Investing in ourselves….for you

Blog post #417



Full of ideas.

These are some of the feelings I have after concluding a weekend learning group session I had with advisors from across the country and from our back office firm’s Annual National Conference, which Michelle Graham and Bradford Newsome also attended.

I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed, for a good reason.

We all brought back lots of ideas….ranging from technology tools we will be using in the near future, thoughts on portfolio management, how to build closer relationships with you, our clients, and conversations you could be having with your family members about money and wealth.

Gaining exposure to a wide range of speakers and a diverse set of issues was the reason we had three attendees at this conference.  We strongly believe it is important to invest in ourselves and our firm, as continuous learners, to strive to improve and continuously get better.

Over the weekend, a presenter encouraged us to review various processes and systems in our office and how we interact with our clients. How can we make things easier for you? How can we reduce friction, so you can implement and move things forward? How can paperwork and interactions with our firm be made easier? How can we be more hands on in helping you with certain tasks, such as linking your 401(k) with our firm or helping you to deal with updating your estate planning documents?

People do not want to deal with certain tasks that are unpleasant, multi-step, take a long time to complete or have a lot of uncertainty. We can help with these. We want to help you tackle things like insurance needs, 401(k) investment choices, long term care assessments and any other financially related item in your life. We encourage you to reach out to us. With our assistance, we want to make issues and projects like these easier for you to deal with.

  • These are ways we can save you time and effort, help you deal with something you know you should be doing and add value, all as part of our comprehensive relationship.

Another speaker gave a very impactful and moving talk about how family members handle the topic of money within their family relationships. He recommended that we should all be more vulnerable, to be more open with our relatives, whether that is with our parents, siblings or children.

To practice this type of vulnerability, he made a suggestion that really hit home with many attendees. He encouraged us to ask our children how we are doing as parents (not necessarily about money, but as parents in general)….and listen to the feedback we get. This could really be an interesting and eye opening discussion. If you try this one out, let me know how this goes! As my kids sometimes read these posts, I wonder how this will go for me!

This speaker primarily works with affluent families. He defined this as “when you have more than you need…and you have to think about what to do with it….you are wealthy.” This is obviously a fortunate position to be in, but as he explained, many families struggle with the issues of wealth. We can help you work through and resolve some of these issues.

We heard from numerous speakers on investment topics, including current research and thoughts about the financial markets. While value company stocks have underperformed growth stocks for many years, many speakers provided evidence and confidence that the value premium still exists and is valid throughout the world. Bradford and I spent a lengthy time, one on one, with one of the top Investment Policy Committee members to discuss these matters in depth. Continuing to review, and further analysis from these discussions, is one of our top near-term priorities. The access to high level financial and research professionals, and their research, is a major reason we attend these conferences.

The last speaker of the conference was one of the best speakers I have ever heard, Tommy Spaulding. The emphasis of his talk was on the importance of relationships and how we all need to deepen our relationships. He encouraged us to go from talking about NWS (news, weather and sports), to much deeper relationships with our clients and others in our lives. His message was important, and something we will be making a priority.

This ties in closely with another speaker, who encouraged us to focus more of our conversations with you, our clients, to be more about your life, and not just money. He feels an important aspect of the client/advisor relationship should be about your ability to live out your life dreams.

  • What are your dreams?
  • How can we help you to accomplish more of them?
  • Is there more risk in the next really big market decline, such as in 2008-09, or is there more risk that you will not live out your life dreams and goals?

These are great questions for future conversations.

You can see we returned home with many to-do’s, concepts to further explore and ideas to implement.

We want your input and your suggestions. We may ask you about these during future calls and meetings.

  • What do you value from us?
  • What can we do better?
  • How can we improve?
  • Do you value this weekly blog that we write, which is significant time commitment?
  • Please share your thoughts with us at We want to hear from you!

We are committed to providing you with excellent service, solid long term investment guidance and the planning necessary so that you can reach your financial and life goals.

We feel that we can provide the same valuable benefits to your friends and family members. We are committed to providing these services to you, as well as growing our firm with referrals of friends and family, from people like you.

Let’s Talk. There is a lot to talk about!

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