I’m adding something new to my content repertoire.
But before I reveal it, let me just say how much of an honor it is for me to send you my Friday evening email blast. Literally thousands of people receive it. Committing to creating and posting content every week has been the best decision I’ve made. It is my sacred cow. It means so much to me when I hear from recipients that they actually look forward to it every Friday night!
I had to give up something in order to find the time to write articles and record videos. That something was golf. LOL, the golfing world isn’t missing anything.
Creating content does so much more for me than lifting me; it makes me better for my clients. My style of writing forces me to reach deep inside my mind in order to articulate exactly what drives my investment management and financial planning style, and how I’ll execute it. You see, I tossed the financial services playbook in the garbage almost 14 years ago when I opened ClientFirst Strategy, Inc. Why wouldn’t I toss it? It was written for the industry, not the clients it serves. If you want proof, look no further than E*TRADE, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, SoFi, Betterment, Wealthfront, and many more. The old school financial services firms let them in, despite having formidable moats around them, called regulations that were created pre-WWII.
Regulation was a tool that these mega-sized firms counted on to keep out new entrants. But the giants grew complacent. Their downfall was a severely dissatisfied consumer whose willingness to try new avenues to grow and manage their wealth was unexpected. “No way would anyone buy a stock from some faceless website or a small company!” was their defense. Pathetic.
st, 1975 was MAY DAY for the investment brokerage business, when commissions were deregulated. It sounds crazy, but brokers had to charge a minimum commission to clients – no deep discounting. But from that day, slowly at first and now moving at lightning speed, the cost of trading dropped and trading volume surged. Access to investing is now nearly zero cost. Please note I did not say access to advice and experience have zero cost to consumers. Ultimately, choice beat a lazy, bloated, unfair industry.
The original disruptors; lie Schwab, Brown, and Muriel Siebert eventually were disrupted by E*TRADE, Ameritrade (before it was acquired by TD), My Discount Broker Dot Com (that was really the name), and others. Then a new crop arose; like Betterment and Wealthfront, despite that they’re burning through private equity investor cash to stay afloat – the "lose money until your competitors go out of business" routine. With Schwab, E*Trade, and TD Ameritrade going to zero commission on stocks and ETF’s, these old disruptors are now disrupting the new disruptors. We see this same battle being fought in the streaming war between Netflix, Disney, Time Warner and Comcast. Even Wal-Mart is finally putting up a challenge against Amazon. Everywhere you look, the disruptors are being disrupted.
I started my own firm because, like the rest of my fellow independent financial advisors, it is the only way to serve our true master – YOU. We independents are all about bringing you value by putting the pieces of your financial life together in an ongoing, cohesive strategy to get you to your definition of “the finish line”.
I wonder how Home Depot would do if it was willing to lose money on every sale. Surely, Lowe's would have to counter with the same strategy. I bet they’d both sell more tools, though. But would consumers suddenly become better at building things? At plumbing? At electrical? At pouring foundations? No.
Everywhere you look, the things that are considered tools for a particular industry, be it stocks or hammers or other, are just tools that don’t come with knowledge and experience. That’s what the independent financial advisors figured out and they know that’s why their clients stay with them. That’s the moat we have while the rest of the industry is once again operating from the wrong playbook that ends with the cannibals first eating each other’s revenues, then eating each other.
Before I forget, the new addition to my content is live streaming. I recently received access to use LinkedIn Live and I'm pretty pumped up about it. There's something about coming to you live that makes it more interesting and authentic and more flexible. I'll be going live on Thursday afternoons at 4:15 PM and of course, the replay will be available immediately after. I'd appreciate it if you'd tune in. You could watch on my LinkedIn profile; you'll receive an alert in Notifications. Please send me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn of we're not already connected.
Now, check out this video below: