Here in Charleston, high school is still in session until June 10.

Given the perfect weather and school now practically year round, my 17 year old son and I called in a skip day and hit the water to fish for Redfish, Sea Trout, and Flounder on Wednesday.

Charleston’s Ashley River

 

We had a great time, made even greater because my son caught some memorable fish, including a shark.

You know the feeling of joyous surprise and satisfaction when something great happens. Many of us experience it as we help people navigate their lives, achieve goals, and hopefully find a sense of self-actualization.

I’ll dig into this in this week’s issue.

Here’s the full rundown.

The Under-Appreciated, Most Important Solution You Offer Your Clients

A Nine-Step System for Managing Money and Building Wealth with Brian Preston

Visualizing Creative Routines & Why We Need to Be Open-Minded About Time

Music Recommendation: Getting Athletics in Your Rotation

Milemarker On the Road ✈️

Let’s load the cassette tape and press play. ▶️

Communication: The Under-Appreciated, Most Important Solution You Offer Your Clients

Years ago, when I was in charge of bringing in Orion’s new business, I got a firsthand view of the wide variety of ways that firms charged their clients and comped their advisors.

For me, it was one thing to read ADVs and a wholly different thing to see the outcome of those agreements in advisory firm’s billing, custodial fee files, and advisor payouts.

The firms that always piqued my curiosity were those who charged some level of success fee or high watermark-based fee.

When I was early in my career, I thought this model made the most sense.

After all, the primary measures that our software presented were the investment returns and change in value, and demonstrating that information was everything.

That was nearly 20 years ago, and financial planning was a skeleton of what it is today.

The Modern Era of Advice

In this modern era of advice, it has never been more apparent that investment alpha is only a portion of the value an advisor adds.

And while planning has become a staple to modern wealth management, I’ve routinely observed that much of planning is only relevant at the onset of a client relationship.

It makes sense since planning software is most beneficial for framing the relationship, providing an efficient way to gather details and create an initial game plan.

However, once ACATs are filed and assets have transferred, clients may not necessarily feel the same level of value. Retail clients often may not see or interact with a financial plan until the next annual meeting.

Advisors move on to servicing, and planning gets relegated to as-needed or by appointment only.

The stickiest advisors go beyond planning and investment alpha and speak to tax and behavioral alpha—both of which create new dynamics and contact points that require advisors to reinvent their posture.

Gimmick or Guide

Are the tools we have used over the years to frame conversations with investors true guides or something of a gimmick that we use once and never return to?

I want to be clear that this issue is not necessarily about the tool itself. In fact, I can assure you that the teams that design and build these tools are very much focused on their continued relevance to your client experience, analysis, and advisor toolset. No one wants to build gimmicks.

When designing your client experience, get clear about the tools you’re using, the goal and whether it is long-term or simply part of the initial process.

Sometimes, this takes experimentation.

Experimentation takes execution.

Execution can become operationalized.

Every solution you implement into your process should intentionally add value to the client.

To increase your alpha focus and delivery, consider tax analysis software to understand asset location. I’ve seen firms integrate or buy CPA practices to provide ongoing value-added tax analysis for their clients with great success.

While behavioral finance software is primarily still in the development and category maturity phase, there are early implementations in your planning software that are worth exploring.

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

In all of the choices we can have to add deeper value, the largest area for improvement appears to be simple communication.

YCharts conducted a study of 800 advisors that was released earlier this year. The findings are something that every advisor should staple to the proverbial office water cooler.

Three in four advised clients left or [considered] leaving their advisor in 2023 and nearly 80% expressed a desire to be contacted at least every three months,” according to Kara Hughes, Vice President of Marketing at YCharts.

What is interesting from YCharts Study and the time you spend with investors who join your firm from another shop — its very rare that clients are running from a lack of services, they are generally running to a more dedicated, understanding guide who can actually help them.

YCharts Advisor Survey

When I talk with advisors about talking to their clients more – it’s often an eye roll.

“My clients don’t want to hear more from me.”

“What will I talk about that is unique from the last time we talked?”

I get it. It can be really difficult to do the relational work.

Here are some simple suggestions on how to attack your communication with your clients and possibly start checking the boxes on how you can add more value.

Diversify Your Content – Less Financial, More Experiential
The communication that people appreciate is content that connects with their interests. Most clients are interested in travel, health, family, and legacy.

Make Your Communication Portable and Enjoyable. 
The team at Turncast provides a really interesting service. They help advisors turn their (possibly boring) client newsletter into a done-for-you podcast and video show that can be sent exclusively to their clients.

Advisors set their own time and record online.

The content is edited, shared with compliance, and turned into high-definition audio and video with detailed show notes that can quickly become your email newsletter with very little effort from you.

Leveraging private podcasting technology, Turncast publishes your publications to an exclusive feed that you send to your clients and you now have a very scalable, superior communication cadence.

Choose a Framework, Deepen Your Relationships.
One of the best ways to scale your client communication is to build your client communication into a very teachable framework that helps you continually learn more about your client, add value to them, and build a deeper sense of who they are with each interaction.

There are dozens of frameworks that you can choose from. From Honest Conversations to Table Topics, there are lots of options to pick from. Like anything, it’s about execution. Find one that works and use it to go deeper.

Call with No Agenda


One of my favorite things from my time with Carson was seeing the impact of simply reaching out to your clients and seeing how they are doing. Don’t have an agenda; just say hello and see how they are.

Most people in the US are lonely. Relationships matter. You are your clients’ trusted guide, and your relationship to them matters.

If you try this once a week, you will be amazed at the impact it can make.

How are you investing in improving your communication and value add this Summer?

On the Pod – A Nine-Step System for Managing Money and Building Wealth with Brian Preston

In this episode of The Connected Advisor, Kyle welcomes Brian Preston, Managing Partner at Abound Wealth Management and the creator of The Money Guy Show. With a legacy in education, Brian has turned his passion into a successful YouTube channel and podcast running for over 15 years.

Brian discusses his book, Millionaire Mission, which outlines a nine-step financial order of operations for managing money and building wealth. He shares insights on content creation, running a fast-growing RIA, and navigating the future of financial planning.

Episode Highlights:

[02:31] Brian’s money moment.

[07:44] The secret to success in content creation.

[12:50] A 9-step system for managing money and building wealth.

[16:59] The three key ingredients to wealth creation.

[25:09] Managing a fast-growing firm.

[30:59] The future of the financial planning industry.

Key Takeaways:

The Financial Order of Operations is essential for managing money and building wealth.

Discipline, money, and time are crucial for wealth creation.

Investing in technology and maintaining a long-term mindset are key to building a successful advisory firm.

Notable Quotes:

Tune in to learn more about Brian’s wealth-building strategies and his journey in the financial industry.

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Apple Podcasts

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While there, please don’t forget to Download, Like, and Subscribe.

Visualizing Creative Routines & Why We Need to Be Open-Minded About Time

Hat tip to Jordan Hutchenson, Ph.D. of RFG Advisory, for sharing this earlier this week.

As apps and devices, such as the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch, help us measure all of these aspects of our days, it’s also essential to understand how unique time can and should be across various people.

This chart from Visual Capitalist and RJ Andrews provides an interesting breakdown of various known creative individuals identified by Mason Currey in his 2013 work, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. 

Visual Capitalist

 

Visualized: The Daily Routines of Famous Creatives

The daily routines of 16 famous creatives—poets, thinkers, scientists and even politicians—are charted for comparison with each other.

 

Music Recommendation: Getting Athletics in Your Rotation

I was talking with one of our readers earlier today and he remarked about how much he appreciated my music recommendations that I have previously dropped into the newsletter. It won’t take much encouragement to get me to talk music with you.

Right now, I’m enjoying listening to Athletics.

Think Explosions in the Sky, the Album Leaf, and Appleseed Cast. If none of these bands are in your rotation, I recommend you start with Appleseed Cast and Low-Level Owl Vol 1 & 2.

Athletics

Artist · 16.3K monthly listeners.

 

Milemarker on the Road

Catch our team on the road at the following events or cities:

June 7 – Fargo, ND

June 10 – Omaha, NE

June 27 – Baltimore, MD

July 5 – Minneapolis, MN

July 15-18 – Denver, CO

If you’re in any of those cities and want to arrange a meeting time, reply to this email, and we’ll get something on the calendar.

Jud Mackrill