I remember when I first decided to get into this business and start my company, sitting with my grandfather at the kitchen table and talking about the future. I was so excited about my new venture, as the opportunities seemed endless. And then he said, well, it’s probably going to take 20 years to get established and succeed. My heart sank a bit. Being young and bright-eyed, let’s just say my plans for success were a bit shorter. As time has flown by and I reflect 30 years later, I realize he was definitely more right than I was, and I am grateful for his early guidance. It’s given me perspective and clarity when things weren’t always smooth sailing.
Thinking back, many things have changed in the financial business since I started. In the early 1990’s computers were becoming mainstream, and almost everything was done on paper. Clients had to call in to see what their accounts were worth, and we were at the early stages of mass market investing. Mutual funds published their share prices once per year in prospectuses, commissions were much higher, and business was more transactional. In some ways, however, it was much more peaceful, as access to information was limited and less timely. Today, our industry is cutting edge, data is available at your fingertips 24 hours a day, and the opportunity to measure information and apply it to personal wealth is readily available. If I’m honest, I think a combination of somewhere in between the past and the present would prove valuable. But, for an industry that is only 40 years old or so in its current form, it has come a long way and will continue to do so.
So, where are we headed? This is where I am most excited. What we have seen over time is a move toward holistic wealth management. While the complexities in planning have increased, and we will continue to need high-level advisors, there is now a greater understanding of giving meaning to what our legacies and plans mean and how they apply to our lives. The wealth management industry is perfectly positioned to guide people in important life decisions, and I am encouraged by the future. For our firm specifically, we have plans to lead the field in this area. We believe there is now an opportunity to move beyond values based life planning into even deeper connections as we seek to combine historical beliefs, behavioral finance, industry awareness, and what true wealth can really mean. This belief has always been my game, and I plan on “living” in that space.
Finally, I wish to extend my gratitude, first, to the clients who have entrusted us to be part of your lives and work together. I truly enjoy learning about your own personal journeys and often being part of them. It is priceless, and I am forever thankful. Second, for a team of hard-working beautiful people who are second to none in our industry and constantly seek to improve my life. Hats off to you.
As they say, you’re only dancing on this earth for a short while. Thirty years have gone by quickly, and I expect nothing less from the future. It’s stubborn like that. Let’s all use each moment for the gift that they are. In the end, nothing else really matters.
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