When Jeffrey Swett graduated from college at Denison University in Ohio, he was interested in business and law. In an effort to further those pursuits, he became a certified paralegal in business law. That experience ultimately made him realize that he did not want to pursue a legal career. He is now coming up on his 30th anniversary at UBS.
Investment Philosophy/Strategy: With an older client base, the majority of which are over age 50, Swett and his team tend to have a more conservative investment approach.
“We are not looking to triple someone's money,” he says. “Typically, people come to us when they have already accumulated their wealth and they are looking for someone to manage the risk, guide them and provide them with a comprehensive financial plan. So our investment philosophy, because we focus on retirement planning, tends to be more on the conservative side.”
Competitive Edge: “There are a number of points that have contributed to our team success over the years, but most importantly, we have hired the right people,” Swett adds.
Best Advice: The best advice Swett has received is to invest in relationships, be that with clients, prospective clients, internally at the firm, or just in general with people he comes across. Another notable piece of advice he received was to have a long term vision of his business.
Biggest Challenge: Swett sees clients and prospective clients alike being inundated with information, putting an advisor in the position to have to clarify and simplify. He will even have discussions with and help out non-clients that come to him, saying it is more about giving back than prospecting even if it does lead to some referrals.
Lessons Learned: After three decades in business, Swett still looks to the golden rule of treating others how you would want to be treated.
“That is so important, especially in a long term business like wealth management,” he says. “We're not in the business of quick transactions, we're in the business of lifetime relationships. So it's always very important to treat other people just exactly as you would want to be treated.”
Biggest Client Misunderstanding: Market cycles typically present challenges with clients, according to Swett, who says that through various business cycles he works to keep clients on track with their original retirement plan.
“When markets go to extremes, it's very important to stay with that plan, even though the human tendency can be to deviate,” he adds.
Investment Outlook: Swett says he is “cautiously optimistic” on markets and equities, maintaining balanced portfolios in advance of an expected positive year ahead in 2021.
Favorite Book/Movie: Recently, Swett enjoyed the film “The Founder,” which stars Michael Keaton as McDonald’s MCD-0.5% founder Ray Kroc. He also read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, which encouraged him to look at things through a different lens.