Living Well

May 1, 2024 5 Minute Read

This is my 25th year in the financial services industry, and I am more optimistic and more in love with my industry than ever.  I’ve just returned from Nashville, TN, where I attended an investor due diligence conference hosted by Van Eck.   The key takeaways from this meeting are the bright, innovative, forward-thinking advisors I met.  These individuals are poised to lead our industry into future generations and leave it better than they found it.  The industry has undergone significant changes since I started, but I won’t list them all here to respect your reading time. Suffice it to say, the industry is evolving for the better.

This meeting confirmed what I have observed in other groups I have joined and participated in in the last year.  My search started with the desire to improve the client experience.  We did a pretty good job, but I wanted to do better.  So, I joined a group called The Society of Advice, led by Carl Richards.   What I found there was well over 100 advisors who meet once a month to discuss their profession, their craft, and these folks are not just good, they are exceptional.  Their dedication and forward-thinking approach to their work is truly inspiring.  It was a little confronting at first.  Carl said things like, “If you want to be a better advisor, be a better human.”   Ouch!  Then he had us read Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart.  Woof.   That only took about 6 weeks to get through.  It’s a deceptively small book that packs in hard-hitting, but subtly placed questions that have you stop to think about a lot of things, your life, your choices.  Things like “what am I doing here.”  But I digress.   My point in bringing this up is I have met some of the most dedicated, forward-thinking professionals I have ever met in this profession.   And they are not afraid to ask tough questions.


My involvement in Carl’s group meetings led me to Amy Mullen of Money Quotient.  You’ve probably heard me talk about Money Quotient a bit.  In a nutshell, MQ believes that true financial planning and advice are at the intersection of IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence).  This approach is revolutionizing the way we think about financial planning, shifting the focus from just numbers to a more holistic understanding of our client’s needs and aspirations.

When I started in the industry, the focus of financial planning was numbers, numbers, numbers.   We had formulas and special calculators to arrive at a number our clients should save to retire.  There was even a commercial about it.

How things have changed.  These folks, the MQ folks, and Carl’s group have figured out that planning and advice are not just about a number.  As I have discovered, if you just put a number in front of someone and say, “Dear Client, you need to save $2,457 per month, and you can retire at 65,” you will get crickets.

And rightfully so.  Who is motivated by that?  The idea of retirement is changing rapidly.  If “retirement” gives you images of old people playing golf in Boca Raton, your image might need updating.  But seriously, living well is not about achieving a goal or a number and then stopping so you can do everything you have always wanted to do.  It is about living well!

The good news is that the industry is changing to help clients not just give them a number but uncover what is important to them, what they value, and live in alignment with those values.  We intend to dedicate the remainder of our time to bringing this possibility to you in everything we do.

Have a great month,

David ⭐️