Trust But Verify All Financial Advice | James River Advisors
“Trust, But Verify”
– Ronald Reagan, December 8, 1987
Although he was talking about nuclear disarmament at the time, Ronald Reagan’s message becomes more relevant to everyday life with each turn of the calendar. Once upon a time, everyone agreed that trust was the foundation for any successful long-term relationship. Your word was your bond, and you were nothing without it. These days, trust seems to have taken a back seat to a “whatever I can get away with” mentality.
Several industries have developed a reputation for destroying the trust of their customers. Unfortunately, most surveys show that the financial services industry is one of the least trusted industries in America today1. The only industries that consistently score lower are journalism and politics – hardly a flattering comparison.
It’s unfortunate for firms like ours because it makes everyone in our industry look bad. It’s unfortunate for people like you because there are few things more important to your life than who you choose to help plan for your financial future. Your financial choices are more important than your choice of mobile device, the places you’d like to travel, or the brand of car, clothing, or shoes you prefer. It is critical to understand that your financial security is a predicate for things you value most in life.
This is NOT to say that money is the most important thing in life. Family, happiness, and health are three prime examples of priorities that usually rank above money itself. However, the point is all of these things can, at times, be dependent on your financial security. Money is one determining factor in your ability to provide opportunities for your children and freedom for your spouse. Happiness may be a challenge if your dream is to travel the world but you can’t afford to travel at all. It also won’t be easy if you can’t stand the thought of working one more day at your current job, yet can’t afford the time off to look for another job (much less retire one day). With the cost of healthcare today, your ability to maintain good health can be dependent on your financial resources. Sure, exercise can be free, and eating healthy is only marginally more expensive than not, but preventative care is expensive and most people still encounter health problems eventually.
Most of us have heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness” more times than we can count. But regardless how well-intentioned this phrase may be, it’s also important to acknowledge that it will be difficult to achieve happiness and peace of mind without adequate financial resources to pay for the things you need, much less the things you want. If we can agree on that, then we can also agree that you need someone you can trust to help you achieve financial security. Yet the very industry you need help from is only considered honest when compared to journalists and politicians. It shouldn’t have to be this way.
The good news is, it does NOT have to be this way, and we intend to do our part to prove it. As part of this effort, we are launching James River Advisory Insights, intended to provide transparency regarding our approach to doing business. We will be posting original, internally-created content we think you might find interesting or helpful. We will also be posting content from other sources when we think it might be relevant, useful, or informative to our readers.
While we believe you’ll find value in the content we share, we also acknowledge some of the content may not be relevant to your specific circumstances – and that’s ok. It may be relevant to a family member, friend, coworker, or business associate with circumstances different from your own. If you are sharing directly with someone you know personally, please feel free to forward any of our posts, links, or other content to whomever you think may benefit.
Our primary goals will be to:
- Educate you on financial matters
- Keep you informed with current events
- Provide guidance to help you through life-changing events
- Introduce you to our investment management process
- Inform you of lesser-known opportunities
- Alert you to hidden risks
We believe that through providing valuable content and transparency, we can help you verify that your trust in us is well placed. If you think this could be valuable to you, we encourage you to check back with us regularly. We also invite you to follow us on social media: or contact us via e-mail.
We always welcome feedback from our readers. Unfortunately, due to current regulations specific to our industry, we are required to disable public comment functionality. However, if you would like to comment on a particular article, suggest a guide that could help people like you, or request an update regarding any specific topic, please contact us here.
- According to a 2016 survey from Ipsos MORI
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James River Advisors is a registered investment adviser in the State of Virginia. The content on our site is for informational purposes only and should not be considered an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any specific investment or investment strategy.