I am surprised that clients don’t ask for letters of recommendation more often. References really help to understand who the advisor is and how clients have been treated over longer periods of time. Everyone has an opinion, and three references should do the trick. The references should be from different types of clients too – possibly one from a retiree, one a non-profit or one from a family that is in the midst of long-term planning. We encourage getting real life feedback because with reputations at risk, be assured that the substance of the reference is usually excellent.
This week’s Masters Golf Tournament is by far the most prestigious and cherished event in the golfing world. Winning the Masters is life changing and incredibly fruitful for the professional golfer in so many ways. You can make nearly $2 million in prize money, get a five-year exemption on the tour, a lifetime invite to the annual Champion’s dinner and amazing sponsorship opportunities inside and outside golf. Rarely do first-time participants win, however. It takes years of experience to get to the point where you can come even close to winning the tournament. There are many documented instances where talented players have failed because of nerves, careless mistakes or playing too aggressively. In one rare case – one player was disqualified after signing an incorrect score card! Investing success takes a long time too. Investing is an art and a science – somewhat like golf actually – because it requires a combination of skill, planning and patience.
The financial field is evolving a rapid pace, accelerated by new fin-tech innovations and low-cost investment solutions. Robo-advisors are taking share from human advisors, and people are ditching traditional money managers in favor of passive index investing. It begs the question – why even have a financial advisor anymore? Well, the reality is that while these new innovations certainly do have a place in the investment world, a qualified investment advisor still serves a critical role. In fact, with all the changes occurring in the world, we would argue that it has never been more important to work with a future-ready advisor than right now.
“Those who stay will be champions…” Those are the great words from legendary Michigan Football coach Bo Schembechler. As a young man, I heard those words a lot. I was a distance runner at the University Michigan, competing on the track and cross-country teams. Back then, it was always in the context of working hard, persevering, and outlasting your competition. However, as I graduated from college and entered the real world, those words took on new meaning. It wasn’t always the most talented athlete or the smartest kid in class that had the most success, it was the one who worked the hardest and was willing to make sacrifices when others weren’t.