Welcome to “The Summit,” the official First Ascent blog.

If you’re looking for ways to build your practice, investment insights, or advice on how to communicate more effectively with clients and potential clients, then you’ve come to the right place.


This article also appears in the Journal of Financial Planning: Practice Management Blog. The emergence of low-cost investment solutions like robo-advisers and model marketplaces has elicited statements by earnest pundits about the “commoditization” of asset management. These well-meaning observers misunderstand the significance of what is happening in our industry and are planting the seed of … Read More

Scott's Column

What a month! As the markets racked up the first full year in history with 12 months of positive stock market returns, the tension that’s been building for many investors throughout 2017 finally broke. To buck the trend, February of 2018 brought us the two largest single day point drops in the history of the … Read More

Business Builders

The third reason why going it alone is a bad idea. The budget is one of the most common concerns when it comes to a video for your practice. Video done well is expensive. In an attempt to cut costs, it can be tempting to use your webcam to shoot your own video. It’s so … Read More


The annual tsunami of prognostications about how the stock market and the economy will perform in 2018 was beginning to slow to a trickle, thankfully. Then the stock market had a major hiccup and the punditry scrambled back to its soap boxes to give us another dose. Their explanations about why the market took a sudden … Read More

Scott's Column

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”  Lance Armstrong It finally arrived. We knew it was coming at some point, but as usual we didn’t know … Read More

Investment Management

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions to Find Out We offer outsourced investment management with a high level of service that we believe is worth far more than our low, flat fee. But even so, outsourcing might not be for everyone. When advisors who haven’t outsourced before contact us, we talk a lot about the advantages … Read More

Business Builders