You're listening to Financial Advisor Marketing, the best show on the planet for financial advisers who want to get more clients without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal. James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisers grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard. [00:31.7]
James: Financial advisors, welcome to another week, another Monday morning, another episode of Financial Advisor Marketing this week. I have another special treat for you. This is Brad Wales, who's going to be on the show today. And he is the founder of Transition to RIA. The website is transitiontoRIA.com. And I know Brad is an astute marketer because he's talking to me right now and he got me to bring him on and he is, he can share some of the ways he did that. It was very touching and he is on point with this content. And he's got tons of videos on his website, tons of videos on YouTube. If you just go to YouTube and type in Brad Wales, you're going to see all this stuff. So, I want to introduce him, if you're watching this on video, you're going to see his beautiful face. So, Brad, introduce yourself. Let everybody know what's up. [01:18.7]
Brad: Yeah. Hey James, thanks for having me on excited to be here, excited for the conversation and sure not, not to pat myself on the back, but I'll, I'll share the the way I got on your radar. I remember, I don't know it was a month or so ago and you had made a video on LinkedIn and you were giving people advice, you know, Hey, if you're gonna reach out to me, you can't just reach out to me with a bland old text. You gotta, you actually put something behind it. I think you suggested people maybe make a video. And so, I thought, well, you know that that's great, but you've just gone out there and told everyone to do that. So that's not gonna, that's not going to set me apart. And so, as James knows, I ended up sending him up a book that I encourage him to you know, I'll leave it up to him to maybe make a couple of future episodes out of obviously just finished your, your most recent series, which, which I do have that. It's quite the I haven't, I haven't finished. I haven't even dove into it yet. The laws of power.
James: Oh you’ve got it right there. [02:08.6]
Brad: Quite the.
James: I didn't even, I should have noticed that.
Brad: The Laws of Power.
James: He's got, for those of you who are listening, he’s got 48 Laws of Power behind him. Big Book is probably depending on how fast you read, it may take a little while. But yeah, The Laws of Power series, honestly, that's gotten way more downloads than I thought it would. Like, that's done so well like wow I mean, I'm humbled by it, but thank you for that.
Brad: Yeah, no I thought it was great. So, for those who don't know, it broke up into four, four episodes. It's quite a huge book of good, good job, really bringing it down to bite sized pieces. And so obviously James was appreciated, a good, a good book ended up searching out your address on your website, mail, mailed them another book called Influence for those that haven't heard. He took the chance, he hadn't read it before, turns out, turns out he let me know he had, but I think appreciated a good book and then a good approach to reaching out. So so here we are today.
James: So, as I mentioned in the intro, you run transitiontoRIA.com. Essentially, I mean, it's in the name, you help financial advisors’ transition to that model. How did you get started? And maybe more importantly, why did you get started? [03:13.2]
Brad: Sure. Yeah. I’m trying to be. I'm a big big fan of having a niche and then making it really known what niche you're in. So, I don't think you can get any more descriptive than my, my name to describe exactly what I do, but the quick backstory of it. So, I've been in the industry almost 20 years, about half that time in the RIA model in different capacities and the most recent kind of corporate position I had was with a custodian and I was a business development officer. So, I was out there telling this story about the RIA model, helping people understand, you know, the economics, the flexibility, why you might transition into it, how you would transition into it. But the challenge was at the end of the day, I was employed in this case by a custodian and my job was to sell that custodial platform to advisors. [03:59.7]
And for, for many advisors, it was a great solution, but for many advisors that it wasn't, and that's not to suggest that there's any custodian out there that is best for everyone, but that's something I struggled with because at times it was, you know, essentially pressure to put a square peg in a round hole. And I just liked being able to guide advisors, you know, this is crazy thought guide advisors down, whatever path is best for them, not necessarily the particular solution I had to sell. So, I envisioned this business model, which I've now launched and we're on completely independent of any of those solutions and I can just help advisors, you know, explore their situation, explore the different options available to them, and then walk them down that path what's best for them, not, not necessarily some one particular solution that I'm tasked with selling, cause I don't represent any particular solution now. [04:50.6]
James: Well, that's good because it allows you to give more in-depth information, allows you to be, everybody's got biases of some sort, but allows you to be significantly less bias. You can just keep it real with advisors and say, this is what I think you should do. This is the economics are the, these are the economics of an RIA model. This is what you're doing now. This is your payout. I mean, I've been watching your videos that you have on your site and on YouTube. And you go really in detail about why advisers should or shouldn't do this. Obviously, this is the Financial Advisor Marketing show, can you speak a little bit as to why the RIA channel is better from a marketing perspective or at least can be better? [05:31.5]
Brad: Yeah absolutely. So, the two main, and we'll probably get into the second one perhaps in a bit, but the, the two main reasons folks end up, you know, looking at the RIA model and then ultimately transition into it are primarily for the economics involved and then for the flexibility. And so, a big part of that flexibility is, is how you can market your firm out there. It just is what it is. If you were at a large brokerage firm to pick on, to pick on them, we'll call it the wire houses of the world. The reality is you are going to be much more constrained by what you can do under that umbrella then under your own RIA. And some of that has to do with regulatory differences, but the majority is, and I point this out to folks all the time, you know, pick, pick whichever large form you want. I don't doubt that those firms are run by some very well-intended people. Some, some people that want to do best for the advisors and really want to help them. But the reality is if that firm has 10,000 plus advisors or whatever other large number you want to use for the example, they have to put policies and procedures into corral, this enormous amount of advisors in, in, in inevitably you get a large enough number you're gonna have bad apples in there. [06:45.5]
So as, as they say, you have to, you have to set policies and procedures for the lowest common denominator. And so, if you're in part of that big herd, for lack of a better word, you're handcuffed to the point of making sure that the, the knucklehead, the lowest knucklehead at the firm, doesn't bring the firm down and you're in competition against people that are in the RIA model that don't have that constraint at all. And I just think it's incredibly hard to, I mean, it's hard enough to compete out there in the marketplace, let alone, you know, at a disadvantage. [07:16.3]
James: Well, the example I share with advisors is the Coke and Pepsi example. And that you've heard this from me off the air, is that imagine that Coca-Cola can advertise everywhere they're in restaurants, on billboards on TV. There are newspapers on social media. They can advertise anywhere they want because they have two things business owners need. They have flexibility and have control. Then you have Pepsi and let's say Pepsi is only allowed to advertise on billboards. It's not that difficult to see who's going to win that fight in the long-term. And I see the biggest example that comes to mind with financial advisors, it's email marketing because that's, by far the best appointment setting strategy we're seeing for advisors now. And unfortunately, a lot of advisors at broker dealers and just non-RIA’s really either they really struggle with it or they can't do it. That's just one of many examples. I'm sure you see it all the time. If you're having consultations, people are like, I wish I could do X from a marketing perspective. It's sad really. [08:15.4]
Brad: Yeah. And I can, I can give you an example. I mean, I'll give you, I'll give you one specific one, but I think, you know, for folks listening, listening to this podcast or all of your podcasts, your videos, you put up on LinkedIn, you know, to, to the degree, you know, you're talking about something, giving a strategy, whether it is that email marketing, whether it's LinkedIn strategies and to the degree you, you say to yourself or you, you got to look into it and then you, you come to the conclusion Oh I can't do that, just just know that there's other listeners of that same episode that can do it. And, and that's the challenge you're up against. You know, you don't have to implement every strategy that's out there and some might not be of interest to you, but when, when you put yourself at a disadvantage, it's tough to compete. [08:56.2]
So, I'll, I'll give you one quick example that hits close to home cause as you noted you know, thanks for, thanks for your nice comments on my videos. So, I make a lot of videos. I'm a big believer in, and that's a great way to get your message out there to, to demonstrate credibility for business development purposes and whatnot. And I was working with an advisor once that was at a large firm. We won't name the firm and he wanted to do videos, not because I suggested it. He, he brings this up on his own and he wanted to do videos for business development purposes, have them on his website, put them on YouTube, a YouTube, by the way, second largest search engine out there nowadays, you know, you can't overlook that as a, as a distribution for your your message. And he was very tenured, very experienced, not the knucklehead in, in, and he would be well capable of making responsible videos and not say all the stupid things you shouldn't say, and for regulatory reasons or whatnot, but he goes to his firm and he asks if he can make these videos and, and whatnot, and their response was essentially, you know, we don't have any problem with you doing it. We know you're responsible. We know you're experienced enough on and on and on. Here's the, here's the problem. We have X, thousands of advisors. We have no mechanism, at least not currently. We have no mechanism to monitor thousands of advisors making videos, because if we let you do what we gotta let everyone else do it. So, for your request, the answer is no. And that really hits home because there was no regulatory thing stopping him from doing. It was just the nature of the kind of firm he was at. And that wasn't his only motivator, but that was a main one to get them looking. And he ended up going the RIA path so, so he could have that flexibility for that sort of thing. [10:35.1]
James: This is so sad, but for the advisors who can't do it, it's sad. But I mean, quite frankly, for the advisors who do jump ship and go completely independent and run their own business like that, that's incredible. Is it just like the example I gave you of this guy who can do video marketing, which has proven to work, if you do it correctly and you implement certain systems, the video lives forever outside of you. He's going to be able to do that, other people can't. Like at a selfish business person level, if you're trying to grow a business and trying to get clients that is like quite literally your unfair advantage. But it's not just the marketing side that makes sense, the economics also make sense as well. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think one of the most popular videos that you have is something like how much money can I make if I make the transition or like, what are the economics of it? I know that your white paper is about the economics of it. So, can you speak as to like how much money financial advisors can expect to make? [11:33.3]
Brad: Yeah. And I, I think I came up with some, I'm sure I wordsmith at some, some more eloquent way to frame that, but at the end of the day, I mean, we're all human and how much money can I make if I go down a different path versus what I have now. And that's completely natural for all of us to think about, you know, as we go through life and have different options available for us. And so that is a big difference. And, you know, there's two things I would just point out to that. So that the short answer, because I, you know, I hate when people give a wishy-washer or it depends and never really provide that direct answer so that the short answers, generally speaking, if you're reasonably sized and reasonably run. And what I mean by that is you do need some size as an RIA because a lot of your expenses are fixed costs and so you gotta have some scale and reasonably run. So, you, you have the flexibility to run your practice, however you want. So, if you want a super fancy office, well, that's, that's gonna, that's gonna squeeze your PNL somewhere, if you're more modest setting. So reasonably run, you can generally expect to, to take home 60 to 70% of your top line revenue, as they say before owner's compensation. [12:37.0]
And so, you factor that in, and then you compare that against to what your, what your maybe receive it now. And, and of course there there's two sides of the coin. I'm always a straight shooter. It does come with a fair amount, more responsibility. You're now a small business owner. You now, you now for, for better or worse, you have the flexibility to work with all different kinds of solution providers, but now you need to source a lot of those. And that's a lot of what I help folks with. So, I don't want to give the impression it's, it's a, a free walk or anything like that, but, but absolutely if you're willing to put in the effort and the, and the responsibility, the economics, almost in every instance from a, and that's just one example that the take home on a going forward basis is higher in the RIA model. [13:18.8]
James: Oh, that’s a perfect segue to what I want to ask you next. One of the fears that advisors have is that they will lose clients as they make the transition. And every so often I will get advisors who email me and say like, with the marketing stuff, they'll say, I wish I could do this, but I can't because X, Y, Z blah, blah, blah. For them, for those of you who want to take a look, I actually have a private URL on my website. It's TheAdvisorCoach.com/restrictive. And I got the question, I can't do this. What do you suggest? All this other stuff? I got it so much that I created this private webpage for it. And whenever anybody asks me any questions, I send it directly to them and it basically says, Get Out, like, you need to market any different way. You need to get control and flexibility like Brad is telling you. And I'm glad that he's saying it not me, because when I say certain things, sometimes people are like, Oh yeah, it's just James saying it. But they'll say, well, it's easier said than done. And yeah, that's true and they're like, well, what are you really afraid of? I'm really afraid that I'm going to lose clients. So, you also have a video about that, where you're like, yes, you probably will lose clients, but you end up making more money. How does that work? [13:18.8]
Brad: Yeah. And, and I would say, if you, if you want to use the word rant on one of my videos, that's, that's what I probably rant on more than anything. Cause I have a, I have a pet peeve on, on part of it. So, two sides to that one. I, my, my rant is I am not a fan of anyone that tells you, Oh, you will keep a 100% of your accounts if you transition. And sometimes you see that in advertising or you, you see some advisor kind of bragging about it. I kept a 100%. And the reality is that's not going to happen for, for one reason or another, you will not keep every last account that might because you purposely want to leave some accounts behind there, no longer fit your profile of what you're trying to do with your practice. Maybe some clients might not come with you. And I'll, I'll talk about that in just a moment. And then for logistical reasons, sometimes certain types of accounts might not be able to move from one firm to another. So I, I just, for what it's worth, I, I hate, I think it's misleading anytime someone tries to give you the impression, you'll move up 100% of the accounts. Now I do point out, you might be able to move 100% of the accounts you want to bring with you. And that you're logistically able to bring with you that, that, that type of thing has been done and is achievable. [15:40.3]
But again, there are some carve-outs of reasons, it just won't add up to a hundred percent of your total accounts. Now, with that, that the math James was talking about, that I, that I mentioned in my videos is because of that higher take-home that I talked about a second ago. So easy comparison, let's say you're currently net and 40% through your, your firm's brokerage payout or whatever the math comes to. But for simplicity sake, let's say it's 40. And now under that RIA model, and you're reasonably run reasonably sized, everything we've talked about, you can net 65% at the end of the day. Well, you can just run that delta for your clients in, in basically and then I don't know what that math equals off the top of my head for that particular example. But you can bring less than 100% of the clients, but because of what you do bring, you're now getting a higher payout on you. You can figure out exactly what that break-even point is. And then anything above that is just pure additive. You know, obviously you're, you're doing it, not just to make the same amount of money you'd like to make more, but that, that, because of that big gap and payout, that that generally gives you a fairly big buffer of run that if some clients don't follow me, even ones, I think will, the math is still gonna work out in your favor on that. [16:54.9]
James: It's just like an investment term, it's a margin of safety.
James: And in financial terms, people say invest for the long-term and well transitioning and getting more money over the long-term is a long-term move. Like you can get, you're probably going to be around break-even maybe a little less, maybe a little more like the way you describe it. But over the long-term, you're going to have so many more opportunities to grow. You're going to have so much more control. You're going to be running your business. You can think like a business person and not an employee. And that's huge. And I want to talk about mindset later. [17:25.3]
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James: But the other big objection that I hear from financial advisors and you definitely do too, is what about compliance? How can people run their own compliance and get a compliance consultant? How can they handle that aspect of the business?
Brad: Yeah. And you're, you're tossing me softballs to rant about here. I love these these, because I think they just make great points. And so, compliance is one that comes up all the time. Anytime someone's asking about the model I think that's often planted by, you know, a lot of the traditional brokerage firms that are trying to dissuade their advisors for looking, Oh, you're gonna have to do your own compliance or you're going to have to pay for that. And, and I, I particularly love the, Oh, you gonna have to pay for it part because I always remind advisors. I don't care what model you're in or what firm you're in, you are absolutely already paying for compliance. It is just built into your, your, this, you get this bundled payout check or bill at the end of the year, and you can't see all those line items, but, but rest assured, if your firm could somehow give you an itemized bill, which they can't, because there's no way to break all those cost allocations down, but if they could make no mistake, one of those line items would be for compliance. So, you're paying for it already. So, you've got to kind of reset your thinking. [19:05.2]
And then there's two advantages. All of a sudden when you know, like, Oh gosh, I've got to pay for it, but you have two advantages when, when you are have that control to pay for it yourself. One, the way you generally are not the, the, the, the primary way every RIA works through their compliance challenges is you work with specialty compliance consultant firms. And there's a number of players out there in the business, all different ranges of what they provide for you to pick and choose from. And so, it's not something you do on your own. I mean, in theory, you could, there's no regulatory requirement says you've got to use these firms, but that is standard best practice. But because you go out and hire them, it's this strange concept that compliance is now working for you, as opposed to at your current firm, you get no say you don't get to hire and fire your compliance people, if you don't feel they're responsive to you are not willing to, to think through solutions with you. [19:58.7]
I mean, ultimately those compliance consultant firms still, you know, they, they're still going to point out if there's black and white rules, you can, and can't do, and you should listen to them, but again, they need to be a good partner to you, or you'll just, you're just fire them and hire someone else, which is very refreshing feeling for a lot of advisors. And then the other, the other note, I always point out on compliance is keep in mind when, when you're at that big firm and you're paying that compliance and this, this bundled bill that you don't get to see how much you're paying, you're arguably paying for more compliance than you even need. And the, the, the main example I always give, just because it's an easy example, is if some firms allow their advisors to have foreign clients, and actually some firms are actually getting out of that business, but it's pretty normal to say, Hey, advisors can have foreign clients. [20:43.8]
And as a result, those compliance teams at the home office, there have huge components to handle that foreign risk component and the anti-money laundering and the know your client, everything that, that is even elevated with those foreign clients. And so, if you're an advisor that uses, or has a lot of foreign clients, well, you're maybe getting your money's worth for that, that there's compliance chips you're, you're putting in the pot. But if you're an advisor that doesn't have any foreign clients, and guess what your payout is the same as the person down the hall, that that is needs all this extra support, was that really fair, that, that you're, you're having to basically subsidize someone else from a compliance standpoint. And so again, when you go out there and you hire a compliance consultant yourself, and it's not just who you hire, it's what services you hire them to do. You only have to pay for the compliance that you need, and that satisfies your needs for your practice and firm. [21:39.1]
James: It's just a more accurate cost. It's customer tailored. You could be paying way more than you need it. There could be advisors who are doing crazy stuff like alternative investments or vice could be wacky. And you're just doing something simple. Like you don't really need all that and you're paying extra, or you're paying more than you need to.
Brad: Yeah. The quick analogy I give on that is, is again, because you're paying, when, when you're just having a payout, you know, you don't get that itemized bill and you just kind of blindly, you know, pay the inverse of your payouts. If you pay us 40%, you're, you're basically paying 60% back to the firm. And it's kind of the equivalent of, you know, last time you go out to a, went out to a restaurant and the bill came, imagine if it wasn't an itemized bill. So, one, you know, you're just, okay, I guess here's everything it's all lumped in together. And then, and then to, to the, to the last point we were talking about not even using parts of compliance, imagine if there were some desserts and whatnot delivered to the booth next to you, but that just showed up on your bill and you get to pay it. No questions asked. I mean, that's a, that's effectively what's happening that you're blindly having to pay a large bill for things you may or may not even be applicable to you. And obviously I'm biased, obviously I believe in the RIA model, but it is just an absolute difference of how expenses are incurred between different models. [23:04.3]
James: So, what are some reasons why people should not transition to the RIA model? I'm gonna try to get you to get you to play the other side here.
Brad: Oh and, absolutely well, I, I say there's, there's whether we have time to get into or not, but there's three main ways people transition into the model. But what that really means is there's four outcomes for advisors because there is that fourth outcome that is you don't go into the RIA model, or maybe you do stay put. I'm a very believer straight shooter, again, I mentioned it earlier on, I'm not just going to help people understand how much more money they could make or how much more flexibility they're going to have. It's how much more responsibility they're going to have as well. And just quite frankly, for some advisors, they either don't have the desire or they don't have the skill set to do that. And there are solutions that, that help you with a lot of that. You can outsource a lot of it, but still it's, it's probably more responsibility than you have now. [23:56.9]
So, a typical example, I give this all the time, but I think it just gets home just because I've heard it so many times is, I mean, I've had conversations with advisors over the years and they'll, and they're in an employee captive firm. And, and they say to me, Hey, Brad, I'm at the end of the day. Yeah, I got this 40, 45% payout and yeah, they nickel and dime me and all the kinds of stuff. And yeah, I don't get flexibility. But at the end of the day, I'm net in like $600,000, $700,000 a year. And I come in at 9, I leave at 4. I don't come in on Fridays. That's a pretty good life. I liked that life. And so, Brad, you might be able to show me a path where I could make another 2, $300,000, but I'm going to have more responsibility and I'm going to be in charge of stuff I'm not in charge of now. And guess what? I like my life. I like my lifestyle. [24:48.1]
James: It’s the golden handcuffs.
James: Golden handcuffs on you. [24:51.0]
Brad: And so, but Hey, I respect that. I mean, how do you tell someone making $600,000 a year that likes, you know, they're not, not content with everything, but Hey, my life's not too bad. Hey, I get that. And so, so that's that's an example of why someone doesn't make the move. And then sometimes just, just the, the advisors, every advisor situation is unique. Every advisor situation is different. So sometimes just the profile of the advisor, the kind of clients they serve, the products and solutions they need, it's just not a fit. So, there is no one, one answer to it. But to be fair, there are indeed a number of instances where it is not the right fit to go down that path. But as I always say, how, how do you know where you fall on that unless you at least, you know, peel the onion back and start understanding it better before you can make any conclusions on that. [25:43.9]
James: Well, you talking about them being comfortable with a lifestyle and not really wanting to make more, that that strikes a chord with me. And I don't want to get too like weird or spiritual on you, but like personally speaking, this is just me speaking. I feel as if, if you can make more, you, should, you have like a moral obligation to do it. Now, I agree. Not everybody feels that way again. It's just me. I feel like you have that duty to do more, be more, have more because I mean, you don't, you don't have to spend the extra money. You don't have to get another house or another car or take another vacation, but you can donate it. You can provide to people; you can provide your family. You can create a legacy. There's so much more that you can do. Again, just me personally I think that just saying I'm comfortable. I'm good. I'm all set is really selfish. And it's something for people to consider. I know not everybody feels that way. That's just me, but it is what it is. I think everybody should strive if they can do it. I think everybody should try to do the best that they can in their life. If the best you can do is a $100,000 per year and you're maxing out, you are a success because you're doing everything that you can. [26:46.5]
If your max is $1.2 million a year, and you make a $900,000, you're not a success yet because you're not maxing out what you have. That may seem harsh to some people, but that's just, that's the way I see it. So, I really, that strikes a chord with me a lot. Now, the next question I have for you, this may seem like a strange question, but I want to talk about the mindset of the advisors here. So, what are some of the big objections? I know we've already talked about a couple of them, but if there are any more that advisors give you can, can you share them and like how you help them overcome it and just changed their thinking about this? [27:22.0]
Brad: I would say they don't, they don't necessarily outright advise, you don't necessarily outright say this. Whether they're subconsciously thinking about it perhaps or not is, is just inertia to be honest. You can and it's probably the same with a lot of market and things, you know, be people, listen to your, your suggestions and strategies all the time, and you can hear it all day long. You can even agree with it and say, wow, this would be the, well, you still have to do it. And, and a lot of this stuff is, you know, it's strategies. These are not one day things, these are, they take time to implement it. It's, it's a marathon, not a sprint. And so quite frankly, that that is a big part of it. And, and I'm, I'm not naive. It's always easy for me to say, Oh yeah, go and move all your client accounts. And Oh it's going to be, there's a process and, and you'll get through it and you will. But I do sympathize it. It's not, not an easy process, but I do an example I give a lot and in different analogies is, is like refinancing your mortgage. [28:20.1]
If you've ever refinanced your mortgage for lower interest rate, it, it's a pain in the butt to go through that process. It's a lot of paperwork. It takes forever, there’s back and forth. They lose paperwork and all this stuff, but at the end of the day, once you're over the hump and yeah, it was a lot of work and it was not fun. But once you're over the hump and you're in a better place in that case, lower interest rate on your mortgage going forward. I've never heard someone regret having done it after the fact. It's not fun during it, but after you look back and say, you know, Hey, I, I, I, I regret having lowered my cost of my mortgage now for years to come kind of thing. And so that's the same thing with, with making a transition. It's not going to be fun. It's going to be a lot of work, but, but Hey, if you're going to be in, in this occupation for another 10, 20, maybe longer years, is it worth putting in a little short-term pain for it, for that long-term gain? And then a final thought I'd, I'd add to that as well. That part of why I made the move there, there are a couple of variables of why we talked about at the beginning here of why I started my firm. [29:18.9]
But a challenge I had, I realized I was a hypocrite. I was sitting as an employee at a affirm, and I was getting my health benefits covered and my retirement contributions and all that. And, and there, I was telling people, you know, in a similar environment, not exactly but advisors in that W2 environment, they had health insurance and all that. Oh yeah, go start your own firm. Oh yeah, you'll figure out the health insurance. Oh yeah, you'll, you'll, you'll more than make up for the retirement contributions and all this. And yet I was, I wasn't willing to make that jump myself. And so, I, I, it occurred to me one day, I was just an absolute hypocrite on that. And so now I have made that jump. I did you know voluntarily, proactively leave that environment. Started my own firm. Yeah, I've had to figure out a lot of stuff when I started my firm, how to do health insurance, all of those things. And it's, it's all doable, but, but I, I do think it gives me a little more validity when I can, and again, it's, it's in different capacities. I get it. But but I can back up what I'm, what I'm suggesting to others do. [30:18.9]
James: Yeah. And it's just, short-term pain. The refinancing analogies, that's brilliant. I've never heard that, like that's awesome. You just put the work in, if you, if you are going to be in the business for another 10, 20 years like really think about it and that's awesome. So how exactly do you help financial advisors’ transition? Like, what does your process look like? If someone's listening right now and they're like, okay, I'm sold, I at least want to have a conversation. What can they do? And what does that look like? [30:49.9]
Brad: Yeah. And we'll, we'll get a I'm sure. You'll, let me give a shout out to my website, what you did at the top of the top of the, the, the podcast. So, thank you for that. But yeah, the, the main thing I always suggest, and this is what that main first conversation with with me looks like, is it, you know, if you don't understand the model currently and, and actually I'll give you a I love analogies. So, I'll give you a quick analogy of what I tell my friends that aren't in the industry or my family. My parents, you know, ask me what, what the heck is it I do? And you know, those of us that are not in this industry its very quick to lose people, you start talking to acronyms and RIAs and BDs, and that doesn't mean anything to any of our non-industry friends. And so the example I've, I've kind of landed on that I give to folks, and this is not to equate financial advisors with, with McDonald's managers, but it's easy to understand that, that I say, Hey, imagine you imagine there's a manager of a McDonald's and they've been doing it for five years. And they are a fantastic manager. They know how to hire employees. They know how to train employees. They know how to do all the food, do all the order and keep the store running great on and on and on. So, they're a wonderful manager of a, McDonald's. Nothing, nothing a trainer could teach them. However, if that manager now wants to own a McDonald's, well, that's an entirely different skillset or highly different knowledge base. You know, how, how do I get a franchise? How do I get finance in, how do I get a location? Will McDonald's approve me or not? [32:13.2]
And so that's what I do with financial advisors. You, you can be a wonderful financial advisor, way better than I ever could be at being a financial advisor. But that doesn't mean you're necessarily going to be an expert on, on how a different affiliation model works, nor why would it mean you'd be an expert unless you've ever dipped a teller or been in that environment you just naturally would not know. And so, a lot of what I help advisors with on that front end is just understand and how it works. I mean, what, in much more detail, what does those economics look like? What does that flexibility look like? And part of the reason I set up my firm as I did is, I used to be, again, I was at a custodian and the challenge is if you're first and there's some wonderful people in those roles, wonderful, knowledgeable, helpful people. I'd like to think I was; I was one of them in that, in that capacity. But the challenge is if your first conversation on how this RIA model works is with someone that ultimately represents a particular solution. The challenge is their advice is going to be focused on that solution in mind and kind of steering you down that path. When in fact, and again, that's something I struggled with. Maybe a different path is actually better for you. [33:24.6]
And so, part of the value I bring is, is again, just complete, completely agnostic. So, it's understanding who you are as an advisor, what your practice looks like, what do you want to accomplish with your practice? And then with the doors completely wide open, what are all the options available to you? And then even once you figure out what path do you want to go down, okay, there's a lot of different options within of each of those paths you can choose from. And so, in a nutshell, again, I worked through multiple layers of that onion, peeled it back from an education to a different option, to consider, to finally the specific context to be working with at these different solution providers. [34:01.0]
James: Well, I think the world needs more people like you because you create a win, win, win scenario. Because you obviously it's your business and you benefit. That's a win for you. The advisor wins creates a better business is a better person as a result. Like there's expansion that comes from not just having a business, but as a person too you grow. That's like the don't want to get too spiritual about it. But that's really what I believe. And then the clients win because they're getting advice from a better financial advisor, a better person. And then you have like the, all the other vendors and support teams that helped the financial advisors, even link people like me, they can do more of the stuff. It's like, it's literally nothing but winning, winning, winning, winning. And if they can't benefit, like you'll just tell them, cause there's no benefit for you, like trying to push someone who isn't a good fit. Like there's no real risk here for them to just chat. [34:52.4]
Brad: Yeah. I mean, and the thing I try to do I'm huge on, so on my website a lot of videos. I'm huge on content. I mean, that's, that's a lot of my business development. I subscribe to a lot of the theories you, you put out there, you know, with the idea that if you, you attract enough interested people with enough quality content and you give them enough expertise, the reality is I don't, I don't have to turn every conversation I have in, into a final, you know, client of mine that works with me. You, you attract enough interested people that, that find value in what you're doing. It's, it's perfectly fine that some folks it's just not gonna go anywhere. It's the they're better off where they are. They're not going to take my advice or whatever the case is. So, it's, it's refreshing when you can really try to cast that net and you know, work with a lot of different folks. [35:39.1]
James: So, if someone wants to get in touch with you to wrap up the show, how do you prefer they do that?
Brad: Yeah. Head on over to transitiontoRIA.com. I always joke I could give out my phone number, my email address, happy to do so, but I'm a big believer that, you know, if you go to the website first, you'll see me, you'll see my videos. You'll see what I have to offer. And that's either going to resonate with you. And then the website makes it very easy of how to, how to contact me, how to schedule time with me, or it's not going to resonate. And so, I, I think I got to kind of earn your time before I just expect you to, Oh, Hey, here's my phone number. Give me a call. And, and hopefully this podcast has been helpful and maybe this alone would have accomplished that, but I'm just a big believer how you gotta earn, earn people's trust, earn people's respect. So, I do encourage you at transitiontoRIA.com, take a look. [36:27.1]
James: All right financial advisors, you got it. I will catch you next week for another episode. [36:32.0]
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