What kind of person are you? Sheep, Wolf, or Sheepdog...
By David and Tony Treece
Recently we came across an article that shed light on the differences between sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. The author stated that most people are sheep, but he isn’t using the term pejoratively. Rather, he means that most people are gentle, kind, and generally well meaning.
Wolves are the next category of people. They exist outside of ethical standards, and consciously seek to do harm to sheep. They may skate past without dedication but they plot evil, and are not worried about whom they are stepping on or taking from to get ahead in life. You may be able to identify somebody like this.
The last category is sheepdogs. They are the protectors who watch over the sheep and rid the flock of wolves. They help to herd the flock in the proper direction while also acting as a deterrent to those seeking to harm others. We often think of the police, the military, or maybe even the man of the house as the sheepdog for us. In reality there are very few sheepdogs in society, and this can be proven by countless accounts of people being beaten, robbed, and violated while other people either watch or take out their phones to video record the scene. A sheepdog would immediately react to help the vulnerable.
In the financial services industry there are many sheep and too many wolves. That’s where we play an interesting role. We think of ourselves as the sheepdogs. For example, we inform you that the fees coming out of your accounts will cause you to run out of money before you run out of life. We blow the whistle on advisors who sell proprietary products that serve the best interests of the brokerage rather than those of you the consumer. As sheepdogs we do not make the residual income that conventional Wall Street advisors do, which is why we depend on our clients to spread the message that they do not live subject to the risky stock market or mutual funds, and they don’t park their money at banks where they earn no return. There is a different way. Our pledge to our clients is that we will continually be the sheepdogs who oversee their best interests.