Regularly getting a haircut
and carrying on conversations with "trusted" service providers opens doors to
interesting conversations and unsolicited advice.
When we are familiar with
someone, we often share ideas, talk about what's going on in our lives, and
bring up our job successes and dilemmas.
The other day, my barber, who
is very proud of his title as Master Barber, gave me another fantastic haircut.
During our time together I mentioned that the market has been very volatile,
and this is often a time that my clients question the performance of their
investments. I could see the excitement build in his eyes, as he prepared to
share his "guaranteed" investment advice, that he said with full confidence
that it could not fail. "Oil", he said, "buy oil companies because the conflict
in Israel was going to cause huge shortages world-wide."
I gave him time to share his idea, perhaps too much time as he went on and on
about this no-fail solution to succeed in the current market. Then I asked
which companies he liked, to which he didn't have an answer. I explained to my
barber that there are thousands of companies that have oil exposure and picking
the right ones isn't all that easy, and then I asked him if he had heard or
read about the economy and the likelihood of a recession.
There was a change in his
tone, as he said, "oh yes, absolutely, we are headed for a recession." Then I
asked him what typically happens in a recession, and he said that "the economy
slows down, and everything goes to south."
I explained that if the
economy takes a down-turn, maybe unemployment will rise, less people will
travel, less goods will be shipped, and there is a higher likelihood that oil
needs could be reduced - which would probably cause the demand for oil to
weaken and cause the price of oil to fall.
My barber thanked me for the
education and said, maybe oil isn't the best investment right now. I told him
that I appreciated his thoughts and let him know that he could be right with
his idea, but we never know for certain what is going to happen in the stock market
or geo-politics. Some advisors get it right occasionally, but nobody gets it
right all the time.
Master Barber is a title that
was earned, and my barber is without a doubt an expert in his field. I've trusted
him with maintaining my hair for years and will continue to recommend him to my
friends. However, for the same reason that I would never recommend buying sushi
from a gas station, I won't be acting on investment advice from my barber.
As with most professional
fields, a Financial Advisor's education doesn't end with their credentials, it
is a constant, demanding requirement to maintain and learn better ways to help
those who trust their advisor to help them make more informed financial
I've spent decades studying
the market, taking professional courses, earning an MBA in Financial
Management, teaching Financial Management at the Navy Postgraduate School, and
getting credentialed to put my education/hobby and passion for helping others
to work. I am a financial advisor and I practice wealth management to take care
of my clients. Many of my clients call me dad, because I am always there for
them when they want advice on whether to buy/sell their cars, houses,
airplanes, boats, stocks, etc. I don't always have the perfect answer, but I
always weigh the potential costs and benefits to help them make their decision
and Breathe Easier® about life!