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At the heart of investment management is relationship management. Investors and investment professionals are in the continual business of forging long-term relationships based on trust and common goals; they want to build bridges of communication that serve those objectives. Companies should not mix business with politics, or they risk offending wide swathes of potential customers. As the country begins its inevitable grind that is our election process cycle, it seems a good time to remind ourselves why this practice should be avoided.

Recently, I ran across a survey, The Complicated Business of Mixing Brand and Politics (, from several years ago that explored several of the reasons why the practice of mixing business with politics is less than desirable. One of its findings struck me as particularly important to our collective investment management community: Younger people, ages 18-29, were more likely to say brands should take political sides publicly (56%), while those ages 60 or older were more inclined to say brands should abstain from politics (59%)

While ageism is a no-no in itself, there can be no question that wealth building and investment management include large portions of the older generation as its main client component, and when 60% of this customer base would prefer not to mix business with politics, that fact cannot be ignored. Politics shift, but are always charged with emotion and divisiveness. Not a combination that mixes well with relationship building.


Rather than dwelling on the immediate, some of the more successful approaches to relationship building in the investment world can emphasize goal-setting and long-term planning for generational wealth transfer, philanthropic desires, ways to mitigate investment stress and unnecessary risk avoidance, and an overall education platform designed to provide clients with the information tools to help make the best choices for their personal needs. These topics are timeless in nature, and will survive long after this election cycle has run on its supercharged and polarizing course.

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