(1:30) - How Financial Advisors Guide Investors for Long-Term Planning
(8:25) - What Can Crypto Bear Markets Teach Gen Z About the Stock Market?
(12:00) - Zechariah Schaefer’s Approach to Financial Planning
(20:15) - The Fiduciary Duties of an Advice-Only Planner: Step By Step Process
(34:40) - Lessons from the Fictional Pan Ickseller (Panic Seller) on
Welcome back to Mind Over Money. I’m Kevin Cook, your field guide and story teller for the fascinating arena of behavioral economics.
Followers know that I love Twitter TWTR. Not for the political fights but for what I call “communities of knowledge.” The platform creates a social conversation between experts from so many fields of interest, from finance, philosophy, and science to fitness, nutrition, and psychology.
Then there’s the intertwined communities of startups, VC, and SaaS companies I like to eavesdrop on to learn about the latest business trends as software continues to eat the world.
One niche that I haven’t discovered on Twitter to be as vibrant as it is on LinkedIn is the arena for financial advisors and their favorite topics about serving their clients and growing their practices.
The Human Side of Money
Last year, I stumbled across a thoughtful advisor named Brendan Frazier who has become the epicenter for this group with his podcast The Human Side of Money and his relentless posting and re-sharing of good content on LinkedIn. Brendan is also a fellow fan of behavioral economics and the cognitive biases that serve us or hinder us in long-term planning and decision-making.
But his podcast goes way beyond that because of the skilled and passionate guests who come on and talk about their unique ways of serving clients. One common theme is that a good advisor is taking his or her clients through a structured process that is client-centered and based on lots of inquiry and then listening closely for answers, and then uncovering layers of answers with more questions.
Not just about client goals, aspirations, and dreams, but also about their conflicts, constraints, and worries. In other words, they all seem to have a powerful angle on emotional intelligence as a way of discovering what clients want and what they need to change, possibly in their behavior, to get what they want.
Even if you aren’t in the market for a new financial advisor, you should check out Brendan’s feed on LI and his podcast to learn what your current advisor could be doing better for you and your money.
My Life As a Client
As serendipity would have it, my morning email from WealthManagement.com featured a story about former NFL running back Vaughn Hebron who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos in the 1990s, where he went to two Super Bowls. It’s part of their personal story series called My Life As a Client. Here’s how the description of the piece reads…
Successful financial advisors know what their clients really think about them. Period. With that in mind, we talked to Vaughn Hebron, a former running back for the Denver Broncos who heads VMS Movement Specialists, a fitness center and personal training studio in Newtown, Pa., about his experiences as a client.
In the podcast, I share more of Vaughn’s personal story because it ties in so well with my guest on the show.
Money, Crypto, and New Experiences -- Like Bear Markets -- for Gen Z
Today, I introduce Mind Over Money listeners to an up-and-coming financial advisor who I found in the orbit of Brendan Frazier and The Human Side of Money crowd. Zechariah Schaefer’s profile on LinkedIn describes him as an “Advice-Only Financial Planner for Gen Z and Millennial Investors” with a focus on STEM and Healthcare professionals.
He also emphasizes Cryptocurrency advice, since he and his cohort have been the first generation fascinated with and dabbling in that new asset class since high school.
Zechariah is the founder and principal of the advisory firm Ascent Personal Finance. In the podcast, I begin by asking him about several pieces of content he’s posted on LinkedIn recently which illustrate his approach to working with clients, including childhood experiences with both affluence and poverty.
He also tells the stories of an early fascination with Bitcoin where he made a small fortune (for him) and yet still wasn’t happy and how a chance finance class in college turned his sights away from becoming a software geek into a dedicated financial fiduciary.
What I love about Zechariah’s passions and focus -- did I mention he also loves hiking the mountains and is moving to Colorado soon? -- is that he is right in the thick of not only what his fellow Gen Z professionals are experiencing in their work lives, but he’s also on the cutting edge of where the "ET Economy" is going.
The E.T. Economy
In my 2017 podcast The E.T. Economy: Disruptive Technology and the Behavior of Shopping, I made ET stand for two big concepts about the emerging economy of the 21st century: Exponential Technology as highlighted by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler in their books Abundance and Bold, and Experience + Transformation as we saw all sorts of new disruptive technologies changing industries and consumer behavior with new types of services, entertainment, shopping, travel, and mobile device capabilities.
In that piece, I explain how Meta Platforms META became such a juggernaut in digital advertising to compete with Alphabet.
I’ve also done several episodes on two favorite industries that overlap: gaming and artificial intelligence. Most people react “How do those overlap?” And then I simply explain that the deep R&D that NVIDIA NVDA and Lisa Su’s Advanced Micro Devices AMD do with GPU semiconductors for gaming consoles and PCs has driven the deep learning and machine learning revolutions.
And Jensen Huang at NVIDIA was building the architecture for the Omniverse long before Zuck dreamt of his Metaverse.
This is the world many of Zechariah’s clients live in. Either they grew up gaming, and/or they now have creative software roles in industries from hyperscale AI datacenters to SaaS startups. And all of this is where the next big growth is coming from in the Technology Super Cycle.
In 2018, I talked about “The $100 Billion Cult: Video Gaming and Youth Culture” and now that market is approaching $200 billion this year. Microsoft thinks it’s such a big part of the ET Economy that they were willing to bet $68 billion to swallow up Activision Blizzard ATVI.
Be sure to check out the podcast where we also get a great tutorial from Zechariah on how he works with his clients in the Advice-Only framework. You can learn more about the man and his practice on his LinkedIn profile.
Disclosure: I own shares of NVDA and AMD for the Zacks TAZR Trader portfolio.
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