Happy Thanksgiving!! – Dividend Cafe – Nov. 24

Dear Valued Clients and Friends,

I know it is not the edition some of you look forward to most each year, devoid of such enticing topics as monetary policy and market valuations, but it is one I genuinely enjoy writing each year.  Today’s Dividend Cafe captures some Thanksgiving reflections from yours truly, the author of each week’s Dividend Cafe but also the Founder and Managing Partner of this firm.  I remain in a daily state of overwhelming gratitude for so, so much, that this Dividend Cafe Thanksgiving reflection is just a cakewalk to write.

When we became business owners at The Bahnsen Group nearly seven years ago versus employees of our prior Wall Street firm, a lot changed.  Seven years later I can’t think of anything that changed for the worse.  It has just been a positively magical experience from start to finish in terms of the ways we can better serve clients now, the freedom we now enjoy, the internal autonomy we have to run our business how we see fit, and the capacity for independence that has driven us to grow as a business, and I am quite certain, become far more equipped to serve clients than we could have ever dreamed in our prior life.

A family office offering to serve our ultra-high net worth clients holistically and with total integration – totally impossible before.  Multiple office locations to create more geographical proximity to more of our geographically dispersed clients – totally impossible before.  37 employees across four offices covering entire departments that didn’t even exist before.  A fully robust department of analysts, of traders, of financial planners, of alternative investment sourcing and execution, of communications, of design and events, of tax services – these are all evolutions in our business that I now take for granted because I cannot imagine doing what we do without them, yet none of them existed prior to seven years ago.  It is worth gratitude.

I am extremely grateful for the people who fill those roles at The Bahnsen Group, who have become valuable members of our team, and who I believe have extraordinary futures in our dynamic culture and organization.

The Service & Operations Department has been led by Jacqueline O’Hare for years now with a precision, a work ethic, a hustle, and a relentless care for clients that I know as a fact is a tall head and shoulders above what exists out there.  Camille, Beth, and Alexis are extraordinary professionals who put their heads down and come to work ready to serve every single day.  They put fires out.  They deal with complexity. They deal with personalities (sometimes difficult ones, but I am not talking about clients there – rather, us advisors).  And they keep things from going wrong.  Like a field goal kicker in football, they take the heat when things go wrong but rarely get credit for the 99.9% of times that things go right.  But for my purposes today, I just want to say how incredibly thankful I really am.

Our Investment Solutions department (what we call Solutions & Analytics) is essentially a group of all-star analysts and traders working day in and day out to curate investment information, to present it, to digest it, to interpret it, and to make sure our portfolio management process and our portfolio analytics remain top-shelf.  Deiya in his leadership of the department and Kenny in his vital role are veterans of our team, and this year we welcomed Manuel in his analytics role and Liping in his research-intensive role, and we are by far the most equipped we have ever been.  I am in awe at their dedication and thankful for who they are as talented professionals.

Brian Tong and Glen Hall have driven our Communications department from day one, and have worked with me in other contexts in more prenatal versions of the same for many years before that.  The volume of work we put on them is inhumane but their diligence, precision, and sacrificial love for our clients and our company are unseen by most of you, but the glue that holds so much of what we do together.  I lack the words to capture how thankful I am for their blood, sweat, and tears.  We view content creation, thought leadership, and client communication as core values and practices at our firm, and they drive this effort with devout commitment.  I am so very thankful.

Joleen has taken the entire design, client experience, client events, and external branding of our firm to another level, and done so with the incredible giftedness of Mina and the servant’s heart of Sierra, and I really can’t say enough for how these efforts have elevated TBG to another level.  She moved TBG to its new headquarters in Newport Beach (a 10,000 square foot office move), then moved TBG to its new location in New York City, then did the entire install of our Minneapolis office, and is now working on the install of the pending Nashville location opening next quarter.  Yes, four office moves within just months of each other.  And I suppose it should be mentioned, there were little things like book deliveries, coloring books, three major client events, massive design projects, hundred upon hundreds of gift packagings, and all the day-to-day of the department, all happening concurrently.  Thanksgiving abounds.

We added Abigail Murphy as Office Manager in our New York City office this year and she has quickly become one of the most vital members of our team.  Ericca Murillo remains the Office Manager of our Newport headquarters and I am often in awe at the load of daily activity she is managing and directing.  Rayna keeps us paid and organized as an elite Business Administrator.  We have this funny thing at TBG that makes us contrarian in a world that has decided one can serve clients in their pajamas working half-day just as well – we care about the in-office experience.  Our office managers are first-class stars and I am so thankful for the professionalism and hospitality we offer day by day.

We have built out a Services and Planning Department this year under the careful leadership of Joe Klein, and have the daily portal administration with Matt and other attentions to detail that are so, so important to clients and what we do.  Joe is a talent at another level inside our organization, and from the tax affiliation with Michael Klarin to the proper execution of a robust planning department to his vital efforts in our Family Office, I am as thankful for what we have in Joe and Matt as any addition we made in 2021.

When it comes to our advisors – those engaged in daily relationship management with our clients – I believe we have the finest investment and planning advice professionals in the business.  The entire group of advisors represents a diverse group of talent, strengths, experiences, and focuses that collectively serve our clients in a direct and relational way that is at the heart of who we are as a firm.  I am grateful for Trevor’s leadership here, for the new hires of outstanding advisory talent we have brought on (Evan, Brendan, Nate, Brian [Miller], and Drew), and for the long-term affiliations with Sean, Steven, Geoff, Don, Kimberlee, and Brian [Szytel].  We cannot serve clients merely with our investment philosophy and execution – we need advisors to administer our full ecosystem of services, to be in relationship with the clients we serve.  I am thankful for every advisor we have and hope you are too.

I can’t properly address our advisory talent, our Family Office, and our growing planning department (complete with a soon-to-be-announced Risk Management function) without mentioning our new friends in Minneapolis.  Phil, Michelle, Stoddard, Reid, and Sarah are client-centric fiduciaries who make us a better business.  We are thankful for them, for the Minnesota expansion, and for their wonderful clients who we are thoroughly enjoying getting to know.

Deiya Pernas in his COO role and Brian Szytel in his Deputy Managing Partner here serve as a leadership team with me that is vital to the present and the future of our company.  They are two of my best friends, totally devoted and committed to the cause of TBG, and astute investment professionals I would trust my own financial affairs to in a second.

We are thankful to our friends at Hightower who power our powerful back office (technology and supervisory functions), our many vendors who play a vital role in our business, our custodial partners at Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and Pershing, our alternative investment platforms, our asset manager relationships, and all those who ally with us to deliver a first-class client experience.

And speaking of our clients, we are filled with thanksgiving for you.  We do not work in the markets without a purpose.  We do not perform planning and investment services in a box.  We work on behalf of real people who have real goals and have put their real trust in us.  It is the great honor of our lives to have your trust and confidence, and we will never be unworthy of your trust, ever.  We thank you for the relationship we enjoy with you, and we pray we will maintain that earnest spirit of thanksgiving each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, from the bottom of our hearts.

With regards,

David L. Bahnsen
Chief Investment Officer, Managing Partner

The Bahnsen Group

This week’s Dividend Cafe features research from S&P, Baird, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and the IRN research platform of FactSet


The Bahnsen Group is registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, and with HighTower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and HighTower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

Third-party links and references are provided solely to share social, cultural and educational information. Any reference in this post to any person, or organization, or activities, products, or services related to such person or organization, or any linkages from this post to the web site of another party, do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of The Bahnsen Group or Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates, employees or contractors acting on their behalf. Hightower Advisors, LLC, do not guarantee the accuracy or safety of any linked site.

Hightower Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used or presented to any entity as tax advice or tax information. Tax laws vary based on the client’s individual circumstances and can change at any time without notice. Clients are urged to consult their tax or legal advisor for related questions.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of HighTower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.

About the Author

David L. Bahnsen

David is a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business and is a regular contributor to National Review and Forbes. David serves on the Board of Directors for the National Review Institute and is a founding Trustee for Pacifica Christian High School of Orange County.

He is the author of the books, Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It (Post Hill Press), The Case for Dividend Growth: Investing in a Post-Crisis World (Post Hill Press) and his latest, Elizabeth Warren: How Her Presidency Would Destroy the Middle Class and the American Dream (2020).


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