Broker Check

New Year's Resolutions

January 24, 2019

Many people around the world set New Year’s resolutions. The most common are to eat healthier, get more exercise and save more money.

I have a new year’s resolution as well: to share more of who I am and why I do what I do.

I grew up with a dad who was serious. I mean all the time serious. One of those men you cannot approach so easily to say something. At school, we would have fun with the guys but even there I was one of the more serious ones. At my first job, you had to be serious to look professional. You were not supposed to show or talk about emotions. So that is what I did as a business owner, too. This does not mean we did not crack up with some high school friends or even with co-workers once in a while. I miss some of the jobs I had actually because we had so much fun. In general, though from family and society, I learned to have my act together. I kept most of my feelings to myself.

My wife is working in a world where the lines between work and personal life are totally getting blurred. She works with leaders who can be themselves everywhere, not only at home but also at work. She calls them “heart-centered leaders” who actually talk about emotions at work. It is not foreign to me either; that is how I work with my clients, too. At the surface it looks like I meet them to answer some investment or retirement questions but we always end up talking about their family, their children, their life style: basically real and emotional stuff. Most of the time I feel like I am doing more coaching than advising.

Two people especially made a mark in my work. One was my first boss in San Diego. We were selling life insurance and he would always say “Life insurance is about the people you love. When you care about them, you want to buy it.” He would even call it “Love Insurance”. He would say “There is no life insurance when there is no love”. He was right. When a few of my clients died, when I had to hand the spouse the check for life insurance, I felt the relief that comes from their loved ones being thoughtful enough to think about them. They did not have to worry about money while grieving. My clients love their spouses and their children and want to help give them the financial stability in case they die prematurely.

Second one is the CEO of the Registered investment Advisor I work with: Barney Hellenbrand, founder of HBW Partners. He always talks about family, love, support, living a good life, self-development and helping others. It is never only about work. I have known him for almost 15 years and he always proved himself to be one of those heart-centered leaders, as my wife calls them. As you can imagine my wife loves him, too. She was so shocked to be invited to the big events of the firm with me and being included in the sessions to join me. Barney Hellenbrand knows for sure family matters the most.

Nowadays, there are more people talking about concepts that were very unusual in the workplace. I saw the letter Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock wrote to all CEOs for 2019. In his letter he says:

“Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them. Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose – in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked.”

In 2019 as I try to bring value to you with my work, I will share more of my story and myself. My wife always believes I need to share more of who I am. And she is right. You know our wives always know what to do best. I also know by now having worked in the industry for around 30 years, when I am with my clients it is never only about money, but how it can bring more happiness to us and our loved ones. It is all filled with emotions. So why not be real especially when the most serious people I know in my industry are also talking about emotions and life too?

Thank you. More of me and my story to come.