The Blatt Watch by Peter Blatt: The choices of the past do not have to be the choices of the future

February 2, 2015
From the desk of Peter Blatt, J.D., LL.M. 

A potential client came in and said she was with her previous stockbroker (at a full retail shop) for 20 years and she left him because he stopped listening to her. She admitted he used to be great but did not adapt to the times. She made the change and moved her monies to Fidelity Institutional for me to help her manage. 

Her story reminded me of another conclusion I reach.  As many of you know, my brother Jonathan passed away on December 10, 2007. I still miss him. We use to talk every day of his life. 

When I think back on him and how he would respond to some of my decisions, I found myself wondering if he would understand the choices that I make.

One example is the idea in 2010, to let go of several long term employees. The main employee was with me for over 8 years. She had received raises and bonuses for her work and prior to 2008, she was a good fit for Blatt Financial Group. In 2008, I placed my clients into cash to avoid the downfall of the equity markets. The market has finally recovered and I am happy to reposition my clients back into investments in June of 2009. Because of the loss of income during that year and half, I needed to reduce costs to stay in business. I carried several employees and independent contractors during the full recession. When I final let go of one of my long term employees it was a choice between her salary and keeping my clients fully served. If my brother were alive, he would have said, “continue paying”. However, I have come to realize he never went through 2008, and he never watched markets crash as rapidly. I now believe that he would have understood and would have encouraged me to preserve the business. We are stronger for the decision. The lesson that I learned is that the wish of someone past were probably correct—at the time. As time moves ahead things change. In choosing the right financial advisor, it is important to understand that your long-term advisor might have been right for the past, but not now.

Peter's Signature

Peter Blatt, Esq., J.D., LL.M.
Attorney at Law
Blatt Legal, PLC
Registered Investment Advisor
President, Blatt Financial Group, LLC