Welcome to The Sensible Essentialist. In this blog I will share my observations from 35 years on Wall Street. These blog entries will include my perspectives on the economy and financial markets as well as an industry that has struggled over the years to maintain relevancy among serious investors.

When I founded Clearwater Capital Partners, nearly fourteen years ago, I did so with certain convictions. My goal was to create a client-centric firm built with two essential elements: character and competency. Character first because people notice those who do what is right over what is self-serving or easy. Competency second because the complexities of the financial world were advancing rapidly. These two non-negotiables laid the foundation of what is now a reputable and thriving wealth management firm.

To some, The Sensible Essentialist may sound redundant. While focusing only on that which is essential may itself appear to be sensible; our world is full of distractions and false assertions. Famed author Stephen R. Covey put it this way, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Easier said than done. So it is critical to approach the challenge with a levelheaded and prudent mindset.

Doing what everyone else is doing virtually ensures mediocrity. There is great power in independent thinking and taking a road less traveled. Poet Robert Frost was correct in observing how this can make all the difference. We have no interest in attempting to be all things to all people. However, for those we do serve, we strive to be all things necessary to positively impact what matters most.

Focusing on those things that are essential, while eliminating all that is inconsequential has been our formula for success. We have focused on building our firm by design, not by default. This has forced us to ask some tough questions, make strategic trade-offs, and exercise serious discipline to eliminate the competing priorities that had the potential to distract us from our true objective. The hard work of it all has been rewarding because only with real clarity of purpose have we been able to achieve something truly excellent.

I intend to call attention to those things that really matter while filtering out the trivial noise that fills our lives. Discerning what is essential requires discipline in how we process all the competing and conflicting facts, options, and opinions constantly vying for our attention. My goal will be to listen for what others do not hear and see what others have overlooked.