Having spent the last fifteen years learning about finance and the last five working professionally with Millennials, I've had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge on a number of fronts. I realized, for one, that while it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the mechanics of markets and of various financial instruments, successful investing is first and foremost about clear thinking—about certain “habits of mind.” Many serious investors like George Soros, Ray Dalio, Warren Buffet and Howard Marks talk about how much they learned from successful athletes (e.g. the way Ted Williams approached hitting a baseball). I started to see how fundamental habits of mind, and of routine, were common to success in a wide range of fields, and in the art of life itself.
The “art of life” might seem like an esoteric concept for a financial advisor. But my second, bigger realization was that I was going to have to remake the kind of service I provided for Millennials even more than I had first thought. It wasn’t just that Millennials have been entering the job market at a bad time (they have); or that they think differently about money, purpose, and the connection between life and work (they do). Life itself—its rhythms and milestones—was changing. And I had an opportunity, and an obligation, to rethink my ideas about what it means to be a financial advisor.
It was through this process of challenging and pushing myself that I conceived of the idea for Grow. In The Millennial Advantage, I had outlined the nuts-and-bolts of solid investing; and for younger clients ready and able to embark on what we call “wealth management,” I wanted a program to help them put those principles into practice. But what about Millennials weighed down with student debt or those who simply have yet to start saving and still trying to find their way in the world? Those who think of “financial planning” as something that can wait until their late forties? More than wealth management, that kind of client needed life management.
Millennials sometimes get a bad rap as “the generation that refuses to grow up.” But postponing milestones like marriage or buying a home, and even choosing to live with parents for your twenties or part of your thirties, isn’t immaturity—it’s a rational response to economic reality. Yet postponing these milestones shouldn’t mean postponing financial planning. Your twenties and thirties are a critical time to lay down a foundation for long-term financial wellbeing; to develop good financial habits; and most of all, to invest in yourself.
“Invest in as much of yourself as you can,” Warren Buffett is fond of saying. “You are your own biggest asset by far.” But what does investing in yourself actually mean? Reading self-help books and going to the gym?
During my research for The Millennial Advantage and this company, I dived into the latest findings about productivity and peak performance and tapped into the minds some of the most successful people in history. Again, a lot of it came down to developing the right habits—habits of mind, and habits of routine. Similar to superior investing, it was about process.
Grow, then, is a holistic service designed to give you the tools to create value and wealth—and not just the kind of value and wealth that shows up in your bank account. Your twenties and thirties are a time to build financial capital and human capital. At Grow, we believe those two processes should go hand-in-hand. We’ll help you design a powerful, diversified financial portfolio, as well as a powerful, diversified life portfolio. We like to think of ourselves as the missing link between financial security and fulfillment.