From the Desk of Scott MacKillop

Thought leadership, op-eds, and blogs from the TAMP veteran and Strategic Advisor to GeoWealth.


Recent Editorials

Highlighting Scott’s writing recently published by trusted industry publications serving RIAs and home offices.

Two Lessons from a Jar of Jellybeans

At a recent conference, my firm used the “guess-the-number-of-jellybeans-in-the-jar” trick to boost traffic. The results of the contest were thought provoking.
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Work With Your Clients, Not Your Portfolios

You only have so many hours in the day. How are you going to spend them? Here are some facts that might help you decide.
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Solving the Advisory Firm Turnover Problem

First the good news. The financial advice business is growing nicely. Now the bad news. That growth did not go smoothly.
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Understanding and Communicating an Advisor’s Value

There are two types of studies that explore the value that advisors provide to their clients. Both studies have it wrong.
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Podcasts Features

Highlighting select podcast interviews featuring Scott MacKillop as a guest commentator and trusted industry veteran:

Transformative Power Of Taking Bold Action: New Fee And Service Models

Out & About Communications

JULY 19, 2023

Scott MacKillop on TAMP Technology Changing The Onboarding Process Advisor Innovations

FEB 23, 2022

Mountain Climbing Adventures with Skip Schweiss and Scott MacKillop

Steve Sanduski Advisor Network

FEB 1, 2023

About Scott

Scott MacKillop served as CEO of First Ascent Asset Management until its acquisition by GeoWealth, LLC. He now serves as Strategic Advisor to GeoWealth and a champion for independent-minded financial advisors. He is an ambassador for the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard and a 47-year veteran of the financial services industry, having served at the helm of five Turnkey Asset Management Platforms (TAMPs).

Scott is a writer and commentator on the investment management and fintech industries. He brings his unique viewpoints to industry publications, speaking on the topics of fiduciary responsibilities, practice management, and client education.

An avid hiker, Scott has summitted thirty “14ers,” having hiked extensively in the U.S. and internationally. He also plays lead guitar for the band at his church.

From the Archives

JUNE 9, 2023

What Not to Do When Clients Freak Out

I can tell what the investment environment is just by looking at the emails that get caught in my “junk” file. The detritus there lately tells me it’s grim. Some firms brag about the amount of cash they’re holding. Others tout… 

APRIL 6, 2022

Why Investing Based on Past Performance Is a Terrible Idea

Both the SEC and FINRA require performance-based advertising and sales literature to include the statement: “Past performance does not guarantee future results.” Is that good advice?

FEBRUARY 1, 2022

Ignore the Gurus and Educate Your Clients

God help us! It’s guru season again. Every year we drown in predictions from the so-called gurus about how the markets and the economy will perform in the coming year. Their arrival always coincides with the publication of a slew of articles highlighting how poorly the gurus foretold events in the previous year.

OCTOBER 2, 2020

Want to Invest Like the Big Boys? No, You Don’t.

Here’s what to do if someone offers to make “institutional quality” investment management services available to you and your clients. Hold on to your wallet or purse and run as fast as you can in the other direction.

JANUARY 22, 2020

The Ins And Outs Of Outsourcing Your Investment Management

As competition heats up, everyone is looking for an edge. Some advisors try to gain an edge by outsourcing their investment management to a TAMP or third-party fund strategist. But outsourcing is not right for everyone.

MAY 8, 2019

The Science Behind Building an Enduring Practice

Make a list of the services you provide your clients, and you will find nothing new. You might not have been providing those services 20 years ago, but other financial advisors were. How those services are provided…

APRIL 29, 2018

The Disconnect Between Who You Are and What You Do

Getting the message right. Who you are and why you do what you do is far more important to your message than what you do or how you do it.

JUNE 1, 2018

Courtesy as a Competitive Advantage

Unreturned phone calls and emails, not portfolio performance, are the top reasons clients fire their financial advisors, according to a new survey.

Learn more about GeoWealth’s acquisition of First Ascent in March 2023

A Note from Scott

More often than not, inspiration for an article hits me when I’m walking my dog, biking through the beautiful scenary of the Denver area, or summitting a mountain. It’s my time to reflect upon my career, the financial industry, and what it means to truly serve clients. This collection of writing reflects some of my passions, but beyond all else I’m passionate about supporting financial advisors. If you’d like to discuss any of these topics, or other topics near to your heart, just reach out.