Part 6 of 4 and a Transition

Personal Money Planning |

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

This is part 6 of 4 (yes, I get a bit verbose) of our series on choosing a financial advisor. And later a blurb about a transition that I and this column will be going through.

If you read the paper or go to the cinema, you’ll learn that just about everyone in the financial industry is a crook, liar, on drugs, or likes debasing others. While it is sometimes true, we need to address the insinuation that it applies to “everyone.” The problem is that the day-to-day activities of an investment management or financial planning office are not very exciting. It would make a lousy movie and lame headlines: “Advisor says spend less than you are earning,” “Advisor rebalances a portfolio,” “Advisor builds yet another spreadsheet,” and “Advisor skips lunch to return a client’s call.”

But from what I’ve seen, the vast majority of advisors who work with clients truly care about giving the best service and advice they can. In doing this, they may earn a decent living (not the million dollar salaries and bonuses you sometimes hear about on Wall Street) and a great sense of satisfaction in helping others.

That some in the profession take advantage of people’s trust for their own gain is, unfortunately, the exception that proves the point.

Now about you, me, and this column.

As I’ve mentioned several times in the last decade, rumors of my retirement are premature. But let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. While I have a couple years left in me for the daily work grinds, I can now imagine the day when I’m not staring at a computer screen filled with investment data. Being planners, we have worked for many years on our firm’s transition to the next generation.

As regular readers will know, Brittany Schultz has taken over much of the responsibilities when it comes to investment research and strategy (I still do the day-to-day stuff) and Michelle Kuehner has been running the company’s operations longer than I can remember. It’s been pointed out a few times that I’m the most redundant person there (though I’m sure cherished like a well-worn family heirloom).

It’s now time to start transitioning this column. No, I’m not giving it up yet, but those two mentioned above will start entertaining you here and there: Michelle next week, while Brittany might take a year or so to enter the fray. Michelle is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) with a whole lotta other initials after her name. She’s actually a better writer than I (hard to believe, I know), and has been churning out various blogs for years along with the occasional guest column here.

You are still stuck with me most of the time for now. After all, I have more spare time since I’ve dumped most of my work on them!