Category Archives: Interviews

The Future Of Financial Planning Is Not What You Expect – Interview with Bob Veres #FearlessFinancialAdvisorPodcast

A wide ranging interview with Bob Veres about the future of financial planning. Bob Veres is the former editor of Financial Planning Magazine and creator of the Insider’s Forum conference and Inside Information newsletter. He has been commenting and contributing to the industry for over 30 years. He recently released a new book called the New Profession, which we also discuss.

In This Interview We Discuss…

0:34 – Why is financial planning an “Emerging profession”? Hasn’t it already emerged?

2:45 – Making financial planning a true profession.

08:15 – What is the single biggest determinant in a financial planner’s success?

10:22 – Future of AUM business model

13:20 – How to develop a flexible “change agile” mind as an advisor.

14:20 – How to market your financial planning firm.

17:00 – How should advisors manage client behavior as markets move up and down?

22:00 – What advice would Bob Veres give to his 30 year old self?

Resources

Bob Veres InterviewLearn more about Bob Veres

New Profession Book

Interview MP3

 

Interview with the 401k Study Group

Chuck HammondLast week I did an awesome interview with Chuck Hammond (to the left) of the 401k study group. Listen to it here. We talked about how Pocket Risk can help advisors and what makes us unique. I had a blast!

ProVise: “The 3 Things Advisors Must Focus On To Be Successful” – Barron’s Top Advisor [INTERVIEW]

Ray FerraraI recently interviewed Ray Ferrara of ProVise Management Group LLC.  He is the President and CEO of a Barron’s ranked financial planning and investment firm based in Florida.

John: Can you give us some quick background on ProVise?

Ray: Sure, first and foremost ProVise is a financial planning firm. We do investment management but we view that as a subset of financial planning. We have 11 planners and work with about 780 families. In total we manage about $900 million. All of our team are well qualified professionals many of which have the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation.

John:  How did you become a financial advisor? What brought you to this industry?

Ray:  I have to go way back to tell that story. I graduated in 1970 with a degree in Zoology and went to work selling computers for IBM. A friend of mine was working in the investment business and persuaded me to get involved on a part time basis. By September 1971 it became my full time occupation where I worked for an investment firm. Eventually, I went on to start ProVise in 1986 and I haven’t looked back!

John: Barron’s recently ranked your firm as a top advisor. What distinguishes your firm from others?

Ray: Going back to what I said earlier I would emphasize we are a financial planning firm first and investment management is a subset of that. We form close relationships with our clients helping them bail out their children, deal with health issues and estate planning. Year over year we only loose about 3% of our client base and that includes those who pass away.

John: What would you say to those advisors who believe investment management is not a subset of financial planning?

Ray: I would gently and politely tell them that there is nothing wrong with specializing in investment management but that is not the same as financial planning.

John: What software, tools and techniques do you use to ensure you remain successful?

Ray: Technology is crucial to our business. It’s important that technology platforms are user friendly for clients and advisors. We use Portfolio Center for portfolio management and we use Junxure for our CRM. We also believe social media can play an important part in our business and are slowly doing more in that area.

John: Your firm has been very successful but what challenges do you face on a day-to-day basis?

Ray: You can be a financial planning genius and still fail if you cannot properly run your own business so that is important. Additionally there is always work trying to keep up with the regulators. That’s crucial. Finally as our company grows and scales its been important for us to hire the right people who share our values.

John: What software and tools do you think are missing in the industry?

Ray: Probably what is missing is a technology standard so all software can speak to each other.

John: Lastly, What do you think advisors need to focus on in the future to be successful? 

Ray: There are three things advisors need to focus on moving forward.

1) They must disclose conflict of interests.

2) They must maintain their level of education through something like the CFP designation, which has a continuing education element.

3) The must subscribe to a code of ethics that puts the client ahead of themselves and thus give a fiduciary standard of care. Advisors who do not do all three will fall behind those who do.

John: Thanks Ray, it’s been great speaking to you.

The Sedoric Group: “More Than Money Managers” – Barron’s Ranked Top Financial Advisor 5 Years Running [Interview]

Sedoric Group

I recently interviewed Tom Sedoric of The Sedoric Group/Wells Fargo Advisors.  He has been ranked the #1 Financial Advisor in New Hampshire and rated one of the best advisors in the country five years running.

John: Give us some quick background on The Sedoric Group/Wells Fargo Advisors?

Tom: Sure, we are firm based in New Hampshire that manages about $320m for 200 families. Most of our client base is what is called the mass affluent. We are a team of four soon to be five people who act like a virtual family office co-ordinating information between various professions such as lawyers, accountants etc. We are a fiduciary and run our business on an acronym we call ART (accountability, responsibility and transparency) which is part of our core values. 

We also consider ourselves risk managers. Not just about what happens in the stock market but changes in tax legislation, issues with intergenerational wealth, policy changes in Washington D.C. etc. So our responsibility goes beyond managing money.

John:  How did you become a financial advisor? What brought you to this industry?

Tom:  After graduating and short stint as a ski bum I began a successful career at Xerox . What I liked most was working directly with clients. Looking back at my ski bum days I noticed I was the only person around me who subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. It was something I picked up from my father when I bought my first stock aged 19. Rather than climb the management rungs at Xerox I realized I wanted to work in this industry so I could help and deal directly with clients.

John: Barron’s recently ranked your firm as a top advisor. What distinguishes your firm from others?

Tom: We are great listeners. We spend time with our clients understanding their needs and goals. For example, we spend a lot of time thinking about distributions/withdrawals once a person retires. Even if we have a client who is 50 and plans to retire in 15 years we start considering their best options. In our mind asset location can be just as important as asset allocation so we make sure assets are in the right place.

John: What software, tools and techniques do you use to ensure you remain successful?

Tom:  Wells Fargo provides us with very good resources. For example we use Envision to manage our financial planning process. 

John: Your firm has been very successful but what challenges do you face on a day-to-day basis?

Tom: I think people are generally emotionally fatigued after 5 years of financial turmoil. Our biggest job is managing expectations. We are living in a parallel universe when the central bank is pumping $85bn into the economic system every month. We understand why they are doing it, but it can’t last forever.

John: What software and tools do you think are missing in the industry?

Tom: An integrated tool that allows clients to get a 30,000 feet view of where they are, where they want to be and how close they are to their goals. There is software that does this but not in a summarized fashion.

John: Lastly, What do you think advisors need to focus on in the future to be successful? 

TomSurround yourself with people who are smarter than you. You will learn and grow considerably faster.