Well Coached!
Asking the right questions is how Brendan Magee helps investors attain true peace of mind
by Robyn McCloskey

While many of us are familiar with the term and role of a traditional financial planner, far fewer are likely familiar with the term “Investor Coach.” Brendan Magee, president and founder of Drexel Hill-based Inevitable Wealth Coaching, has devoted his career to helping investors attain peace of mind with their money and investments through Investor Coaching.

The goal of his coaching is to help investors achieve focus, clarity and complete confidence in knowing exactly what it is they are doing with their money and investments and why the decisions they have made are the best for their set of circumstances.

Brendan is one of 30 original pioneers in the field of Investor Coaching, dating back to 1991. After graduating from Temple University with a degree in journalism and finding it difficult to break into the country’s fourth-largest market, he landed a position as a financial services representative with a firm in Radnor. After about four years selling insurance policies and financial securities products, he had a lot of questions in regard to traditional financial planning that, frustratingly, weren’t getting answered. As the returns of one mutual fund after another were going on a continual rollercoaster ride, he kept having the same unanswerable questions: “Why doesn’t a mutual fund’s performance persist? I thought that the fund managers we were promoting had a skill that made it logical for people to invest with. Where is the magic?” Wary of the practice of promoting certain funds one week, only to be told that there was a “better” family of funds to promote the next week added to his frustration and confusion. Brendan said he was always left wondering: Well, what’s wrong with the funds we were pushing last week? What makes this week’s funds so much better?

Brendan got to the point where he said he couldn’t in good conscience “sell something to people that I had personal doubts about.” It was during this professionally conflicted time that he was invited to learn more about the field of Investor Coaching. In the process of becoming educated in the ideals of this discipline, he discovered his passion, as well as his professional calling. In just one day, he said every question he ever had about investing and every question he never would have thought to ask about investing was answered. He became a firm believer that peace of mind wasn’t going to come to investors until they started to ask the right questions. He clearly saw what was happening to investors: They are continually given the right answers to the wrong questions. As a result, they continue to pay a terrible price for it: They are led to make decisions that are in the investment industry’s best interest, not theirs.

Among the questions that need to be asked are: Can you effectively measure all the costs in your portfolio? Can you measure risk in your portfolio? Do you know how markets work? Do you have a way to measure success or failure in your portfolio? By learning how to answer crucial questions such as these, investors gain the clarity and the ability to verify that what they want to be done with their money is being done. The peace of mind that results from this is the No. 1 priority of an Investor Coach, according to Brendan.

He stresses that coaching isn’t for people who need it; rather, it’s for people who want it—and wanting it is the key factor. His favorite moment while coaching is when he can see the “light bulb” flick on in someone’s mind, when they see the following: that there is nothing complicated about investing; that it works very differently from what they see and hear in the media; and that, if they follow a few simple rules, they can always have successful investment experiences.

“With a traditional financial planner, the investor’s success or failure hinges on being in the right product, meaning a stock, a bond, a mutual fund, etc.,” he says. “There is some attention paid to goals, but the majority of the time is devoted to a product. That’s why the ads [for these products] refer to an investment’s track record as the justification for switching from one product to the other. Coaching takes the position that an investor’s success or failure is solely dependent on the investor, and all coaching does is help an investor to see what they might not have been able to see on their own.”

Brendan’s favorite question to ask clients is, “What is your true purpose for your money?”  One might think that this is a question strictly about money, but that would only be partly correct. In helping clients to discover their true purpose for their money, Brendan is actually trying to help people discover the true purpose for their lives and how they want to use their time, energy, resources, money, and so on. “This question isn’t so much about goals as it is about values,” says Brendan. “This is where the magic starts to happen and you see the spark come into people’s eyes. When people clearly see what they are after, it is amazing how quickly they begin to experience peace of mind.”

Interestingly enough, Brendan’s answer to this favorite question might be a little surprising, considering it’s coming from an Investor Coach. His true purpose for money is love and generosity. Here’s why: For him, life is an expression of love and generosity. He says he does his best to adhere to these values. For this he credits his Roman Catholic upbringing, as well as his parents’ lifelong example of freely giving of themselves and their resources. “It’s just what you do,” his father once told him. “When you look at all that God has blessed you with,” he says, “how can you not be generous?”

For more information on Brendan Magee and the wealth-coaching process, visit his website, www.coachgee.com or read his blogs on www.delcotimes.com. His webcasts are available for viewing at coachgeetv.blogspot.com, and he can also be seen every Tuesday and Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. on WMCN TV’s “The Dawn Stensland Show.”

Inevitable Wealth Coaching
3350 Township Line Road
Drexel Hill, PA 19026
610-446-4322 | www.coachgee.com

Photograph by Alison Dunlap