The Watchman

Bill Parrott |

Vanguard recently surpassed $7.1 trillion in client assets, an enormous number. 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 at the time.  

Vanguard is named after the 18th-century battleship the HMS Vanguard, which means "in the forefront." John Bogel, the legendary investor, led the firm for years, and he was at the forefront of the index revolution, having started one of the industry's first funds, the S&P 500 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, and it has produced a total return of 14,470%. Mr. Bogel was a watchman for all investors.


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A watchman stands guard, hired to protect others. They should be faithful, trustworthy, and put the interest of others first. 

How can you find a financial watchman?  Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Find a fiduciary advisor. By law, a fiduciary must put your interest first, act in your best interest,  and disclose any conflicts of interest.
  2. Work with a Certified Financial Planner Practitioner™.  An advisor with the CFP designation must go through years of study and pass a rigorous exam. To keep the designation current, they must regularly participate in continuing education programs.
  3. Work with an advisor with a simple fee model and straightforward investment philosophy.
  4. Seek an advisor who owns investments that he recommends to others. 
  5. Identify an advisor with a servant's heart and who returns your phone calls and emails promptly. 
  6. Discover an advisor who shares your values.

Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. ~ Proverbs 8:34

November 16, 2021

Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM's custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren't suitable for every investor.