Who Are You Recruiting for Your Team?

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I follow college football and there is not bigger day than signing day.  That is the day coaches find out which players they recruited will play for them.  It’s a tough gig, depending on the whims of 18 year old athletes.  But most important is trying to evaluate what high school players will develop the skill set you need for your team.  You need to do the same thing.  You need to evaluate who has the skills you need for your team? You don’t have the same issues as college football coaches in finding players for your team.  You can deal with adults who have a track record.  But you still have a good degree of uncertainty.

Despite the “do-it-yourself” movement, financial success depends upon having good people around you.  What makes a good person?  First of all, honesty.  Someone who will give you all the information you need for a decision, the good, bad, and ugly.  Someone who will stay with you and advise you in a rapidly changing environment.  Someone who will not sugarcoat it.

Next, is technical expertise. There are a small percentage of people in finance that really have the knowledge and experience to accurately guide you.  Most are merely salespeople.  Search out those exceptional folks who have the expertise and ability that puts them on top of the dog pile.

Finally, is communication.  It does you no good to have someone on your team that you can’t get a hold of.  You should be a priority of your team members.  Attorney’s are famous for this.  Having a good attorney that doesn’t get back to you with your questions is the same as having no attorney.

Putting together a good team is critically important to financial success.  Don’t be afraid to shed folks who aren’t doing the job you expect them too.  Creating a team is an ongoing process.  Folks that work for you in the beginning might not be the same as who you need as your finances mature and you gain experience.

Most importantly, remember you aren’t in this alone.  Once you get your team together use them to help you reach success.  The best leaders recognize that putting together a team is critical for their success and listening to their advice is part of having put together the team.
Photo: bibendum84

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4 Comments

  1. Great article. There are so many members we need for a good real estate investing team. It’s hard to find the good players (we’ve kissed a lot of frogs) and, at any one time, we have both good and bad.

    It’s a constant evolution and we look for good players All The Time!

    Thanks, David.

  2. Picking a good expert definitely can seem like a catch-22. I wrote on my own blog about the trick here, because you are seeking someone that knows what you don’t know, and yet, you it’s up to you to glean if they have the expertise you need.

    I think too many people pick their experts based on fees, which sends people totally in the wrong direction. You’re constant drum beat of digging up the evidence is what has really turned my investing around. Once I started looking for evidence, I got a lot smarter and started finding other people (like Jeff Brown and you among others) that could show me evidence of what REALLY works. From that point, fees were irrelevant, because net results are finally moving in the right direction.

    • Greg, you are absolutely correct. This may seem a little self serving, but the mainstream financial advice industry has really created a straw man with the fees argument. Low expenses or high expenses doesn’t mean anything with a losing strategy. Paying a fixed fee or paying a commission on products the same. And from what I have seen, there is little difference in the advice given between fee only advisors and commission advisors.

      • About four years ago, I was on the phone about to hire an investment advisor. One of those fee-based, not commission based ones. I thought I knew what I was doing. My decision was being driven by a book written by this advisor, and I now realize I wouldn’t have been hiring the author of that book, but instead his firm. I would have been assigned one of his people, not him. But with his name branded on it, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the difference.

        Looking back I realize that I dodged a bullet. Because almost all my net worth was tied up on a 401K at my old company while I still worked there, and wasn’t really up for grabs for “rebalancing,” they couldn’t offer me any services. Thankfully, it languished until I changed jobs and was finally able to plow it into real estate investments with Mr. B. Guy.

        Today, I realize that basing your investment plans on people that have written books isn’t using evidence. I laughed yesterday when I listened to a certain radio financial advisor answering a Roth 401K question. This guy mentioned he offers Roth 401K’s to his own employees and has one himself. I know this guy is not retiring on 401K funds, but instead his book sales, radio advertising contracts, and real estate he owns (albeit unleveraged). His sheer business equity is what is making it possible for him to retire comfortably, not mutual funds in a 401K.

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