More Than Money
Issue #25

Working with Financial Professionals

Table of Contents

“Those Who Share Our Financial Dreams”

I was an idealistic 23-year-old when, in 1980, I inherited not only a share of my grandmother's portfolio, but also the Wall Street advisors who had managed her investments for decades. "Don't interfere!" they warned, when I expressed a tentative interest in social screening. "We've been in this business longer than you've been alive. We can't afford to be constrained by your concerns." One of my first acts of financial responsibility was to find new advisors--ones who not only knew their business, but who also listened respectfully and supported my social values.

Many of us who read this journal have financial dreams that step outside of the traditional aims of growing and preserving capital. We may seek for the ways we earn money-from investments to our employment--to actively support the kind of world we want for our children. We may repeatedly ask ourselves the elusive question, "How much is enough?" and aim to use whatever surplus we define in creative, strategic philanthropy. We may have open and vulnerable discussions with our parents or children about estate planning, or loan significant money to friends, or choose to give less wealth to the next generation rather than more, or in innumerable other ways step outside of long-held family and society norms about the "proper" use of wealth.

Blazing new paths is not always easy. Having sufficient, supportive, and competent professional help can make all the difference, enabling not only more peace of mind, but also the integrity we seek between our deepest values and all aspects of our financial lives.

Given how hard it is to even find car mechanics we can rely on, how do we find professionals we can entrust with much more sizable assets? What do we mean by "trust," and what helps to build a solid and enduring relationship between financial advisor and client? With car repairs you find out soon enough whether your vehicle is performing well or has problems, but how do you judge the performance of financial advisors? These are some of the challenging questions we explore in the articles and interviews featured in this issue of More than Money .

Since that first act of independence in 1980, I have changed investment managers two more times, and each new relationship has been stronger than the last. Yet, working on this issue of More than Money , I've realized I could get more help from a wider variety of professionals and educate myself to be a better-informed and more proactive client. I hope this issue encourages you, too, not to settle for "good enough," but to get all the help you need to birth your fullest dreams.

--Christopher Mogil  


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