Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Problem with Retirement Planning

When it comes to retirement and investment management we think the mass market "product" is also outdated and illsuited for the times and times ahead. For starters, it relies on a flawed theory, is backward looking and passively managed. It charges excessive fees along the way while individuals bear the risk and receive very little in return unless the tooth fairy shows up.
Go to buy Unconventional Success, by David Swensen, the YALE endowment manager, he'll set you straight. The only people making money with this approach today are those still selling it. P.T. Barum would be proud. You didn't just lose money in

What Went Wrong

It seems poetic justice that the old Wall Street for MAIN Street will be remembered for being BULLISH on commodes. Total MERRILL was total Bull****. It was the Citi Model - a hand in every pocket and too big to fail. Citi was marketed as a supermarket, it was built to be a ShopVac. The only grocery item in the store was Kool-Aid. It worked well, the only problem was, there was nothing left to vacuum, it has to go to Washington to keep filling up the bag. Capitalism is about putting you competitors out of business, not your customers. Anybody without a vested interest, has already left town. BOA is the same deal, that's why they are paying retention bonuses to expand their plumbing department, Wells Fargo is now right behind with Wachovia's subterranean engineers. They still don't get it, it's the culture STUPID.

It is still about distributing "products', "making" transactions, "gathering" assets and pulling the wool over your eyes. It is still about getting bigger to survive, not better to compete., it's still upside down. The World has changed, evolution has passed them by. The model is not sustainable in the 21st century, all the value goes out the back door, it constantly needs fresh meat to survive. It serves no purpose other than its own. Therein lies the problem. They don't get it. We don't need you. Capitalism is about putting your competitors out of business not your customers.

That's just my opinion, I could be mistaken but look around, how can this happen, something is very wrong.

A wise man once told me, In the 21st Century, any company or industry that does not manage its business backward from the consumer experience forward will go out of business. The financial services industry is no exception. The intangible world may be more complicated to understand, but it is no different. Tht seemed to make sense.

The 21st century is about providing best fit solutions and delivering results, it's all about ALPHA, providing value to the consumer not seeking it from... It requires a different structure, mindset and culture, to develop and deliver customized solutions and the products and services that people are attracted to. Think about the "new" IBM or the original "DELL". The process must start from the bottom up to create UNITY of PURPOSE and translate that to the bottom line, that's value assed and you are entitled to your part. That is Capitalism and nobody on MAIN Street ever had a problem with that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The great risk created a preatory opportunity for wallstreet

bring the value to the front end

cut out a layer of fees and add a layer of alpha on the front end to deliver more value to the client

they call that a double whammy.

god knows there's plenty of fat in the system

created a modular format that fosters competetion on your behalf.

what you are witnessing now is the transformation of the banking system

the role of the advisory firm
the role of the quality advisor
the role of fund managers
the role of the overlay manager
the role of the custodian
the role of technology providers
the role of the planner
to work together to provide value to the front end.
the old system is simply uncompetetive in the new world

it evolves by competing to add value two can of coke to the consumer must think it through from that perspective