Tag Archives: FinancialPlanning

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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.

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18. Advisor Innovations: Mark Bruno on Billion-Dollar RIA

Ten years ago, the idea of a $1 billion AUM client-facing RIA was hard to fathom. Today, the $100 billion RIA is the new hurdle, and a few have already crossed it.

That speaks to the incredible growth and whirlwind of mergers and acquisitions in the independent advisory channel, and few have watched that transformation as close as Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, the home of Wealthmanagement.com, Inside ETFs and Wealth/Stack.  In this episode, David Armstrong talks to Bruno about the past decade, what’s fueling the growth of the most aggressive RIAs in the market and what that means for RIAs who are poised to join in the frenzy. Mark also reveals the evaluation drivers behind determining a businesses value and discusses the question of what the flood of private equity money in the space means for the future of the industry.

David and Mark discuss:

  • His tenure leading media and industry research efforts at Investment News as associate publisher and at boutique investment bank Echelon Partners
  • The explosion of mergers and acquisitions over the past decade, and why the velocity of deals is increasing
  • What growth funding from “outside” investors means for the wealth management space 
  • What valuation drivers mean the most to acquirers and investors;
  • The potential timeline of private equity investors and what they bring to the table in terms of professional management and M&A experience;
  • His plans for RIAEdge, a new initiative to create a business community around professionally managed RIAs with research and small-scale events to examine and understand the valuation drivers and dynamics of the fast-changing industry.  

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Mark Bruno:

About Our Guest:

Mark Bruno is Managing Director, Wealth Management at Informa Connect. In his role, Mr. Bruno focuses on the expansion and enhancement of the organization’s Wealth Management media and event properties, which currently consists of WealthManagement.com, Inside ETFs podcast and the WealthStack podcast. He is also charged with driving several innovative new community and advisor-based initiatives.  

In addition, Mr. Bruno is overseeing strategic partnerships and acquisitions to accelerate Informa’s growth within the financial advisor and wealth management communities. Mr. Bruno brings over 20 years of experience in the wealth management and asset management industries to Informa, including prominent leadership roles in industry media, research, and consulting organizations.