Aggressive Balance Newsletter with Dennis Morton

Becoming A Visionary

Before I was fired from Wall Street, I wrote a business plan detailing how I would develop client relationships and bring revenue to the brokerage firm looking to hire me. I called it the “Morton Wealth Management Business Plan”. It confused the branch manager who reminded me that I was working for Smith Barney, not Dennis Morton.

My path to becoming a financial advisor endured many failures. I’ve never sugar-coated my story because I believe I am a better advisor and business owner for it. My vision for what could be became my drive. 

Part 2: the catalyst

The story continues from my previous post…

By 2016, I had found a home at an independent advisory firm and reached partner status. However, my vision for the future was starting to get cloudy. 

While I had some great opportunities to meet some of the smartest minds working in the independent advisory space, I didn’t feel confident in what the future would hold. But I kept learning, meeting consultants and leading advisors around the country, and taking notes on how to professionalize and scale a growing firm. It was exciting to witness innovation in financial advice and think expansively about applying it to my clients.

It was at this time that Katie Brown and I began to collaborate and work with clients together. A skilled financial planner, compliance expert, and master of operations, Katie complimented my training as an advisor focused on client service, investment, and business development. As we gained more best practices from our expanding industry network, we realized our combined skills were unique. 

Between client meetings, Katie and I would talk about how we could improve our efforts and apply all that we were learning, but we were not in a position of influence. We thought we might be capable of leading an advisory firm in a way that is uniquely better, but we just couldn’t do it where we were. We needed to start our own advisory firm.

Part 3: The Vision

Thinking back on what followed over the next few months it seemed like a blur. But I went back to my notebooks from early 2018 and we were incredibly organized and attentive to detail. We acted with clarity and intention because we prepared, both independently and together. We aligned ourselves behind a vision that would define our new firm: 

To build a community of clients and professionals leading purposeful lives through the stewardship of wealth. 

For Katie and me, trust was table stakes. We wanted to bring our vision fully to life. To do that we needed to punch above our weight in hiring amazing people who bought into our vision. We had to design our space to be a vibrant environment and crucible for our growth. We had to share our story of how our success and that of our team and our clients is the result of vision and preparation. 

Five years after launching our firm, Katie and I are not only thrilled to bring our own vision to life, but to bring that same intentionality and enthusiasm to helping our clients do the same.

This week, I challenge you to think about the vision for your life. What intentional steps can you take today to fulfill your vision for the future? I’d love to hear about them.

Dennis Morton sitting on a bench with a notebook and pen

Aggressive Balance is a biweekly e-newsletter authored by Dennis Morton, Co-Founder and Principal of Morton Brown Family Wealth.

A gifted storyteller and financial advisor by trade, Dennis explores topics of leadership, finance, and the human condition in his writing as they relate to curating a life worth living.

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