I have been in the financial services industry since 1999. I started with Morgan Stanley and spent 3 weeks up high in 2 World Trade Center where I learned how to be a financial advisor…or more accurately, I learned about Morgan’s proprietary products and how to sell it to people. Oh yeah, I regrettably drank the Kool-aid. I didn’t know any better. After a few years I moved to Merrill Lynch. Among both wire houses I spent the first 10 years of my career. I didn’t want to be a life long “asset gatherer” or “million dollar producer” so I decided to leave Merrill and go out on my own with an independent broker dealer. This also allowed me to pursue other passions, one of which was additional education. I returned to school and received a Master of Science in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota. My thesis was “The Irrational Investor’s Risk Profile” in which I coupled traditional economic theory with the reality of human behavior. It was very eye opening for me.
Since then I started The Emotional Investor and have dedicated myself to research more on human behavior, particularly what causes us to make decisions that are detrimental to our long term ideals. This knowledge has been around for decades, yet nothing has been done about it in the financial world, with individual investors. What I do is take financial and behavioral theory and find out how it can be applied to financial professionals and their clients. All my presentations and tools are geared toward the “This is The Problem and This is What You Do About It”. My presentations are interactive, passionate and a lot of fun. I love what I do. I love speaking, meeting new people and sharing knowledge.
Early in 2015 I turned the big 4-0. We had a get together at our home with a bunch of friends. My wife surprised me by placing pictures of me throughout my life. I wondered if this were a funeral service because you typically do that stuff at a service. My wife assured me that was not the case, and so far I am still alive! Anyway, one of the pictures was quite embarrassing…one you just want to rip up. I was about 11 years old, wearing super short shorts (hey – it was the 80’s) and I had an Alf shirt on. Yes, that is right. I actually purchased and wore a shirt with Alf’s face prominently displayed. A bit embarrassing. But I was the only one that took “offense” to it. Everyone else at the party just looked at it and moved on. (They are probably talking about me behind my back)
Isn’t it funny how hard we are on ourselves. How many times do we try to hide embarrassing stories or pictures? When we are open and make ourselves vulnerable to our ‘embarrassing moments’, it provides comic relief and allows relationships to grow deeper. I believe that is because other people think to themselves “oh, thank goodness I’m not the only crazy one”. Then they may tell us an embarrassing story. Embracing our real selves and sharing can be a profitable strategy, both socially and financially. Socially, our open nature will influence others to open up (deeper relationships) and we will likely have a lot of friends (people who can associate with our imperfections). Financially, these relationships could turn into networking opportunities down the road or greater trust and responsibilities placed in you today. Or you could take your embarrassing life story to the airwaves as did Adam Goldberg. If you haven’t yet seen The Goldbergs, you should. It will make you feel better about your embarrassing moments.
I hope you enjoy my blog. I will share information that has helped me or helped others. I encourage comments, especially when a topic applies to you. Whether you agree or disagree with me. There are times I may be mistaken, and you might be the person to finally correct me! And please, I ask that if you enjoy the content that you share it on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc… The greater the interaction, the richer will be our collective knowledge and learning.
If you have any funny stories about yourself or a sibling, please share!