This page focuses on employee positions. People looking to become Advisors should read this page as background, but then also see our Advisor-specific page.
Those interested in software development should view software development thoughts.
We are disrupting the advice sector of the financial industry. This area has long been a high-margin profit source for financial firms. One Day In July focuses on lowering fees for clients while striving to optimize results via portfolios of index funds. We operate a business model that we believe is wonderful for our clients and difficult for our competitors. We help clients from startup investors to those with high net worth, from individuals to non-profits to businesses. Our rapid growth has attracted attention to financial indexing in Vermont and New England. We intend to publicize our service more widely and become a national firm.
In general, if you would describe yourself as a perfectionist with intense grit, we want to talk to you. Investment advisors, and financial firms, solve puzzles: from finance to math to behavior. You do not need a background in financial services. We encourage applicants from other fields.
Most culture statements devolve into buzzword soup. You should read this page because the One Day In July culture has unique elements that support high performers while encouraging genuine enjoyment of work. If you do not have fancy credentials you should not be intimidated, as long as you bring what we value. You do not need to have a background in the financial industry to work at our firm.
Proficient is not good enough for our clients or our firm. Most people can solve the first 80% of a problem, or achieve 80% of a desired result. It’s the last 20% that gets difficult. Sometimes it’s perseverance that solves the last 20%. Sometimes it’s creativity. Sometimes it’s asking others.
If you are someone who demands excellence, we want to talk to you. Excellence is the value, enshrined from the very top of our firm, that dominates all others.
Strong incentives exist in corporate America (as well as pretty much all other organizations) to make middle-of-the-road, consensus-driven decisions. This is a sure and quick path to mediocrity. We make decisions based on the evidence and probabilities surrounding that evidence, and we encourage people with minority viewpoints within the firm to argue those viewpoints. As much as possible we disavow decisions by committee.
Bad news is the miasma from which progress arises. Being honest about our weaknesses allows us to address them.
Very few problems require new policies. Generally the policy is worse than the problem. (We have to make exceptions for our regulated compliance program.)
We don’t care about straddling the midpoint of the current trend-du-jour of American culture. Illiberalism is rampant in America today and you will do well at One Day In July if you can both consider contrary viewpoints and think independently. We look for confidence, we welcome unpopular debate, and we shun groupthink.
As investors, we have not made a lot of money by following the herd.
While we are not a university, we advocate adherence to the Chicago Statement here.
As a regulated firm, this is not the Wild West. We take regulatory compliance seriously. However, within that structured box, we value autonomy. We know talented professionals want to control their work lives and structure. We know innovation sprouts from the garden bed of autonomy. So wherever possible, we lean in favor of flexibility for you.
Apple founder Steve Jobs on Managers, at minute 1:55: Click here to watch.
That pretty much sums it up.
If you're in a Steve Jobs mood, take a look at this video on passion and excellence.
Oh, one other thing. Have you noticed that most employment ads feature benefits that center around not working? That seems odd to me. Work itself should be rewarding, and strong managers help to make it so.
New employees experience some adjustment regarding our low-meeting culture. Meetings exist, but they are rare. Spontaneous meetups among 2 or 3 people are common – they are generally not planned in advance, but serve as quick sessions to discuss an idea or problem. Because they are small, everyone is engaged and contributing and not thinking about which leftover they will microwave for dinner tonight.
Empires die on the sword of complexity. While we are far from an empire, organizations do not consider the fact that as complexity increases at a linear rate, problems increase quadratically. I once asked my biology teacher in high school, Reed Goossen, for advice on a speech. He said three words: “Make it short.”
One Day In July, more than most organizations, over-weights the value of simplicity.
If you are not happy at home, chances are high you will not be happy at work. Far beyond the proverbial techie foosball table, we look for innovation in work culture that reduces stress at home.
For those of you with families:
I raised four kids, and did so actively, not just accepting a morning todo list from my wife. I dealt with the scheduling, activities, sicknesses, and other stressors. I know well that corporate America, and two-earner families, are not well suited to today’s challenges of raising families. I don’t need a politician to explain that to me.
For those of you earlier in your careers, this is not a route I suggest you take:
"Many [people] wind up hating their jobs. Incessant Excel and PowerPoint drudgery, being on call to superiors at all hours of the night, putting in eighty to a hundred hours of work per week… exit strategies become a preoccupation of many who take these positions"
~Amy Blinder paraphrasing Kevin Roose in the book Young Money
Read more connectivity, devices, and work expectations.
We receive many applications for open positions. Proud of our selectivity, we consider it an honor to work among elite peers. This makes work interesting, with insightful discussions, tasks completed diligently, ideas far from the mainstream given consideration, and mind-bendingly-cool software built internally. It also leads to a tight camaraderie that benefits clients – we want them to sense that they have hired excellence.
"People of moderate ability seek formal credentials to impress employers and society, but the talented often downplay their credentials even if they have bothered to obtain them."
~Avinash Dixit, The Art of Strategy
There are lots of credentialing opportunities in finance. We only care that you pass the Series 65 exam, which allows you to dispense advice. You are going to go through intensive training with us regardless of your credentials, as we have a unique methodology. Some Advisors at One Day In July like to collect credentials, and that’s fine. But we don’t require them, as most credentialing programs raise costs for clients.
Many privates and officers in the Civil War could write better than today’s college graduate, despite the credentialing our society does today. At One Day In July, we care about education and study and self-improvement. Most of this comes from reading a lot.
Further reading: The Sullivan Ballou Letter.
"We read a lot. I don’t know anyone who’s wise who doesn’t read a lot. But that’s not enough: You have to have a temperament to grab ideas and do sensible things. Most people don’t grab the right ideas or don’t know what to do with them."
~Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway
The space in which you work affects your daily outlook. While being cognizant of costs (costs flow through to clients), we also won’t treat you as a cog in a machine. We want you to enjoy your work space and make it your own. Sunlight and windows matter. Some privacy matters too – sometimes you just need a place to think, or go into a deep productive hole.
After the first 90 days, we allow employees to work from home on Fridays. We are flexible If you need to be at home for a family matter at other times. For employees (not Advisors), if you are looking for remote options beyond this, we are not your firm. One of One Day In July’s greatest assets is working closely as a team, in person. The longer our competitors stay fully remote, the better for us.
I don’t like employee turnover. I pay attention to it. I don’t assume that people are commodities. Creating a vibrant internal structure, with room for people to grow in many areas, is one of my responsibilities.
I miss the seasonality of school. In younger years, the content often matched the season. But beyond that, social routines and summer break provided a rhythm that was both exciting and a bit nostalgic. As a firm we try to mimic some of this seasonal variance in our schedules, admittedly to a lesser degree than schools.
Sailing on an Alaskan cruise in 2008, Warren Buffet missed a phone call. He wasn’t available. As such, he missed a deal to rescue Citibank, and he missed billions of profit.
If Warren can be unavailable from work, you can too. And if you work for One Day In July, I’m going to insist on it.
By disconnecting from work completely on vacation, you allow your mind to roam. New thoughts emerge. You pay attention to things you don’t normally notice. This is healthy.
Silicon Valley loves to offer up foosball tables and chefs as a panacea to work stress, while they implicitly or explicitly require that you are always working. In fact, many of the amenities they offer ensure that employees do not leave work.
Instead, we focus intensely while we are working, but as a company policy, when employees are on vacation, they are not allowed to check their work email, voicemail, or texts. Hence, there is no stigma around device abeyance. Because no one is doing it, including me, no one else feels guilty about taking real vacations.
We all think about this. Much of it begins with the product our organization produces. You need to have something that is hard to reproduce, or you’ll have a lot of competitors.
In the case of One Day In July, one of the advantages we have is that competitors do not want to reproduce our product. If they did, their margins would collapse. In many cases competitor firms have such high cost structures that firm oblivion would follow. They know that, and we know that. So we are happy to steadily take their business, and they are happy to steadily give some of it up, as long as the majority of their clients continue to believe their fees and skills are worth it.
Career-wise, it is fun to win. It’s fun to bring something of value to the public, and to be honest with clients. It’s fun to expose the fee structures and commission arrangements the financial industry has imposed on Americans. It’s fun to scrape back the veneer of fancy marketing literature and show people how products compare to a low-cost index fund.
Clients appreciate it, in part because most people who are talking to us are smart enough to suspect the motives of the financial industry, and to hear someone affirm their suspicions feels good. We’re not hiding anything. Our prices are posted next to our logo on the top left of our home page.
So vanquishing competitors is a good place to start. Because it means business will be good, and you’ll likely be able to earn a good living. At the same time, you can feel good about your space and time on earth.
For all applicants, we will keep your application private, with exceptions discussed with you.
One Day In July LLC will consider qualified applicants without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.
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