The Vibe and Determination of TCI

Sam Swift, CFA, CFP®, AIF®

Feb 6, 2023

There’s a lot of talk about vibe these days. My kids talked about it which is how I first got clued into the phrase. Since I am now talking about it, any coolness it once had is now officially gone–sorry everybody! Nevertheless, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the vibe of TCI. A vibe is an intangible feeling that can be hard to put into words but it’s why TCI is the firm it is today. Throughout drafting this blog, there is one word that keeps coming to mind about the vibe of TCI, determination. When I think of determination, I think of the integrity it takes to do what needs to be done to feel comfortable and confident. 

It has taken tremendous amounts of determination for TCI to become the firm we are today. It all goes back to the early days of TCI when, to be honest, the founders knew the kind of firm they didn’t want more than what they did want. It took tremendous amounts of determination to stick to their beliefs and be different in an industry where conformity is celebrated. Our Founders, Bob and Doug, were determined to save investors from the dark side of the financial industry where uniformity and complicated jargon are commonplace.

As the CEO of TCI Wealth Advisors, my commitment is continuing the principals Bob and Doug established that set us apart. We have been fortunate to beat to our own drum for over 30 years inviting individuals, families, employees and businesses along the journey with us. For each of us at TCI the reward is seeing people fulfill their goals and lead lives they may have only dreamed.

So, how does our determination present itself at TCI? Let’s take a look.


Perhaps where our determination is most prominent is in our independence. A firm the size of TCI’s remaining independent is becoming rare as mergers and acquisitions become increasingly prevalent in the wealth management industry. As of June 2023, TCI is 100% owned by 28 shareholders (50% men and 50% women) all active in the firm, thereby allowing us to steer clear of any conflicts of interest that may arise. When a firm is owned by a company that is offering proprietary product-based investment solutions or private equity something inherently feels off. People can tell when they’re not comfortable with a vibe. This is one of the reasons we’re transparent about everything we do. We want people to make informed decisions with all available information.    

Ensuring we’re acting in your best interest also influences the way we run TCI. Being independent shapes our thinking so we can make long-term decisions and aren’t beholden to short-term profits. It allows us to make decisions in the best interest of being a 100-year firm so we’re here for you, your children and your grandchildren.

Team TCI

We don’t act as individual investment managers and your relationship to TCI is not limited to you and your advisor. When you’re a client of TCI you get access to our collective brain trust. TCI is comprised of a deeply talented, multi-generational team of experts to provide you ongoing education and resources to match your exact needs—with the intention of helping you achieve your financial goals.

As TCI continues to grow and evolve, we embrace and maximize the strengths of all employees. As we see it there is great value in marrying the wisdom and experience of Senior Advisors with fresh new ideas and expertise with newer Advisors. That’s why we have always known that we need to sustain a culture within our firm that empowers the subsequent generations of TCI. In some instances, we will tell a client that we are going to punt a question to a younger advisor in the firm because that advisor has a keen mastery of the matter.

The goal of everyone at TCI is to provide you with solutions to your unique financial situation, and we know that one person is rarely going to have all the answers. This is why we believe in the importance of Team TCI. It takes humility to recognize when one of us doesn’t have the answer. We feel that collaboration creates innovative ways to embrace challenges and find fresh approaches to solve the problems our clients face.

Different Measures of Success

It’s no secret that the markets do not do well from time to time. We know this is going to happen from time to time, but it takes discipline to not lose track of what the data also tells us: markets will recover and rise again, it’s what they do given enough time. Long-time readers should know that markets are going to do their thing day in and day out. Recently, David Booth, Chairman and Founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors–a TCI partner of many years, wrote a fantastic letter talking about the importance of ignoring daily market movement for many reasons, but this quote stood out:

“Markets are smarter and faster than you and me. While you’ve been reading this, markets have probably factored in thousands of pieces of new information and adjusted the prices of thousands of different company securities.”

David Booth, Chairman and Founder of Dimension Fund Advisors

We couldn’t try to beat the market by traditional means (market timing and stock picking) if we wanted to, so why are people still so obsessed with it? We can’t let our portfolio performance define us because there is so much more to life. Let’s focus on who we are as people instead and check in on portfolios periodically.  

Since you’re not defined by your portfolio, let’s check in with the person behind the portfolio. How are you doing? Stressed and tired or happy and content? Have you had enough water today? At TCI we use wealth management as a means of helping people accomplish their goals. We only get one shot at life and we want to help you make sure it is as fulfilling as possible.

Employee Experience

We strive to offer a top-notch experience to anyone who walks through our doors and for us that starts with our employees. We believe in providing an employee experience that provides an incredible career in a fee-only financial services firm with a client first focus. While each member of our team possesses a unique combination of skills and abilities, we all share the core values of Team TCI, Client Focus, Attitude for Better, Caring, Abundance and Integration. 

In a world where technology and automation can streamline business, we remain committed to our employees who are the heart and soul of TCI. We are people serving people and never lose sight of that. We seek to not only provide meaningful careers for employees but also give them meaning and opportunities to thrive in their professional and personal lives.

These are the principals of our vibe. Other things may come and go, but these are what make us. We are appreciative of your interest in TCI and we are excited to learn more about about you and how we can help.

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