Many years ago, my girlfriend’s best friend and her husband declared loudly and definitively that they were boycotting Disney. Now, this couple was somewhat oblivious, but that’s not what I’m writing about today. I had just started my career as a financial advisor and was spending a lot of time researching companies and investments. I found it very interesting how several brand names were often owned by one company. And, I remember thinking, “Do these people know that the ABC Network and ESPN are owned by Disney?”
Boycotts aside, I believe knowing this brand/company relationship is important when choosing investments. In a play on Warren Buffett’s “invest in what you know,” I’d also say, “know what you invest in.” Some are easy. For instance, iPods and iPads are owned and sold by Apple. Microsoft Office? Microsoft Corporation.
But some are a little fuzzier. Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Pantene, and Vidal Sassoon are all hair care brands made and marketed by Procter and Gamble, one of the largest U.S. companies. Mondelez is the foreign sounding name of the spinoff from Kraft Foods. This company is based in Deerfield, IL and produces brands such as Nabisco (Ritz, Chips Ahoy!, Oreos, etc), Gevalia, Tang, Toblerone and Cadbury. They also sell Dentyne, Stride and Trident gums. Speaking of food brands, the largest food maker in the world, Nestle, is a company based in Switzerland. We all know their famous lines of chocolate: Crunch Bars, Kit Kat and Toll House Morsels, but they also sell Gerber baby food, Lean Cuisine, Stouffer’s, Dreyer’s ice cream and Purina pet food.
Then there are the fun ones. As Netflix becomes more of a household utility, content providers are becoming increasingly important. MTV, BET, VH-1, and Nickelodeon are all owned by a company called Viacom. They also own Paramount Pictures. And, you know that tiny ice cream company that brings you Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey? Ben and Jerry’s is owned by Unilever, a huge European consumer products company (also the maker of Dove soap, Pond’s, and Lipton teas). Finally, one that is near and dear to us in the Pacific Northwest. Washington wine maker, Chateau Ste. Michelle is owned by Altria, the same company that owns cigarette maker Phillip Morris USA.
Now, all of this may be little more than fun pieces of trivia. But, I would argue that knowing what you put your money into (both investment-wise and purchasing-wise) is important. And these are just a few examples. I’ll leave it to you to find some more. Such as what does Honest Tea (“great-tasting, truly healthy, organic beverages”) have to do with Coca-Cola?
Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Verity Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
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An Investment Advisor registered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P., Gavin has 22 years of experience as an advisor in the Puget Sound area.
“I believe every client is unique and deserving of a personalized financial plan that will help them reach their individual financial goals. Before I make any recommendations, I like to get to know my clients. By asking the right questions, and developing an honest, trusting relationship I can really get a sense of what’s going to work best for them.”
Gavin graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Business Administration and started his financial career with US Bank in the Investment Department. Prior to joining Verity in 2006, he spent eight years with Piper Jaffray.
So what is Gavin’s vision for his dream retirement?
“My dream retirement would be absolutely worry free: financially, emotionally, and in every aspect of life. My finances would be in order so expenses for travel, luxuries, and gifts for the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids would be taken care of. My kids would be financially sound, so I would be confident in their prosperity. This would give me the freedom to travel and play and do whatever it is I want to do.”
When Gavin’s not working, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching Husky football, and taking weekend trips around the Northwest.
Gavin is registered to transact securities business in the states of WA, OR, CA, AZ, FL, HI, ID, IL, MN, NM, NY and VA.
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Verity Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
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