I have been in a unique position this year, as chair of the National Advisory Board of our broker/dealer, Advisor Group (AG). This is a new board for AG, and quite an unexpected role for me, especially in 2021. After the challenges of 2020, I was squarely focused on getting back to “normal” this year, even though I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like. When I was asked to chair the new board, I agreed with one stipulation – my work had to improve the experience that investors have with our industry.
I commonly hear people say, “I could never do what you do – I’m not a numbers person.” My response to that? Sure, we have lots of spreadsheets, market research, and economic analysis flowing through our office every day. But that’s not what we do. What we do is to help our clients figure out how they can use their money to serve the lives they want.
A big part of my “job” as Board Chair has been to help the people that work at Advisor Group – which serves 10,000+ advisors across the country – to understand the profound nature of the work that we advisors do one-on-one with individuals and families, from moms and dads that want to be good stewards, to business owners who need guidance, to women and men who need a confidence boost when they are making decisions on their own. I have carefully watched where my colleagues in my firm and in other independent firms at AG “meet” our clients – in both moments of joy and crisis, at the death of a spouse, at the birth of a child or grandchild, at the idea of a new business, at the completion of a “bucket list” experience. Some of our favorite moments are when a client says to us, “Once you showed me that I could [retire / take some time off / start my own company / sell my company], I realized that I was ready to do it. And then I did it.”
I am extremely fortunate in a multitude of ways, from the family I was born into, to having my own family that I adore, and living in a city, state, and country that I love. But I am especially fortunate to get the chance to work with so many clients that both share their lives with us and trust us. I have learned so much from you about what life success looks like, how to raise a healthy family, and being humble enough to ask for help when you just don’t know the answer. I am intent on building a team of “next gen” advisors whose mission is to bring our clients’ goals to life, and I deeply appreciate all of you being an integral part of that process. Now, with my role as Advisor Group advisory board chair, I am able to take the elements of our relationship – and what you deserve as a client and investor – and share it with 1000+ employees who serve thousands of advisors, who serve thousands of clients.
As you gather with friends and family over the next week, I hope you have plenty of reasons to be thankful. We know we do.
With much appreciation,
Debra Brennan Tagg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and the creator of the DBT360 Financial Plan, a proprietary program that helps her clients prioritize their goals, leverage their resources, and address their risks. She is the president of BFS Advisory Group and teaches the public and the financial services industry about the importance of values-based financial planning and investor education.