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My Plans for 2019


Happy New Year!  Or, is it Happy New Year’s?  I’ve never been clear on which is correct.  Regardless, I thought I would take this final Insights column of 2018 to outline what to expect from these articles in the upcoming year.  So, you have been warned!  Oh, you may not have realized the official name of these articles is Insights.  Not creative, but it’s the official designation.

  • Expect more directness.  You may be thinking “how in the world can this bonehead get more direct?”  Well, talk to my wife, kids and close friends and you will learn how I can be very direct.  Now, I won’t get too obnoxious, however, I may tone down the diplomacy in some of the Insights.  Blame it on the Grumpy Old Man syndrome.
  • Reducing confusion in this big old world that is the financial services industry will continue to be the strongest theme.  Being a successful investor really is not too hard.  Controlling your emotions and not getting caught up in the world of “financial pornography” is much harder.  The hardest part is combining that with your entire wealth management picture into a cohesive plan and executing on that plan.  That’s where I earn my money.  I will spend more time helping to explain concepts in terms everyone can understand.Most advisors seem worried that if a client knows what we do they will go do it on their own.  My experience is some do and that is great.  I also prefer to have clients fully understand the recommendations I am making so they can make fully-informed decisions.
  • You will be hearing more about ESG investing from me too.  As a reminder, this stands for Environmental, Social and Governance investing.  While this can take a multitude of forms, I will be focusing more on the overall ESG concept.And before you freak out thinking this is some left-wing conspiracy or political position, know that companies which score well on the ESG scorecard perform better over the years.  Go figure that a well-run company does better than an Enron. So, I can reward companies that do good and possibly get a better return on my investments.  Sign me up.
  • Expect more videos from me.  Both on technical issues and maybe even a few philosophical ones.  I keep all these on my YouTube channel and usually post them onto my LinkedIn profile as well.  Not every video will be shared in an Insight column, so you will have to wander over there every now and then.
  • Nothing is changing on the flat-fee front.  While most AUM (assets under management) advisors seem to be sweating fee compression, I will continue to charge one simple fee for what I do.  Heck, I heard someone say the only organization that charges in a format similar to the AUM advisor is the IRS.  I’ll just keep charging based on my experience and knowledge.  I know I’m a good value at my fee.  I don’t need to inflate a client’s fee just because they can pay more.  I wouldn’t want someone to do it to me, so why would I do it to anyone else.

With that, have a safe and Happy New Year!  See you in 2019!!!