Know Your Client, Not Their Handicap.

“Good Old Boys” do business with and support businesses of people they know well in social settings.

Historically, especially in the south, this is how business gets done. The first dozen years of managing my financial advisory business, I learned, “If they like you and they trust you, they will do business with you.” And it worked. Unfortunately you can hear the echo of “YTB” (yield to broker) echoing off the walls of clients paying way too much for a product they never understood.

There is a fundamental problem with “The Good Old Boy” system. Conversations with colleagues of this nature tend to scratch the surface and gravitate towards hobbies they have in common and then turn into a brief overview of product and historical performance. There is no depth, nothing in this type of conversation is beneficial, helping your wealth work towards what matters most to you.

'Thanks, but I know all about the Dogs of the Dow. My problem is I end up with them, instead of starting.'

The underlying issue with “The Good Old Boy” system is the most important questions are taken for granted. Who are you? What matters most to you? What are your dreams and fears? These things are “a given”, knowing someone for over 20 years, right?

More times than not, advisors conducting business in this way are selling products omitting some of the most relevant information, because they take for granted that you like them and you trust them and they know what’s best for you.

The days of trusting someone with your future because they are golfing buddies (or your dads or husbands golfing buddy) is not over. Here are three questions you should ask your “Good Old Boy” the next time he calls to pitch you a product.

  1. How is this aligned with my overall goals and how does it fit into my financial plan?
  2. Being transparent about all the fees involved, what am I actually paying in dollars, not percentage.
  3. What is my risk of loss and why do I need to take the risk?

Ethics, Empathy and Communication, the primary features of a great advisor, seem to all but disappear in the “Good Old Boy” way of doing business. It’s time for all advisors to check their ego at the door and do the work of asking the hard questions. Know your client, not their handicap.

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Insanity, Wall Street & Jesus

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. By this definition, much of “invested” America is absolutely insane.

Wall Street is a Wolf. The people working for them are wearing sheep’s clothing…because each and every employee knows exactly what’s really going on, and they choose to look the other way out of fear and greed that they will lose their job, maybe more.

wolf in sheeps clothingInvestors keep coming back, again and again. The behemoths’ of Wall Street have lied, stolen and cheated, and then admitted it, paid fines and do it again and again…and what do investors do…give them more money.

24/7 Wall Street reported in May, that of all the companies in the world, the weakest reputations fall in the financial services arena, moreover Wall Street, America. This year (2014) Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, AIG and JP Morgan Chase topped the list of most visible companies with the worst reputation. If it looks like a wolf and howls like a wolf, it’s a wolf.

Wall St. BailoutDuring the financial crisis, each of these companies took money from the federal government, as part of the effort to stabilize the economy.

Since the crisis of 2008, we have seen a higher degree of worry and stress from financial concerns. We have experienced forced career changes, relationship struggles and greater exposure to turmoil in the world.

We have all heard about this and experienced it, at some level, but most of us have continued on, without making positive changes in our daily lives. How we invest and who we invest with makes a big difference in the world.Jesus occupied Wall St.Jesus said, “Be aware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you to shreds. You will know them by the way they act. The way to identify a person is by the fruit produced.” There is no good fruit coming from Wall Street and I do not support what they represent. I vote to burn the bad trees, they will never produce good fruit.


Retirement Optional.

travelPlanning to make work optional is the “new retirement plan.” As I continue to visit with individuals and families about preparing to sustain their current lifestyle for 20 years without receiving a paycheck, I’m hearing something different, “Charles, I don’t know if I ever want to retire?” The conversation then moves to clients saying something like, “I’d like to be in a position to retire if I want, but I like what I’m doing, it’s who I am.”

The concept of retirement is changing. Some look as retirement as an end to a mean and currently they are enjoying the journey of life. Planning for retirement is optional gives a person the freedom to stop working, or even working less, having peace of mind and being able to do more of what you love.

To get there, we help answer some critical questions; Should you save more money? Through which tax-favored vehicles? Can you maintain your present standard of living, and for how long? How aggressively or conservatively should your financial assets be invested to preserve your wealth and maximize your chances of success? What happens if you live much longer than expected?

We help make sure that the assets you have accumulated will last for the remainder of your life. For the first time in human history, work is becoming optional several decades before death. This means you need to have the resources and health to really enjoy the fruits of your hard work for 10 – 40 years. We help you plan more of the journey, like adventures, travel, relationships and community involvement and philanthropy that you now have the time and energy to enjoy.

Charles Kochel, Image“Mindful Monday” is produced by: Charles Kochel, Wealth Advisor at Yield Wealth Management. The purpose of this weekly Blog/Newsletter is to communicate the principles of good investment working with markets, understanding risk and return, broadly diversifying and focusing on elements within the investor’s control- including portfolio structure, fees, taxes and discipline. Thank you to Brent Kessel, Co-CEO, Abacus Wealth for his research in this article.