I’ve finally built a website for my financial services business, and to go along with it, I am initiating a blog. Many of you would be surprised to know that my wife Kelsey and I invented blogging.Way back in 2002, we made a road trip down to Fort Lauderdale, FL for a swim meet and then took about 3 weeks afterwards to make our way back to Minnesota. We stayed with family and friends, visited lots of cool places, and we kept everyone up to speed about our adventures with an on-line “diary,” or what you would call a blog today. We used AOL to host the page, and we did it all ourselves. I remember being super proud of adding pictures and graphics to go along with the text. What blows me away about the advances in technology since that trip is that we used my dad’s digital camera to take pictures. Nowadays our phones or digital cameras have those MicroSD cards which can store pretty close to a billion high resolution photos. Back then the storage was a floppy drive. And when I say floppy drive, I mean the 3.5” hard disks, not the actual floppy ones from the 1980s. If I remember correctly, each disk could hold about 4 photos, and then we’d have to eject it and put in a new blank disk. Once we ran out of disks, we had to put the disk in the laptop, move files from the disk onto the computer, and then we could start taking pictures again. Nowadays, if I fill up the storage space on my phone, I just upload the pictures to the cloud, and we are back in business. I actually was able to find my favorite picture from that trip and have attached it. It is Kelsey (my wife now, but we were just dating at the time) as well as our favorite Dr. Seuss character at Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando.
Similar to advances in technology, the financial services industry has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Back in the day, your average person didn’t really care about or follow the stock market. S/he had a pension and social security, and that was enough. Both were guaranteed income streams, so “who really cared what the market did?” Well, companies got smart and realized that with people living longer, these pension liabilities were becoming a huge issue on their balance sheets, so they began adopting 401(k) plans. They still offered money to their employees for retirement, but now it was in the form of a match or profit sharing, and more importantly, they shifted the risk of not having enough money from the company to the employee. All of a sudden, everyone cared about the stock market, so a person of influence saying something in a speech somewhere in Arkansas had a much larger impact on the markets. People are paying more attention. And with more people caring about and investing in the stock market, it has paved the way for more people in my profession. This has also led to dramatic changes in the ways we interact with clients. It’s no longer a phone call from a stock broker with shouting in the background. It’s clients meeting with advisors at fancy offices, the client home, your local Caribou Coffee or Starbucks, or various other options. It’s been fascinating to be on this ride for the last 16 years, and I’m super excited to continue.
Anyway, back to my website — you’d expect a product of the “Oregon Trail Generation” would be an early adopter of technology, and believe me, I have been. It’s just that with my recent transition from Thrivent to the independent world, and then with my previous broker dealer being acquired by LPL Financial a little over a year ago, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to develop websites and blogs. I’ve been spending my time seeing clients, getting their accounts set up, and managing those accounts appropriately.
So, what am I going to be blogging about, you ask? Well … just about anything. I’ll certainly be doing my fair share of financial services types of posts, but I’ll also include other topics, such as travel or sports. And if the Gophers make the College Football Playoffs, then God help us all, because I will have content for years! Mostly, I’ll try to talk about things that are timely. Maybe I’ve met with a client who is going through some sort of life experience, and there may be concepts from which we all can learn. Maybe I see some changes in the industry, and I want to get the word out as to how those changes can affect your investing situation. Or maybe someone cut me off on my way to work, and I want to complain about all that is wrong with society these days. I’m an open book, so I’ll try to be that way on-line too!
Now we have come to the end of my first blog post. Thanks so much for reading. If you have questions/comments/topics you want me to discuss, please feel free to reach out. Until next time…
Jeff Hackler : www.cornerstoneassetmn.com