[quote style=”boxed”]I think I would do very little differently with one exception, I would have found a love of history sooner. It really makes you think about how things came to be and why. [/quote]
Graduate of University of Maryland with a BS in Finance; former president of the Finance, Banking and Investment Society. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner. Active member of the Financial Planning Association: Practice Management, College Outreach, Membership Committee, Programs and currently an Executive Board member of the FPA NCA.
Where did the idea for Egan, Berger & Weiner LLC come from?
The idea of an independent financial services firm that engages a client in a fiduciary relationship was not new, but was in short supply in the world of financial services. In 2004, when I merged with Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC, the world of true independent advice was tiny and used to be exclusively for high net-worth folks. Today it can be argued that a fee-based advisory firm for the mass affluent is the fastest growing and most well-regarded segment in the financial services industry.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts around 7:30 to 7:45 am with email and daily periodical research most everyday. Some days there is a little writing. Communication is key for the practice of advice.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We have an advisory team of 6 advisors in our practice and we use brain storming and peer to peer debate and research style idea sharing. We have a financial advisory committee and an investment committee. This forces you out of the box away from tradition straight-line thinking.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Technology for the mass affluent. Financial technology, aggregation tools with social media technology and access to information. There isn’t control over the message that allowed big finance aka Wall Street to dominate the small investor like the past. But it poses a great challenge to an old school financial advisory practice.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am an insatiable reader and student of history. If you want to understand the future you have to learn from the past – what worked, what failed and why? (not just in business but in the world)
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I flipped burgers at McDonald on the midnight shift in high school in the suburbs of Baltimore . I use to watch the clock. I thought to myself if this is work I might not be cut out for work. That is when I realized I wanted to make something of my own and not work for someone else in a remedial task oriented job. You really have to learn what you don’t want to do in life too.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I think I would do very little differently with one exception, I would have found a love of history sooner. It really makes you think about how things came to be and why.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Play sports to learn be a gracious loser who doesn’t give up and develop a passion for things whatever they may be.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Education: We want clients to be educated enough to know why we give the advice we do so that they know that we are on the same team.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I once lost a fairly large client that led to the loss of 2 linked referrals because I didn’t say thank you for a referral. There were a few other issues for sure but the personal relationship was torn by the lack of consideration. I was so busy that I had forgotten how important it was to recognize your customers contribution to success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Retirement Success Coaching and Counseling – most people are not prepared for this life transition. It isn’t just about finances and numbers.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I used to write music and perform live venues.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use Twitter for research and communication. I use the cloud everywhere. I embrace mobility, however I am very concerned about privacy which is very hard to protect with the new technology. Password programs are a must and online data encryption technology and credit monitoring services are critical.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Art of The Long View by Peter Schwartz – being able to visualize the future is a critical element of being a successful entrepreneur.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Jack Welch, Friedrick Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ben Franklin, Amity Schlaes, Mises.org
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.