7 Things You Should Never Hear From Your Financial Advisor

High net worth individuals and business owners know a lot about investments, making money, and growing their finances. But I’ll guarantee you something. I’ll guarantee you that no matter how much you know before you set foot in an advisor’s office, you will probably encounter unfamiliar financial jargon and advice. Things will be said that you have no way of validating or judging. If that happens to you and the advisor can’t or won’t clarify, strongly consider finding another advisor. Business owners and high net worth individuals should run from coaches or advisors who use wording or techniques similar to what I’ve listed here. “I […] Read more »

5 Powerful Actions To Transform Your Business, Your Team, and Your Community

The best business books can vastly improve the way we run our organizations. The best books make us not just better leaders, better business owners, and better workers, but also better citizens and people. And so I gladly agreed to write a foreword to the best seller, The Serving Leader, by John Stahl-Wert and Ken Jennings. Stahl-Wert and Jennings propose that the key to business (and community) success is what they call the philosophy of the Serving Leader. Hold onto your hats. This type of leader probably breaks every leadership principle you think you know. The first of the five powerful actions the book proposes […] Read more »

Family Businesses Often Overlook Risks To Family Members

Your family business may be well protected from risks but what about your family members? Could the family business do major damage to the family? Are there risks you can remove or protect against? A new family business study indicates that most family businesses lack a regular risk management process that covers the entire enterprise including risks to the family. A report in the May/June 2015 Family Business magazine on the Crystal & Company and Family Office Metrics study said the study found only 30% of the 159 online survey participants have an enterprise-wide risk management process. This concerns me because some business owners focus […] Read more »

Money Book Gives Insights to High Net Worth Individuals

When people recommend a financial planning book I often cringe. So many financial and investment books provide poor advice. But recently a client asked me to read Tony Robbins’ Money: Master The Game – 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom and I’ve found many solid, practical ideas in the book. Business owners and high net worth individuals may feel the same. Yes, the book’s long. I’m only on page 340 of its 627 pages. But here are some reasons why Money: Master The Game may be worth your time. First, I believe in taking financial and investment advice from high net worth individuals who have […] Read more »

6 Small but Impactful Financial Steps for High Net Worth Individuals and Business Owners in 2015

For a moment, put aside the country’s economic prospects. Focus on your own personal financial outlook and that of your own business. We’re already more than a month into 2015. Are you seeing financial improvements? Do you have a solid investment and financial plan for the year? Personally, I think the country’s in an improving economy right now with lots of opportunity for smart business owners and high net worth individuals (HNWI). But financial conditions can change quickly. For you to reach your 2015 business and personal financial goals you need financial insight. Here are six ideas that may give you greater opportunities to grow […] Read more »

The Warren Buffet Way How He Really Invests For Those He Cares Most About

The following commentary from Fred Taylor is certainly worth a read I always read, with interest, the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual report to shareholders (www.berkshirehathaway.com). Aside from the “obvious” financials that one finds in all annual reports, it highlights the folksy style that Buffet writes in, is very short on typical corporate financial obfuscation and very long on common sense (more on this aspect later). I highly recommend to all a visit to their website and taking some time to peruse the report to absorb not only some of it’s flavor, but also the illumination on the technique and rationale that he and his partner, […] Read more »

The Devil Wears Nada

by Jim Parker Vice President, DFA Australia, Limited The global fashion industry is fickle by nature, pushing and then pulling trends to keep hapless consumers forever turning over their wardrobes. Much of the financial services industry works the same way. Fashion designers, manufacturers, and media operate by telling consumers what’s in vogue this year, thus artificially creating demand where none previously existed. What turns up in the boutiques is hyped as hip by the glossy magazines to make you feel like you “have” to buy it. Likewise, much of the media and financial services industries depend on fleeting trends and built-in obsolescence to keep investors […] Read more »

Watch Out for “The Golden Ticket Trap”

by Jim Parker, Outside the Flags Vice President, Dimensional Fund Advisors In a popular children’s story, the young hero pins all his hopes on finding one of a handful of “golden tickets” hidden among millions of candy bars. It seems many people approach investing the same way. The notion that the path to long-term wealth lies in locating secret and previously undiscovered treasures in the global marketplace of securities is one regularly featured in media and market commentary. One magazine, for instance, runs a feature called “Fund Managers’ Secret Stocks,” referring to supposedly “bargain” stocks the pros keep hidden. (How the stocks can be secret […] Read more »

The Top Ten Money Excuses

Jim Parker Outside the Flags Vice President Human beings have an astounding facility for self-deception when it comes to our own money. We tend to rationalize our own fears. So instead of just recognizing how we feel and reflecting on the thoughts that creates, we cut out the middle man and construct the façade of a logical-sounding argument over a vague feeling. These arguments are often elaborate, short-term excuses that we use to justify behavior that runs counter to our own long-term interests. Here are ten of these excuses: 1) “I just want to wait till things become clearer.” It’s understandable to feel unnerved by […] Read more »

The Best of Our Best Advice

We went through our archives for nearly a decade of collected wisdom that still holds up. Warren Buffet Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway I had two mentors: my dad, Howard Buffett, and Ben Graham. Here were these two guys who I revered and who over the years gave me tons of good advice. But when I think about what they said to me, the truth is, the first thing that comes to mind is bad advice. I was not quite 21 when this happened, in 1951, and just getting out of business school at Columbia. I had just taken Ben’s class there — and […] Read more »