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  • Poterack Capital Advisory

The Essential Case for Working with Pros

There’s a saying in poker:  If you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s you.


You have a broken leg or require heart surgery, so I’m sure you’ll simply use the nicest doctor you can find regardless of skill. You need a tooth removed or capped, so I’m sure you will have your uncle or brother-in-law do the dental work. You are being sued, but since you used to watch Perry Mason or Judge Judy, you’ll represent yourself and undoubtedly get the same outcome while saving money not hiring an attorney.


You might be thinking “obviously I would hire a professional” in the situations above. Nowadays, people don’t change the oil in their own cars! We hire experts, people who specialize in various areas; indeed a PRO to get the best outcome with the least hassle. It can be very expensive using an amateur and the outcome will be amateurish. Of course, gold dust looks like sand to the untrained eye, so the amateur doesn’t even recognize what the PRO sees at first glance.


I love advising people and I’m blessed to be a PRO at my work. My PROfession has allowed me to provide for my family and hire our amazing staff, who are able to provide for their respective families. Love is funny though. We often love what also frustrates us!


With over 33 years’ experience, I’ve seen many scenarios. I’ve inwardly chuckled at countless situations where an otherwise intelligent, educated, and/or logical person decided to work with an amateur or be their own amateur financial advisor. The three most common (admitted) reasons are: the amateur is nice; the amateur is a family member, or they want to be their own amateur and “save” money. Okay buddy, here’s your scalpel.


A very common, yet never admitted, reason is the amateur doesn’t want their amateurish work evaluated by a PRO. Ego is a powerful and destructive force in life. As long as the amateur grades their own work, the grades will always be good. It can take courage for some to admit they don’t know everything or to have their opinions challenged by a PRO. The PRO simply wants what the amateur wants but is more qualified to provide the outcome. Seems logical but it is an elusive concept for many.


Working with a PROfessional advisor doesn’t guarantee an outcome any more than a great doctor can guarantee good health and a long life. You outsource work to a PRO who absolutely knows more than you, which improves the likelihood of successful outcomes. The longer you work with a PRO, the greater your odds are. Do you think people who go to a PRO physician regularly, are more likely to live longer than those who only go when gravely ill? We all know the answer is yes. This is true despite many years in which the Pro physician didn’t make a perceptible difference.


More knowledge and expertise do not bring about miracles. I have clients who get frustrated by a bad year or a bad month, even a bad day for their portfolio. A bad day is reason to question working with a PRO?! Really? Yes, some people think this way. Paradoxically, if there is a great year, month or day then some people think they don’t need a PRO because great returns are easy to come by. Even an amateur can do it! In the late 1990s, investment clubs were popping up everywhere. These amateur pow-wows mostly went the way of the mood ring and Rubik’s cube once it was “discovered” that the stock market doesn’t only go up (a lesson also learned about real estate in the early 2000’s).


At PCA, we are PROs.


  • Knowledge, skill and experience as a Wealth Management firm

  • Independent Fiduciaries.

  • Familiar and responsive support staff to handle questions, service, and research.

  • Access to Institutional strategies only available to PROs.

  • Tax efficiency and coordination.

  • High speed trading and rebalancing technology.

  • Institutional asset pricing versus Retail (amateur) pricing which reduces cost.


Don’t be an amateur and don’t hire an amateur to assist you with your most important financial, tax and estate planning decisions.

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