“Basically, if you’re loyal, you’re trustworthy, you’re fair, you’re confidential, and you reveal conflicts of interest in your interactions with others, you’re going to be very, very rare. The point is, rare is valuable.”
Very few people build ethics into their life in a way that can really add value and be their ‘north star’. Andrew began reinforcing an ethical framework into his own life when he started teaching it and he set out to help people understand that ethics is not as ambiguous as they want to make it sound and seem.
Andrew Stotz is the former president of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Thailand and is one of Thailand’s award-winning equity analysts. He is also the founder and CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research, has authored four books, been a university lecturer in finance for more than 2 decades and is co-founder of CoffeeWORKS, Thailand’s specialty coffee roaster. Andrew also hosts a fantastic podcast called My Worst Investment Ever, where he has released 555 episodes and counting and hot off the press – he is now the new host of the Deming Institute podcast called, In Their Own Words.
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It was around 20 years ago that Andrew was introduced to the code of conduct and standards of practice from CFA and he has found that now, unethical people don’t talk to him. “They know right from upfront, don’t bring me any bullshit!”, he says.
What works for Andrew, when building ethical behaviours and actions into his life is being direct and upfront, for example “As president of the CFA society I have never had an ethical violation in my career. The last thing I want to do is do something that would harm that. Let’s start from that point that I believe you also want that too.”
There are five key values that underpin how Andrew shows ethical leadership in his interactions with people and five that underpin how Andrew does his work.
The Five key values that underpin how Andrew interacts with people:
- To be loyal – always put your client’s interests first.
- Trustworthy – trust is built up over time.
- The way we interact with people to be fair – fair is not always equal.
- Confidential – protect the privacy of your clients.
- Always disclose conflicts of interest before your client makes a decision.
Note: The only thing that is not confidential is if a client discloses that they have broken a law.
The Five key values that underpin how Andrew does his work:
- Diligence – if you are diligent in your work, people will see value in that.
- Independent – come up with your own opinion based upon your own research or work. The challenge is to search out other opinions because you can’t make an independent decision if you have only listened to one side of the story.
- Objective – when you deal with facts or conditions as you see them without allowing some distortions that are happening from your own feelings (such as prejudices, interpretations, or your clients).
- Thorough – Diligence means you are working hard, thorough means that you have done your homework.
- Continually improving – challenging but fascinating
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In summary: if you are loyal in your interactions with others, trustworthy, fair, confidential and you reveal conflicts of interest; your interactions with others are going to be awesome. If you are diligent and independent in the way that you work, objective, thorough and continually improve, you are a super rare person – and rare is valuable.
The complete interview, which unpacks how to use these 10 ethics to add value to your life, can be listened to here, on audio platforms, or watched here, on The Culture of Things (TCoT) YouTube channel.