In the sports world recently, many commentators have been asked what players are on their “Mount Rushmore” as the greatest that ever played the game.  As it is Presidents Day today, this had me thinking about who is on my Mount Rushmore in the finance/wealth tech world, so here they are!  

1.  Benjamin Graham/Warren Buffett: Ok, so I’m cheating a little by listing two here, but in my mind, they are one in the same, and it’s my list so I’ll cheat if I want to!  I would be remiss not to start with this as Graham’s book The Intelligent Investor was the first investing book I ever read, which led me down the path of wanting to become an investment advisor.  I realize value investing isn’t in vogue right now, but I still believe in the long-term investing principles taught by these two.

2.  Gobind Daryanani: Created the industry’s first tax-efficient trading/rebalancing software, which was subsequently acquired by TD Ameritrade.  He was the pioneer in our space and took a uniquely academic/research-driven approach to rebalancing that I appreciate.  I am also grateful he was charging $50k/yr. for his software back in 2004, otherwise I never would have embarked on building my own trading/rebalancing software.

3.  Joel Bruckenstein & Bob Veres:  Ok, so I’m cheating again, but I couldn’t in good conscience not list both of these industry legends.  As a new advisor (and a tech geek) in the industry I immediately latched onto Joel’s tech newsletter (which at the time was also co-authored by David Drucker and called Virtual Office News).  Joel has been a longtime voice in the industry and has established T3 as the industry’s premier tech event of the year.

I have also been a fanboy of Bob Veres ever since I first came across his newsletter Inside Information.  Bob has been a fiercely independent voice for investment advisors ever since I’ve known him.  He is not afraid to call things like they are, which has earned my respect.  Bob also hosts the Insider’s Forum Conference every year, and it is my favorite conference of the year for meaningful practice management ideas for RIA’s.  If you have not attended, do yourself a favor and go this year.

4.  Tom Bradley:  As I thought about who to add from the industry at large to round out the list, my mind kept coming back to Tom Bradley.  In my opinion, Tom was instrumental in building TD Ameritrade into the powerhouse it became.  Tom has also been a longtime champion on behalf of the independent advisor.  I appreciated the focus he placed on open architecture and technology at TDA that welcomed new tech startups such as ourselves into the fold.  I am grateful to see he is back and now part of Charles Schwab leadership, and I hope he continues to fight for the independent advisor’s best interest.

Agree or disagree with my list?  I’m curious who you have on your Mount Rushmore?

-Damon Deru

CEO AdvisorPeak