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Chris Casey’s Journey to a Distinctively Austrian Financial Services Business

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01/14/2020Hunter Hastings

Innovation often emerges from the combination of existing components in new ways. In Chris Casey’s case, the new combination was his knowledge of Austrian Economics — specifically Business Cycle Theory and Monetary Theory — and of Finance. He invested a great deal of time and effort into mastering both parts of this knowledge combination.

Key Takeaways And Actionable Insights

Chris Identified an Un-met Customer Need, A Dearth of Available Solutions, and a Potential for Market Growth.

There were a few — probably a very few — customers for a financial services offering designed with recognition of the relevant principles of Austrian economics in mind. But the fact that there was at least some customer need provided evidence of potential. Then external stimuli such as the 2008 financial crisis and the Ron Paul Presidential Campaigns caused a growth in demand.

A value proposition naturally emerged.

For a narrow but highly receptive target audience, the value proposition that “Austrian Economics is vitally important to designing investment portfolios” proved to be very effective in generating a value anticipation.

Communication skill is a critical element.

A value proposition doesn’t sell itself. Chris utilized — and continuously polished — his communications skills to help customers fully appreciate the direct link to their desired value: a feeling of improved financial security because the uncertainties identified by Austrian Economics are accounted for in portfolio design.

Chris’s implementation was consistent with the value proposition, and capable of delivering.

In portfolio design, the product of Chris’s service firm, the inputs from business cycle theory and monetary theory are top-down elements. Chris added the bottom-up element of personalization of the design process to the individual customer. This is classical Austrian entrepreneurship: understand the customer’s needs, empathize with them, and customize the service so they feel individual satisfaction of idiosyncratic needs. In subjective value analysis, portfolio performance is not the sole criterion for the value experience. Customer feelings are far more significant.

Chris keeps an eye on the competitive frame of reference to maintain the uniqueness of his offering.

Chris’s competition is not other investment advisors. It’s the general demeanor of Wall Street sales-focused firms. “Stay fully invested” and “Don’t try to time the market” are typical sales communications of these firms that don’t truly have customers’ best interests in mind. He can always utilize this contrast as a value frame of reference.

Chris’s success exemplifies the clarity that results from candid entrepreneurial self-assessment and the embrace of the entrepreneurial process.

Self-assessment = In what field am I best resourced to enter and do business?

Entrepreneurial process = Identify opportunity by identifying customer dissatisfactions in that field.

Additional Resources

"Chris Casey’s Entrepreneurial Journey" (PDF): Mises.org/E4E_48_PDF

Visit WindRock Wealth Management at WindRockWealth.com

Author:

Hunter Hastings

Hunter Hastings is a member of the Mises Institute, Business Consultant, and co-chair of the Rescue California Educational Foundation. He is also host of the Economics for Entrepreneurs podcast.

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