You're listening to “Financial Advisor Marketing”—the best show on the planet for financial advisors 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 advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard.
James: Financial advisors, what's up? Welcome to another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. I'm so glad to have you here. If you're a new listener, welcome, you're going to enjoy this. If you're a longtime listener, welcome back, I'm glad to have you here.
I have another topic that I’ve never talked about before on the show. It's interesting, because, at this point, there's 215, 216, 217 episodes, and I’ve never talked about marketing to Gen Z, and it is a topic that people have asked me about. I’ve gotten lots of emails from financial advisors who ask me how to market to baby boomers, millennials, Gen Z, the sandwich generation, HENRYs, just whatever niche. [01:07.6]
So, I'm very, very glad to have Ben Phillips on the show today from NorthCoast Asset Management, and he is going to have a conversation with me about how he is marketing to Gen Z. Ben, take the floor. I'll let you go from here.
Ben: James, thanks very much for having me. Great to be joining us today, look forward to chopping up all things Gen Z, and financial advising. Yeah, I’ll give you a quick 2-minute elevator about myself.
I'm originally from Manchester, England, you can tell by the accent, but I now call New Jersey my home. I reside now with my wife and our daughter. I started in the financial services industry in 2016, working at TD Ameritrade as an intern, pushing paper and making coffees, all that fun stuff. [01:57.0]
Then upon graduation, I moved out to the northeast, where I couldn't actually get a job for love nor money, James, sending out those resumes and emails, and playing online, so I ended up cold walking. I landed a position at an RAA called Mahoney Asset Management in New Jersey and I was there for four years, got licensed, did some client service stuff, did some sales stuff.
Ultimately, last summer, I moved to NorthCoast Asset Management. We are headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. We're owned by Connexus Wealth, and we manage $3 billion across 20 different investment strategies, all of which are built in-house here using kind of a quantitative and systematic approach.
I work on the institutional and advisory side, helping advisors, especially here in the northeast, navigate the markets using our strategies. I'm also an advocate for the Gen-Z community, helping younger people get invested, but more importantly, stay invested and overcome these intimidating factors of the market, trying to create an inclusive environment to help grow their knowledge of personal finance, and something like this. These conversations resonate well. [03:14.6]
And, yeah, I’m a big sports fan, especially soccer. Don't know if you caught on to the World Cup, but England, England did pretty well. So, yeah, that's a two-minute about me over there. Yeah.
James: What's interesting is, first of all, it's pretty badass that you did cold walking, that is amazing, and you just walk in like, Hey, here I am, this is what I can do. That sounds like something I would do. It's just, hey, let people know, here's who I am, here's how I can help you. Kudos to you for that. I love that. I highly respect that. I wish more people did it.
When it comes to Gen Z, specifically, financial advisors tend to ignore them, and when I ask why they tend to say, “Oh, Gen Z doesn't have any money,” and they say, “There's a great wealth transfer coming to millennials,” and I’m like, Do you realize where that money is going to go? It's not as if it's going to evaporate. Aside from the excuse of “Oh, they don't have any money,” why do you think financial advisors tend to ignore Gen Z? [04:09.7]
Ben: Yeah, I think plain and simple, you hit the nail on the head, a lot of it is because the perception is they don't have a lot of assets, and that can't be true. But unbeknownst to a lot of people, Gen Z makes up 20% of the U.S. population, 70 million people now, and they have over $100 billion in buying power. As you mentioned, they will be the beneficiaries of this transition of generational wealth. So, I think any advisor that wants to be relevant in 10, 15 years’ time, they've got to kind of address this or at least start to look at the market.
I think one reason is that they don't really know where to find them or how to communicate with them. Advisors kind of struggle with that. There's enough research out there now that shows us how to approach younger generations and talk about these sensitive topics. [04:59.2]
Ninety-five percent of Gen Z and millennials use YouTube. Two-thirds of them use TikTok, and 60% use Instagram. That's where they're spending the time, but they're not actually always purchasing from there. That's where they do their research, so that's where you can kind of plug away and put some content, and build that relationship and build that trust, because that's, ultimately, what you're trying to do. And then executing maybe in person or through a funnel tactic, going into a Calendly or a Zoom to have an introduction call.
I think that's one reason that advisors kind of miss-shoot, one, because they are trying to really dig into this next generation, but how to actually approach them is difficult, and I use something called the four Cs, which we'll talk about. [05:54.2]
But, unfortunately, yeah, the fact they don't have a lot of assets is true. But look at some of the young business owners and zoomers who have early entries into some of these great tech companies, which are coming out of places like California. They have big stock compensation packages and that's one way I focus on Gen Z, is a concentrated stock service on what we have here in NorthCoast, helping investors get out larger positions and hedge risk and generate income, whilst liquidating maybe a big position when they were like the 10th employee at Snapchat or the 50th employee at Twitter. That's one way that they can attack that market.
James: That's exactly what I would do, by the way, is I would look at startup incubators and would look at Y Combinator or things like that, and I would look at these employees. I know a lot of marketing agencies, specifically, not to get off-topic, but there are marketing agencies that will look through companies that have received venture money, and will say, “Look, I’m a marketer and can help you do this, this, this. I know you just got this investment, this seed round, whatever. Please let me help you take this to the next level.” [07:02.6]
For better or for worse, these companies, when they get flushed with money, they tend to be a little reckless, so these marketing agencies, some of them are taking advantage of these companies and they have a bunch of money.
But that is an incredible strategy, you're right, that they would have the stock options. I mean, in many ways, they get paid more in stock options than they do actual salary, because it is a startup. A lot of financial advisors don't want to take that chance and I think that's a little goofy.
I think Gen Z, what's beautiful about Gen Z is that they can grow with advisors, so if you're a younger advisor and you want to grow into your career, and you're committed to being an advisor for the long term, you should absolutely consider Gen Z as an audience. So, I think you're spot on.
Ben: I know for sure that it's at this time that they need the most help. As you said, some of them are paid in stock, and with the market falling nearly 20% last year, a lot of them are hurting and they're actually embarrassed, James, to reach out. So, try and be proactive and help them where you can. [08:03.7]
James: What are some things that you're doing to market to Gen Z? I know you mentioned YouTube, 95% are on YouTube, 60% on Instagram, two-thirds on TikTok. Are those the things that you're doing?
Ben: I think most of my conversations or posts, or podcasts, one thing kind of stays true throughout that, and it's education. Now, I think Gen Z wants to understand what they own and why they own it. They want to be part of that decision-making process.
There may be a Gen-X or a baby-boomer advisor, or client will just kind of want a number at the end of the quarter. “Hi, Mr. Pollard, your account was up 2%. Have a great thanksgiving, I’ll see you in the new year.” They, I think, want to be touched a lot more and be involved, so when I market to them, I use a process which I call the four Cs, and the four Cs are credibility, content, community, and culture. [09:02.8]
When we dive into those four, James, credibility, obviously, you need to get licensed, the Series 65, 66, the 7. I think the CFP now is a gold standard. Obviously, it's difficult for just a Gen Z or anybody to understand what CFP actually stands for, but if you want to find an extra niche, I’ll give you one that I did which advisors can look into. It’s the NASDAQ Digital Asset advisor course.
A lot of Gen Z are coming in through the back door through the crypto world and that's where a lot of the questions I get start from, and it's “Okay, let's take a step back first and, let's see, have you got an emergency fund? Have you actually got an IRA set up?” and then we can do the sexy crypto stuff on there and it's in a separate account. But having those little niches and that credibility is important. Maybe it's local exposure in the paper or on a podcast, for example, or a master's degree, so that's the credibility aspect. [09:58.7]
The second C is content. As I said, young people want to be educated and that's how you can deliver that content through a blog, through a podcast, and 70% of Gen Z prefer short-form video and content. Think one minute, three minutes of little snippets.
One thing that I think is really underused and underappreciated in the financial-advisor community is YouTube, because it's not a profile, it's actually a channel. You could do a live-content piece and everyone that first grabs you gets pinged. They can go back and view. Maybe you have a section on getting started and another section on specific case studies of people that you're helping. So, I think that YouTube is something that advisors should really focus on in their marketing aspect, maybe through 2023 and onwards. [10:50.0]
The third C is community. How are you actually engaging with your environment? Are you using different points of contact? Maybe one week, it's a call to Mr. Pollard. Then it's an email. Then it's a webinar. Then it's a blog, and then it’s a podcast. Because what you want to do, James, as an advisor, you want to create super funds through the content. It's kind of a natural progression from a lead or a prospect to a client, instead of just going straight in saying, “Do you need a financial advisor, Mr. Pollard?” You want to try and learn with them and help them through that process so that, at some point, you're answering questions that they didn't even know they needed help with.
I think if you want to go deeper into a community, think about Gen-Z athletes or millennials working in tech. Get really specific. Once you build that niche, that community, then it becomes a natural progression that, say, I’m a young Gen Z in the healthcare industry and I’m learning and growing up to be a surgeon, and I’m doing all that, and I’ve got friends in the office who I’m talking to. I’m saying, “Oh, Mr. Pollard helps me exactly with this stock compensation plan,” and it comes through natural referrals. I mean, it's better, isn't it, than doing a cold-call list of 300 names and just sitting there and banging them out - [12:15.0]
James: Totally, totally.
Ben: - in the course of a week. So, building that community is important. Then the fourth C which comes from that is culture, and that's kind of what you're going to shape through building that community and it's removing those intimidating factors away from the markets.
Unfortunately, the generation has been played a little bit with the Covid crash and the GameStop saga. They need to kind of take a step back and not think about this percentage number when they first log into their Robinhood account. What do they see? They see a green or red number. You're up for the day, you're down for the day. Take a step back and talk about having a healthy financial life.
That's how I market and use those four Cs to my advantage, and, hopefully, advisors out there can do the same. [13:00.8]
James: That's absolute gold. I would like to expand a little bit more on culture, specifically. I don't know as much about Gen Z as I do millennials and Gen X, merely because the space in which I play for financial advisors, independent advisors, or buyers at wirehouses, everyone who follows and listens to me, it skews younger, yes, but it tends to be an advisor in the 40s who listens to the show and gets information from it.
I am with those people all day, every day, so I know their culture. I know that they're listening to ’90s hip hop and what they like, and the TV shows that they and what they're watching, stuff from the ’90s, and they go back in time, at least for YouTube and things like that. But I don't know enough about Gen Z or as much as I would like to.
How would you describe the Gen-Z culture, or is there one? I don't even know. [13:51.2]
Ben: Yeah. I'll tread carefully here, James. No, I think you when you look at them they're masters of outsourcing. They have 10 TV subscriptions. They have five different apps, one for pictures, one for communicating through text, one for call, so think about everything that they do, where they maybe shop at three or four or five different grocery stores—so there's no one-stop shop anymore and I think that filters into financial advice, and that's why I was talking about building a niche earlier.
Young people and Gen Z are incredibly opinionated. They care about social issues and they want to be involved, and when you kind of filter that into financial services, look at the rise in AUM for thematic ETFs, for example. Over $3 trillion now in thematic ETFs and that's only a couple of percent of the whole market. That's increased fivefold over the last couple of years, some of these individual gaming ETF or social media ETF. They care about this stuff and they want a piece of the pie. [15:02.4]
There's one stat, which I’ve seen from Morgan Stanley, which says 80% of young investors will invest in a company that advocates for shared concern, so when you think about how the advisors target that, look at people like Devon Drew at DFD Partners. They’ve specifically created a platform for advisors to kind of connect with funds or strategies that are owned by minorities, so that's one way you can target it.
But, yeah, going back to the start of the question, I think you have to make sure that you tread carefully and some of the wording, some of the stereotypes that come with Gen Z that they're lazy. I’d probably replace that with resourceful.
James: Totally, yeah, absolutely.
Ben: So, it's going to be the most educated generation ever, James.
James: I'm lazy. I'm proud to be lazy. Even Bill Gates says, if you want a job done, find the lazy person, or if you want it done efficiently, find a lazy person. A lazy person will find the best way to do it. I totally agree with that, too, just like, let me add these things. [16:07.3]
I've always wondered about the culture, so I'm glad that you answer that question, and I tend to agree more often than not that they're very different. There's a wide variety, more so than baby boomers and millennials, who tend to have more in common.
I think that financial advisors lump Gen Z into a box, where they say, “All I have to do is just make a TikTok account and do these dances,” but people see right through it and they're like, No. How can you make sure that an advisor is not pandering to Gen Z? Because I see that a lot, where it's kind of cringey, and I’m being cringed right now, where people would be like, Yaas, queen, slay, this financial advice is lit. It's like, please stop doing that.
I guess what I’m really asking you is—I mean, you've probably seen that before—how can advisors who want to tap into Gen Z make sure they don't cross the line to pandering? [17:04.2]
Ben: Sure, no, that's a great point. Unfortunately, they’re going in TikTok and they're getting unlicensed advice about this latest calling of stock which has rocketed and they think that that's the be-all and end-all and they're going to become millionaires, and unfortunately, we have to kind of squash that, or maybe they learn the hard way, which I have done as well in the past and I’ve made that natural progression to more proper advice. I think one way to do it, James, is if an advisor has a baby boomer or Gen X client, ask them to bring their child on the next call, at least have him listen.
James: That is brilliant.
Ben: Yeah, have him listen in on kind of the conversation and think that, alright, it's not about this number whether we're up $200 or down $300 for the day. It’s actually about sending the kids to college or having money for the grandchildren, or buying a second home. These are actual goals that are set in place that the parents have made. [18:06.0]
Whether that be a Zoom call, whether that be in person, even better, get them to kind of look at the environment of a financial advising office and meet the advisor in person, maybe do lunch together. It's less intense if your parents have sat there with you. Then you're going to feel a lot more comfortable than if you've been invited on your own. So, that's one way to do it.
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Ben: I think another way to do it is—one misconception is everything is done online—whether it be reaching out to a local university to do a pop-up financial advising shop and answer any questions that Gen Z and millennial might have, or whether it be partnering with a local Starbucks or a local restaurant, you're doing a free call for everybody under 25 just for a coffee that day, and they can give out your card with the coffee or something like that to help them work through that process. [19:24.8]
So, the biggest thing I see, James, is a stat encapsulated from the CFP board is that 70% of millennials and Gen Z say there are financial topics they want trustworthy advice on, but they aren't sure how to get it. In 2018, that number was 50%. So, making it more accessible and being there for them in these times of distress that we're seeing is important, because as many of your listeners are our RAAs and they are individual advisors. Half of those RAAs in the U.S. were born after 2014, and couple that with a million new retail investors over the past couple of years since Covid on Fidelity, on Schwab. A lot of them are Gen Z and younger people. [20:10.8]
We have this opportunity to kind of change the industry a little bit and revolutionize it, so, hopefully, we don't lose a generation to investing, and it's important that, hopefully, advisors can maybe try a few of those two or three tactics I just outlined to help bridge that gap.
James: I think that's interesting. I think that the marketing world and the financial-advice world has created this vicious cycle to where financial advisors aren't on the channels that Gen Z wants, and Gen Z can't find financial advice or trustworthy financial advice because they're using certain channels.
What I mean is, there aren't that many financial visors on YouTube, and Gen Z is using YouTube as a search engine, and when they search for financial advice, they can't get it because it's simply not there in abundance-- if they search through Google or something. I'm a hardcore googler. I google all day. Yes, YouTube is owned by Alphabet. I get that, financial advisors. [21:09.5]
But I think that it creates this vicious cycle that financial advisors have to be the first mover here. You have to go where your market is. In no other industry does this happen. McDonald’s doesn't say, “I’m going to be in the middle of the desert. If people want hamburgers and fries, they can come to me.” It doesn't happen. McDonald’s goes to the busy city blocks. So does Chipotle. So does Starbucks. So does Walmart. So does Target. Literally every other industry does this. But I think financial advisors have this resistance just like, If I’m good, I am a CFP, they should come to me. It just doesn't work that way. You need to go to where your market is. I appreciate you for bringing that up.
Ben: No, that resonates nicely. I think you're right, you’ve got to meet them where they're at. There's actually three people that I’ll give case studies for that do that really well. Advisors can go and look at and even yourself and learn a little bit. The first Doug Boneparth, who - [22:02.8]
James: Oh, yeah, he's hilarious.
Ben: - does a lot of work on twitter. I mean, look, a lot of his stuff revolves around humor, but the end goal is to, hopefully, convert some of those people into clients, and having that standoffish approach, his standoffish approach helps with Gen Z. The second is Thomas Kopelman, who does a lot of work on LinkedIn.
James: He's going to be a guest in a couple episodes.
Ben: Yeah, so there you go. Yeah, he has a lot of work on LinkedIn, and he actually is very transparent and has a lot of case studies about how he helps younger people with their finances. And the third is Tyrone Ross, who I’ve sat down with before and I’ve had lots of conversations with a 401 Financial. He is opening up more of an inclusive talk around not just financial advice, but also crypto advice.
James: Yeah, he does it in the crypto game.
Ben: Yeah, so he's helping out on that front as well. As I said earlier, a lot of Gen Z will invest in jewelry alongside equities, and it'll be 60:40 and it will be equities and crypto compared to their parents who are 60:40, equities and bonds. Those are three people that advisors can go and search on Twitter and LinkedIn and follow for more tips and tricks. [23:16.8]
James: Those are awesome people, by the way. I really appreciate you bringing up the case studies. Yeah, I mean, Doug is hilarious. Thomas is going to be a guest in a couple episodes. I'm not sure. I mean, I don't have a schedule in front of me. He will be here, I promise. We'll be talking about Twitter marketing, actually. Then Tyrone is also very respectable, a great guy.
Now that I’m thinking about crypto, I think a lot of advisors make a mistake when they bash crypto and just totally shut it out and say, “Basically, crypto dumb,” and that's it, and they just are closed minded. I see that with a lot of things, different types of insurance, different renting versus owning. Some advisors will be like, Why would you ever rent? Why would you ever have whole life insurance? Why would you ever do this? It's just any form of dogma tends to be dangerous if followed to the extreme, and I see that with crypto, specifically, and just like I said, advisors will say, “Crypto dumb. Crypto is a scam. Crypto is just worthless.” [24:14.2]
Hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but you're limiting yourself by shutting out this market. What do you think advisers should do when it comes to crypto in order to embrace Gen Z? What can you do?
Ben: No, I think there are a few things. I think the first thing is to get some credibility, as I mentioned earlier. Do the digital-asset advisor course whether it be with NASDAQ or there's a few other offerings out there. It's important from a compliance point of view more than anything to have that backing to fall back on. [24:50.0]
I think the second thing is the first-mover advantage in our industry is huge so you have to embrace it now. Otherwise, you're going to be here clutching at straws come five or 10 years, and you'll probably hear stories, James, of advisors during 2020, 2021, 2022, and so on, who made those changes and kind of included crypto as part of their advice or whether it'd be part of a newsletter, or whether it’s be part of their offering, and they're now stood apart from other RAAs.
So, another way to look into it would be to look at platforms that you're able to offer a little bit of support or product, whether it be-- and, obviously, we have GBTC, which is the Bitcoin Grayscale Trust.
James: There’s a bunch, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, there’s a bunch. Just having some knowledge around those products and doing some research and education on your own, so that when you do get approached by a younger person, you don't just shut down. You take away the punchbowl. [25:54.1]
At least you can discuss it with them and just say, “Hey, look, this might be 3%, 5% of your overall allocation at most. But if you want to open a separate account with one of the custodians and have a bit of foreign money in there, that's great. But what we're going to focus on is your financial plan, whether it be to own your first house or send young kids to school one day, so I think including it is important.” Hopefully, we can take away those intimidating factors over the next couple of years.
James: It's just a stigma because it's so divided. Financial advisors just absolutely hate it. I’m a pretty big crypto advocate. I'll show you, I’ve got my-- Financial advisors who are listening to the podcast, you can't really see. Wait, I've got my treasure right here.
James: People say, “Oh, crypto is so hard and so complicated.” I literally have to just have a 24-seed-word phrase. People who are listening, not your keys, not your crypto, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, get a real wallet. Don't leave your keys on the exchange. That is number one, if you've been orange-pilled. [27:02.8]
But here's the thing. People say, “Crypto is so hard, so hard, so hard. I can't understand it. I can’t understand it.” Do you realize I tried to get a gold medallion signature to invest in I bonds in 2021, I couldn't get one? I could not get one. I had to go to Wells Fargo and I don't have an account with Wells Fargo. I literally don't have a bank account at any bank with a physical location. I don't, and I haven't had it in years. If that makes me a Gen Z, then, hey, I’m right in line with Gen Z.
But here's the thing. I could not get the freaking gold medallion signature. It was so hard. I tried to open up a business brokerage account at Charles Schwab. I kid you not, the application was like this. I had to read, read, read, read, read, sign, sign, sign, sign, sign for a business brokerage account. It is absolutely nuts. Then I had to take the application and I had to go to a physical location, so I had to drive 20 to 25 minutes to drop off the physical application or the application at a physical location. They had to review it, takes another three to five days. [28:02.8]
I can get bitcoin in two minutes and I can take it anywhere in the world. I can have 24 words in my head. I can go anywhere in the world at any time. People can strip search me and I won't have any money on me. It'll all be in my head. People don't understand that bitcoin is the first asset in the world that dies with you. No one else can take it from you. If it's in your head, it goes with you. You die, and if nobody else knows your seed phrase, it's gone, period. It is yours. It is the first asset that human beings can truly own.
Now, I know I get a lot of heat on that, but traditional financial services are failing in a lot of ways, and that's the truth and people need to acknowledge it. It shouldn't be so gosh darn hard for people like me to get a gold medallion signature. It shouldn't be so hard for me to open a business brokerage account. No wonder people are flocking to crypto, because despite what people say, “Oh, it's so hard, it's so hard” it's 24 words and you transfer to an address, and that's it, period. [28:57.7]
I really hope this wakes financial advisors up. I mean, they will be woken up. Either they'll wake up or they'll get left behind. I just hope financial advisors hear my words and just get rattled to do something about it instead of ignoring it, because it is coming and it's coming hard.
Ben: Appreciate it. Thanks, great. Yeah, I agree. I agree with you. Yeah, advisors, you’ve got to think about Gen Z. They live their life on the phone and they always have done, so if you come and try to sell them, the first thing they're going to do is be skeptical, and then they're going to turn around and google the answer or google you or google what you're talking about and see if you're legit. Maybe back in the day, you could have gone to a business networking event and told someone blue in the face, and, finally, you got yourself a meeting because they don't know any way of finding out more information.
But now you've got to tread lightly and be honest, be transparent and lead with an educational purpose in mind, and the crypto side of things is innovative. It's sexy and that could be a spark that could be a niche for you and your practice. [30:11.4]
James: Absolutely, it absolutely could, because the demand is there. There’s a story by a famous copywriter named Gary Halbert and I don't really expect financial visors to know who this guy is, but he is, in my opinion, the best copywriter/marketer to ever live. He passed away, unfortunately.
He asked a group of people, “If you were to open a hamburger stand, what advantage would you like to have to set yourself apart from all of your competitors?” People say, “I want the lowest price. I want the freshest beef. I want the best buns. We'll bake our bread in-house.” They’d say, “I want the best location.”
He said, “No, no, no, no, no, I want a starving crowd,” and that's brilliant. You want the starving crowd and I think financial advisors need to realize Gen Z is a starving crowd. They're looking for information. They're begging for financial advice. They want a trusted source. I know I see advisors on Twitter who bash unlicensed advice that comes out of TikTok and Instagram, and I totally agree. I think unlicensed advice is absolutely dangerous. [31:15.2]
But instead of just bashing it, be the resource. Be the change you want to see in the world. Get in front of the people. Help them. Do something about it. Don't just complain. And I love complaining. I’m a great complainer, but I would rather do something about it.
By the way, big disclaimer, none of the stuff we're talking about is financial advice. You should always do your own diligence. You should always seek help from a licensed professional who can help you with your specific situation. Don't listen to anything I’m saying or Ben is saying about money or investment advice, at least on the show. Seek out your own help.
This has been awesome. I do have one non-Gen-Z/marketing question for you and I’m just curious, what are some of the best books you've ever read?
Ben: I think one of the best books I’ve read in terms of financial services Storyselling for Financial Advisors. [32:06.0]
James: That’s a good one, all the metaphors and stuff.
Ben: Yeah, if you're an advisor and you’ve not read that, you should certainly pick up a copy. There's so many little nuggets in there that are going to help you all the way from marketing to sales, to even some compliance stuff, so pick that up.
I'm also a big fan of How to Make Money in Stocks by William O'Neil. We have, actually, strategies here at NorthCoast which are based on that book and on Bill O'Neil's CANSLIM acronym.
James: CANSLIM, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, so we have multiple strategies that use that acronym as our approach. Then, yeah, in terms of other resources, I’m a big podcast guy, so Compound and Friends with Josh Brown, Michael Batnick. And then, Smartless. I like listening to Smartless as well by all those guys there. Yeah, what about yourself? [33:04.8]
James: I think my favorite book of all time is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I do like the books and resources that you recommended. Josh Brown is also hilarious. I know we mentioned Boneparth earlier.
They're both hilarious. I love following the stuff that they put out. So, Think and Grow Rich, I think anything written by Napoleon Hill is a go for me. I know people are like, he died penniless and he had these problems, or whatever. Look, if the material helped me, that's all I can say.
I like stuff by Brian Tracy, the self-help improvement stuff. As far as money, specifically, I like the Market Wizards series, not necessarily to replicate their strategies, I'm not a trader, but I just like seeing how they think, because the best traders of all time, I love how they think in systems. That's what I take away from it. [33:53.0]
I'm not reading these books saying, “Oh, can I follow the trend? Should I buy when the line of one moving average crosses another?” No, no, no, I just like their discipline, and I like the way that they think and how they structure and approach, because I do the same thing with marketing. I like to think in systems. I like to think of assets that I can own and control, and I like to know that I can pivot when things change, in the same way that these traders will pivot when, for example, if they're trend followers and they believe that the trend has changed from an uptrend to a downtrend, they change their strategy.
The same thing is true with email marketing. If you see a dip in open rates, the trend is no longer your friend. Something is wrong. You need to investigate what is wrong. It could be maybe you're on a blacklist. Maybe your content isn't good. Maybe the list has decreased in quality. That's how I approach it. I do love the Market Wizards series as far as financial services and investing and trading. I’ve been on--
Ben: Sure, no, rules-based investing is the way we live by and boring investing. I tell Gen-Z people, listen, the boring investing is usually the best.
James: I like that Gen Z embraces index funds, at least anecdotally. I’ve noticed that more from Gen Z than any other group, and I think it is because they go to Amazon, they search investing books, and the ones that come up are the ones from Bogle, The Simple Path to Wealth by J. L. Collins, I believe. [35:16.4]
James: These sorts of books come up. They read it, and these books will preach index funds, index funds, index funds, and they just do it, because like you said, they're looking for trusted, credible advice.
Now, index funds are awesome, I love them, but I will admit that just index and chill and a broad-based index fund isn't necessarily the right path for every single person at every single stage of life and for every single goal. That is why financial advisors need to help Gen Z with their goals and what they want, specifically. So, I do think it's awesome that they're embracing that investing strategy, but I also am not naive to the fact that they do require some additional help, if that makes sense.
Ben: For sure.
James: If people want to get in touch with you, how can they do so, if they want to learn more? [36:03.7]
Ben: Sure, you can find me pretty much anywhere. It’s Ben Phillips and then Ben's Bulls and Bears, on Twitter, on Instagram. I’m active on LinkedIn as well. I'm also the host of the Gen Z and Friends podcast, so you have to -
James: That's awesome.
Ben: - come onboard, James. I interview investors who have proven success, and help Gen Z approach the markets and learn a little bit more about personal finances. I also interview some zoomers who are laying the groundwork for the way we live and work in the future. Season 1 was last year. I'm looking to start Season 2 this year, so you have to come onboard. Thanks for having me, and if anybody has any questions or wants more information about how to approach Gen Z, please reach out.
James: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Financial advisors. I hope you have enjoyed this episode. You have now learned a lot about how to market to Gen Z, and I’m so glad that I finally covered this topic on the Financial Visor Marketing show. I will catch you next week. [37:11.6]
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