I spent some time this past weekend reading a book by Timothy Sykes, a young hedge fund manager and entrepreneur. If you aren’t familiar with him, Tim made a name for himself by turning a small stash of Bar Mitzvah funds into a small fortune during his freshman year of college. He spent the following several years beefing up his reputation, registering as a hedge fund, and grappling with “growing up,” all at the same time. I found the story to be quite intriguing, as I’m sure you will as well.
I keep my checking and savings accounts with a major corporate banking chain. For compliance reasons, we’re going to call it “bank X.” At least once a week I stroll inside my bank for some reason, whether a deposit, withdrawal, transfer of funds, etc. I’ve noticed that during approximately 20% of my visits, a smiling young “personal banker” (wearing a suit which matches the bank X logo) wishes to have a word with me. It happens so frequently that I’ve started saying yes just to see what it is they have to say. I figured the collection of conversations could lend itself to a good blog entry. Well, here it is. The irony, of course, is that these young and inexperienced bank employees are told precisely what to say when they pitch the bank’s clients. It’s very unlikely any of them could teach me, a research-obsessed financial planner with a published book about finding unbiased financial information, anything which I consider to be valuable or new. In fact, nearly every word they breathe has me cringing with disagreement and questioning their honesty and integrity. Bottom Line: Banks are good for checking and savings accounts. Be extra careful about letting them manage your investments