“Using trust as a competitive advantage, modern firms are guided by transparency, ownership of attention, and consistent communication with current and prospective clients. We call them Naked Brands.”
Sorry for the click bait…what I should have said is Why I Want RLWM (soon to be RLSWM) To Be A “Naked Brand”…but that wouldn’t have been as attention-grabbing.
Early in my career I knew starting my own financial planning and investment management firm was going to be a part of my gameplan; the restriction of corporate compliance and management was only going to be tolerable for a little while–long enough for me to pay my dues, learn the business, have my CFP® designation paid for and build a core group of clients for whom I was their financial advisor, not just a financial representative. After that, there was little a large corporation could provide me. The health benefits, 401(k) match and job security were not enough to keep me from being the advisor I wanted to be: an advisor with no limitations, as many conflicts of interests removed, no restriction on expressing my personal investing and planning beliefs, and the ability to create content to add the amazing financial blogosphere. The independent world is where I needed to be…it’s where I could build my own Naked Brand. I didn’t coin the term “Naked Brand”, that can be attributed to David Perell and Conor Witt in their post on Medium titled “Naked Brands: The Future of Finance” (link below).
I was fortunate enough to see the writing on the wall years ago that my industry was going to head in a different direction; clients would no longer only be interested in investment advice, but they would want financial planning.The advisors and firms who understand this will be the ones to survive–it’ll be non-negotiable. I had no idea how quickly the tides would change, but I knew I wanted to be a part of that change. This vision was perfect for me because I never felt I could do an adequate job on the investment management side without having a financial plan. I needed to know where the client wanted to go before I could build the portfolio; financial planning was always the foundation of my relationships with my clients.
I share this article because I want consumers, investors, clients and really everyone to know there are advisors focusing on removing conflicts of interests, being transparent, providing education (both in meetings and in writing), and creating financial plans focusing on all areas of a financial household, not just investments or insurance. If you unsure of what camp your current advisor falls in, read the article below and see if they sound like the firms highlighted. If they don’t, seek out an advisor who does; it’s easier than ever to find them!
I also share this article as a bit of a timestamp: RLWM is still in its infancy stage…it’s only 2 1/2 years old. I’ve tried hard to create a culture with my firm that falls under the definition of a Naked Brand, and that was before I knew of the term. I fully believe the firms fitting this definition will be the ones making the greatest impact on the lives of their clients. That is where I want to be! So, consider this my declaration to stay naked and to continue to build RLSWM into a Naked Brand.
Shoutout to my friends at Ritholtz Wealth Management, along with two of my favorite writers, Morgan Housel and Meb Faber, for the recognition; keep paving the way for the little guys!
I don’t care if RLSWM is ever included in an article like this–but I want my clients and myself to be able to look at my firm and say I fit this mold!
— Justin Castelli (@jus10castelli) December 5, 2017
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimer page.