Wow, 30 years! Seems it has gone by in a flash. And yet, I have thousands of memories that are clear as yesterday. I knew when I started in the Financial Services Industry that I found my calling. I am one of the fortunate few…I have always loved what I do, helping people find “as close to perfect solutions” to their important issues and concerns as possible.
Many people have come to me with standard goals: Retirement; College Planning; Tax Concerns, and; a General Financial Check-UP. A few have had more pressing issues that required me to push my intellect for the “perfect solution(s)”. Regardless, I have immensely enjoyed the journey.
The financial landscape has changed dramatically over the years. Technology has been a major game-changer in how business is done. Computers were enormously expensive. My first Desktop was an IBM 286. It was sleek and really fast (until it wasn’t) and cost me $7,000. What a bargain! A financial company I was working with provided me with a volume discount. My first Laptop wasn’t well suited to being on your lap for any serious amount of time due to the weight (after 20 minutes you would notice a loss of circulation in your legs) and the heat it would start to generate. And then, a new way to communicate…Email! Then came “IMing” (Instant Messaging for the young folk). Accessing the Internet was fun (remember “Dial-Up”). When I first started in the industry there was no such thing as Cell Phones or GPS (I had a Thompson Guide Map book). If something needed to be faxed you had to find a service that could help you AND, it was very expensive. None-the-less we were able to get the job done. Compared to back then, today business is moving at light-speed!
I remember the first “Market Correction” of my career…October 1987! A one day anomaly (thank God). Since, there have been several Recessions (also fondly referred to as a “Bear Market” ) followed by recoveries (labeled “Bull Markets”). I found it was easier to make money for clients during a recession than a recovery. Things are a lot more transparent during a recession.
Over the decades I have had the pleasure to meet many wonderful people. I’ve met Captains of Industry, brilliant Financial Advisors who have been very generous with their time and knowledge and many others. The most rewarding, for me, has been the privilege of meeting and serving my clients. I made it my mission to get to know more about them than just money issues. Some of their life stories are worthy of a novel.
As I reflect on where we have been and where we are going it has become clear that financial literacy and advice will have to be achieved on a much more grand scale with greater accessibility and efficiency. This challenge transcends the normal path of the Client / Advisor relationship. I am hoping to take some measure of a leadership role as the future unfolds. While todays pace enables fortunes to be made in moments, so to can it be lost. My new mission is to share, as best I can, what knowledge and experience I have gained over the years.
A final note…my hope is that everyone could find a career that they could enjoy as much as I have. Stay tuned, more to come…