Getting Away from Investment Noise for the Greater Good

One of my favorite parts of consulting for past colleagues is that it allows me to find the transitive properties between business consulting and investing.  It also allows me more adult interaction and a break from the confines of studying in my office (and I do mean studying).

While I unfortunately spend time away from my family, it does offer me the opportunity to reflect on what I am doing well and what I can improve on after I try to get caught up on client interactions and “studying”.  I typically leave for home with a longer list of “Big Projects” than I expected. It also gives them a break from Daddy Boot Camp.

I really need to just get away with none of my making the donuts activities.

I would never do this if I couldn’t serve my clients at the service level that I expect and they deserve.

I recently turned away a seven figure client because it wasn’t aligned with who I am and what I do, what I offer, and what I can deliver...more on that in a minute.  

When my kids and my life allow me the time to think, there are some things I don’t have to think about.  The principle of using evidence to build low cost, rules-based, data-driven portfolios does not require any thought.  Neither does striving to be better than traditional asset management.  

I spend my time thinking about is how I can help investors see the traditional investing flaws and reduce the threats to their wealth - many self induced.

The last client that I turned down just wanted high dividend holdings and sexy holdings like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon in their taxable account and wasn’t interested in my perspective on the impact to their taxes or diversification.  They wanted an old-school broker-dealer (she was 91). These are the paradigms that will need to fade away with age.

Many that read this will never become a client - I am only accepting 24 more.  Those that do understand what I offer - a passion for analytics, a pursuit of mapping your risk profile, providing a portfolio that matches your investment plan that minimize emotions and maximize your desired lifestyle with the other areas of your wealth.  

I provide emotional air cover with Dynamic Risk Allocation, I offer tax efficient portfolios, and I offer contribution and distribution strategies, and cost effective holdings.  That value alone should provide you with great structure, the gift of time, and peace of mind. Having a process to offer this and one that clients understand and value - allows me to take vacations and more importantly allows THEM to take vacations - without worry.  My recent vacation through trade tweets and yield curve inversions was restful - no drama, no ego, no worried clients - just a lot of quiet in the Cascades.

I would love to produce 8-12 percent returns every year with the least amount of variation - but that isn’t reality and more importantly it likely isn’t necessary for people to fulfill their unique definition of wealth, so why pursue it with the associated risk.  I love the study of variation. It is one reason I weigh myself every day. The funny part is that many people would prefer the pursuit of 20 percent returns, knowing that it introduces a lot of toxic behaviors and results.

I am yet to walk in a house where people have pictures of themselves at the beach or a ski resort with their 20 dollar bills.

Investment drama is unnecessary, but it is what makes me send the proverbial search and rescue units for the most often on their wealth journey.  

Life experiences should provide excitement, not the stock market.  More importantly, regardless of how badly your kids behave or how spoiled they are, it will be much cheaper literally and emotionally, to go to Disney than to buy a sexy stock.