A Few Thoughts at Year-End

Over the last 35 years spent in the investment business, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of young people. Two thoughts I often find myself sharing with them are these; First, remember that the most important year of your career will not be this year, but rather next year, and that anything you do this year should be with an eye on making next year not just possible, but better. Second, we are engaged in not just an honorable profession, but an incredibly interesting and challenging one. Any financial advisor who would bother to keep a daily journal for any one year would have material for a pretty fair novel. 

By way of making Iowa Wealth Management a better firm in 2021, we have invested more in training and system upgrades than in any prior year. At a time when most firms are walking away from their physical offices, we chose to invest more and upgrade our offices, specifically in the areas of the office we share (or soon will share) with our clients. In a year many firms and even nation states have found themselves vulnerable to electronic hacking and theft, we feel fortunate to have been unaffected. Our accounting consultant tells us that we are already spending four times as much as similar sized firms on cyber security and system upgrades, but just to be sure, we upgraded our systems again in 2020 and upped our budget for 2021. I like this business, Libby likes this business, and the Glaser Family has been well-served by our 53-plus years providing for our clients. We are happy to invest in the future of those relationships, good years or bad.

If I was to assemble my memories of 2020 together, there would be a lot of good. Iowa Wealth Management is blessed with wonderful clients, many of which we have serviced for decades and generations. It’s a pleasure to come to work. But, then, this was the year of COVID, and IWM did not go unaffected. People we know and serve got sick this year, some passed away. Working so closely with people for long periods of time, you get to know them well and they become your friends. I don’t think I’d care to write a novel about this year. Too much was lost.

The crisis also required we keep our distance this year, and it’s been terribly frustrating for us. We didn’t get to be with our clients enough this year, and folks, we miss you.

It’s been too long since I’ve driven my eastern or western Iowa routes to see clients, or flown to Arizona or Florida to visit our snowbird clients. There are people we’ve promised to help all across the state, and it’s time to get back to them. We are going to find a way. Science will help, but our ability to adapt, improvise and overcome will also play a part. In 2020 we made decisions and invested money in Iowa Wealth Management for the most important year of our firm…. 2021.

I look forward to resuming meetings soon.