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.

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. 

One of the many advtagess of independence is the myriad of technology solutions. While we are not qualified to evaluate the solutions. They have become an essential deliverable that we need an answer for ASPAP. Most firms use Black Diamond as several large west coast firms use Addepar. The race is on and my warning is to hire a CTO and not base you decision exclively on price. While many of our firms are run by Millennials this decision is more important than a food delivery service. 

Client Profiles 

 We’re not dead yet exclaimed the CFA community.  This very smart group is alive and well and I recently had the privilege of reading some of their new research. It is not on public securities, it is the group’s analysis of our industry. Their conclusion was that we do a poor job characterizing our clients’ risk. We need to scrap the questionnaire and replace them which conversations. Amen!  They end the research report by challenging us to constantly update our Clint’s  profile because life is not binary. Hope the robo firms are listening this too. 

It’s a new decade. Let’s progress so 2020 can be better than 2010. 


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