Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2013 - (Page 12)

Advisor Profile More Personal Than Finance By Kate Stalter Eager to use his creative streak, Tim Maurer focuses on teaching clients about life, then money. Not many advisors have “creative days” built into their weekly schedules, but those days are a key part of Tim Maurer’s approach to serving clients. Maurer, vice president at Financial Consulate in Hunt Valley, Md., reserves Tuesdays and Thursdays to write blog posts, do media interviews, and teach a financial planning class at his alma mater, Towson University. He is also active on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. A common refrain these days is that an individual such as a financial advisor should use a media platform to build his or her personal brand. In turn, the thinking goes, those personal brands will bring clients into the person’s business. But Maurer says that’s not the intent at Financial Consulate. “I am first and foremost educating,” he says. “So, it’s not that we don’t have a desire to see our work in the media benefit us from a business perspective, but it is not the primary reason we do it.” Maurer credits Financial Consulate founder Drew Tignanelli for the firm’s emphasis on education, and for freeing up time to create content. “Drew will look at the person and say, ‘What is it that you do best?’ Instead of trying to 12 Morningstar Advisor October/November 2013 make me fit into his mold, he’ll support me to be more of who I am,” Maurer says. In addition to his own blog at www.timmaurer. com, Maurer writes for and co-wrote, with Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Financial Plan: Balancing Your Money and Life (Wiley, 2011). He has been a commentator on major TV networks and with Tignanelli hosts a weekly radio show in Baltimore. But Maurer has some cautionary words for other advisors who think media exposure is the ticket to more robust revenues. “I almost fear there are a lot of people out there thinking, ‘The next strategic move for our firm will be for everybody to have a blog, everybody to be on Twitter, everybody to get media exposure.’ They’re thinking that this is the way to get more clients. But the end result of that is often disappointment or even failure,” he says. Creative Childhood Maurer’s creative instincts go back to childhood. He grew up in a musical family. Though he always entertained the idea of music as a career, he pursued a finance degree in college, inspired by the success of a neighbor who was an advisor. “Becoming a financial advisor was Plan B until I finished college,” he says. His change of heart occurred as he realized that he might eventually resent the life of a struggling musician. When he was finishing college in the late 1990s, the financial services industry was thriving, and jobs were plentiful. With a semester left before graduation, Maurer began working 30 hours a week in the operations department of a large Baltimore firm. But he was searching for a professional home at a company that would be a trusted advisor for clients. In that quest, he did stints at brokerage firms and served as an equity trader for two-and-a-half years. He crossed from the institutional to the advisory side, joining an insurance company, and later became a financial advisor at a bank. “I don’t look back and think they were bad experiences,” he says. “I learned inside and out the three arms that drive the financial industry: brokerage, insurance, and banking.” In 2006, Tignanelli approached him with a job offer. “He was one of the many fee-only planners that began as a one or two-person shop, and then he decided to turn it into an enterprise,” Maurer says. Maurer, who had earned his Certified Financial Planner designation by then, joined

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2013

Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2013
Letter From the Editor
How to Make Social Media Work for You
Do Mutual Funds Still Have a Role?
More Personal Than Finance
How to Handle Your TIPS Positions
A Real Estate Veteran Starts From Scratch
Investments á la Carte
Investment Briefs
When to Say No
Take a Guarded Approach to Homebuilders
Fund Distribution Has Been Turned on Its Head. Now What?
Winning the Distribution Battle
Active ETFs Wait for Their Heyday
A Fund Firm Defies Indexing Trend
Piloting New Channels
A Good Fit
The Predictive Power of Fair Value Estimates
Does Being Prudent Pay Off?
Utilizing Utilities’ Total Return
Stuck in the Middle Is Not a Bad Place to Be
Our Favorite Mutual Funds
50 Most-Popular Equity ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
The Good Guys Win

Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2013