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Looking under the Hood

Investors Have Some Questions to Ask Most investors invest in a dizzying array of mutual funds…most with exotic names. A skeptic might say that the mutual fund companies create these names so that the clients cannot figure what they really own.  So the question that arises...What should an investor do?    Insist on transparency. Require your advisor to look under the hood of the mutual funds, which are pools of capital that invest in stocks and bonds.  Here is what you want to ask: 1. What percentage of my assets is invested in liquid assets and how much in non-liquid...
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Trusting Your Financial Advisor

A Message from Our Founder The financial advisor/investor relationship is like most other relationships. It can’t really succeed without trust. Unfortunately, many investors don’t necessarily trust their advisors and may not know why. Advisors can often feel the mistrust but don’t know how to bridge the gap. So what we get is an industry that keeps ignoring issues and pretending everything is fine. But this can’t go on. Moving Toward Trust Sometimes trust is missing because investors are avoiding difficult conversations with their advisors…and then a month turns into another year of an unhealthy...
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Conference

Meet Dan

Dan is a hedge fund trader in Chicago making a tremendous living for himself. He is 45 years old and has been saving for retirement ever since he started his career at 22 years old. Dan has been working with a financial advisor from a well-known investment firm for many years. Over the years, his advisor has shown him projections indicating he is on track to accomplish his goal of retiring at 60 years old. He has run analyses and reports every year and given him confidence that he’s doing the right things. A Second Opinion After Dan learned the importance of...
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Meet Tim

Tim is a financial advisor that was asked to give a 2nd opinion to an investor named Dan. When introduced, Dan mentioned that he was already working with an advisor. Tim explained his unique approach and what he would do differently. He talked about the value of having a 2nd set of eyes look over his investment situation. At his first meeting with Dan, Tim concluded that Dan's current advisor was simply an investment broker, and not a true planner.  The Second Opinion Tim realized rather quickly that Dan was being led down a path of high commissions without a...
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Forgiveness-A Core Investment Practice

Why Forgiveness and Investing Go Hand-in-Hand Here is an ironclad guarantee: Once you become an investor, you will make mistakes. And some of your mistakes may be big. How you deal with your mistakes will have a major impact on your effectiveness as an investor. In the financial world, forgiveness is a practice that has been around for centuries. The basic idea is that you forgive a debt that is owed to you. But forgiveness is more than a financial discussion. It also applies personally. Why is forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness, so important? Because when you make a mistake, your first...
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How I Found an Advisor…and Then Didn’t

Financial Planning-A Fundamental Need. A Monumental Headache. We had money to invest. We just needed the right advisor. Choosing Our Financial Advisor My husband and I are fortunate that his employer provides a 403b-match that increases with years of service.  The catch: the fund needs to be maintained through one of the employer’s selected administrators.  How do you select an advisor from a list on paper?  Well, for us, it came down to name recognition, a company that had good ads and sounded honest.  So, we closed our eyes, picked one, and off we went. Since our first experience...
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The Smell Test for Products & Services

Advisors need systems to determine what they'll recommend. You have been a financial advisor for years, so you know your way around the industry. You have a good working relationship with your clients. Your employer decides to feature a new product. You want to evaluate this product, to see if it is right for your clients. What prism do you use? I call this "The Smell Test" It's as simple as two questions that help you determine whether this is a product or service you'll recommend, regardless of commissions. 1) Would I buy this product for myself? 2) Would I recommend this...
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Objective Measure Founder Featured in C-Level Magazine

C-Level Magazine featured Objective Measure founder Fred Martin as CEO of the Month for August 2017. C-Level covers Fred’s background and work as the CEO of Disciplined Growth Investors (DGI), including the choices that have made DGI unique and successful. Read the article
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Financial Advising: Profession or Business?

A Message from Our Founder Last year I attended a conference of about 20 high quality investment company CEOs. Somebody posed this question: “Are we a profession or a business?” There were a variety of opinions on the question. I admit that I was dumfounded that there could be these opinions. For me, there is no ambiguity.  We are a profession. Not a business. How we define ourselves will tilt our decisions and change our perspectives. Here’s the distinction in this: If you believe you are in a profession, you will make decisions honoring your obligation to your clients. You'll...
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Where to Start: Better Investing 

Better Practices & Better Information Better investing is not about finding a guaranteed investment. There’s no such thing. It’s about understanding and managing risk. And it’s about working with a set of standards that will protect you from careless practices. Selecting an Advisor You Can Trust Investing requires trust. If you don’t trust the advisor you’re working with, you can’t trust the information they are giving you. So as you look for the right retirement fund to select or what investment opportunities you should pursue, the right investment manager will make all the difference...
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