Forget about the gym membership and pledges to not text while driving and to eat less carbs. While all of these things are absolutely worthwhile endeavors, I have a taller resolution for you.
A dear friend shared a year-end letter that he sent to his employees that moved me. My friend’s message to his employees was to simply be (albeit, simple it’s not…), better.
Be better at your job.
Be better to yourself.
Be better to the ones you love.
Just be a little bit better.
So where does Bill Gross hiring an investment advisor come in? What would cause Bill Gross, one of the most acclaimed money managers on Wall Street to hire an investment advisor? And why should YOU hire an investment advisor as well?
Well, I don’t exactly have Bill on speed dial, so while I can’t ask him why he hired an advisor, you and I are both likely to agree that he’s a pretty smart dude. Co-founder of PIMCO, a Wall Street behemoth and former manager of PIMCO’s $270 billion dollar Total Return Fund, Mr. Gross now runs Janus’ Global Unconstrained Bond Fund.
Busy guy, right? Managing the big “B” – billions of assets – and a husband and father of three, to boot!
So we agree he’s smart. Let’s now agree that he’s probably busy, yet another not-so-bold assumption about Bill’s life. To sum it up, it looks likes smart people who are busy hire an advisor. CHECK.
Now for the bolder assumption: I bet busy and smart Bill Gross believes that someone can manage his money better than he could.
Pretty bold, huh? I bet he wanted his portfolio to be better. In other words, better than what he could do for his portfolio, given his time, talents and perhaps understanding that removing the emotion from managing your own investments is in many ways, better.
There are perks that come with his choice to hire an advisor. (Yes, I’m sure the choice will cost him a couple of bills per year, ahem.) I am here to suggest that in having done so, Mr. Gross is now free to…
Be better at his job.
Be better to himself.
Be better to the ones he loves.
(Mr. Gross, these aren’t in any way meant to be suggestions that you do these, but, honestly, couldn’t we all be better?)
So, Bill – Happy New Year! And kudos on your New Year’s resolutions being done AND early, by having moved to Janus back in September and already having your own personal advisor on board. You chose to be better.
What about the rest of us?
For those who have 401k’s with former employers, or accounts in limbo with Fidelity or Vanguard that depend on YOU to manage and make investment decisions – choose to be better in 2015.
Thinking back, 2013 and 2014 were years you could’ve done okay with a sit-it-and-forget-it approach to your Vanguard account. Most could’ve thrown a dart and landed on a Large Cap mutual fund or ETF and you would’ve done just fine.
However, 2015 will NOT be so kind…
As markets become increasingly volatile with overseas woes and unpredictable oil prices, protect your hard earned dollars with an active strategy in 2015.
You are amongst a large crowd of investors that simply don’t know where to begin when hiring an advisor, and – quite frankly – feel they’re going to get screwed in doing so. The playground you need to be on is getting bigger, my friend, and while the do-it-yourself playground at Fidelity or Vanguard may be cheaper, it’s seldom better than an actively managed option with an advisor. The latter will indeed free you up to be better.
Investors, like Bill Gross, who choose to be better are what I call Liberated Investors. They know the fees they pay, they eliminate conflicts of interest, and they hire an advisor who’s on their side.
So choose better – make 2015 the year your become a Liberated Investor.