In thinking of the value that independent advisors like our cover story firm, Harbor Lights Financial, provide to their clients, I think of New Jersey. That’s not only because Harbor Lights Financial, as explored with insightful detail by Managing Editor Bob Keane in the article that kicks off our annual special report on the independent broker/dealer universe, is cleverly expanding its offerings and focusing better on its client base sweet spot, all on the Jersey Shore. No, it’s also because they are doing so, in the report texted to me by Scott Valenzano, Investment Advisor’s nonpareil art director, during their oh-so-cooperative photo shoot on the sands and jetty of Point Pleasant Beach, that “these guys are great; they’re just a couple of Jersey guys.”
For some people who like to denigrate the Garden State calling somebody a “Jersey guy” might seem like an insult. But for those of us born and raised here, that sobriquet defines a person by their down-to-earth approach to life, by their skepticism leavened with optimism, by their belief that no matter how difficult times may be, there’s hope for the future if you work hard enough, get educated, and take informed chances. New Jerseyans are used to the jokes, and reject both the pretensions of our New York neighbors to the north (if New York really is the greatest city in the world, why do its denizens have to keep reminding everybody about it?) and their snooty, most-obnoxious-sports-fans-in-the-world neighbors to the west in Philadelphia (send those cards and letters in, readers!).