I recently got an email from an advisor in response to my last blog posting: “What Advisory Firms Can Learn From Their Smokin’ Employees.” He describes a situation that’s pervasive in advisory firms, and one that more firm owners need to pay attention to: “I am the portfolio manager in a small advisory firm. I would add to your article another common problem. I spent several years trading my own accounts. I kept getting afternoon headaches. My doctor alerted me to the fact that I was getting dehydrated. I took essentially no breaks during the trading day. Once I started keeping a tall glass of ice water nearby, the headaches disappeared. In my opinion, periodic breaks accompanied by some liquid refreshment (water, Coke Zero, or even decaffeinated coffee) would help keep us all fresh, alert and more productive through the day.”
No, I’m not suggesting that we all put a bowl of water next to our computers. But I am suggesting that an owner’s experience at work is usually quite a bit different from many of their employees. Firm owners talk on the phone a lot, they meet with clients in an office conference room, they go out to meet with clients, referral sources and strategic partners, and they walk around the office to talk with their employees or just to see what’s going on. My point is that owner advisors’ jobs typically require that they get out of their offices and move around regularly.