By Peter Switzer

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received in my life has come from my Dad and Gerry Harvey. And I have continually seen it in the successful people I’ve interviewed, analysed and deconstructed over my media years. What’s that advice? Keep good company.

There are many great things you can do for your kids, your employees, your followers and/or your clients but hanging out with great, positive, honest, intelligent, sharing and caring people has to be one of the best!

The Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World had at its core the idea that a child could benefit by having an extended ‘family’ of influencers, who could have a positive impact on their development. Of course, it was fiction but in principle, imagine how we could kill a lot of society’s problems if we gave more kids a great environment to experience learning and love.

These reasonably radical thoughts came to me when I was thinking about our Switzer Investor Strategy Day coming up in April in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We kicked off this day last year, where many of the people we talk to via this website, TV and radio came together to listen to a team of experts on how they were going to invest in 2016.

This year we have your truly, of course, along with the likes of respected stock picker and fund manager Charlie Aitken, Contango Asset Management’s CEO George Boubouras and my colleague Paul Rickard, who was the founding CEO of CommSec and has been awarded Stockbroker of the Year in the past. There will be other fund managers who use different investment strategies to build wealth and I find it mind-opening when you see how other people invest.

But it’s not just about money education because I believe there are insights that can help you build wealth. Last year, we had the pleasure of listening to the answers I posed to one of the legends of the AFL, Kevin Sheedy, who is regarded as one of this country’s greatest ever sporting coaches. People like Kevin know that achieving something better than the average person takes an above-average mentality. And a hell of a lot of that comes from commitment.

In Sydney, we had Graham Richardson give us his political analysis of the upcoming election. His views were absolutely spot on, even if it was hard for him to admit that Malcolm Turnbull would just beat his beloved Labor Party.

People like Kevin Sheedy teach you that if you want to build wealth better than the next person, you need to be committed to do so. You need to reach out for insights. And it’s better if you’re focused on the goals that link to a plan.

But even more importantly, if you want to grow as an investor, as a smarter or better person, you have to keep good company and be travelling up the learning curve.

When I think about what we do at Switzer — from our website, our SMSF newsletter (the Switzer Super Report) to our electronic media stuff and to our financial planning and even with our new Switzer Dividend Growth Fund — I realise that we’re in the business of education and being “good company” for our followers. Basically, 24/7, my team and I are on the lookout for information that gives our followers a competitive edge to help them stand out from the crowd. 

Last year’s Strategy Day was just after the stock market had a shocking January and February, where the S&P/ASX 200 index fell from 5319 to 4706, which was an 11.5% fall in 45 days and that was after the index had nearly hit 6000 in May 2015! Those who attended heard from a team of experts who believed stocks were on the comeback trail, though few of us expected a Donald Trump presidency and the big boost he delivered to our optimistic scenarios!

This year, we’re in Sydney on April 4, Melbourne on April 11 and, for the first time, Brisbane on April 12. If you want more details and want to hang out with some “good company” who could be really good for your wealth, click here

I hope to see you there.