Reflecting on ClearRock’s10th Anniversary

By The ClearRock Team August 31, 2017 Uncategorized


In August, 2007, the financial world began to collapse.  Household Finance, BNP Paribas, and subprime lender New Century were experiencing massive losses and failing.  They were the canaries in the toxic coalmine that would become the Great Recession.

One other less earth-shattering event took place that month: We started ClearRock.

We were energized by the idea of building a firm that puts the client at the center of every decision we make.  We persevered over those first two years, dodging most of the markets’ landmines with our broadly diversified all-ETF investment strategy, a high-touch client experience, and a healthy dose of risk aversion.  Thanks to our loyal clients, we endured, we grew, and we are grateful.

Top 5 lessons we’ve learned over the past ten years:

1. Culture. There is nothing more important in a company than getting the culture right. Simply put, it’s about the people we hire and retain.  We’ve learned to hire slowly, and make changes quickly.  It’s about knowing that we spend lots of time here with our “second family,” so we need to appreciate and respect each other, help each other, and, along the way, have fun.

2. Communication is key. In an industry with more jargon (and b.s.) per capita this side of politics, we strongly believe that a successful advisory relationship doesn’t begin with trying to impress clients with our mastery of how much we know, but with actively listening to their needs, concerns, and aspirations.  There is simply no substitute for communication that is straightforward, simple, and – dare we say – clear.

3. Be positive. One of the industry gurus we respect most is 85-year old Byron Wien who admonishes “really bad things have a way of not”  This is superb advice we try to incorporate into our daily lives.  In a fast-moving digital world with no shortage of breaking news, tweets, and hype, it has never been more important to take a long-term view of the world.

4. Express gratitude. We know it is each and every one of our clients who got us to this dance, and we strive to maintain their trust and let them know how much we appreciate them as often as possible.  In the words of Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

5. Have fun. We take our work very seriously, but don’t take ourselves too seriously. Each of us has a life outside of the office.  We honor our families, commitments to our communities, and necessary downtime, which gives us inspiration and energy.

So thanks to all of our valued clients, ClearRock now embarks on our next decade.  As a partnership in the old Wall Street tradition, we have our own capital and reputation at risk every day when we turn on the lights.  The ClearRock team embodies our values and our vision of striving for financial well-being for every client we touch.

Looking forward to the next ten!

– The ClearRock Team



Disclaimer: This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or as a recommendation. Please contact a ClearRock advisor at 208-726-8858 or should you have any questions or would like additional information.