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Finding An Asset Manager To Weather All Seasons (One Who Understands The Art of Asset Management)

Updated: Apr 23

In our experience, an asset manager who can “weather all seasons” has three distinct traits. They understand the art of investing, the art of client management and the art of decision making. We like to call this the Art of Asset Management.

The media and advertising have conditioned us to think there are easy answers. The truth is figuring out the big when/if retirement question is complex. Many firms design their ads to exploit your fears and anxieties. Yet, somehow they all arrive at the same place. It sounds like, “When it comes to making financial decisions, it is all about the numbers.” And guess what? How lucky you are! They seem to have cracked the code to helping you find your number. This is an all too familiar refrain.

We understand how confusing and frustrating this can be. After all, if it was that easy you wouldn’t be sitting here reading this article.

People often show up in our offices looking for simple and easy answers. We do our best to answer every question in a straightforward, honest way. We like to slow things down. We like to invest the time to get to know them. Work to define their specific “question” before attempting to answer or make recommendations. We want to make sure that we understand their situation before giving advice. I don’t care what you read or heard, there are no absolute, simple answers to asset management. We think the Art of Asset Management has three parts: asset management, client management and the art of making quality decisions.

The Art of Investing

For example, investing is not a science, it is an art. There is no book you can buy that can teach you the “art of investing.” The best you can hope for from a book about investing is commentary and perspective.

The art of investing is more like a recipe than a science. Every recipe requires certain ingredients, measurements and procedures for combining the ingredients. Change any one ingredient, the amount or change the way you “cook” and your results will vary. The same is true in asset management. You just want to make sure that you don’t become someone’s investment recipe “experiment.”

Like any great chef, a talented asset manager knows how to make the most of the task entrusted to him. He knows the ingredients he or she has to work with. Has enough experience to mix and combine them to get the desired result. Like a chef, we work with our clients to keep their recipe current. And ensure the best possible “retirement experience.”

The Art of Client Management

There is a subtle art of knowing how to work with people. It is the “soft” skills of how an asset manager works with you that can make all the difference. The connection you have. That you feel understood. That you know they understand what makes you tick. Your dreams, plans and priorities. That their approach to managing your assets makes sense for you. Here at Halter Ferguson this is the foundation of the work we do. It shapes all our decisions, the people who work here, investments and how we go about serving you.

The Art of Decision Making

The key trait in a good asset manager is equilibrium. While the entire investing universe seems to have lost its mind, you want your asset manager to remain calm. Maintain a sense of balance and rationale.

Like the fireman who runs into a fire when everyone else is heading for safety. The best asset managers run against the herd. They have a unique personality and perspective. This is what allows them to assist you in making a quality decision. They have a calm demeanor when the heat is on. At first glance they might seem a tad boring and soft spoken. Appearances can be deceiving. Like an iceberg, 90% of what an asset manager knows doesn’t reveal itself until you look beyond the surface. Until you start asking them questions. This is when you will begin to see and hear their depth of knowledge, experience and wisdom.

Like many professionals, they make decisions based on principles and priorities. The best are more than willing to take the time to answer your questions. Willing to invest in educating you because they know it will help you make quality decisions. The true advocates will fight for a strategy they believe is in your best interest. Remember, these are principled people and are not easily swayed. They work with you to ensure you understand their strategy and approach. To help prevent you making common, costly investment/spending mistakes and avoid money crises.

You aren’t doing yourself any favors if you decide to manage your own assets. People who do often end up sacrificing their financial goals by making those costly investment and spending mistakes. These mistakes are usually avoidable. If you want to rest easier at the end of the day, register for and watch our masterclass titled Retirement Made Easy-4 Steps to Create Financial Peace of Mind.

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