So, a fun thing to do is to try to figure out how old the “Young X” is in whatever hobby/interest you’re looking into. I joined SPUR when I moved to SF, and qualified for their “young urbanists” group, because apparently “young urbanists” are up to 40. I heard from someone that “young opera-goers” are up to 50. Hah!
Anyway, I kinda like thinking about money, and I get the impression that “young people who will take time out of their day to talk to a banker about investments” are up to about 50 also. And bank people are like “why don’t these irresponsible Youths think about money more???”
Dudes, as a profession, you can totally get The Youths. But you’re totally blowing it.
1. Don’t start the conversation with “when do you want to retire?” A. as soon as possible, and B. I don’t have a damn clue! I could literally see myself retiring at 37 or at 95.
2. Don’t ask about my goals. The world is so uncertain that my goal is to make a bunch of money and then see what I can do, when I get there. Imagine setting a goal, in 2005, that you’re going to buy a house in 10 years. Good luck!
2. Let us take more risks. We all know that the stock market goes up 6% a year if you can deal with huge swings. Assume we can deal with huge swings.
3. Back up all your numbers. We don’t trust you. We need to be able to derive all this junk down to first principles, because we know that you probably don’t 100% have our best interests at heart. And that’s ok! Let us do math, and we’ll decide how much to trust you. All your fancy software you wrote, that runs on like Silverlight ActiveX Java applets and tells me what percent chance we’ll have of retiring at our chosen time, we do not trust; we usually know how much sand all those models are built on. (and if we don’t, we should.)
4. Don’t call me on the phone, please? A phone call is reserved for either A. a scheduled thing; B. a literal emergency; or C. a company we hate. Email is fine. That’s how corporations talk with humans.
5. Relatedly: be good at doing the basics. I want to be able to like, deposit, withdraw, buy and sell things, and that is it. If it takes me 5 business days and two phone calls to do that, bug off.
6. Ah forget it, just close up shop and let Wealthfront and Betterment eat your lunch. Whatever.
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