15,000 first dates

Scott Brown

Scott Brown

Yeah, I get around. No, you scandalous “Real House Wives of Orlando”–watching ne’er do wells. Not that way.

I figured out the other day (without fingers and toes, mind you) that in my 30-year career I’ve sat with clients and/or prospective clients over 15,000 times to discuss their finances. I’m tempted to say I know it all. Problem is, I still don’t.

You’d think after that many conversations with that many people, I’d have heard it all. Nope. Once or twice a week, someone presents an issue that’s either altogether unique or at least in some way different from others I’ve dealt with in the past.

Fact is, you crazy people all have your own stories. Each of you thinks about money in your own, different way. Sure, some things are common among you: Most of you largely under-save and overemphasize things you have no control over (some of you worse than others).

That said, you each have life experiences you are bound to, and you each have your own tolerance for stress. One thing I’m good at (there’s gotta be more than one, right?) is knowing how folks will likely react emotionally to stress — in particular to stress associated with money.

I can tell, usually within an hour of meeting someone, who’s gonna hang on too tight to the club. We golfers know we should have a loose grip in order for the clubhead to release and push through the golf ball. If we hold on too tight, the club will of course not release — and that’s how windows get broken and golf clubs thrown. (You know who you are.)

One of the many things I’ve learned from those 15,000 meetings is who’s gripping too tight. I can see it a mile away: “Scott, what’s going to happen with the economy?” “Should we get some out and keep some in?” “Should we bury our money in the backyard or build a bunker for the coming apocalypse?” “I hear Apple’s good, but Steve Jobs isn’t there anymore. How ’bout Microsoft? My cousin thinks that’s a good one.” “Netflix?” “Amazon, yeah. They don’t make any money, but they have drones.”

Crash, boom, bangsplash! (That’s our metaphoric golf club landing in the water.)

Oh, these poor people. It’s hard on them. They want to take the risk out of a risk decision. They want to earn 20 percent without any potential hiccups, not realizing the hiccups most likely are what will earn them that return (if they’ll just hold their breath and let them pass).

These people believe if they just think hard enough and/or read the right publications, they will unlock the mystery that is financial success.

Many never change, and such folks do not suffer me (the fool) for long, because I won’t stop telling them to relax and let the club do the work.

To be clear, 15,000 meetings have not yet taught me how to predict the day-to-day gyrations of capital markets. What they have taught me is who’s gonna need a new set of clubs every few months.

“‘On your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me.” — Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack” (1980).


Scott Brown, Financial Advisor

Keiron Partners

720 Rugby Street, Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32804




Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. 

Keiron Partners is not a registered broker/dealer, nor is it affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services. Opinions expressed are those of Scott Brown and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., its affiliates, officers, directors or branch offices may in the normal course of business have a position in any securities mentioned in this article. This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein.

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