Rank #1: Savant Capital's Brent Brodeski On Going From $0 to $5 Billion in AUM
Imagine walking into a doctor’s office with a bad cough and walking out on crutches, still coughing. That’s how Brent Brodeski saw the client experience of financial advisory in 1992 when he co-founded Savant Capital Management in Rockford, IL.
“It was kind of like going to the general practitioner, you get a checkup, and he wrote prescriptions and sent people on their way,” said Brent. “And people take that prescription and imagine the pharmacist saying, ‘No, I’m going to sell you this wonder drug instead. It’s more expensive and doesn’t really make you better.’ That was the problem, the clients had a prescription for one thing and they often were getting something else.”
On today's pod we discuss lessons Brent learned from diagnosing his clients’ problems and devising the best cures for their finances on his way to expanding Savant to nearly $5 billion in assets under management and 13 offices throughout the Midwest:
Jan 30 2017
Rank #2: Top advisor Erin Botsford on building her Seven Figure Firm
Erin Botsford is one of the top financial advisors in the country. She is the founder and CEO of the Botsford Financial Group, which has nearly $1 billion in assets under management. She has appeared on Barron’s list of the Top 100 Women Financial Advisors and Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors multiple times. And she’s also an author who just released her second book, “Seven Figure Firm.”
But maybe more impressive than Erin’s resume is the hardship she had to overcome to get where she is today.
Erin was only 11 when her father died of a heart attack. The small life insurance policy he left behind made life very hard for Erin, her mother, and her five siblings. A car accident in her teenage years and a bad investment with a stockbroker in her early 20s put further strain on Erin’s family life and finances. These experiences taught Erin the value of comprehensive financial planning and asset protection, lessons she continues to impart to her clients.
On today’s show, Erin discusses her compelling story, the personal and financial lessons she took away from her adversities, and how she built her own seven figure firm from scratch.
Mar 18 2017
Rank #3: A Barron’s Top 15 Advisor on His Unorthodox Way to Billions in AUM
I’ve long said that there are many ways to be successful as a financial advisor. My guest today, Steve Cassaday, founder and CEO of Cassaday and Company, Inc., is a perfect example. His main marketing plan is a throwback to the 1990s. He spends hundreds of thousands of dollars per year doing high-end dinner seminars for a carefully selected group of people. And when they become a client, he creates a comprehensive financial plan for them but he does NOT use financial planning software to do it.
Steve Cassaday and I talked about how he’s grown from $44 million in AUM to the #12 ranked advisor in Barron’s list of the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors and $2.7 billion in AUM. We also discussed the principles that guide his business, how he explains the firm's value proposition, the service differentiators that his firm delivers that are above and beyond what most firms do, and the marketing strategy that has added about one billion in new assets and is still working today.
Feb 26 2018
Rank #4: Top Sports Psychology Coach on Achieving Peak Performance in Any Endeavor
What separates the merely good from the absolute best of the best? Is mastery an end that we can achieve, or is it a lifelong process of continual evaluation and improvement?
I've been fascinated by these questions for a long time, particularly as they relate to what drives peak athletic performance and how those concepts might be applicable in other disciplines as well.
Like, say, going from being a competitive long distance runner as a kid to running a successful life-centered planning practice! After all, you and I won't ever stand on an Olympic podium. But we do have to excel in the high-stakes sport that is business so that we can deliver the best results for our clients.
So I googled "top sports psychologists in the US," and it turns out that one of the best in the country was right down the road from me.
Dr. Barbara Meyer is a professor and director of the Laboratory for Sports Psychology and Performance Excellence at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Dr. Meyer is not only an academic, she's also a sports psychology coach who works with professional and Olympic athletes on the mental side of the game. In fact, Dr. Meyer has trained athletes at every Winter Olympics since the 2002 Salt Lake City games, where her client won a gold medal.
In this conversation, Dr. Meyer and I discuss how to prepare mentally for a peak performance in any profession, striking a balance between sticking to the process of mastery while still achieving your desired outcomes, and how the concepts of self-regulation and visualization can help you monitor your behavior and alter it based on the demands of the situation you're facing.
If you're serious about personal improvement and growth you're going to love this episode.
Aug 27 2018
Rank #5: Essential Success Tips for Young Advisors From "40 Under 40" Honoree Hannah Moore
Curiosity. The best advisors have it. Hannah Moore's curiosity has led her down many roads and in today's podcast, she shares what she's learned about structuring the client meeting process, creating client personas, blogging to "just one person," using three words to define your business, succession planning, and much more.
My guest today, Investment News "40 under 40" honoree Hannah Moore, is an expert on charting a course from young advisor to successful RIA. Hannah is a CFP® and owner of Guiding Wealth Management. She also hosts the podcast, "You're a Financial Planner, Now What?" where she tries to help young advisors with guidance on career paths, tips on research and client service, and explorations of the history of financial planning.
Sep 18 2017
Rank #6: Former United Capital CMO Gail Graham on Today's Best Marketing Strategies
Gail Graham is one of those rare people who have worked in the top echelon of two major companies--Fidelity Investments and United Capital--and helped shaped their strategies that led to massive growth and industry accolades.
Today, Gail is the founder of Graham Strategy, and works with companies to figure out where the gaps are between their strategy and how they're running their company.
On today’s show, Gail and I discuss the evolution of advisor marketing and offer some advice on how to fill the gaps in your marketing, content, and advisory strategies to grow your business. It’s going to be more and more important that advisors build not just a practice, but a distinct brand that communicates who they are and what kind of services they offer (i.e., messaging). Gail’s tips will help you stand out in the crowd, generate more leads, and endear clients to your firm.
Jul 23 2017
Rank #7: What Do the Ironman, Death, and More Than 600 Advisors Have in Common?
John Hyland was unhappy.
Fresh out of college, the big firm lifestyle of late nights and steak dinners had taken a physical toll. John felt unhealthy and out of shape.
At a tailgate party he heard some friends talking about Ironman races, how impossible they seemed, how no average person could complete one.
“I just had this a-ha moment in my mind,” John told me on a recent podcast. “I just had this moment of clarity and said to myself, "I need to do this."
John finished the first of eleven Ironman Triathlons in 2000. The lessons from that transformative experience didn’t just improve his health, it gave him a new perspective on how to transform businesses that continues to guide his company, Private Advisor Group.
“I think it's just a great example of having a belief, having a goal and committing to it,” John says. Just like business, Ironman is not a short event. It doesn't happen in a day. It happens over years of training to get the results that you're looking for. But I think it's just that perfect example of setting a goal, breaking it down to what do you need to do every week, what do you need to do every day, monitor your success, alter things when needed and just continue to focus.”
Today, John Hyland is the co-founder of Private Advisor Group, an RIA with approximately $15 billion in AUM and more than 600 affiliated advisors.
Apr 02 2018
Rank #8: Exploring Advice: How to know if you're delivering good advice and quality plans
How would you answer these three questions about exploring advice?
- What is the definition of good advice?
- What is the definition of a quality financial plan?
- What does it mean to be a fiduciary?
Kevin Knull, the president of PIEtechSM, Inc., (parent company of MoneyGuidePro financial planning software) asked those three questions to an audience of financial and wealth management leaders and basically got blank stares in response.
Dismayed, he decided to reach out to thought leaders and experts around the country to get their answers.
He collected their thoughts and published them in a remarkable new book called, Exploring Advice: What You Need to Know About Good Financial Advice, a Quality Financial Plan and the Role of a Fiduciary.
I was one of the 36 leaders who contributed a chapter to the book.
In today's show, I'm joined by Kevin Knull and two other contributors to the book, Tricia Rothschild, Head of Global Advisor and Wealth Management Solutions for Morningstar, and Frank McAleer, Director, Retirement Solutions for Raymond James.
We discuss these three questions and point the way toward how you can add value in an increasingly commoditized industry.
Oct 20 2016
Rank #9: How financial planning will change as people live to 100
The nature of financial planning advice will change dramatically as it becomes common for people to live to 100.
The idea of a three-stage life where we go to school for 20 years, work for 40, then retire for 20 and die will go away. It will be replaced by a non-linear, multi-stage life where people will cycle in and out of education, work, leisure, re-creation, sabbatical, gig economy, and encore careers.
How we define what an "asset" is will change and the ability to enhance your "intangible" assets will become critical to a happy life.
The advice we give on saving for retirement and working in retirement will change as we need to make our money last as we live to 100 or beyond.
Life planning will emerge as the dominant construct for financial advisors as our life pattern becomes more complicated and investment management becomes more automated.
In today’s show, my guest is Professor Andrew Scott of London Business School. Professor Scott is the co-author of an important new book titled, The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity.
Sep 19 2016
Rank #10: Stephanie Sammons on Starting a New RIA With 20 Years of Experience to Draw On
What if you had more than 20 years of financial services experience, then decided to start over and build a new RIA from scratch? Do you think you could take those decades of experience and build a new RIA in tune with the times? That's exactly what Stephanie Sammons is doing with her new RIA, SammonsWealth.
Talk about a multi-hyphenate: Stephanie Sammons is the Founder and CEO of SammonsWealth, a best-selling author, a Certified Financial Planner, a speaker, a business coach ... and a singer-songwriter who just released a new EP in April! And for good measure, her 20+ years of financial advisory experience also includes successful runs at Merrill Lynch and UBS.
On today's show, Stephanie explains how she drew on her wide variety of experience to go independent, and create a new RIA with a personalized approach.
May 18 2017
Rank #11: Clients don't care very much about their financial advisor's digital technology
It appears clients care much less about their advisor's digital technology than advisors do.
The financial services industry spends a lot of time talking about technology and there are thousands of companies around the world and tens of billions of dollars being invested in financial technology or FinTech companies to enhance the digital offering. Yet, when you ask clients of financial advisors how important all this technology is, you get a surprising answer.
In today's show, I discuss a number of digital technology issues including:
- Recent research which suggests a financial advisor's digital capabilities rank low in terms of the value the client gets from their advisor.
- The strategy behind offering, or not offering, robo advisor technology.
- The surprising result of my proprietary research on how many clients one advisor can work with and the real secret behind how to increase that number.
- The implications of all this emphasis on digital technology and what it means for client satisfaction and referrals.
Oct 07 2016
Rank #12: Marty Bicknell on Running Businesses, Acquisitions, and Separating Advice From Sales
Marty Bicknell left a great job as a senior vice president at A.G. Edwards & Sons in 2006 and started over. Today, he presides over an empire of 32 companies managing more than $30 billion in AUM. He accomplished this feat through a combination of acquisitions, organic growth, and good timing. In this episode, Marty adds texture to one of the most exciting growth stories in the financial services industry.
Mar 26 2015
Rank #13: Dynasty's Shirl Penney on How RIAs Can Stay Independent and Grow Their Businesses
There's never been a more exciting time to be a financial advisor, or a more challenging one. The Baby Boomer generation is keeping advisors busy as they age into retirement. A new generation of internet-savvy millennials is beginning to consider their investment opportunities. Competition is everywhere. Technology is both disrupting the RIA landscape, and giving advisors new opportunities to retool and expand their businesses, while staying independent.
Dyanasty Financial Partners is one of the companies that's providing RIAs with a modern platform to differentiate and grow. On today's show, Dynasty's founder, Shirl Penney, discusses the core services that RIAs have to provide their clients to remain independent, and how a company like Dynasty can help.
Apr 19 2017
Rank #14: Key insights from my 10 most popular podcasts in 2016
I just finished my second year of podcasting and the numbers are in. Here are my 10 most popular podcasts for 2016 based on downloads along with a key idea shared on each episode. Grab some coffee and a notepad. It'll spark some ideas.
Dec 05 2016
Rank #15: How to close the 70bps gap in your value
Your business is under assault from Robo Advisors, technology disruption, Vanguard and Schwab’s low-cost call-center programs, the DOL rule, flat markets, and clients who are scrutinizing fees more closely than ever before. Ask yourself…
- How will you continue to add value in an industry that faces competitive threats and shrinking margins?
- How will you ensure clients don’t fire you if the financial markets experience years of flat to declining returns?
Business as usual will lead to a steady and predictable decline in the value of your business. But there is a way you can add predictable and measurable VALUE that doesn’t depend on the S&P 500 going up.
In today's show, learn how to:
- Add overwhelming client value.
- Protect your margins.
- Get more referrals.
- Never lose another client.
- Close the 70bps gap in your value.
Nov 08 2016
Rank #16: The Money Stories That Could be Hurting Your Clients
There are few things more detrimental to our wealth than the negative money stories we pickup in our youth that haunt us as adults. And there are few things more impactful you can do as an advisor than to understand your client’s money stories and work with them as you engage in your planning relationship.
Let’s face it, we all grow up with hang-ups around money. In those formative years of our upbringing, we start to absorb the financial habits and attitudes that we hear and see modeled in our family and other social relationships. Positive habits, like an emphasis on saving and investing, can set us up well for long-term financial planning. But some negative attitudes, like a fear of market volatility, can cause us to make poor emotional decisions about our money. Over the course of a lifetime, those can be seven-figure mistakes.
Dr. Brad Klontz, CFP told me that he believes the very best advisors learn what their client's hang-ups are and use that knowledge to work more effectively with their clients. And Dr. Klontz is tackling those hang-ups from two sides: first, as the managing principal of his own RIA, Your Mental Wealth Advisors; second, as the founder of the Financial Psychology Institute and as an associate professor of practice in financial psychology at Creighton University's Heider College of Business.
Dr. Klontz keeps these businesses and clients separate to avoid any unethical conflicts of interest. But through his unique experience as both a researcher and a client-facing advisor, Dr. Klontz identified four broad Money Scripts that show how our experiences shape our attitudes about money.
Jun 18 2018
Rank #17: The 4 Words That Describe the Value Financial Advisors Deliver With Doug Lennick
As technology automates much of the “mechanics” of money, advisors need to evolve to the more emotional aspects of money. After all, simply helping rich people get richer isn’t usually a driving motivator for advisors—or clients.
In my conversation with Doug Lennick, the co-founder of Think2Perform, an author, and former EVP of Advice and Retail Distribution for American Express Financial Advisors (now Ameriprise Financial), he shared four words that he believes underlie the real value financial advisors deliver.
Feb 12 2019
Rank #18: 5 Steps to Raising $90 Million in New AUM a Year Through Seminars
Seminars work. I’ve had multiple advisors on my podcast in recent months who are all killing it with seminars. In fact, today's podcast guest, Bill Keen, raised $90 million in AUM last year from seminars.
Sure, it seems old school in the age of Facebook, YouTube, and Zoom, but people still value human to human live contact. You can only Google, click, and swipe so much before you just want to hear an actual person give you some good, solid information about how to live the best life possible with your money.
If you’re behind the curve on seminars and you aren’t sure how to start, my guest today, Bill Keen, is going to help you catch up. Bill’s firm, Keen Wealth, has almost half a billion dollars in AUM, and seminars have been pivotal to Bill’s success.
On this episode, Bill details the 5-step process he used to perfect his seminar process and it could help you get on track to raise tens of millions in new AUM. Yes, there’s more to it than just slapping together a good PowerPoint. But if you commit to Bill’s process and throw in some personal touches, you’ll be on your way to grabbing an audience and growing your client base.
Mar 25 2019
Rank #19: Closing the 70 BPS Gap
In this excerpt from a Master Class I presented for First Assent Asset Management, I discuss 5 strategies to close the 70 basis point gap in your value. This gap comes about from the fact that advisors charge an average of 100 bps for their services, yet robo-advisor type services (and Vanguard and Schwab) are closer to 30 bps for investment management. Advisors have to make up this 70 bps gap by adding non-investment related services that clients value.
In this excerpt, I share 5 of the 9 I discussed in the Master Class. Make sure you listen all the way to the end – the 5th point might sound like a bit of a head-scratcher, but I think it’s extremely important to improving your practice and your relationship with your clients.
Jul 02 2018
Rank #20: Forbes' #1 Woman Wealth Advisor Rebecca Rothstein on How Curiosity and Tenacity Got Her to the Top
What do you need to be a successful financial advisor? An Ivy League degree in finance? A family practice that you can inherit? A group of wealthy connections that you can network? An "in" at one of the major firms? Well, Rebecca Rothstein doesn't check off any of those boxes, and she's currently managing over $4.5 billion in AUM. Without even a high school degree, Rebecca left home at age 17. She bounced through a series of odd jobs -- including walking racehorses after they'd finished running -- and by the late 1980s she was slogging through an unfulfilling sales position. She jumped to finance and earned her Series 7 just weeks before Black Monday. Anxious investors looking to take their portfolios in a new direction responded to Rebecca's curiosity and tenacity, two traits that she credits with helping her build her business brick by brick, one phone call at a time. Today, from her office in Beverly Hills, California, Rebecca's client list includes celebrities, athletes, musicians, and top CEOs and entrepreneurs. Rebecca has appeared numerous times on Barron's List of the top financial advisors, and according to Forbes, is currently the #1 woman advisor in the United States. In our conversation, Rebecca Rothstein and I discussed how drive and perseverance helped her to overcome the obstacles she faced early in her life and build a multi-billion-dollar AUM business.
Oct 22 2018