It is very difficult and rare to be unique in the investment business. Copycats swarm most models and ideas, hoping for success. Nonetheless, Max and I met a unique firm at the Vanguard Conference The Future of Advice last month. We think RayLign is on to something valuable and want to spread the good word. What is RayLign doing that is different and better?
RayLign was so unlike anything I had ever seen that I had to find out exactly what they do and why. I’ll quote their website:“RayLign Advisory specializes in providing strategic consulting and communication facilitation services to ultra-high net worth families and their wealth advisors.” In other words, they focus on the relationships of wealth, not just the money.
RayLign’s key premise is alignment — getting family members and their advisors on the same page; setting goals and creating strategies to meet them; helping younger generations understand the responsibility of wealth; and so on. The firm was founded by Greg Rogers after his family’s investment business was sold. Greg built the business on the lessons he learned with his own family and advisors.
This is one of our favorite phrases at Osbon because money and its management are so much more than the “it” of investing. Yes, it’s essential to invest with good habits, efficiency, focus and execution. But beyond the money is the family that created it, spends it and invests it in businesses, people and philanthropic causes. Here’s where RayLign focuses on the “well-being and sustainability of wealth for families and advisors” — a garden that produces a bounty of positive outcomes forever.
When we think of a family’s balance sheet, it’s easy to count the money, but just as important are assets like mutual respect, real communication, shared values and children who understand the value of money. This good stuff does not come automatically with wealth; in fact, wealth often produces the opposite — competition, misunderstanding, jealousy and kids with affluenza. RayLign really gets this.
There is a lot to like about RayLign, more than I can highlight in a brief post. The simple language alone and the emphasis on communication, planning and discussion are invaluable. Greg is also a good writer, so you will find useful thought pieces on the site. Visit the site, or give them a call if you are so inclined. We embrace what they do, and strive to incorporate their “long-term me, and everyone else” approach.
By the way, you don’t have to be ultra-high net worth to find value in RayLign’s message. Everybody has family and money issues, wealthy or not. The RayLign mindset can help even if you don’t have hundreds of millions.
John Osbon – firstname.lastname@example.org