Planners Progress: Through the Jungle and Over the Gorge

Veres, Bob
January 2003
Journal of Financial Planning;Jan2003, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p30
Academic Journal
This article presents the author's view on the financial planning profession. In the book that I just finished, I poured every important thing I have learned about where the leaders of the next cyclical evolution will be doing for and with their clients. The basic thesis of the book is that we are at the end of one professional cycle and the beginning of another. At each of these endings/beginnings, the profession radically reinvents itself. In the cycle that had just ended, the asset management service was at the top of the menu. If history is any guide, within two years, three at the most, asset management will no longer be a significant generator of income, and something else will have taken over as the top-of-the-menu service. There is a fairly well-grooved path of success in our profession, which hardly ever gets written about. I see a relatively small number who seem to be way ahead of the rest. My best estimate is that this elite group of advisors has fewer than 2000 members, just two percent of the total planning population. In the beginning there were 100 planners. As they journeyed along the road their progress depended on how much those people would pay them for their services. In the end, only 20 of the original 100 planners decided that they would test the gorge and cast their financial fate to the gods and the forces of altruism. As the journey continues, the 20 bravest practitioners came to a fork in the road. Until they only became eight. These eight were well ahead of their peers, both those who were moving up the mountain and those who were taking the longer, more difficult path on the other side of the first chasm. Then there were only two. The two spent at lest ten percent of their time thinking about the road ahead, and reading what others had to say about where to proceed and what to avoid. Sometimes this two advisors will receive e-mail messages from other advisors.


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