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January 20, 2014

Don’t Be a Snob

by The 401k Study Group ®


I would venture a guess and say that most Financial Advisors have read the Peter Lynch book titled, “Beating the Street”.  I would also venture to guess that most Financial Advisors have NOT read the Gary Vaynerchuk book titled, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”.

Both men are “Best Selling” authors.  Both men are highly respected in their  industries.  They are also worlds apart in those industries, right?  The former manager of the massive Fidelity Magellan Fund, and the founder of Wine Library can’t have that much in common, can they?  Not sure if Mr. Lynch likes wine, they may have that in common.  But based on my knowledge of Gary, he is not looking for stalwart blue chip stocks.  So maybe the similarities end with wine.

After reading both books I was reminded that they have both leaned on kids they observe or come in contact with on a regular basis.  In Peter Lynch’s case it was his own children.  He writes, “Mary had initiated her coverage of the Gap in the summer of 1990”.  He also writes similarly about his family’s patronage of Clearly Canadian, The Body Shop and Chili’s.  You can find these on pages 152-159.  He writes that missed the powerful “buy” signals on “Chili’s”, “Gap” and “Clearly Canadian”.  Clearly the teen attraction was not enough to sway him.  He “was determined not to make the mistake in 1992”.

Gary, on the other hand quite plainly states (on page 9-10) that “Just because your teenage daughter and her friends are excited about a new platform does not mean that the platform is irrelevant to your brand”.  Just because you don’t see any value in it does not mean it is not worth looking into.  Furthermore, Gary states that when “20 million other people do, you need to do something with that information.”

Advisors need to pay attention to changes in social media platforms.  They may all not resonate with you immediately but you should pay attention.  The “teen effect” should not scare you away from nor discount their ability to impact your brand.

The one thing I hope you take away from this is that “Do not put your principles above the reality of the market” (Gary Vaynerchuk).  If 20 million people are using it, you may want to take a peak, even if your teenager and their friends are using it.

Photo Attribution to Jason A. Howie via Flickr by CC-4.0

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