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History of One Wealth Perspectives

By February 14, 2024One Wealth Perspectives

I look forward to so many work experiences each week. Because my role at One Wealth is dynamic, I have my hands in lots of different things. One thing that keeps me grounded is reading One Wealth Perspectives (OWP) which are written each week by one of our team members. We rotate this responsibility across the 12 of us so we are only on the hook once every 12 weeks. More recently, these perspectives have often become very personal which is what I love about them. This shift wasn’t always the case, and I thought it would be interesting to discuss the history of how these perspectives came to be.

In the early 1990’s, David Steele started writing and distributing “Steele’s Steals,” which had three sections and included a recap on the markets, offered a specific stock idea and finished with his thoughts on asset allocation. When I joined him at Bear Steans in 1997, the firm did not like the title, in particular the word “Steals” so we re-named it “Steele’s Stocks.” As an aside, I loved the playfulness of the usage of the word “Steals,” but understand that it could come off as inappropriate to some. Shortly after the name change, we largely stopped recommending individual stocks for clients and became obsessed with the concept of asset allocation and diversification. As a result of not recommending stocks anymore, the name ended up being inconsistent with our new philosophy and the weekly thoughts took a hiatus for a few years.

When we launched One Wealth Advisors in 2015, our writings resurfaced as part of our Weekly Market Dashboard under the name “Thought of the Week” which focused on investments, market insights, and introduced estate and tax concepts. At the time, each of the “advisors” in the company rotated the writing responsibilities. Somewhere around 2021(ish) we encouraged (i.e all but required) others to contribute. This “request” was not well received, largely because most people suffered from writer’s block. As challenging as it may have seemed, I contend that this moment represented a major cultural shift in our business. Why? Because this writer’s block prompted a larger discussion around the content that we were delivering. From time to time, some of the team members literally could not think of anything to write and David simply suggested, “just write about what you feel” … which could be ANYTHING!

Well, some people took this literally. Eleanor talked about women in finance and her unexpected path to OWA, Megan shared her experiences as a parent, Karime shared lessons learned while training for a marathon, and Tessa contemplated the psychological benefits of getting really excited about Halloween. The team wrote about their own experiences with money, about family, and allowed for some personal vulnerability. Low and behold, these were the stories that had the most replies and most engagement. And there you have it!

Today, our weekly and recently rebranded One Wealth Perspectives allow contributors to write about what’s on their minds. Of course, there are some parameters, but even with heavy edits (or outright deletes), the original contested content helped us to push the boundaries of our communication. To this day, my favorite Perspectives tend to be those which came from the heart and prompt internal debate.