Category: Timely Topic
My grade-school-age kids recently returned to school, which made me think about being a little kid again. Summer was always a time of unbridled joy and freedom for me. Even as a kid, I knew summer meant I had the freedom to get on my bike and ride to the nearby pool or meet up with my neighborhood friends for a game of street hockey because my schedule and routine were flexible. My biggest concern was whether or not I got a hit in my baseball game!
As we get older, those feelings start to change. We take on more responsibilities – summer jobs, summer school, and ultimately adulthood. Life speeds up quickly, and we don’t always do a good job of slowing down and living in the moment. We’re constantly thinking about what’s next and what we must do to keep everything moving forward. As Harry Chapin famously sang in Cat’s in the Cradle, “There are planes to catch and bills to pay.”
On a recent family vacation to Florida, I read a book by the former Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, Leading with the Heart. Coach K uses the metaphor of his team being on a train. He reminds readers that stopping and enjoying the moments while on the train is essential. Some of those moments are big milestones we plan and prepare for, while others happen unexpectedly.
So, as summer ends and we return to our busy lives of hauling kids to their various events, traveling, and everything else we have going on, I encourage each of you to take a moment to “pause at the station.” Whether things are improving or worse than anticipated, try to enjoy the moment. Enjoy the moment.
P.S. For those looking for some light humor, I recently created unique handshakes with each of my three boys (my daughter is a bit too young to have her own). Below is a video of my youngest son, Charlie, and me doing a clumsy version of our handshake on his first day of Kindergarten – certainly a major milestone in both of our lives!
*Apologies to long time client George Thomas for making a positive Duke reference. I hope you’ll forgive me.
**This is the same book featured prominently in the hit show The Bear (season 2).
It feels like every conversation lately revolves around the latest discovery in AI and how it’s improving x,y, and z. But how does AI impact our industry as Financial Advisors?
David Booth, Chairperson of Dimensional Funds Advisors, recently wrote an opinion piece on AI and the market for the Financial Times. He states, “Can artificial intelligence help pick stocks? More specifically, can investors use AI to determine the fair price of a stock or a bond? I bet a lot of people right now would say yes, given recent advances that allow for the processing of ever greater amounts of information.
I think my AI is better than all the other ones out there. My AI is the market.”
In my role, I meet with prospective families searching for a new financial planner. Many people we meet have a specific issue they are trying to solve, but some just have a general sense they could do better.
Recently I asked a potential new family how much they were paying their current financial advisor; they said, “Nothing.” Nothing? In reviewing their statements, we knew they were getting charged 1.00% on the value of the managed assets plus additional fees on the underlying holdings, but I wanted to ensure they knew the answer. After an awkward silence, I asked them if they knew their asset allocation or long-term performance. They didn’t have a good answer for either question.
As a client of Hill Investment Group, we take pride in the clarity and simplicity of our communications and reporting. We always want you to know your asset allocation, portfolio performance, and fees. While many in our industry hide from these vital signs, we lean into ensuring you know them. Awareness brings several benefits to our relationships. If this message seems obvious, we agree, and yet it is rare that we meet with folks who have a clear sense of these three vital answers.
If you have a friend or family member that doesn’t know or can’t get the answers to these “vital signs,” there’s good news. We can help.
Click here to schedule a Discovery meeting with PJ.