The People Side of Investing

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA, CAIA, MAI

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This entry was posted on Oct 7, 2014 12:53:00 PM

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people side of investingOne of the joys of my job is that I’m constantly learning new things. A great way to do this is to go to a conference, listen to smart people speak, and then sit down and chat with them. That’s what I’m doing right now at Commonwealth’s National Conference.

This is one of the highlights of my year, largely because of the people involved. You’d be hard pressed to find a better group, both personally and professionally. I’m grateful for the chance to listen to these folks, learn from them, and then talk with them into the night. Besides being great people, these are very savvy advisors, deeply experienced in the financial markets and in working with clients.

Inevitably, an attendee who doesn’t work at Commonwealth will marvel at both the overall quality of the conference and the caliber (and sheer niceness) of our advisors. Apparently, we stand out in both areas.

I don’t write much about my employer, but I can’t help but do so today. Each time I go to a Commonwealth event, I’m reminded how much who you work with matters. Even in quantitative disciplines like economics and finance, it really is about the people.

The takeaway here for investors? You don't need to settle for working with difficult people. As our conference shows, it's possible to find financial advisors and service providers who are a pleasure to deal with. Not only does working with such professionals make your life more enjoyable, it can lead to better results—by helping you stay engaged in the process and really trust your advisor's recommendations.

Given the intensely quantitative nature of the industry, it’s easy to push the people aspects aside. But that’s a mistake, not only for lifestyle reasons but also in terms of performance. 

Nice guys actually can finish first, as we’ve proven over and over again at Commonwealth. At every conference I attend, I’m struck by how lucky I am to work with intelligent and truly pleasant people. I hope you can say the same.

Upcoming Appearances

Tune into NASDAQ's Trade Talks on Tuesday, July 7, at 2:00 P.M. ET to hear Brad talk about the mid-year outlook. Watch at https://www.nasdaq.com/news-and-insights/tradetalks

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