Tag Archives: #DavidArmstrong

Advisor Innovations Podcast: Tim Maurer on Personal Finance is More Personal Than Finance

Tim Maurer is a financial advisor and author who most recently took on the role of Chief Advisory Officer at SignatureFD. In this episode of the Advisor Innovations podcast, Maurer talks with David Armstrong about what, exactly, a Chief Advisory Officer does, and how he sees the lessons of life planning and qualitative financial advice being tactically implemented in advisor-client relationships. 

Tim  discusses:

  • Why he made the move to fast-growing RIA Signature FD after years at the larger Buckingham Wealth Management.
  • How he sees his role as a Chief Advisory Officer, and what it means to sit at the nexus between advisor development and the client experience. 
  • How he’s attempting to embed the lessons from behavioral finance and psychology into the relationship between clients and advisors. 
  • Why advisors who focus more on the qualitative side of financial planning, as opposed to the quantitative, are more successful.
  • How he makes a distinction between advisors as financial therapists, and financial coaches: Most advisors should follow the coaching model. 
  • What he’s learned from pioneers in the “life planning” field like Kinder Institute’s George Kinder and Money Quotient’s Carol Anderson
  • Most importantly, how the sometimes softer side of financial planning is being coded into advisory firm’s workflows and processes in a scalable, efficient way. 


Connect With Tim Maurer:

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About Our Guest:

Tim Maurer is a speaker, blogger, author, and financial advisor. As Chief Advisory Officer at SignatureFD he serves as an industry leader to the media and an educator to both consumers and financial advisors. He is a regular contributor to CNBC, Forbes, Time/Money.

Advisor Innovations Podcast: Dumb indexes, “Smart” Beta and Intelligent Design—How Larry Swedroe Helps Advisors Make Sense of Investments

For many advisors, Larry Swedroe needs no introduction; He’s the author of numerous books on investing, a frequent columnist in advisor publications, including Wealthmanagement.com, and the Head of Financial and Economic Research at Buckingham Strategic Wealth, one of the largest RIAs in the country.

He’s also active on social media where he can be found in sometimes heated debates with other industry luminaries on the merits of different compensation models for financial advisors, the dire prospects for most active stock managers, and what the latest academic research on investment management and the markets tells advisors about how to build better portfolios.

In this edition of the Advisor Innovations podcast, Swedroe describes how he views his work, why it is getting harder for active managers to generate alpha in the publicly traded markets, and where he sees opportunities for income in the increasingly accessible private markets. 

Swedroe discusses:

  • Why, in the face of growing evidence of subpar long-term returns, retail investors and active stock managers are proliferating.
  • How a three-year track record tells investors almost nothing about a manager’s long-term prospects.
  • Why “dumb indexes” don’t solve the investors’ problem, and why “smart beta” is an oxymoron and how investors are best served by “intelligently designed” portfolios. 
  • How some research shows stock turnover and management fees are the two variables that can determine active managers’ outcomes. 
  • Why easier access to private markets for investors, including interval funds, are a good option for some investors—himself included.
  • Where he is placing some of his investments now.

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About Our Guest:

Larry Swedroe is a principal and the director of research of Buckingham Asset Management[1] and BAM Advisor Services. Previously, Larry was Vice-Chairman of Prudential Home Mortgage, the nation’s second largest home mortgage lender. He has held positions at Citicorp as Senior Vice-President and Regional Treasurer, responsible for treasury, foreign exchange and investment banking activities, including risk management strategies. Larry has an MBA in Finance and Investment from NYU, and a BA in Finance from Baruch College. He is the author of 17 books.

Julie Littlechild on Client Feedback and the Engagement Engine

Advisors have long been aware that the better they know the client, the better client experience they can provide. Advisory boards and feedback surveys have been around forever to give the advisor some guidance over how to better engage with clients and prospects.  

In this episode, David Armstrong speaks with Julie Littlechild, founder and CEO of Absolute Engagement, on taking client engagement feedback to the next level. Littlechild recently launched the Engagement Engine, a digital platform that brings client feedback into real-time, ongoing metrics for the advisor. The idea is that through a series of questions and prompts, tucked unobtrusively alongside the standard client touch points and communications, advisors can instantly gauge a client’s confidence and fears, preferences and aversions, and plot some of that data over time to track and measure impact. It’s a game-changer in client engagement. 

Julie discusses:

  • Why client feedback is essential to creating preferred services.
  • How technology has changed the way feedback is collected and used.
  • The balance between personalized planning and managing an entire business worth of clients.
  • The development of the Engagement Engine, and the possibilities for using real-time client feedback across the advisor’s techstack, including the CRM. 
  • Thoughts on evolving from a consultant to a “tech entrepreneur”, putting together a killer board of advisors and what comes next for her company. 

Connect With Julie Littlechild:

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About Our Guest:

Julie is a recognized expert on the drivers and evolution of client experience, client engagement. and referral growth. She is responsible for: designing the firm’s strategic vision and product roadmap, conducting on-going investor and advisor research, driving firm growth and representing the company on conference stages around the world.


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Allianz is not affiliated with WealthManagement or the featured guest.

Advisor Innovations Podcast: Mark Miller on Rebooting a Retirement Plan

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. 

Mark discusses:

  • 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. 


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About Our Guest:

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).

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Advisor Innovations: Asset Management Pioneer Bruce Bond on the Story Behind Innovator ETFs

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. 

Bond discusses:

  • 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. 

Connect With Bruce Bond:

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About Our Guest:

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.

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Advisor Innovations: Robert Sofia on Bringing Digital Marketing to Advisors

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.

Robert discusses:

  • 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. 


Connect With Robert Sofia:

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About Our Guest:

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.

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Advisor Innovations: Jason Wenk on Scaling Advisor Technology the Right Way

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.

Jason discusses:

  • 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.

Connect With Jason Wenk:

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About Our Guest:

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.

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Advisor Innovations: Brian Portnoy on Helping Clients Rethink Wealth

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. 

Brian discusses:

  • 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

Connect With Brian Portnoy:

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About Our Guest:

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.