Aligning Life & Wealth: Life Beyond The Numbers

Michael and Zach Conway talk about what it means to live a life beyond the numbers. As financial planners, they guide families away from the things that cause emotional distress and toward the things that actually provide happiness–toward Aligning Life & Wealth.


Speaker 1: A few months back, we asked a prospective client one simple question, “What do you think we do for our clients?”

Speaker 2: And we’ve been thinking about his response ever since. Because without hesitation, he said, “You guys put my money in your portfolio.” He actually told us a lot in that short answer, because he was really telling us that only our returns would decide if we got hired or fired.

Speaker 1: First, we recovered from our bruised ego, then we took a step back to reflect. We knew our value proposition wasn’t about whether or not the market was up or down, but why didn’t he know what we had to offer? We realized that his misperception was not just of us, but of the entire industry. A lot of investors are just looking for an advisor to build a portfolio that beats benchmarks. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the portfolio actually makes sense for that particular client.

Speaker 2: We also realized that we, as the advisors, created this view of our value. Every advisor on the planet talks about delivering peace of mind through advice. But rather than actually advise clients, we let them focus on things that cause emotional distress. We develop plans that we know will secure a client’s financial future. So why do investors still believe that basis points will define their happiness?

Speaker 1: To be very clear, we build cost-effective, tax-efficient, and well-diversified portfolios that we are certain align with each client’s risk tolerance and long-term goals. But when we look at all the things that really make us happy, basis points and portfolios aren’t on the list. Instead, science says that we find happiness in things like solid marriages, enjoying work, our health, and having a true sense of purpose.

Speaker 2: Some clients seemed unhappy regardless of portfolio performance. So we started to ask them about passion. And we found out that no one had ever really asked them about this before. So in starting the conversation, we began to guide clients away from daily routine and to consider altering the course of their lives for the better.

Speaker 1: We’ve realized that helping families live happier lives is much more important than what the talking heads are saying on CNBC. As an investor, would you rather stare at your net worth on your iPad or explore a new hobby, take the job you’ve always wanted, or go travel with the kids? We want to lead families towards aligning life and wealth, and toward living a life by design, and not by default.

Speaker 2: So in that vein, we’re setting out to prove that portfolio returns alone will never define happiness. Instead, we need to quantify not just investment gains, but gains in the enjoyment of work, health, relationships, and purpose.

Speaker 1: It’s time we built a tribe of like-minded advisors and clients that understand the importance of life beyond the numbers. So ask yourself, are you aligning life and wealth?