Making smart decisions with money can be overwhelming and complicated. It's not uncommon to find that even everyday financial decisions can quickly reach critical complexity. We initially think a problem is simple, but as we progress through it we unearth endless choices and forks-in-the-road:
Books must be read, videos must be watched, Cryptocurrencies / Beanie Babies / Dutch Tulips must be bought or not bought, etc.
For our clients, this complexity is the primary reason they seek help from a financial advisor.
Unfortunately, the financial services industry often just makes things worse. Wall Street uses complexity as a selling tool and a way to show off our intellect as financial professionals.... The traditional strategy seems to be:
Dig a hole, throw the client in, and then make them feel like we're the only ones with a ladder to climb out.
Put differently: The wider the "understanding gap" between investors and advisors, the more indispensable the advisors become.
We don't feel like this helps anyone sleep well at night.
Alternatively, here's our mission statement:
Our role is not to mask our services in complexity, but rather to provide an objective opinion and process in the pursuit of elegant simplicity.
If we're using the Digging-A-Hole analogy, then I believe that it's our job to fill in the hole...To simplify the complexity.
Simplification requires that we dig into problems, consider every angle, every nuance, every rule and exception to the rule. We consider the options and tradeoffs so clients don't have to.
If we can't explain complex subjects in a way that's easy to digest, then we clearly don't understand them well enough.
That said, this pursuit of elegant simplicity is an ongoing process in constant refinement.
As Antoine de Saint Exupéry said, “perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.”...
We're working on it for clients and we're working on it for ourselves.
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