Editor’s Letter: Advisor Value Add, Avocado Toast & 529s

By Paul Curley | paul.curley@strategic-i.com | July 28, 2017

Thoughts of the Week from Summer Vacation 2017

Source: Paul Curley

529 Dash – Week of July 31, 2017

This summer, my family rented a house on Faria Beach for vacation in Ventura, California. This gave me the time to rest, eat avocado toast and watch the waves while thinking through the long-term trends in the college financial planning industry. Watching waves reminds me of my childhood when I would help my grandparents run the family hotel 100 yards from Misquamicut Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island. In addition to learning about and helping the family business of the Seashell Motel, the downtime while at the hotel provided the opportunity to watch the waves as they cycle in and out. Watching the waves again during the 2017 vacation week in California helped me to relearn the pattern. Also, it reminded me that one step or one foot can make the difference between the pleasure of riding the wave and the pain of getting one’s bell rung by the wave. As such, experience is one of the best teachers.

Similarly, most financial advisors have watched the financial waves of helping hundreds of families over the years. In turn, they have learned what the key turning points are for building and losing family fortunes. What are best practices, and bad habits? Advisors have experienced the glory of achievement and the pain of failure firsthand hand-in-hand with clients. The wealth and waves come in, the money and waves go out. Time, and time again. Inversely, too often clients only see one or a few waves on their own and get crushed by the waves. In turn, they are left with a lasting negative experience and look for things to blame. For example, as has become popular in the press recently, one may argue that avocado toast is taking all of the Millennial’s income that could be reallocated to paying down debt or investing in appreciating assets. How much of a financial impact is this? Advisors would know. Advisors know how to ride the financial waves based on their knowledge and experience, and helping your clients to take ownership of the preparation, process and outcome is where you as an advisor can add value to your clients in the college financial planning process. Help your clients to ride the wave to generate and accelerate wealth creation, and have the conversation with your clients today.