Your adviser will never make you rich

Sometimes, usually in bull markets, investors’ ideas about how investing works become skewed towards the aspirational, a term I learned from Ashvin B. Chhabra’s excellent book on markets.

Aspirational investments are those that have the potential to change your life. An investment so good, so impactful, for instance, that you buy a new house. That you quit your job, or help your parents retire, or pay for your niece’s college. Life-changing.

Exciting, right? Yes. I’m with you. Unfortunately I’m not here to write a how-to guide on getting rich, because that is not my job.

"Why not! You are an investment adviser, aren’t you?”

The reason I can’t make you rich is that I am unable to do so. Even if I gave it my best shot, there is a 99.999% chance that I would fail. (I would apply the same likelihood to all of my peers.) Thus…I am not going to try.

Aspirational investing is extraordinarily difficult. The idea that I could make 20, 30, or 50 clients independently wealthy is really fun and inspiring. I would love to do that. But I can’t. My job is to recognize that I can’t, and perhaps also recognize that you are quite unlikely to do so either.

Nothing so undermines your financial judgement as the sight of your neighbor getting rich. - JP Morgan

Boring? A let-down? I agree. But please, please do not call an investment adviser (or worse, a broker) because you want to get life-alteringly rich, fast, via your investment dollars. It’s not our job because we can’t do it.

Robinson Crawford