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Between Now and Success
24 minutes | 13 days ago
Marty Bicknell Sees a More Efficient Future for Advisors Who Embrace Wealthtech
In a Nutshell: The next wave of fintech and wealthtech will offer dramatic efficiency upgrades for advisors. Prepare your team to spend less time shuffling papers and more time having meaningful conversations with clients that will create real value. Guest: Marty Bicknell, Founder and CEO of the $35 billion AUM behemoth Mariner Wealth Advisors. My Key Takeaways: We need a true advisor desktop platform. Marty believes the independent space still lacks a unified advisor desktop platform and that miss hurts our productivity. But he says it's coming. Embrace change. Before the pandemic, about 25% of Marty's team was using the company's internal technology platform. During the pandemic, usage jumped to almost 100%. Now 85% of Marty's employees believe their productivity is up too. Those kinds of workflow and efficiency upgrades can be permanent if you build buy-in with your own team. Explore your options. From upgrading your existing systems to affiliating yourself with a larger firm like Mariner, advisors need to evaluate the new pathways to growth that are opening in front of them. Also Learn: What Marty says is the number one problem in finance that tech can help advisor address. Why Marty believes that the consolidation trend in our industry "isn't going anywhere, it's just getting started." What changes Marty's team made because of the pandemic that will continue to be part of their business post-pandemic. How Marty is leveraging the advantages of WFH while also helping his team work through the downsides, such as feelings of isolation.
13 minutes | a month ago
Barron’s Advisor is the gold standard when it comes to advisor conferences, rankings, education, and practice management. I’ve had a longstanding relationship with them and am thrilled to announce our new collaboration. Learn all the details in today’s short episode. And be sure to visit: https://stevesanduski.com/barronspodcast/
63 minutes | a month ago
Understanding Bitcoin and busting myths with Adam Blumberg
In a Nutshell: Learn the basics and dispel the myths around Bitcoin so that you can provide advice that's in your clients' best interests. Guest: Adam Blumberg, CFP, co-founder of Interaxis, a company that provides research and education to advisors and companies in the cryptocurrency, digital assets, blockchain, and DeFi space. My Key Takeaways: Money is complicated. Money's been called many things and we discuss some of its key properties and why Bitcoin may just be the ultimate manifestation of "money." Bitcoin is not going away. It's survived several boom and bust periods and is now hovering near all-time highs. Big players like Fidelity, MassMutual, Paul Tudor Jones, Bill Miller, Stanley Druckenmiller, and many others own and advocate for it. Bitcoin is not for everyone. Not yet, anyway. But as interest rates stay low, federal deficits rise, and ideas like Modern Monetary Theory gain popularity, there's a subset of your client base that will be looking for alternative investments. Do you want those clients buying volatile crypto on their own or working with you to diversify a reasonable percentage of their portfolio? Also Learn: What the difference is between "bitcoin" and "Bitcoin." Why many bitcoin proponents call it "digital gold." Why some of the mystery that turns people off Bitcoin -- such as who created it -- is actually a strength that has helped it gain widespread adoption and acceptance as a store of value. Where advisors are turning to learn more about Bitcoin, even if they ultimately decide to guide their clients elsewhere.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Marty Bicknell, spooked that clients were getting bitcoin through other outlets, now allocates to it through an SMA
Paul Tudor Jones did it for hedge fund managers. Michael Saylor and Jack Dorsey did it for publicly traded companies. Now, Marty Bicknell is doing it for RIAs and he discusses it with me on my new podcast. Once called “rat poison squared” by Warren Buffett, bitcoin is now going mainstream. After a tumultuous 12-year existence punctuated by head-spinning bull markets, devasting declines, exchange hacks, and its use in criminal activities, bitcoin has grown into adulthood. Bicknell recently announced that his firm, the $35 billion AUM behemoth Mariner Wealth Advisors, will offer bitcoin to its clients through a separately managed account run by Eaglebrook Advisors. To date, only a small number of intrepid advisors including Morgen Rochard, Jackson Wood, Adam Pokornicky, Tyrone Ross, Adam Blumberg, and Isaiah Douglas have done the pioneering work of understanding bitcoin, figuring out the compliance and operational details of offering it, and presenting it to their clients as part of a thoughtful asset allocation.
57 minutes | 2 months ago
Engaging Clients in the Life-Money Balance Conversation to Improve Planning Outcomes
In a Nutshell: As our industry evolves beyond money management, engaging with clients on their money-life issues and formative experiences surrounding money will be one of your most valuable services. Guest: Dr. Preston Cherry, the Founder and President of Concurrent Financial Planning, a comprehensive financial planning firm serving households and business owners across generations. Dr. Cherry is also an Assistant Professor of Finance & Personal Financial Planning at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay's Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, where he is in the process of building a new personal financial planning program. My Key Takeaways: Experience matters. Your clients are bringing a lifetime of positive and negative money experiences into this working relationship. You need to understand where they're coming from to help them get where they want to go. Bridge generations. Older clients might still be "stuffing money under the mattress." Millennials are curious about the latest bitcoin surge. How are you serving your current client base while broadening your horizons for the next generation? Share your stories. Opening up about the experiences that shaped your own life and career creates real connections. Those connections can create clients for life. Also Learn: Why one of Preston's favorite discovery questions is, "Tell me about a money situation that you've had the last six months." How a combination of open dialogue and measurable assessments can keep clients actively engaged with your planning process. How to use connection, communication, and convincing to "nudge" your clients towards better financial decisions. What Preston saved in an envelope to remind him of an important disconnect between his emotions and his money that he was able to overcome.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
Bonus Episode: 5 Tips for Financial Advisors on How to Get From $500mm to $5B
Mindy Diamond is the President and CEO of Diamond Consultants in Morristown, NJ. Recently, Mindy invited me to be a guest on her podcast, Mindy Diamond on Independence, and I appreciate her allowing me to share our conversation with you here. Some of the topics Mindy and I discussed include: Why discipline and focus are two essential traits of a financial advisor, especially an RIA CEO who wants to grow a lasting business. Some of the most common problem areas that the advisors I coach are working through right now. How the best advisors crash through perceived barriers by adjusting their mindsets and matching their dream to their desire. The 5 key areas I believe advisors need to focus on to accelerate their growth. Wisdom from top advisors like Ric Edelman, Joe Duran, Jon Jones, Elliot Weissbluth, and Peter Mallouk that you can adapt to your own business. The ways that the pandemic will continue to affect marketing and messaging as we head into 2021. Thanks again to Mindy for having me on and for letting me republish this episode.
71 minutes | 4 months ago
A Holistic Approach to Effective Modern Leadership
In a Nutshell: Computers are for number crunching. When it comes to managing people, leaders have to nurture the qualitative if they want to drive quantitative results. Guest: Walter Booker, the Chief Operating Officer of MarketCounsel, the premier business and regulatory consulting firm focused exclusively on the RIA sector, along with its affiliate, The Hamburger Law Firm. My Key Takeaway: To take a holistic approach to managing your team: Focus on the "soft stuff." Teaching your people how to manage portfolios is easy. Helping them grow as people so that they can be more effective advisors is how you create real value for your firm. Let your people be who they are. Covid-19 and WFH are changing the boundaries between our professional and personal selves. Make sure your employees know you embrace both. Treat your team the same way you treat your clients. Caring that goes beyond the numbers will trickle down through the rest of your organization and across your whole client base. Also Learn: Why "who" your team members are matters more than "what" they are. How to apply the same process of discovery and values-matching to potential hires that you use with potential clients. How improving your cultural fluency and embracing diversity can lead you to a talent goldmine. What Walter Booker learned about teamwork and diversity from working on his own "Island of Misfit Toys."
71 minutes | 4 months ago
Adapting Your Leadership Style to Meet the Current Times
Imagine you’ve just given a fantastic presentation to a roomful of executives. You’re pumped because you know all your preparation and rehearsal paid off. And you can tell from the energy in the room that your audience was knocked out too. Then, as you’re shaking hands, one of the execs “compliments” you by saying they were amazed by your intelligence because given your ethnicity, it had predestined you to a life of mediocrity. That’s exactly what happened to today’s podcast guest, Cecile Munoz! I was stunned when she shared that story with me. But, in a certain sense, I wasn’t. Anyone who’s been in financial services a couple decades is far too familiar with incidents like that. Too many pockets of our industry were boys’ clubs, and usually, the higher up the ladder you got, the whiter and more male the organization looked. Thanks to executives like Cecile, that’s finally changing in a meaningful way. On today’s episode, Cecile talks about how her experiences as a Hispanic woman inspired her to create an executive search company that’s helping advisory firms redefine what leadership looks like, especially post-pandemic.
56 minutes | 5 months ago
Finding and Growing a Purpose-Fueled Niche
Is the key to growing your business narrowing your niche? I know that sounds contradictory. And I know many advisors worry about the “Million-Dollar Prospect” who swipes past your firm because she's a pediatrician and you specialize in orthodontists. But if you're one of 10 advisors in town that offer the same services, you have a 10% chance of winning a prospect. If your specialization, your marketing, and your values set you apart, then prospects who are drawn to your firm have a binary choice: you versus everyone else. Your 10% chance just skyrocketed to 50%! My guest today, Samuel Deane, started with a pretty narrow niche: comprehensive planning for millennials working in tech. Then, Samuel zeroed in on a niche within his niche where Deane Financial Partners could establish a real competitive advantage and make a positive impact on communities across the country.
62 minutes | 5 months ago
The Wild 5,000 Year Ride of Money
Due to advances in technology and the rise of centralized systems that limit privacy, the very nature of how we think about money and the government’s role in it is evolving. The clearest manifestation of this is the rise of cryptocurrencies, of which bitcoin is the most prominent. In today's conversation, we go back 5,000 years to explore the beginning of money and then trace how the way we think about money and how we distribute money has evolved over time. Along the way, we touch on gold, central banking, Modern Monetary Theory and yes, bitcoin. It’s a wild ride! My objective in this episode is to give you some historical context that has led to the development of bitcoin and how it is being used today so you can speak more confidently to your clients when they ask about it. My guest to discuss all this is Michael Casey. Michael is a true pathfinder. He spent over three decades in journalism including 18 years with Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal. He's been in business and academia, and he has a real grasp on the big technological, geopolitical, economic, and social trends that impact businesses, communities and individuals. Currently, he’s the chief content officer at CoinDesk. In addition, he's the author of five highly acclaimed books including: "The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything" "The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life" "The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order"
37 minutes | 5 months ago
Is the Road Through Covid-19 Paved with Gold?
Whenever the market experiences significant volatility you're likely to see "gold bugs" swarming your social media and cable news feeds. Investing in a commodity like gold that we perceive as "stable" sounds appealing when other investments, like stocks, seem unstable. And it's true that the price of gold has risen in 2020 as the economy continues to adjust to Covid-19. But as we discuss on today's podcast, adding gold to your portfolio is not a surefire way to mitigate risk. And folks who move their assets out of the markets in order to buy gold could be making a long-term mistake.
66 minutes | 5 months ago
Stand Out by Producing Content That’s Authentic, Entertaining, Interesting, and Human
In a Nutshell: To stand out from all the fake news and clickbait cluttering your audience's inboxes, you have to produce content that's authentic, entertaining, interesting, and above all, human. Guest: Brooke Southall, the founder of RIABiz. Back in 2009, Brooke built his online-only news publication on traditional journalistic values like using multiple sources and editorial analysis. Brooke and his team captured the rise of new models for providing client-first financial advice against the backdrop of Wall Street's decline during the Great Recession. Today, RIABiz is one of the go-to sources for deep, sophisticated analysis of the most important issues affecting the RIA business. My Key Takeaways: To create engaging, authentic content: Don't be boring. Before you even start writing, ask yourself, "Is this an article I would click on or swipe past?" Slow down. Brooke believes that the race to be first has really hurt online journalism. Working important news into your regular communication rhythm will result in better content than a rushed newsletter. Keep your eyes open. Brooke says the key to writing good articles isn't great writing ability, it's curiosity about the world and other people. Also Learn: Why hiking with his dogs is an integral part of Brooke's writing process. How to use other people's stories as a jumping-off point for your next blog or newsletter. What separates a compelling headline from pure clickbait. Why Brooke believes showing weakness is more important to good writing than demonstrating success.
52 minutes | 6 months ago
Best of: Joe Duran
Building one advisory firm with billions in AUM is hard enough. Joe Duran has done it twice, most recently selling United Capital to Goldman Sachs and becoming Head of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management. We had an insightful conversation about how he did it and what he sees for the future of financial advisors and for the advice they deliver.
25 minutes | 5 years ago
Best of: Billionaire Eli Broad on How Being Unreasonable Led to Founding Two Fortune 500 Companies (07/18/16)
Note: This episode originally ran on July 18, 2016 Eli Broad is the billionaire founder of two Fortune 500 companies—Kaufman & Broad (now KB Home) and SunAmerica. You don’t reach that level of success by doing things just like everybody else does. Broad said ‘being unreasonable” led him to generate massive results. Listen to the podcast to learn 7 key business insights from his autobiography, The Art of Being Unreasonable, that illustrate how you can apply “being unreasonable” to jumpstart your success. Here's the first one. 1. In order to innovate, be unreasonable enough to ask fundamental questions about unexamined assumptions. Start by looking at the most fundamental operating principles of your business., what most people would call the basics. They represent the strongest, stickiest, and most unexamined kind of conventional wisdom. Broad said this conventional wisdom has often gone so long without scrutiny that they’re accepted as gospel. That's what makes these core assumptions the best place to look for opportunities to innovate. Charging a fee for assets under management certainly qualifies as conventional wisdom and we are starting to see advisors innovate in this area. Podcast guest James Osborne now charges a flat annual fee of $4,500 for money management and planning services regardless of account size. Brittney Castro charges a planning fee and a monthly subscription fee. And Scott MacKillop, founder of TAMP First Ascent, is capping his asset management fee at $1,500 regardless of asset size. If you want to quickly gain visibility and new business, find a piece of conventional wisdom and be unreasonable enough to shake it up and find a new angle that appeals to a certain segment of your target audience.
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