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Experience & Youth - The Perfect Combination

Jonathan Burton of The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article entitled, "Older but Wiser: Middle Age Is a Prime Time for Finance". In the article he cites scientific research on cognitive function that paints middle age as something of a golden age. He asserts that not only financial judgment, but social skills and general well-being reach a zenith as people cross the half-century mark.

He quotes Harold Evensky, a 69-year-old financial adviser based in Coral Gables, Fla. as saying, "The older you get, the smarter you get. I think I am a significantly better practitioner than I was 10 or 20 years ago. That comes from experience and from the fact that I continue to read financial journals, talk to people and teach a graduate course". Burton goes on to say that it is not uncommon to find professionals like Mr. Evensky going strong well into their 60s and 70s - and proud of it.

Dr. David Haibson, a Harvard University professor and researcher in this area says, "Age brings us the ability to contextualize, the ability to find the right analogy, to see what worked in the past and what didn"t. People with decades of experience in the financial markets are in the best positions to get it right".

According to Burton the research indicates, "It"s true that the ability to analyze, process and retain new information - what scientists call ’fluid intelligence’ - peaks around the age of 20. But another type of smarts, ’crystallized intelligence’ - otherwise known as experience and knowledge - actually builds with age".

Like Evensky, I am without a doubt a better advisor and portfolio manager today than I was 10 or 20 years ago due to my years of experience, hard work and commitment to continuous education. On the other hand, I strongly believe that to create a truly dynamic professional team in this business you need the right combination of youth and experience as well as the right combination of natural abilities among team members.

At Financial Alternatives, Inc. we"ve created such a team. Both A.J. and I have over 20 years experience, Chris has 13 and Ellen has 4. This combination of youth and experience - as well as each of us having different natural abilities - makes us a well balanced team. Chris has long since made an enormous contribution to the effectiveness of our firm, and Ellen has also already greatly improved the service we provide our clients.

And after reading this article it’s nice to know that even the most senior members of our team are still in their prime and will continue to be for years to come.