The Watchman.

$4 trillion is a massive number.  Vanguard recently surpassed $4 trillion in client assets.  By comparison, the market cap of Apple is $710 billion.   Vanguard was founded in 1975 during the oil embargo recession and grew by putting the interest of their clients first, a novel concept on Wall Street in the mid-seventies.

Vanguard is named after the 18th century battleship the HMS Vanguard which means “in the forefront.”  The firm was led by the legendary investor John Bogle who was in the forefront of the index revolution having started one of the industry’s first index fund.  His idea wasn’t well received and the fund got off to a slow start.   Today it’s one of the largest mutual funds in the industry.[1]

A watchman is one who stands guard and is hired to protect others.   A watchman should be faithful, trustworthy and put the interest of others first.  Vanguard is a watchman for the financial services industry.

How can you find your own watchman to help you with your finances?  Here are few suggestions.

  1. Look for an advisor who is a fiduciary. By law a fiduciary must put your interest first.  A fiduciary must act in your best interest and disclose any conflicts of interest.
  2. Find an advisor who holds the Certified Financial Planner designation. An advisor who holds the CFP designation must go through years of study and pass a rigorous two-day exam.  They must also undergo continuing education.
  3. Work with an advisor who has an easy to understand fee schedule. The fee schedule should be easy to comprehend and one that does not break your bank.
  4. Identify an advisor who has a servant’s heart and returns your phone calls and emails in a timely fashion.
  5. Seek an advisor who owns investments he recommends to others.
  6. Discover an advisor who shares similar values to your own.
  7. Hunt for an advisor you can trust.

He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.  But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.” ~ Ezekiel 33:5-7.

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.

February 15, 2017



[1], Vanguard Website accessed 2/15/2017.

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