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Listen Up, People!

By Jeff Spears | May 29, 2015

It’s that time of year again.

People are graduating from high school and college, and our social media feeds are lighting up with links to memorable graduation speeches.

All of this is an opportunity for introspection, but it also calls to mind the wisdom of Mark Twain, who said: “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

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My Eulogy

By Jeff Spears | April 30, 2015

 

In 1965, a great book was written by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik called Lonely Man of Faith.

To summarize in a single sentence, the book emphasized the importance of living your life not for external recognition, your resume, but for internal wholeness, your eulogy. 

The two main personality types discussed in the book – Adam 1 and Adam 2 – illustrate the rabbi’s point well. They are a parable about how we might conduct our own lives before it’s too late. 

Adam 1 is a profile in self-absorption, an individual devoted to impressing others with his worldly accomplishments. Adam 2 is an enlightened soul who understood what mattered in life. He was a happy and wise man. 

Many years have passed since the rabbi shared his insight, but not much has changed with regard to Adam 1. There are far too many Adam 1s running around and too many books written on how to become an Adam 1. 

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Why Do So Many Baby Boomers Dismiss Social Media?

By Jeff Spears | March 26, 2015

I was born in 1962, which puts me at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, defined as those who came into the world between 1946 and 1964. 

My adoption of social media also puts me at the far edge of my generation for another reason: I’m a fan of social media.

That’s not necessarily the case with my contemporaries. The common refrain I hear when I talk about social media: “I don’t do Facebook.” It’s said with the same disdain they have for illicit narcotics – “I don’t do drugs.”

Why does this trailblazing generation feel so antagonistic toward social media? Why do so many tech-savvy Boomers prefer not to share with their friends online? Why do they dislike a medium so popular with younger people?

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Making The Right Choice: RIA vs. Wirehouse Broker

By Jeff Spears | February 27, 2015

 

When it’s time to buy a new suit for work, I have two clear choices.

One option is to buy a custom suit from a master tailor near my office in downtown San Francisco. The other is buying an off-the-rack model from Joseph A. Bank or a department store.

As I was thinking about this recently, I was struck by the similarities between selecting a suit and choosing a wealth advisor – either an RIA or a wirehouse broker.

There actually is a lot more to that decision than meets the eye, so it’s worth comparing the two choices. Both types of suits – like both types of wealth managers – have their own merits. The key is ensuring that the buyer makes an informed decision.

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I Promise

By Jeff Spears | January 29, 2015


In our professional lives, it’s likely we’ll all face at least two to three crises.

When I was getting out of college in Texas, I experienced my first crisis – the implosion of the oil and gas industry. The crash in the oil patch, similar in severity to the industry’s current debacle, produced bumper stickers that summed the sentiment of the times: “Dear Lord: Give Me Another Boom and I Promise I Won’t Screw It Up.”

Boom Times Today

In the wealth management business, we’re currently enjoying a pretty good run. The market is near all-time highs, and the gloom of the financial crisis has worn off. Many people are feeling better than they have in a long while. Animal spirits are running free. 

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Case Closed?

By Jeff Spears | December 23, 2014

Case Closed?

I have been one of the 5 million people who have been fascinated by Serial, the phenomenal podcast that captured the imagination of America.

If you haven’t heard of Serial, you should download it now, listen to all 12 episodes and then read this post. Go ahead we will wait for you.

Many Lessons

In listening to the podcast over the past few months, I came away with three thoughts that are especially relevant to wealth managers, their clients and our communication gap with millineals.

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Tony, I've Missed You

By Jeff Spears | November 25, 2014

 

Welcome Back Tony - I Missed You

When I read that Tony Robbins had written a new book – his first in 20 years – it was like an old friend had suddenly resurfaced.

I hadn’t thought of Tony in a while, but I missed his guidance more than I realized.

Tony Robbins, a life coach and best-selling self-help author, made a name for himself by studying top performers and identifying common characteristics that made them happy and successful. Tony’s genius was translating that insight into a practical roadmap for exceptional achievement.

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Looking For A No Man

By Jeff Spears | October 28, 2014

 

Looking For A “No” Man

We have a lot of people in our personal and professional lives.

Unfortunately, too many of them are “yes” men and women. While “yes” people make us feel good, if we’re honest with ourselves, those relationships are shallow and unfulfilling.

Why?

Let’s look at the four types of relationships – family, friends, service providers and work colleagues – to see where everyone nets out.

Those Who Really Matter

First are family members. When a family is strong, family members aren’t “yes” people. They’ll tell you straight up when you’re going off the rails. They typically don’t pull any punches.

They have your best interests in mind, no matter how distasteful the advice may sound at the time.  Parents, brothers and sisters, your spouse and even your children – all can play an important part.

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I Dream of Gini

By Jeff Spears | September 26, 2014

I Dream Of Gini

The Gini coefficient was the brilliant work of Corrado Gini, an Italian statistician and sociologist. Created in 1912, the Gini coefficient measures the income inequality in a particular country.

A Gini coefficient of zero would mean perfect income equality – everyone makes the same. A score of 1 would mean a perverse level of inequality where all of the income is attributed to one person – a king indeed.

When Gini Is Good For All

Since the 1800s, inequality has been growing steadily, and the Gini coefficient has consequently risen. That occurred as capitalism flourished worldwide and transformed countries from agrarian societies to urban and industrial ones.

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Changing Jobs

By Jeff Spears | August 29, 2014

Changing Jobs

I write blogs to share the many lessons I’ve learned in my personal and business life and to remind myself of these lessons. As a blog writer, the good news is that this list of lessons grows every day.

One area of intensive focus in my career has been why people change jobs.

It’s a topic I know something about personally.

Over the years, I’ve recruited many people to new opportunities, and it’s the focus of my work at Sanctuary. I’ve also switched jobs myself eight times – seven by choice and one by demand.

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