Financial Planning in One Sentence (Day 2)

Note:  This is my 2nd post of the @projectdomino writer’s challenge.This a challenge for bloggers and writers to post for 30 consecutive days, beginning on May 31. I will receive a prompt, or idea, from them each day, which may be the basis for that day’s post. For more information on this, see my post on May 31, 2011.

Today’s blog post prompt: describe today in only one sentence.

Do the right thing.

This is written on my firm’s business card. It represents our values as a firm, our values with our clients and the decisions we make on their behalf.  It is part of the professionals we choose to affiliate and collaborate with, and my personal values.

While I try to do the right thing, I also recognize that I have made mistakes, both personally and professionally. We all have. I have apologized when appropriate. I have taken ownership and moved forward, as that is the only way we can all exist and progress.

In term’s of my client relationships, “doing the right thing” is a core principle. I was recently given a wonderful book, which I highly recommend, about the life lessons of Nelson Mandela (Mandela’s Way, Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage by Richard Stengel). One of these lessons is to have one or a few core principles, which should always be adhered to. There may be other strategies or aspects that may be modified, but we must each choose some core beliefs which are unwavering.

For my firm, this concept translates to how we make decisions and provide our advice. The client’s interest always comes first. Legally, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients. Traditional stock brokers do not adhere to this standard.

We believe (and academic research strongly supports) that active money managers do not add value and they cannot be identified, in advance, consistently, over a long period of time. We believe in global diversification. We believe in diversification for both stocks as well as bonds and CDs. We recognize that we cannot predict the future and we do not have a crystal ball.

I also want to emphasize the word “do.” We are doing. We are growing, personally and professionally. We are active in our community. We are learning. We are reading. We are attending seminars and conferences. We are interacting with others through social media. We are planning. We are meeting with current and new client prospects.

And we are thankful that “doing the right thing” results in good things.


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