Mark Miller is a career journalist who digs deep into the world of retirement planning, social security, medicare and the state of retirement “readiness” among people nearing the goal line. Miller has written regularly for The New York Times, Reuters, Morningstar and has been a long-standing columnist for Wealth Management magazine and WealthManagement.com. He is the author of the recently published Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track. In this episode, Wealth Management editor David Armstrong speaks with Miller about the challenges of retirement planning from both an advisor’s and client’s perspective.
Why for many, but certainly not all, clients, social security should be considered longevity insurance, and delayed for as long as possible.
What advisors get wrong about advising clients on Medicare choices, and where to go for unbiased, objective advice.
Helping clients do the math around long-term care insurance and LTC riders.
How new research models suggest a higher allocation to equities does not help a retirement portfolio in draw-down mode.
What many get wrong in the debate around the financial sustainability of Social Security and Medicare.
Mark Miller is a journalist, author and podcaster specializing in coverage of retirement and aging. He contributes regularly on retirement to The New York Times, and writes columns for Reuters, Morningstar.com and WealthManagement.com. He is the author of Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation (Post Hill Press) and The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security (Wiley).
In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Bruce Bond, CEO and co-founder of Innovator Capital Management, a pioneer in the ETF industry and three-time WealthManagment.com Industry Award winner, to discuss pushing boundaries within the ETF market, diving into where the ETF business is going and how advisors are using ETFs in their client portfolios.
The problem Bond and co-founder John Southard were looking to solve with Innovator’s Buffer ETFs, which limit the upside potential on market gains while setting a floor on the downside, and how advisors are using them.
Why the ETF is a better wrapper for the investment strategy that typically was found in a structured product offering from the largest investment houses.
Bruce’s outlook for the markets, and how the volatile turn in equities is accelerating asset flows this year into the Buffer ETFs.
How the Buffer ETFs prompted a number of imitators to launch their own versions of defined-outcome ETFs.
Which asset classes are on the white board at Innovator headquarters for the next ETFs.
The story of how Innovator’s hometown of Wheaton, Ill., became the hotbed of ETF innovation, starting with Unit Investment Trust managers from Nuveen and Nike Securities, now First Trust.
Bruce is co-founder and CEO of Innovator Capital Management. Having cofounded PowerShares Capital Management in 2003, he is recognized as one of the pioneers of the ETF industry. His leadership, creativity and entrepreneurial vision challenged the conventional thinking about ETFs and blazed a trail that made way for the massive growth of what is known today as smart or strategic beta. In addition to being recognized for best-in- class products, Bruce has been named the ETF industry’s most influential person on multiple occasions. He is a thought leader and has been quoted in financial publications around the globe.
In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by James Hughes. head of investment advisory at Live Oak Bank, to discuss how and why Live Oak became one of the earliest lenders to RIAs, helping facilitate succession plans and the rise of mergers and acquisitions. Hughes has a bird’s eye view on the RIA industry, peering into the details of the businesses his bank works with and shares insights into what makes a firm valuable in the eyes of the market.
How SBA loans work within succession planning and M&A markets
What type of loans Live Oak Bank offers to investment advisors
How has the increase in competition changed the advisor landscape
The future of M&A in a down market and possible recession
How Live Oak responded to the flood of PPP loans it administered during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
James Hughes joined Live Oak Bank in 2013. Live Oak Bank specializes in lending to investment advisors for acquisitions, succession, working capital, refinance, breakaway or tuck-in and commercial real estate purchases.
Shirl Penney is the founder of Dynasty Financial Partners. He currently serves as President and CEO of Dynasty and is a member of the Board of Directors. Shirl is a frequent speaker at industry events, often quoted in various financial publications, and was named to Investment News’ 2015 list of 40 most influential people in wealth management under the age of 40. Shirl was also named to the 2016 inaugural list of Icons and Innovators in wealth management by Investment News.
In this episode, recorded live at the Wealth Management EDGE conference at the Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood in Florida, David Armstrong is joined by Robert Sofia, Founder and CEO of Snappy Kraken, a digital marketing platform for financial advisors.
What problem Sofia was trying to solve when he founded Snappy Kraken.
Why each financial advisor requires marketing tailored to their own clientele and prospects
The importance of advisors finding their authentic voice when it comes to creating content
How technology has changed everything about how prospective clients see advisors, even if advisors don’t use any digital marketing platforms themselves.
How Sofia stumbled upon the RIA industry after successful stints selling everything from Knives to RVs to automobiles, his first job creating marketing for an RIA in Florida, and how that was the springboard to founding his own firm.
What opportunities Sofia saw with the acquisition of the firm Advisor Websites, and where Sofia sees the company going in the future.
Robert Sofia is the Chairman and CEO of Snappy Kraken, an automated growth program for financial advisors. He is the author of four books, including Blend Out: From Ordinary to Irresistible: How Advisors Can Market Like The Greatest Brands in the World, released in 2021.
In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Founder and CEO of Altruist, Jason Wenk, to talk about the state of advisor technology and the move toward consolidation of onboarding, custodial services, trading, account management and portfolio reporting with digital applications. Wenk explains why the current state of advisory technology needed a kick to bring it closer to what advisors, and clients, expect. He shares his journey as an advisor and an entrepreneur, why he started Altruist, how it has evolved, and where it is aiming to go in the next few years.
The problems with the current slate of advisor technology that Wenk set out to solve with Altruist (hint: Smooth, free-flowing integrations between separate components in a tech stack is largely a myth.)
Why custodial services cannot scale by charging advisors a basis point fee—and in fact why that kind of structure, advocated by some RIAs, would hinder custodial innovation and the democratization of financial services.
How an ability to sustain lower margins than other custodial services in the market allows him and his team to continue innovating new features on the platform.
Why Altruist charges new advisors nothing until they reach 100 accounts, and how the platform is designed to help advisors scale their practice alongside the platform.
How Altruist is misperceived by some as a tech platform for new advisors launching practices, when in fact it has multi-custodial capabilities and advisors at RIAs with over $10 billion serving HNW clients just as efficiently—In fact, Wenk still advises 11 HNW clients himself.
Wenk’s experience starting his first RIA, and building the technology he needed when he couldn’t get it from the marketplace—and his current relationship with FormulaFolios after the merger with Brookstone Capital Management.
Jason Wenk is a fintech executive, writer, self-proclaimed math geek, and investment systems developer. He began his career at Morgan Stanley in NYC at age 20 as one of their youngest professional employees, working on investment research and asset management systems development. Jason entered the industry with a technology background, and one of his first experiences was to watch the stock market implode following 9/11.
In this episode, David Armstrong talks to Dr. Daniel Crosby, Chief Behavioral Officer at Orion Advisor Solutions. The son of a financial advisor, Crosby holds a Ph.D in psychology from Brigham Young University, and has spent his career bridging those insights to help people understand how they think about, and plan for, money and finances. He was a consultant to the industry for many years (and a one-time columnist for wealthmanagement.com) before joining Brinker Capital as chief behavioral officer in 2018. He holds the same position at Orion Advisor Solutions following that firm’s acquisition of Brinker. At Orion, Crosby is bringing behavioral finance insights into the design of Orion’s advisory platforms to help advisors build – and maintain – better financial strategies for their clients.
Dr. Crosby discusses:
How to translate traditional advice into effective tools for financial planning
How to address the changing dynamic in a person’s life through their financial plan
The impact of personal ideology on major money decisions
The role of advisors against the stress of money and irrational decision making
Educated at Brigham Young and Emory Universities, Dr. Daniel Crosby is a psychologist and behavioral finance expert who helps organizations understand the intersection of mind and markets. Dr. Crosby recently co-authored a New York Times Best-Selling book titled, Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management.
He also constructed the “Irrationality Index,” a sentiment measure that gauges greed and fear in the marketplace from month to month. His ideas have appeared in the Huffington Post and Risk Management Magazine, as well as his monthly columns for WealthManagement.com and Investment News. Daniel was named one of the “12 Thinkers to Watch” by Monster.com and a “Financial Blogger You Should Be Reading” by AARP. When he is not consulting around market psychology, Daniel enjoys independent films, fanatically following St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and spending time with his wife and two children.
Sometimes, your clients might get emotionally carried away and make irrational money decisions, especially during times of high market fluctuations. It is your responsibility, as their advisor, to remind them that money is not the end goal, but only the means to the goal — a joyful and meaningful life.
In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by author and founder of Shaping Wealth, Brian Portnoy. Brian explains why the true definition of wealth should be “funded contentment,” or the ability to live a life of purpose and meaning. He also reveals the tools and language that help financial advisors and clients with their subconscious biases.
How funded contentment helps underwrite a meaningful life
The right language to provoke conversations around money mindset with clients
Why financial advisors shouldn’t pathologize the human experience of money
How he works with financial advisors to promote financial well being
Brian is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of money. He has written multiple bestselling books, including The Geometry of Wealth, and has 20+ years of experience as investor and educator in the hedge fund and mutual fund industries. He is a CFA Charterholder and earned a PhD at the University of Chicago.
In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Carter Gibson, vice president and head of advisor M&A at LPL Financial. Working with a network of some 20,000 independent advisors, Gibson and his team have consulted with firms across the spectrum, giving him unique insight into how advisors think about, plan for, and execute, successful succession strategies. Whether that’s transferring a firm to junior advisors or merging with another, the process, he stresses, should be based first and foremost on your objectives and goals for the future of the business and your career; identifying those aspirations is a crucial first step. Gibson discusses what is driving the recent frenzy in M&A, what to look for in buyers or merger partners, and the best post-transaction practices to ensure a successful integration.
What’s driving the recent frenzy in M&A activity and firm transitions.
Why today’s challenge isn’t a lack of buyers –– but finding the right one for your firm.
How current succession-planning transactions are structured
How to identify “cultural fit” and why it’s so important, even if the plan is to sell the firm outright.
The three lenses to every deal –– financial, operational, and emotional –– and why the emotional one is the trickiest and most likely to derail a plan.
Why the fear of alienating clients during a transition is overblown—if the process is planned correctly.
Carter Gibson is a senior vice president at LPL. He brings 15+ years of experience across business strategy, corporate finance, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions. Carter currently leads the company’s M&A, succession, and catastrophe planning groups.
Clients largely respond positively to values-based investing—when it can be explained to them.
In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Jay Lipman, co-founder of Ethic, a direct-indexing investment platform for advisors. Ethic can demonstrate to clients how to construct portfolios that reflect their values, or demonstrate how far their current portfolios are from their personal ideals. Jay shares how Ethic provides advisors with comprehensive data about each company’s impact on different social and environmental issues.
How Ethic helps advisors dig deep into data based on the values and priorities of the client
The biggest hurdles advisors face when it comes to sustainable investing.
The trade-offs between “off-the-shelf” ESG portfolios and customizable portfolios when it comes to values-based investing.
The trouble with data and standardization when it comes to current ESG investing.
Why investment impact is an area where many investors want more information.
How Ethic’s founders started the company and the technology incubators and early investors that supported them.
Jay Lipman seeks to understand and simplify sustainable investing, climate change, human rights and how investing can be a driver of positive change.
At Ethic, the mission is to accelerate the global transition to sustainable investing. Jay works closely with investors to help them understand and craft their unique approach to sustainable and impact investing.