Coaching: A Different, More Empowering Approach
Brendan Magee, owner and founder of Inevitable Wealth Coaching, helps clients avoid common investment pitfalls
by Jenny Graham

Brendan Magee is quick to note that he is not a financial advisor or planner. “What I do is not financial planning,” Magee begins. “I am a coach.”

Rather than peddling a roster of products to clients—bonds, stocks, mutual funds, etc.—Magee, as a coach, offers what could easily be considered the most valuable and elusive skill in the finance world: sound teaching.

Interestingly, Magee, a Temple University graduate, started his career as a financial planner. After a few years of going through the same roster of investments and strategies with each client, and being encouraged to advocate policies and investments he came to realize were not in the best interests of his clients, he decided to take his career in a new direction.

He asked himself questions pertaining to why certain mutual funds would be touted one week and scorned the next, and why all advisors were espousing the same approach to success. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that he felt he had no choice but to pursue a new career path.

“Why did I switch from financial planner to coach? Quite frankly, the reason is because I was tired of the problems I saw the financial planning industry creating for people,” he says. “It just kept to a formula, which is very much a ‘bait and switch.’”

For example, Magee explains that the three most widely promoted investment strategies, stock picking, market timing (knowing when to “get in” and “get out”) and track record investing, which relates to, essentially, betting on money managers with stellar records of performance rooted in the previous five, 10 or even 20 years’ worth of performance. Magee notes, however, that this approach is deeply flawed.

“What the industry is doing is turning people into speculators and gamblers,” he says. “People are looking at the past to try to figure out the future, and nobody can reliably, consistently predict the future. It’s not investing; it’s gambling and speculation—the same as a casino or racetrack, and those are activities where the expected rate of return is zero.”

Magee notes that one of the most unpredictable aspects of investing comes from trying to predict the reactions and emotions of people themselves. The stock market and stock prices have already factored in all the currently knowable and predictable information that exists in the world. It is only unknowable and unpredictable information and how people react to it that moves the stock market and stock prices. 

“You don’t know, nor does anyone else know, how 6 billion people around the world are going to react to news and information that hasn’t even happened yet,” he says. “For example, on September 10, 2001, people had no clue what would happen on September 11. If people knew, the market would have reacted on the 10th. Amazingly, it is this out-of-whack system of speculation and gambling that people place their and their family’s financial security at the mercy of. Be it 401(k) plan or IRA, this is what is at the root of those accounts.

“The problems I became aware of back [in the early 1990s] have only gotten worse,” he continues. “There is a tremendous conflict of interest. If I’m an investor, I want truth, clarity and confidence, but the investment industry doesn’t make any money by giving that to me. They only make money by selling a product or when my money is moving from place to place.”

Magee knows the investment industry’s agenda very well; before he started his life as a coach, he worked in the same world he cautions his current clients away from. “No matter where I go, it’s the same,” he says, citing a number of highly well-known companies. “They say, ‘Here’s a track record of top performers or funds; invest here.’ There’s no understanding of, ‘What are the rules are for long-term success?’ And there’s no effort to monitor that those rules are being followed.”

Such dilemmas, Magee explains, are why 25 years ago, he found himself “at a crossroads.” Magee could not get answers to a number of vital questions—questions he wanted answers to, not just for his own edification but so that he could feel assured he was acting in the best interests of his clients. “One minute there would be a top-producing mutual fund that would be all that people were talking about and directing people towards,” he recalls. “Then all of a sudden … we’d be telling clients to move on. That left me scratching my head, asking, ‘What makes the funds we’re investing in now better than the ones before?’ Plus, ‘What’s wrong with those we’re not selling anymore?’”

Magee explains that, in spite of the fact that free market capitalism is the system that has driven the United States to its status as a superpower, the investment industry—and those charged with keeping it running, oddly enough—act almost entirely in opposition to this system. “Free market capitalism has produced the wealthiest country in the history of the Earth,” he says. “But that’s not the story of investing that people get.”

Magee’s approach is quite different, stressing that it is the investor and their behavior more than anything else that will determine whether or not they experience peace of mind with their investing. Products do play a part in their success, but that is not going to play as big a factor as what an investor does or doesn’t do, or allows or doesn’t allow to be done with their money. Magee says that one of the greatest benefits an investor coach can offer a client is the wherewithal to ask vital questions pertaining to their finances. This is what is going to help investors gain focus, clarity, confidence and peace of mind.

“What I do as a coach is help people figure out what are the questions they need to be asking,” he says. “By helping people ask the right questions, they can see their blind spots. This is the hard part about coaching; it’s easy to blame the market or a politician. The most difficult part is taking a look in the mirror and having the investor say, ‘Oh God, I am a major part of the problems I have been experiencing. I am responsible here.’

There’s good news and bad news in this revelation for investors. If the problems are self-inflicted, then the cures are within the investor’s grasp as well.

For those who don’t get offended at having their flaws or shortcomings exposed and who are truly committed, Magee can help them produce a breakthrough. He can help them learn and see exactly what they need to do to wake up every day, knowing they will have a successful investing experience. With a coach, “investing and peace of mind are within the investor’s control, and they are not dependent on anyone but themselves. This is not the norm for most investors.”

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

Catching up with ‘Coach Gee’
“Coach Gee” doesn’t keep his forward-thinking approach to investments just between himself and clients. He shares a trove of valuable insights through a number of highly accessible means, including his blogs at; his webcasts, which can be viewed at; and his appearances as a regular contributor on WMCN TV’s “The Dawn Stensland Show.” Also, he has just completed writing his second book, “The Investor’s Bill of Rights,” which will be available in late August of this year.

Photograph by Felicia Perretti