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Who’s Got Your Back?


We all have people we look to for advice and people whom we trust deeply with our thoughts, feelings, money, fears and dreams.

These people could be loved ones, friends, family and professionals such a s doctors, psychologists, counselors and planners.

Naturally we don’t trust just anyone with our most intimate thoughts, feelings and dreams. These are reserved for those people that we feel have earned that privilege.

For the last week I have been working at my first residency for my PhD in Financial and Retirement Planning at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. One of the courses involves the subject of ethics – and not just a list of commandments of what we should do, but more of a mentality of what we owe to ourselves, loved ones clients and people we come into contact with on a daily basis.

There has been a lot of theory discussed from Kant, Mills, Aristotle, Bentham and Boatright to name a few. All of these philosophers have had thoughts and contributions to the world of ethics and virtue and have striven to make the world a “better place”. From the standpoint of the scholars in my class we’ve discussed how these virtues can be applied in our lives and how the World would act if it applied the same views.

It became quickly obvious that many theories can be applied and there is not one theory that is better than the other. We all have our own moral compasses – but my question is – what if we all did our best to be our best and treat other with our best?

What kind of World would that be?

In the financial planning industry, what would that mean for the industry? For the people that trust us with their livelihoods, dreams and fears?

I would argue that we would advance the financial planning industry from a vocation to a profession in the eyes of the people we serve. And that’s what we strive to do here. That’s why we embrace the fiduciary standard. That’s why we do what is best for our clients – even if it means they do that best with another company or adviser.

And that’s why we choose to do what we do. For Jim and I, it’s a choice, a duty, a pleasure – and an honor to serve our clients.



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