Wolfe Kobes Journal

July 2020 - Our Choices Matter

I learned at an early age that we always have a choice...to do what is right or to do what is easy/convenient. I remember when I was young my mom went to the store to get some groceries. When she returned home, she realized that the clerk had given her too much change back. It was only around a dollar, but she immediately got back in her car and went back to return the extra money. Even though our family was struggling financially at the time she always made sure to emphasize honesty and integrity and doing what was right, even when no one seemed to be watching. Today, in a world which is constantly tempting us to compromise, I am very grateful for those life lessons that my mom instilled in myself and my siblings.

I have heard it said that how you handle the smaller decisions in your life will end up determining how you respond to the bigger ones. Integrity and character matter. That is one of the reasons that I chose to work with Baird. There are a lot of good financial firms out there, but Baird puts an emphasis on hiring people who care about others and who will run an ethical practice, not just a profitable one. The SEC recently implemented sweeping changes to make sure that all advisors are running ethical practices and consistently doing what is in the best interests of their clients. I am thankful that we have been doing that all along.

The sweeping changes that the SEC has recently implemented regarding how we work with our clients is called “Regulation Best Interest” and went into effect on June 30th, 2020. You may be familiar with it. As I mentioned, it calls for people in the financial industry to always do what is in the best interests of their clients. That should not be a surprise or such a big issue but unfortunately it constantly must be addressed. In an industry filled with conflicts of interest and potential compromises, the SEC continually tries to implement rules that will help minimize those conflicts. What this means for you is that anytime we make a change in one of your investment strategies or invest new cash you will receive a disclosure that explains there might be potential conflicts of interest. It can be a fairly lengthy disclosure document, up to 170 pages, so if you have selected e-delivery for your Baird online preferences you will receive it electronically. If you have not selected e-delivery we will email you a pdf of the disclosure the same day that the changes are made, or the cash is invested. If you do not have Baird online or an email attached to your Baird accounts, you will receive it by mail.

Jean, Molly, and I always have and always will weigh what we are doing for you to make sure that it is in your best interests. We value the relationship that we have built with each of you. A relationship which is built on trust and confidence that we are putting your needs and best interests ahead of any profit or fee that is generated. We want you to ask lots of questions so that you completely understand everything we are doing. We always want to be transparent as well as educate you not only on why we are recommending the strategies but what the fees are on those strategies and how it compares to other strategies.

During this month where we celebrate our countries freedom and democracy let us take time to reflect on all that we are grateful for in our life.

Kurt, Jean & Molly

"May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right." Peter Marshall