Lessons from Shakespeare on financial advisors: Part 1: Lessons from the bard
Lessons from Shakespeare on financial advisors? Most people’s immediate answer to this suggestion is a resounding ‘No, don’t be silly’. We encourage you not to be so quick to rush to judgement.
A little known fact about Shakespeare is that he was a self-made wealthy man and an astute investor. From his hard earned income derived from writing and performing his plays he built up a considerable portfolio of retirement investments both in his native Stratford-Upon-Avon and in London. He knew well the benefit of investing – “Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets, But gold that’s put to use more gold begets”
Nearly 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare remains one of the world’s foremost experts on human emotions and psychology. Advising and investing are human endeavours. As such, emotions and psychology can drive this human endeavour as much as rationality.
In the book ‘Power Plays – Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management' Professor John Whitney and Tina Packer argue that Shakespeare was an undoubted genius who, in his 39 plays, numerous long poems and 154 sonnets, wrote more deeply about leadership, power and people than anyone before or since. I draw upon the ideas and concepts from this book and extend Shakespeare’s lessons to the role of financial advisors.
As a visitor to the FPA Blog, you already have made a conscious decision to seek out a source of quality, ongoing financial advice from a source you trust to compliment your own investing skills. For many of you this is enough – armed with information from the FPA Blog you have the potential, time and ability to take control of your finances all on your own.
Others among you also seek a quality, professional financial advisor that you can trust. You follow the advice of billionaire TV host Oprah Winfrey who believes success comes from surrounding yourself with good people – ” You can’t do it all yourself. Don’t be afraid to rely on others to help you accomplish your goals”. A relationship with an advisor should be among the most important committed relationships you can have.
Many of Shakespeare’s heroes faced a similar dilemma to you today. Like you, they sought a relationship with an advisor they could trust. They recognised that it is far easier for a head to wear a crown when you can call on a trusted advisor for their unbiased, experienced advice. Venus and Adonis (a poem by Shakespeare)
 Whitney, John O and Packer, Tina, Power Plays – Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management, Simon and Schuster, 2000