What Makes Any Money Manager Unique?

Earlier this year, I posed the question What is Your Value Proposition? One of the key aspects of that top 10 list reflected my beliefs about communication:

2. Communication / Understanding: Investment-related noise can derail even the most disciplined investor. We help clients screen out that noise through a program of client-only communications that focuses on process over outcomes.

Each month, we select a new bad idea where the conventional wisdom is wrong or misleading. We debunk nonsense, making it easier to recognize junk market commentary. Bad indicators, poor interpretation of economic data, geopolitics, cognitive errors, bias, myths, and more all come under our withering gaze. Each quarter, we hold a client-only quarterly conference call, where the most important market, economic and portfolio related issues are discussed.

This is a longstanding philosophy of mine: That to be a successful investor — or anything, really — you have to have a firm understanding of reality, and cannot be duped by nonsense. Because of this, our team spends a lot of time making sure clients learn the very important skillset of separating fact from “fake news.” You simply cannot stick with a long-term plan if you believe foolish, money-losing memes.

This concept was revisited this week by David Perell and Conor Witt. They had a very intriguing (and quite kind) post titled Naked Brands: The Future of Finance. Their exploration poses a simple question: Are Money Managers a Commodity? 

They note the following:

“Two firms, Cambria Investments and Ritholtz Wealth Management, stand out from their competition. Few firms command trust and attention like Ritholtz and Cambria. Through candor, authenticity, and consistent content creation, they are blazing the trail for future managers.

In 2016, Ritholtz Wealth Management was named one of the fastest growing financial advisory firms in 2016 by Financial Advisor Magazine. Four years after its founding, Ritholtz Wealth Management manages more than $500 million in assets. Called the “Wu-Tang Clan of Finance,” Ritholtz Wealth Management (RWM) is a collection of prominent financial bloggers. Barry Ritholtz, the founder of the firm, started blogging in 1998 out of frustration with misleading and superficial mainstream market commentary.”

The full post (go read it here)  makes the point that communication has changed over the centuries, and — regardless of your field — how you communicate with your clients and the public at large will dramatically impact what sort of resonance you have.

That simple idea is a key to what we try to accomplish through our communications. Being thoughtful, transparent, providing value add, cutting through all of the bullshit — this is what we try to do in all of our various mediums. It is not a business model or a designed plan — it is just who we are. It is very gratifying to see that it comes through . . .



Naked Brands: The Future of Finance
David Perell and Conor Witt.
Medium, December 4, 2017

What is Your Value Proposition?  (May 2017)

Why We Do What We Do. (April 2017)

See also:
Trust (December 2017)

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