This is a guest post written by Cordant Ambassador, Dave Unzicker
I joined Intel in 1984—and played witness to the PC and internet booms and Intel’s resultant explosive growth.
There I was, an employee of one of the most successful, respected companies in the world—and reaping the rewards of that success. However, I lacked the expertise to effectively manage my newly acquired wealth on my own.
Does this story sound familiar?
Having been scarred by the finance industry over the years, I was understandably leery when it came to getting help with my investments. I really needed to find a financial advisory company that shared some of the same traits and values that had made Intel so successful.
Cordant Wealth Partners
Luckily, I found Cordant Wealth Partners, a financial advisory company that shares these traits. Below I will outline them individually, explain how they have helped make Intel so successful, and how each is reflected in the way Cordant does business with its clients.
Data-Driven Decision Making
At Intel, we avoided decisions based on emotions or personalities—we went where the data led us. Key to this was the well-known practice of constructive confrontation—identifying, attacking, and solving issues without fear of the politics around “I can’t bring this up because….” Open communication promoted trust, accountability, and efficiency.
Similarly, Cordant helps to remove the emotion (notably, fear and greed) from investment decisions. Whether it is a change in investment strategy, deciding how to make IRA withdrawals, or how to allocate and locate assets—Cordant uses data to drive decisions. They directly raise and address important (if sometimes uncomfortable) topics like estate planning or spending limitations—because they know that their clients’ interests are best served by dealing with, and not ignoring, these issues.
Our focus at Intel was consistently on the end goal—allowing us to weather the storms (remember the Pentium floating point unit issue?) and remain on course. While we had to deal with the distractions that arose, we did not let them get in the way of what we were striving to accomplish.
The Cordant team focuses on the clients’ goals for their lives, and develop a financial blueprint to turn stated objectives into reality. By defining what success looks like early on, they are able to help their clients establish a path and stick to it.
One of the most significant examples of this Intel Value is the use of the Copy Exactly (CE!) philosophy and its attendant change control. We developed the best possible processes and then implemented them. When we discovered improvements, we followed our change control processes and implemented the improvements in a disciplined, controlled manner.
Cordant, too, has established their own proven BKMs. They diligently apply their processes for working with clients and managing investments. This includes sticking with strategies even in the midst of downturns—however, when a change is warranted (see Data Driven Decision Making, above) they also have a defined process for reviewing, approving, and implementing it.
At Intel, we were never comfortable resting on our laurels—we could always do better the next time. Maybe this was a product of Andy Grove’s assertion that “only the paranoid survive” (and we were worried that the competition would catch up). But regardless of its origin, the continuous improvement philosophy served us well.
The principals at Cordant demonstrated their own commitment to continuous improvement by leaving a major Wall Street firm to better serve their clients—thereby eliminating the conflicts of interest inherent in a typical broker/advisor relationship. Cordant also uses technology that allows them to integrate accounts across multiple locations and to scale their wealth management approach and continually reduce their clients’ costs.
Teamwork / Collaboration
We had projects at Intel whose scopes were beyond the capacity of individuals. They frequently spanned multiple disciplines, time zones, geographies, and cultures. As a result, we had to depend on others for their contributions—and ensure that we delivered on our commitments as well.
Cordant believes that managing wealth requires a team. That team must have multiple disciplines that work in concert to achieve their clients’ financial goals. Continuity of the team is important as well, whether it comes through tenure or structure. Recognizing that individual team members may change, Cordant has a process to ensure continuity for their clients.
Finding Cultural Alignment with Your Financial Advisor
If you’re anything like me, you want a financial advisory team who shares your values. I’m lucky to have found Cordant—now it’s your turn.
To learn more about how Cordant helps Intel employees manage their wealth, give us a call at (503) 621 – 9207.
Click here for disclosures regarding information contained in blog postings. Cordant, Inc. is not affiliated, associated or endorsed by Intel.
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