Hello, and welcome back to Powering Your Retirement Radio. I’m Dan Leonard, your host. This week I’m gonna go back to square one. After doing some consulting with some other podcasters and their podcasts, they said looking through your catalog of episodes; you don’t really see anything on you. Everyone had some kind of an about me type of episode. I figured here on New Year’s Eve; you’ll probably be sitting there watching the ball drop, listening to this, and just having a grand old time. Happy New Year, have a great evening. And, if you listen to the whole episode, God bless you.
We’ll just start with some basic background facts. I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years. My first job in the financial service industry was back in 1988 while I was still in college. I had a chance to work for Merrill Lynch on the floor of the American Stock Exchange, which was exciting and meaningful for me since both my grandfather and great-grandfather were members of the American Stock Exchange. So that was a great thrill to get to walk in their footsteps.
Since graduating college, I’ve worked as a financial advisor in New York, Canada, and California; I’ve had the opportunity to live in five states in two countries. In addition to being an advisor, I’ve also worked in the financial services industry in the mutual fund and annuity area as what they call a wholesaler, which is the representative for the individual products. If you think of mutual funds like Franklin, Fidelity, or American, they all have sales forces. Their sole job is to market to financial advisors to raise brand awareness, and like anything else, the things that get on the end caps at a grocery store or Home Depot don’t get there magically.
There are product representatives that are in there talking to the store manager. You get this on the end of your aisle, and you’ll sell more, and your store revenue will be up. Wholesalers use the same concept, except we were fighting for the mental headspace of financial advisors. And even to this day, this still persists. A lot more of that is done virtually these days. But the funds that I put in client portfolios and the representatives I know make sure we know everything going on.
I personally use an outside third party to help me build those models. So I get support from the reps after selling the product. They’re not proactively promoting their product to me, they’re doing it more in a support role, but there are different ways that different people run their businesses. So I’ve been both retail, meaning client-facing, and then wholesale, institution-facing in my career. On the institutional side, you know, I’ve done presentations to literally hundreds of brokers at one time in conference format, down to individual meetings with clients and advisors. At the same time, I’ve also been an instructor where we would go into offices and offer continuing education. I’ve lived it. I’ve worked. I’ve been in every facet of the financial industry, as far as providing advice, whether it be coaching people, giving advice, or dealing with the end-user in the client space.
During that time, I’ve actually had the opportunity to work in 20 different states. I’ve met with thousands of advisors. I’ve been in hundreds of brokerage offices, primarily in my career, early on when I was doing what I was working in, what is called the wirehouse environment, which would be the Merrill Lynch Smith, Barney, formerly PaineWebber, those typed up of firms on a national level.
When I was in the mutual fund industry, I worked with over 20 different actual portfolio managers, running individual mutual funds. I’ve gotten to see how several different managers run their businesses. Probably the two biggest names would be Louis Navieller out of Reno. He was a manager for one of the companies I worked for in the late nineties and then Charles Brandis in La Jolla, which makes international investments and value investing. I’ve had chances to work with those people individually when they’d be out to travel. On a roadshow, we would go to offices to talk about their investing style. It’s been a fun career because there are opportunities where I’m sitting down with clients like I do today, helping ’em with their personal financial situation. And then on the other end, being at a big conference where you’re presenting to hundreds of advisors, and you’ve got one of the top money managers that just got off of a call with CNN driving around with you in your car, talking about the markets with you.
Make it Understandable
Come for Performance
Stay for Service
Lost Trust or Ignored
The number one rule I think all people have to keep in mind when it comes to investing is that investments are important. The money is important because that’s what you’re gonna live on. But ultimately, it’s your family. It’s your health and your happiness. Your well-being is the most important part of it. So if you’re in a relationship with an advisor that’s suffering because you’re concerned about stuff, and things aren’t working, that’s the reason to consider looking for a new advisor. And that goes if you’re one of my clients or looking to be one of my clients. If you’re in a relationship where you never hear from your advisor, and you don’t feel like you can get answers from them, then you need to look for a new advisor.
So that’s where I try to make sure there’s lots of outbound communication from me to who my clients are now, not all clients are gonna engage in it all, but that’s on their end. I’m ensuring they know what we do and why we’re doing it. So that’s a little bit about me, my background, some of my philosophies, and thoughts on the market. Hopefully, that was useful.
I just want to wish everybody a happy new year. And I look forward to talking with you in 2022. Thanks so much. Stay safe until next time.