How the Freedom to Communicate During a Crisis and Beyond Translated to 4x Growth for this ex-Morgan Stanley Team

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Mindy Diamond


A conversation with David Bahnsen, Founder and Managing Partner of The Bahnsen Group

A sudden bull market downturn driven by an insidious virus has left every advisor looking for novel ways to maintain continuity while providing value to clients. In such unprecedented circumstances, the freedom to be creative and follow one’s instincts – without being confined by a larger corporate agenda – has enabled many in the independent space to seize opportunities unavailable to their counterparts in the brokerage world.

So what are the things that independent advisors are doing differently? To answer that question and share his own unique breakaway journey, David Bahnsen, Founder and Managing Partner of Newport Beach, CA based The Bahnsen Group, joins the show.

David Bahnsen - The Bahnsen Group

David and his firm serve as the quintessential example of how independence has paved the way toward an astounding level of success—and weather this storm in ways he says that he could not have as an employee advisor.

In this episode, David talks about the pushes and pulls toward independence, and ultimately why he feels he’s in the best place to grow his business and serve his clients, including:

  • How he and his team are navigating these unprecedented times—and how his experience in the 2008 crisis serves to inform their process today.
  • How clients are reacting to the crisis—and how his firm’s philosophy of reinforcing “evergreen behavioral principles” has helped clients develop a higher level of trust.
  • How the ability to be creative and authentic in marketing and communications is critical—and how that freedom has impacted his growth over the years.
  • What he sees as the pros and cons of being an independent business owner—and what he anticipates the impact of the crisis will be on his business and the space once the dust settles.

As David so aptly shares, “A crisis is not supposed to be a time to formulate your philosophy; it’s supposed to be a time to live out your philosophy.” The freedom, flexibility and control that independence has afforded his business have certainly translated into extraordinary success—and provided a template for how best to navigate a crisis and manage a thriving advisory practice, regardless of market conditions.


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David Bahnsen bio

David L. Bahnsen is the founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, a bi-coastal private wealth management firm with offices in Newport Beach, CA and New York City, managing over $2.1 billion in client assets. David is consistently named as one of the top financial advisors in America by Barron’s, Forbes, and the Financial Times.

He brought The Bahnsen Group independent in April 2015 after eight years as a Chairman’s Club Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and seven years as a First Vice President at UBS Financial Services. He 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 several best-selling books including Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It (2018), The Case for Dividend Growth: Investing in a Post-Crisis World (2019), and his latest, Elizabeth Warren: How Her Presidency Would Destroy the Middle Class and the American Dream (2020).

David’s true passions include anything related to USC football, the financial markets, politics, and his house in the desert. His ultimate passions are his wife of 18+ years, Joleen, their children, Mitchell, Sadie, and Graham, and the life they’ve created together on both coasts.

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