Ice cream cups, wooden table.

We’re in the birthday season in my house. While it would be wonderful if this was limited to one party for my (almost) 8-year old son, this is not the case. In fact, due to scheduling, there will likely be 3 or 4 smaller parties this year.

This past weekend was the first.

Birthday parties are fun, but do take a bit of planning. (Things seem to go better with a plan, don’t they?) Part of the plans that needed to be taken care of prior to the party was ice cream selection. When I was young, this wasn’t an issue. Chocolate and vanilla were for sure to make an appearance. If we were lucky, we might get the luxery of neopolitan. I wish it was that easy when I went with my son to pick out ice cream.

First, there are a number of people that will be at the party. My son is a big “Superman” ice cream fan. (Why do all kids seem to like this?) My dad will eat anything that’s plain. By anything, I mean chocolate or vanilla. My wife and mom have a variety of likes and pretty much just like to eat ice cream. Me? I’m a vanilla guy through and through.

There we are in the ice cream aisle. Trying to find the right combination of flavors for the party without breaking the bank. Not only did we have to worry about flavors, but there were many different brands available for those flavors.

It really got me thinking about how everyone has different tastes and unique needs. This doesn’t hold true just for ice cream. It holds true for their financial lives as well. Everyone is unique. Their goals are their goals, not someone else’s. What they want out of their investments is not the same as their mother, brother or son.

That’s why we operate the way that we do. We don’t use cookie cutters. In most instances, our recommendations go through our in-house fiduciary process to determine if the investment should be included in a portfolio. Only when it makes sense for the client’s goals do we utilize outside money managers. Why? They tend to be designed more as a cookie cutter than tailored to our client’s needs.

One of the biggest questions for people looking for investment advisors: do you want cookie cutter or something tailored to you?

As for the ice cream? We went for Double Chocolate and Superscoop (a brand take on Superman). The first party went well and everyone (but me) was happy with the ice cream selection.