Behind the Mask of an Industry Giant

With Halloween, you have probably just said your fair share of masks and costumes. Some cute, some fun, some a little on the creepy side and some downright scary. We like to stay away from the scary, but we enjoy the cute and fun. In our family, we had Elvis and Pricilla (along with baby Lisa Marie), a Soldier, a toothless hockey player, Pooh and Piglet. It was a snowy night which made it more memorable! (pictures posted on our Facebook Page)

Masks at Halloween are expected, but there are some places we don’t want masks, yet plenty in our industry hid behind masks. They use a mask to “trick” while they keep all the “treats” for themselves. Let’s take one of those masks off…

Ken Fisher, you have probably heard his name before, maybe received his mailings or a call from his office. Recently the Financial Advisor Magazine* published a story that pulled the mask off this industry giant.

The cold calls go out, hundreds a day, from a dank basement in the redwood hills south of San Francisco.

Inside the rambling, rustic-chic house, the billionaire Kenneth Fisher has deployed a division of his mostly young, mostly male acolytes on a single, high-pressure mission: sell.

Worn carpets, musty smells, poor insulation: It’s not what you might expect from a money-management empire that’s been overseeing more than $100 billion. But then, this is the private kingdom of Ken Fisher, where Fisher’s way is the only way.

For decades, the idiosyncratic money manager has sold himself as a brilliant stock picker with the help of almost a dozen books, torrents of direct mail, seminars, videos, ads, magazine columns and more. His happy message for investors: “We do better, when you do better.”

Indeed, Fisher Investments has done very well — most of all for Ken Fisher. Fisher has grown fabulously rich: He’s now worth about $3.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Behind the Mask of an Industry Giant: (Fisher)Counselors are also instructed to delve into customers’ personal lives: Do you know any public figures? Journalists? Anyone in national or local politics or government? What about finance? How about lawyers? Such questions can help avoid trouble in the event a client becomes unhappy with Fisher, some former employees said.

Clients who live in certain locations are off-limits. One of them is Clark County.

That’s where Camas is nestled, and where Fisher lives. Former colleagues say he wants to avoid bumping into any unhappy customers.

Beware of masks!




Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are financial advisors living in Mineral Point WI and serving the surrounding communities. Michelle Bertram does financial planning for retirees along with business consulting. Beverly Bertram specializes in retirement planning and income planning for her clients. Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are authors of the book, Creating You DREAM Retirement and creators of the DREAM Retirement Process. Serving Madison WI, Verona WI, Mount Horeb WI, Barneveld WI, Dodgeville WI, Dubuque IA, Platteville WI, Lancaster WI, Cuba City WI, Fennimore WI, Darlington WI, Monroe WI, Spring Green WI, Black Earth WI and beyond

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