• Roshan Loungani

Helping People is As Important than the Money You Make for Them

I started in the financial services industry thinking that my job was to make my clients as much money as possible. While I still think this is important, I have learned that this is only a part of the job. I started working as a Financial Advisor in 2000 and in 2008, I decided to start a hedge fund. The idea struck me as I was reading Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein. In the book, Lowenstein details how Buffett started the Buffett Partnership which was essentially one of the first hedge funds. I still remember exactly where I was when I read this passage. I wanted to do something similar and be the next Warren Buffett.

The fund did well for the first few years, then we took a big hit in 2012. In about 2 months, the fund erased its gains and took a loss of about 40%. The losses were painful. I had about 70 investors, I met with almost all of them in person to discuss the losses. The investors included my parents, my family, friends, people I had worked with for over 10 years.

The meetings were as painful as the losses. I had to relive the losses every time, and in addition to the losses, I was confronted with how I hurt each one of these people.

Most people were very empathetic, which made the process more painful. I felt like I lost money for them, and they were more concerned about my wellbeing than the money I lost. At that point in my life, I thought my job, my worth, was determined by how much money I made my clients.

One of the lessons I learned through this is that the legacy you create is based on how you impact people’s lives, not how much money you can make for them. This caused a fundamental shift in what I wanted to do professionally and how I wanted to impact the people who trusted me enough to allow me to help them.

I still want to make as much money as I can for my clients, however I also want to have a greater impact on their lives. I started helping my clients figure out what they want to accomplish in life and then helping them find the path they needed to take. This is something I had not done in the past. This is important because it helps them transition smoothly into retirement. Previously, I started working with my clients by creating a financial plan. This would determine how much money they needed. Now, I start by asking my clients questions to determine what they want in life. We then look at their finances as a tool to support this vision.

I feel as though I am really helping people beyond the percentage gain of their portfolios. The portfolio gains are important, but so is having a happy retirement. The process to get here was more painful than I would have liked, however I do not know if I would have made it to this point without the pain.

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Arete Wealth Advisors LLC and Arete Insurance Agency LLC are affiliates of Arete Wealth Management, LLC. Advisory services offered through Arete Wealth Advisors, an SEC registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Arete Wealth Management, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC and NFA.

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© 2018 by Roshan Loungani, CRPC®.  Vienna, Virginia

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