Similarly, I have found that many investors and investment professionals will openly admit that, when it comes to investing, they mostly “dabble”. Rarely does someone tell me they passionately and regularly put forth the necessary time and effort to achieve extraordinary results.
In my experience there are many investors and investment professionals who don’t really enjoy talking and/or learning about the stock market and investing – in great detail and length anyway. And honestly, that is why I have the privilege to write these kinds of articles and try to share my extensive investment background, lessons and experience.
Mistakes, Lessons, Experience
Two of my favorite sayings are;
- “Experience is the name we call our mistakes…if we learn from them”
- “Winners were once losers…who kept on trying.”
If you think about it, here is what happens throughout our investment lives:
- Our mistakes turn into lessons
- Our lessons turn into experience
- Our experience increases the likelihood of better decisions going forward
I firmly believe there is a direct correlation between investment success and experience. The harsh reality is that most investors and investment professionals receive very little investment education and experience throughout their lifetime. In fact, when I ask investors and investment professionals where they obtained their investment training and experience, they almost always say they have been “self-taught”. In other words, most people’s investment decisions can be largely attributed to:
- Reading or hearing about something that sounds like a good investment
- Drawing a conclusion that this investment will likely produce profits
- Taking action from their analysis or advice
Who is Responsible for Success or Failure?
Some investment professionals believe their job is solely providing advice and recommendations. In other words, they believe their clients are the ones who are ultimately responsible for their investment results.
On the other hand, some investors believe their investment professional should be solely responsible for their investment success or failure.
Regardless of “who’s to blame”, when a client makes the decision to entrust their hard-earned monies with an investment professional, they need to be fully comfortable and confident with our skills and expertise.
I firmly believe every investment professional should be willing to accept the responsibility for their client’s success or failure. When someone seeks our investment advice, counsel, and/or management, this means we have to be prepared to accept the risk when things go poorly, and of course enjoy the benefits when things go well.
What Makes You Different?
When it comes to choosing an investment professional, most clients are searching for the answer to this all-important question; “What makes you different?” As investment professionals, I believe it is absolutely mandatory to quickly, truthfully, and passionately answer this question (and others too).
For example, how would you respond if a prospective client asked you to extensively explain your:
- Investment history, background, and experience
- Current stock market opinion and outlook
- Long-term investment philosophy
- Strategy for analyzing the stock market
- Process for making investment selections
- Plan for avoiding large losses
Why Should Someone Hire You?
As investment professionals, I believe it is important for us to be open and honest – and face the music – when it comes to building an investment practice and career. To summarize some of the things we covered, here are some questions that matter the most, and that I strongly encourage you to ask yourself:
- Do you have a great deal of background, training, and experience in investing?
- Do you have a true love and passion for the stock market and investing?
- Are you eager and excited to work hard to become one of the top investment professionals in our industry?
- Do you look forward to studying, reading, analyzing, and talking about the stock market and investing?
- Are you willing to accept the risk and possible large losses by investing your client’s hard-earned wealth?
- As an investment professional, do you have a unique story, philosophy, and strategy for investing?
What makes you different from all the other investment professionals? If someone were to ask your clients why they should hire you as their investment professional, what would be their answer?
Helping people manage and grow their money in meaningful ways is an extremely challenging but rewarding career. Just like any profession, there are only a tiny minority who have what it takes to compete and succeed over time.
I hope this article helps you to rise above the competition and build your own dream – by helping others build theirs. Nothing good comes easy. But the key difference between failure and success is largely determined by the amount of time and preparation in planning for the future.
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