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Ep #83: The Future of Investment Management – An Interview with Rick Frisbie

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For the past few episodes, we’ve focused on real business growth in the financial planning space. This week, Rick Frisbie – the newly minted CEO of Robust Wealth – will share how this advisor-facing technology platform plans to shake up the financial services industry. They’ll be open for business in the middle of the first quarter with a software product that will help advisors offer sophisticated solutions and integrate modular services typically secured through third-party vendors.

Rick enjoyed a successful career at Franklin Templeton; rising through the ranks to CIO before taking on the top job at Robust Wealth. They launched their platform last October right after previewing at the #XYPN16 conference. In addition to making a huge splash, Robust Wealth definitely won the conference swag competition.

Advancements in technological solutions for the financial services industry generally moves at a glacial pace. There is so much room for disruption in this industry. Rick offers a thoughtful take on the state of technology in this industry and what we can expect in the next 18 – 24 months. Robo-advisors, or automated wealth platforms, are here to stay. However, advisors will appreciate the suggestions Rick shares to best incorporate these tools in a way that drives growth. Now is the time to embrace the innovative new products and leverage them to capitalize on real business growth.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • The opportunities at Robust Wealth that attracted Rick and led him away from an established career at Franklin Templeton.
  • The differences between B2C and advisor-facing software platforms.
  • The features that advisors have access to with the Robust Wealth platform and what sets them apart from the competition.
  • What the technology trends on the horizon are in the financial services industry.
  • A frank discussion on impact of robo-advisors on advisor services, client retention, and client acquisition.
  • Whether the market is shifting to fully embrace socially responsible investing and how technology platforms are enabling this shift.

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Ep #82: Scaling Your RIA – An Interview with J.D. Bruce

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This week, J.D. Bruce – President of Abacus Wealth Partners – shares his experience of growing a firm from a solo practice to an established business with a professional management, a board of directors, and a governance structure. J.D., a CPA with management experience across a variety of industries, was hired at Abacus to help merge two solo firms into the successful operation that exists today.

Advisors who want to transition their firms away from the founder-centric model must be strategic about when and how to hire professional management. J.D. shares helpful advice on when to consider professional management. There are certain barometers advisors can use to ensure hiring happens at the right stage of growth.

In addition to bringing in professional management, advisors must also be intentional about creating a culture where decision-making power is completely transferred. Resources with the skillset to build the business need the autonomy to operate effectively. J.D.’s experience at Abacus is a case study in how solo firms can successfully implement the transition to growth-oriented, professionally managed firms.

Developing your solo practice into a large business is definitely possible and J.D. provides valuable insight on how to make the transition smoother.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • A barometer for when advisors should consider bringing on professional management.
  • How founders can implement a succession plan to outside management.
  • The difference between a marketing manager and a COO.
  • The Abacus culture that lends itself to taking risks and pivoting quickly.
  • The first type of professional manager that J.D. suggests firms hire.
  • When an operating agreement becomes necessary when running a business.
  • What a director of operations does for an advisory firm.
  • How a large firm handles the process for recruiting and hiring additional resources.

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Ep #81: Delegating, Scaling, and Get Back to Enjoying Life – An Interview with Michael Kitces

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The New Year often allows business owners time to reflect on the successes and challenges from the previous year. Michael Kitces and I take a look back at the phenomenal growth that the XY Planning Network has experienced since launching in 2014 and analyze how delegating, time management, and hiring to our weaknesses has facilitated the rapid rate of growth. We have developed the skill set necessary to become successful business owners and share a few of the resources that have helped us navigate this exciting journey.

We closed 2016 out with 350 members; hitting our 20-year goal in just two years. Whoa! As accidental entrepreneurs who sought the freedom to build a lifestyle on their own terms, we discuss the pros and cons of pursuing an aggressive growth strategy in business.

Entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses must overcome a common challenge – they must learn to delegate tasks. In this episode, we reflect on how we were able to meet this challenge and the tools that made delegating much simpler. Delegating tasks will free up the much needed time to focus on strategy and the overall vision for the business and is exactly what’s needed to take your firm to the next level. Kitces and I talk about how we’re able to best leverage our time, support staff, and helpful resources to effectively grow this business well beyond our initial projections.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • What listeners can expect to learn from Michael’s new podcast – Financial Advisor Success.
  • The transition that entrepreneurs can expect to go from practitioners to business owners.
  • Simple tools that improved the process of delegating tasks and training employees.
  • The problems with waiting too long to hire additional support staff.
  • How building a time budget can help you determine how best to delegate tasks.
  • How you can build a cohesive team that leverages a variety of strengths.

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Ep #80: Planner, Professor, and Parent – the Career of Inga Chira

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Inga Chira is the President and Founder of Attainable Wealth, a fee-only RIA based in Los Angeles. She specializes in financial planning services for college professors and teachers. Inga has an awesome story and a very cool career path. Originally from Eastern Europe, she came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student and decided to stay and pursue her undergraduate and master’s degrees in the U.S. as well.

Inga began her career working with Citigroup and then started teaching courses in Finance at a local university. In 2009, she left Citigroup to pursue a Ph.D. in Finance in order to achieve a better work/life balance. During this time, she also became a CFP  through an interesting route that we talk about in detail.

Inga’s extensive resume and educational background led to lucrative job offers. However, she turned them all down in order to open her own firm last January. During her first year, she has started working with 23 new clients while maintaining her full-time position as an Assistant Professor of Finance. On this episode, we discuss her time management strategies and a simple, yet effective technique to connect with her ideal client.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • The steps Inga took to transition into her career and found Attainable Wealth.
  • How she arrived at her current fee-only structure and how that impacted her practice.
  • Why she opened up an additional business line that allows her to build the assets under management.
  • The actual number of clients she’s worked with in the last year and how she got there.
  • The marketing strategy she used to begin generating leads within her target niche.
  • Inga’s time management tips for juggling competing priorities.

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