by Matt Oechsl
Many so-called experts are giving their 2016 predictions. Brace yourself for volatility – be prepared for a downturn – and so on – all focused on the short-term. However two financial gurus, Larry Fink and Warren Buffett, are long-term thinkers (read the interview with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in HBR November 2015). Fink is “on a crusade against short-term thinking” which he refers to as short-termism.
Kudos to Mr. Fink for providing HBR with an extremely insightful interview; which was the inspiration for this article. Using hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s alleged response when asked what made him great, “I skate to where the puck is going to be.” Not that we should put our heads in the sand regarding the short-term, but financial advisors would be well served by paying more attention to where the “financial advisory puck” is going to be long-term, or at least three to five years from now.
I’m not pretending to have a crystal ball, but we have a decade of research on affluent consumers and elite financial advisors. After thoroughly reviewing our findings, studying the trends, confusing myself - ha, and then finally breaking through to the fresh air of simplicity, I’ve broken this long-term approach into the three components, to borrow a geometric shape; vertices of an equilateral triangle.
I could add a fourth, embracing excellence – but excellence is a constant running through all three vertices.