Welcome! Thank you for visiting Advisor in the House, where I share with you insights gleaned from over forty years of personal and professional interactions with others. I encourage you to join the discussion. Please share your thoughts and experiences. Ask questions. Think. Feel. Imagine your practice transformed!

Golfing legend Gary Player often tells an audience his secret to positive, purposeful living. Says Player: “Every morning when I get up, I look in the mirror and say to myself, ‘Gary, today you can be happy, or you can be miserable.’ I choose happy!” What about you? What if your whole day—maybe your life—depends on the choice we make and which choice the client in front us made earlier in the day. What are

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My guess is that your practice may include single, widowed, and divorced individuals. The numbers are telling: single adults in the United States now comprise slightly more than half the adult population. That number is growing.  For younger adults, being single poses unique challenges. My under-40 single friends and family members tell me that finding a social, spiritual, or leisure affinity with peers is anything but easy. Social media promises instant community. Finding that community

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Far more than any advisor is comfortable admitting, we serve senior clients who have challenges with their adult children. Just imagine; the adult children I’m talking about are Baby Boomers with kids of their own!  When one of these senior clients calls with a problem concerning their “children,” I listen. I say, “Let me think about that and get back to you in the next couple of days.” I call back, gather more information, and

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We are professionals in a highly people-centric, story-shaped, often misunderstood business. My experience bears witness to a public that imagines financial advisors are primarily stock traders and CPAs who spend entire careers only crunching numbers. To move beyond these errant images demands a focused commitment to becoming more, not less, judgeable, likable, engaging, and yes compassionate. I continue to benefit from the work of Columbia business professor Heidi Halvorsen, author of No One Understands You

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Some months back, I came across an article in The New York Times by Bruce Feiler titled “The Art of Condolence.” I have written about this topic here before, but he had me re-thinking it, remembering how important it is for advisors to get this right as we reach out to clients going through loss. The article identifies seven bullets to keep in mind when we express condolence.  Of the seven, three bubbled to the

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I came across an online Forbes article by Robert Laura titled “When Couples Argue About Retirement” that snagged my imagination. The 2015 article shares links to a starting-point questionnaire. That instrument has both partners answering retirement lifestyles and time management questions. Other open-ended questions focus on mortality, values, and family. In the article, Laura raises an issue that, for most of us, is the elephant in the room when we talk with clients about retirement

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The caring advisor (and others who want to know their history) chooses to invest time, energy, and reflection in coming to terms with his or her personal story. I think every advisory training program should dedicate an entire day to focus on self-awareness. Everyone in class would be asked to write a two-page autobiography focused on people and experiences that have shaped their formative years. Parents Who were my parents? What memories do I have

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Carey sat in my office a couple of weeks ago to discuss an investment in his retirement. During our time together, I suggested a strategy not only for this contribution but for those that would follow in the next several years. Once he decided, he said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about a question you asked me months ago.” Leaning in a bit, he continued. “You suggested I ask myself not what I am retiring

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There may be no more difficult and demanding family challenge than caring and providing for a special needs child. Over the last 40 years, I have been with couples in the hospital when they first learned their newborn had Down Syndrome or another cognitive disability. Families face every day a focus and discipline few of us ever know when caring for a child who might have cerebral palsy or some other physical challenge. At 13

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In the early 1970s, my generation was experimenting with competing lifestyles. Rock and roll had morphed into heavy metal, and many moved to the beat of Janis Joplin, Cat Stevens, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. Some of my friends were dangerously using illegal, even lethal psychedelic drugs such as LSD, heroin, and speed. Others had escaped from the confining cage of parental expectations; instead, they hit the road to explore America! Hair was long;

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Free Download

Crafting a Life Story


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It is very rare when I discover that a deeply talented A clarion call to lead with purpose, Cadence of Care offers a wise and practical guide to deepening and enriching client relationships.
-Robert B. Seaberg, Ph.D. Intersect Consulting, LLC
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Tim Owings understands what all the great ones know. People who trust you are far more important than all the product knowledge in the world.
-Don Connelly, Don Connelly Associates
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The concepts Tim Owings shares in his book provide a comprehensive blueprint to integrate into practice.
-Marc D. Miller, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business, Henderson State University