October 23, 2018
Changing Investment Managers
Separated at Birth*
Separated at Birth*
Laugh and Learn
Client (“C”): My mother would like to meet you.
Advisor (“A”): I’m sorry, but please tell your mother that I’m happily married.
C: What are you, a perv? She wants to talk to you about an email her advisor sent to her.
A: You know that I never disparage any of my colleagues.
C: You might want to this time. Listen to this:
“I realize that you are on a quest to learn about this stuff so you can become a more informed investor.”
A: Your mother is wise to want to learn.
C: Here’s the rest:
“I am a finance major and CFP and find the markets to be virtually unpredictable…You should consider focusing on (your profession) and let someone else be your Warren Buffett. It would save you a bunch of time and much frustration.”
A: Are you making up stories again?
C: Pinky swear, this is from one of those big banks.
A: Which one?
C: I promised my mother I wouldn’t tell. She feels like a mashed potato - whipped, beaten and pulverized. Her advisor is arrogant and demeaning. WHO DOES THIS TO A MOTHER?
A: So what is she going to do?
C: My mother is bright, she just never learned about money, and she doesn’t want any of you yo-yos talking down to her.
A: Actually, investing can be relatively easy to understand, but she has to find someone who has the patience to teach.
C: You are so brilliant. From where did you get your good sense degree?
A: Is it possible for you not to be so insulting?
C: No. Anyway, she started looking at asset management websites.
A: A great place to start.
C: First she read in Forbes (8/11/2002) “Excluding criminals” - I love the way people talk about your industry- “there are two kinds of bad investment advisors” - I’m paraphrasing now: slow, but well-meaning -stupid? - and people who only care about bringing in more assets - the more they bring in, the more they make?
A: I know you’re upset, but most managers are honest and do the right thing.
C: Right. She’s trying to find someone who will help and teach her. But here’s what she’s read from some of the big boys.
Citibank: ‘highest levels of service, direct contact with portfolio manager and complete transparency into your holdings”. Don’t all you shmoes claim the same thing>?
JP Morgan Chase: “personal planning, personalized dedication, 160-year history”. Nothing personal, but after 160- years I hope they’ve taken a shower and don’t have B.O.
Wells Fargo: three principles: “Strategic client relationship, autonomous investment teams, independent risk management”. What is this, a dating service?
UBS: “strongly focused on clients”. Versus hamburgers?
Prudential: “When it comes to finances, you can’t fake it till you make it.” What are they, pornographers?
A: It sounds like if you were to shuffle the deck, you could match any column A with any Column B.
C: Right. Were all you guys separated at birth? Mom doesn’t want sex, food or body odor. She wants to learn, to be educated.
A: Well, I teach, and you can read my writings on my website. I talk about education, ownership, and empathy.
C: Who on Wall Street talks about empathy?
A: I do. Without empathy, how can we ever create trusting relationships?
C: What are you, crazy? Wall Street is a dog-eat-dog world, there’s no room for empathy. Why don’t you go do some good in the world?
A: Actually, I do a lot of good with my clients. I encourage them to be courageous, open-minded and measured. I teach them how to overcome their fears about money, to learn the language of Wall Street and to make informed decisions. I want them to be a PRO - to take power, responsibility and ownership of their investing decisions.
C: PRO. What, are you some kind of hokey yokel? Who uses such ridiculous acronyms? Hey, I have one about you - CON - clown, oaf, nucklehead.
A: Even with you I have infinite patience. By the way nucklehead is spelled knucklehead, with a silent k.
C: I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, ha-ha. But just so that I understand, you’re not a matchmaker, you don’t serve food and you shower every day?
A: Every day.
C: Then I will tell my mother to give you a call. As I said, she’s very bright; however, if you teach her too well, you just might work yourself out of a job.
A: Nothing would make me happier than to see your mother take ownership of her investment decisions.
*Suggested to me by a mom.
What would you like to learn?