I still retain my three subject focus but their conclusions have real world client experience.  Hope you agree.

Our examination begins with a common human bias of D.I.Y. (Do it yourself).  How hard can it be to build a portfolio and insure it meets my family's needs?  As it turns out the disclaimer of "don't try this at home" applies to wealth management too!  The internet and CNBC make it seem easy.  DIY success is exciting but it can be ephemeral.  DIY failure is painful and embarrassing.  We need to find a partner that we can share in our success and blame them when we fail. DIY has lower fees but we get what we pay for..


Clients and advisors have nume…


As we enter a new decade we need to evaluated how we can improve personally and professionally. Our blog this week will focus on professional improvements. The changes are driven by technology and can seem overwhelming. We will examine three areas. We need to understand where we came from and how we are to proceed. Our industry is changing. Hopefully we are progressing too.

Investments When the independent wealth management industry began. Many of the advisors and their clients came from the accounting industry. The professionals were expert at planning but they were difficient in managing publically traded securities portfolios. This reality created an opportunity for DFA to help. $160 billion of client assets and got the attention of other money management firms. The ETF evolved. Today most new investment $ are flowing into ETFs and DFA is restructuring. I’m confident the next decade will produce new investment solutions.  ETFs and DFA will feel like yesterday’s news. 
Technology  On…

Happy 2020

Welcome to the new year and the new decade. I hope all of your resolutions are realized. This post will continue to share my social media recommendations. In 2019 I made two social media resolutions. I achieved one and the other of creating my own podcast never happened. This year I’m adding a resolution to partner with an independent RIA. That keeps me below Duchess Meghan who has 4 resolutions.

The rise in the new number of podcasts is creating a capacity challenge for me and my Apple Podcast App, but it should create demand for this monthly missive.

The evolution of podcasts has caused more interesting people to agree to podcast interviews. My favorite this month is Dolly Parton’s America. Dolly has a heart and her professional drive can inspire us all.

I will admit it in 2020 that I’m fixated with HBS!  My favorite podcast is The Disruptive Voice with Clayton Christensen. His books are great and his classes are always full, but his podcast is free. I learn somet…