Chief Compliance Officer
Pictured above is near Ely, MN. Bo played hooky from the week at Y Camp du Nord to go fishing in something larger than a canoe. Biggest Crappie he's ever caught!
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take.
Sometimes I’m asked why I got into the financial planning profession. When others are asked this question they may point to a parent or mentor who inspired them to pursue the same vocation. In my case it was the opposite. My father and grandfather were both great working with and leading people but not effective when it came to managing finances. Although each created successful businesses, both experienced the sting – emotional and professional – of having a dishonest member of the team steal money from the company. The stories of these experiences motivated me to pursue a career in which I would learn about money – the good and the bad – in order to help others ensure events like my family experienced would not be repeated.
It certainly wasn’t a straight path that led me where I am today. After growing up in Houston, TX my family moved to Vermont where I finished high school and attended college at the University of Vermont. After working briefly in the ski industry, I went on to Colorado State University where I was preparing for a career in higher education. It didn’t take long before I felt the pull to get back into the business world. After obtaining my securities licenses and experiencing the cut-throat stockbroker culture, I was hired on with a wealth management firm. Holistic financial planning has been my focus ever since.
Then came 2008 and the worst recession in 80 years awaited, but nobody knew it. That’s when a group of 4 colleagues took a great leap of faith and set out on their own to start a wealth advisory firm.
Egos were checked at the door; we would work as a team. Collaboration and integration would be the difference-maker in bringing great value to our clients. What value? Improving quality of life for the people entrusting us with their life savings.
We would sell no products, collect no insurance commissions. None of us were especially adept at sales but we felt our mix of talent, education and experience would be a strong proposition to potential clients. Our faith hung on the idea that if we worked hard serving and advising our clients, we would be successful. Our faith was rewarded.
When you've been in your career field for over 25 years, you’ve poured a lot of concrete around the foundational principals that define the approach to your profession. Although I studied some psychology in college, I didn’t really understand the human psyche when it comes to investing. It was the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-09 that illustrated this more poignantly than any other experience. I’ve learned people with money to invest are often hard wired to be bad investors. So, I became a “Behaviorist.” Good advice and solid financial planning are the foundation, but there are going to be times when the best value I (and our team) can offer is when we coach our clients away from their own emotional impulses, reminding them of the plan we have implemented and the true power of being a disciplined investor.
Investing is not the study of finance. It’s the study of how people behave with money. And sometimes those behaviors are absolutely wild. (Morgan Housel)
Read Bo’s latest pieces here.
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