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This interview with Cody Garrett, CFP, of Measure Twice Financial was mind-blowing. It’s so clear to me what the future of financial advice is – what it should be – and what it will be. The advice-only movement is a bigger move than a shift in fees – it’s a transcendence to a higher level of morality, transparency, and service to the consumer. What’s up with these “advice-only financial planners?” Find out by listening to the show.
For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and financial advisor marketing consultant. I have a newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics which is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!
What is an advice-only financial planner?
Advice-only financial planning is fee-only comprehensive financial planning without the expectation or even the option to manage any client investments. Financial planning is offered as a stand-alone product; it is the only thing that an advice-only financial planner does. For example, in Cody’s ADV you will see that he has no discretion over any client investments.
Here is the definition of an advice-only financial planner:
Many financial advisors will say that they offer advice-only services; but if it is an offering it is not the only thing an advisor does. These are not advice-only financial planners; these are financial advisors who offer financial planning services on a stand-alone basis in addition to other services that they offer.
An advice-only financial planner:
- Does not manage assets
- Does not have discretion over client assets
- Does not manage AUM
- Does not charge a fee for managing assets
- Does not implement investment recommendations on the client’s behalf
- Provides financial planning services only
The benefits of advice-only financial planners
As those of you who know me are aware, I’m sick of the compiled, embedded, opaque fees, the BS products clients get sold, like interval funds, private REITs, the crypto crap, the whole life insurance, direct indexing (or personal indexing, custom indexing or whatever other name you want to call it). Unfortunately the list goes on ad nauseum.
What if, instead of trying to make yourself look as good as possible, you instead asked yourself, “How can I be as clear and transparent as possible?”
What if financial advisors were more preoccupied with service than selling?
What if financial advisors gave generously without expecting anything in return?
What if financial planning wasn’t given away like a pawn just to “close the deal?”
Well, now it is.
A growing number of financial planners are operating their practices from a position that, to a higher extent than ever before, puts the client at the center and not only pushes the products aside but eliminates them from the offering.
The movement is in its nascency but it’s growing. Here is a list of advice-only financial planners that Cody put together. And boy oh boy, when this catches on, advice-only financial planners are going to be stealing the show.
Listen to the podcast to find out:
- What is an advice-only financial planner?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an advice-only financial planner?
- How do you start an advice-only financial planning firm?
- How did Cody Garrett become such a successful advice-only financial planner?
How he created the concept for his firm
A lot of entrepreneurs create the concept and then they go find the people to buy it. He did the opposite.
He found the problem, and then found an innovative way to solve it.
He was working at an RIA firm and kept getting these calls from people that went something like this:
“I have interviewed 10 fee-only financial advisors, and nobody wants to provide financial planning to me without an expectation to manage my money. What the heck is going on?
I don’t know when to retire or claim Social Security. They won’t tell me any of the information that’s important to me without taking control of my $3MM and charging me $30,000 a year. Why should I have to wait for that information?”
He saw the reality of the industry being that many fee-only wealth management firms may offer financial planning, but it was just a loss leader. The industry is typically about the implementation aspect of financial advice not educating and empowering the client. Even investment management is about moving a client into a product. Financial advisors won’t give you any financial advice without having your money to invest.
He felt, contrary to most, this is where there was potential to change the game.
He grew the firm through his spirit of generosity
While he was learning about financial planning, he started writing blogs teaching others the concepts he was learning. Instead of, though, saying, “If you want to learn more, set up a consultation with me” he said, “If you want to learn more, just keeping reading.”
Amazing act of generosity.
It was that simple.
He gave away generously without expecting anything in return. Truly giving with no hidden agenda other than to educate.
People saw that, and started asking him to work with them. It can just show you how rare it is for someone to be truly transparent and generous in the industry.
How he set his financial planning fees
Most advisors set their fee model and then find someone to serve who will accept that fee model. He feels this is the opposite of what it should be.
Instead, he thinks financial advisors should ask:
- Who am I going to serve? For him, DIY investors on path to retiring in 5 years
- How do I want to serve? A prospect-based truly comprehensive financial planning process. He intentionally was looking to serve people who do not need monthly hand holding.
- How do you charge? The only way that made sense was a flat project fee for financial planning. It completely eliminated AUM fees, because he wasn’t managing their assets on an ongoing basis.
He wanted every household to pay the same fee for the same process. It’s very simple, and there is little confusion after the intro call. He structures his engagements as a three month project for a $6,400 flat fee. In the third month he teaches clients how to implement the plan on their own.
What an advice-only financial planner does
Cody decided to become an advice-only financial planner, avoiding managing assets for clients and focusing instead just on the service of financial planning because he feels that is where the greatest value of a financial advisor lies. He does not take discretion of client assets. Instead, he provides them with an analysis of their risk tolerance and investment plan, and even specific tickers. He teaches them how to make the trades in the final month of the project.
If someone asks him whether or not they should work with a financial advisor to manage their money, he asks them if they have the bandwidth, mindset, and skill to do so. If they don’t, he refers them to a flat fee advisor.
The advice-only financial planning movement
There are a handful of advice-only financial planners. It’s a growing movement as the younger generations who are more financial literate and capable of handling their own investments shift the demand to wanting financial planning instead of money management.
I would encourage all financial advisors starting out who are looking to become wealth managers to think about becoming an advice-only financial planner. You don’t have to go sell insurance policies or work at a wirehouse under a quota. You can go the path Cody and others have gone and do it on your own terms with dignity, offering a higher level of service than the traditional model allows.
It is my hope that more advisors will follow the advice-only financial planning model. If it is not possible to do so, I hope that more advisors will at least be inspired by the spirit of innovation and higher service to the client that the advice-only financial planning movement brings.
List of advice-only financial planners
Challenge Everything Financial
HCP Wealth Planning
Holly Donaldson Financial Planning, LLC
What’d ya think of my blog on advice-only financial planners? Was this helpful?
If yes here are some resources you may benefit from.
Join the Transparency Advisor Movement.
The Transparent Advisor Movement’s mission is to promote ideals of clarity, modesty, integrity, dignity, and client advocacy in all aspects of financial advice, with a special focus on Advice Only, Flat Fee, and Hourly service models. There is a special emphasis on clear disclosure of services and their related fees.
The Transparency Movement is the future of the industry – we welcome anyone who believes in our values to join us.
Join our next Transparent Advisor virtual meetup.
These meetups are free and the goal is to learn from each other about how to grow and manage a transparent practice for the benefit of clients.
Even if you can not make the meetup, or even attend in its entirety, please register for the replay and to be notified of the next one.
Or if you are looking to market yourself better…
Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.
You could also consider my financial advisor social media membership which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.
Thanks for reading. If none of this appeals, I hope you’ll at least join my weekly newsletter about financial advisor lead generation.
See you in the next one!
0:00:00.0 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Hey, what’s up financial advisors, it’s me Sara G with the smack, and I am back. And today we have code Garrett here. He is a CFP and financial advisor, founder or measure twice Financial. He is one of the leaders of the advice only movement. So if you’re sitting, you’re saying, What the heck is that? We’re about to tell you about how people like Cody and many others are revolutionizing financial advice. Cody, thank you for being
0:00:35.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: A… Absolutely, thanks so much for inviting me, Sarah.
0:00:39.3 SARA GRILLO, CFA: At one of the most interesting things about you, and there are so many things, but what I really intrigued by is I saw that you are a worship keyboardist and pianist for about a decade. That’s right, that’s a… Anything like this, e the profession, and then you even graduated from University of Houston with a degree of music dairy way. Bosse, me about that.
0:01:05.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, it’s funnily say, I moved from recording musical records to analyzing financial records, that’s my movement through the industries that… I started playing piano when I was six. And when that’s your primary hobby and what you enjoy for a decade… So by the time I got to end of high school, they’re like, What are you gonna do for college? I’m like, Well, the only thing I know I’m good at is Music, so I decided to get degrees in music. I consider myself a left brain creative, which means him a very analytical, data-driven thinker, but I’ve always happened to work in creative fields, so even in music, we consider music and very creative field, liberal arts, but at the same time, I got my degree of Music Theory, which is like the science and the data of music, so I understand the analysis of how to make music, how to compose and arrange music in a way to make people feel certain ways, so there’s a lot of analysis and data-driven stuff in music, but ultimately it translates to create emotion. And it’s actually very similar to financial planning in a way that I really…
0:02:17.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: I take the input of what the other band members were giving me, or the composers giving me are the audiences, their feedback, and I’m only creating output in response to their input. So a lot of the soft skills, even some of the hard skills that the technical skills that came from my music background translated pretty easily in the music… Sorry, into financial planning.
0:02:40.9 SARA GRILLO, CFA: The coding. Why did you choose to work in a religious institution?
0:02:48.2 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So my first experience playing music with other people was in middle school, so I was… I played piala and I grew up in a Lutheran church. I’ve also gone Baptist church, Catholic churches, I played for Jewish synagogues. I’ve played in all the different denominations of all the different religions, but my first experience playing music with others was in middle school, so at the church, the youth leader just said, Hey, we’re putting a contemporary band together, we’re actually gonna start a contemporary worship service. He says, Does anybody here play a musical instrument if I actually… I raised my hand and said, I actually played drums, ’cause I was actually… At that point, I had started playing percussion in middle school, that was my instrument of choice, but they said, Well, I already played drums, so do you play anything else? So there was competition for the drums and nobody said they played piano, and I was like, Well, I play piano, I guess I’ll do that, so I really started in the church naturally because that was my first opportunity to play music with other people.
0:03:57.4 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Was there some kind of a societal mission or a community mission that went along with that?
0:04:03.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Certainly, I really believed in the power of community and the church, the congregation, and it was another way… Again, it was a way to give back. I think I’ve always… I think just deep down, I really am eager to give to others more than I’ve been given in terms of generosity and being a way to give back to a congregation community through the music performance. It was one of those things where I’m like, Okay, I don’t have the gift of speaking, I don’t have the gift of preaching, I don’t have all these… I don’t have any Bible verses memorized, but I found that that was one of the ways… Again, one of the gifts that I did have, one of the talents I did have, so it was just an opportunity to give back generously in some ways.
0:04:48.9 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Alright, so you’re a… What moves… You then move to financial advice, so
0:04:55.3 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: I had about a nine-10 year career in music and professional music, and the big transition for me was one, getting married. So I got married in 2015. My wife and I were both working 80 to 5 full-time jobs plus. So I was working at 80 to 50, and then I was kinda working on five to eight, because as a musician, you have to wear many hats, so I had my full-time job as a professional musician during the week, working in a church, you kinda work Tuesday through Sunday, rather than Monday through Friday. But I had that regular full-time job, but I was also arranging, I was a music director for is actually one of the best wedding bands in the nation, I music-directed and performed with them, so when my weekends were filled with the wedding gigs, there was… My best example of this about the hustle of being a musician as I worked my 40 hour a week job at the church, but then in one month, I played over 30 shows, 30 Broadway shows. So every evening, every weekday evening, I played a Broadway show on Saturdays and Sundays, I played two shows.
0:06:00.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So that was on top of working a 40-hour a week job, so I decided, You know what, it would be really nice if I could eat dinner with my wife every night of the week, that would be a great kind of a metric of professional success, and to make that happen, I determine, Hey, well, I need to find not just a career that’s stable, but I want a career that I can climb because in terms of professional music as a church music director, it’s not like there’s a next level or a next level of… It’s not just financially, but I always want to be challenged and driven and have that intention to feel better myself, and I was kind of… Not in a cocky way, but I was kinda like at the top… At the top of… Professionalism and expertise in that field, and I just wanted to continue to grow. So it really came down to… First of all, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I went through the… That’s a program typically in churches for financial literacy, we got out of debt, got out of student loan debt, and I was like, Okay, we’re ready to invest, and I’m the type of person, if I wanna learn something about a new subject, I get every book from the library, I listen to all the podcasts.
0:07:10.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Two times speed, so I did that for about a year. Just learning as much as possible, a personal finance, and that led to a natural conversation with a family friend who said, If you really wanna learn about personal finance, you should enroll in the CFP education program. So he said, Okay, well, even if you don’t become a financial planner, I think it’ll just help you really clarify your own financial goals and teach you how to invest and things like that, and you’ve claimed you wanna do… So he happened to be a CFP for the last 20 years, he owned an RIA, a fee only at a um-based Raa. And he said, Go ahead and just drink out of the fire hose and let me know what you think, and within three months of enrolling in the CP education program, I’m like, This is what I wanna do. I want to help families align their money with what’s important to them, with comprehensive financial planning.
0:08:01.8 SARA GRILLO, CFA: So you get a job working for somebody and know what happens.
0:08:08.7 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So yeah, I got a job actually working for the same person who encouraged me to join, to go in the CFP, ’cause he’s like, Well, if you’re gonna… If you’re gonna keep doing the CFP, you take the exam, you might just wanna get the designation, which requires a few years of experience, so he hired me is just like… What is that like? A customer service rep, like a CSR, answering the phone. Thank you for calling Legacy Asset Management. This is cornering the phones, learning how to use the binding machine for financial plans, learning how to use E-Money, the financial planning software. He… Thankfully, I wasn’t just a fly on the wall, like learning about how the business worked, I was actually in all the meetings I go to, even from day one, I was in the client meetings, learning about the true process of not just investment management. So I learned certainly how to manage investments and run the portfolios and move money around, but more importantly, I embraced the the true value of conversation and the collaborative education that comes with doing real financial planning.
0:09:14.1 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Well, I love that story because you don’t really hear about people coming up in the business that way, a lot of times, and I am against this, I speak out against this so much they get a shuttled up into these brokerage programs for the people that are listening to this across the world, please understand that you don’t need to be in some quota-driven factory to start your career, that there are opportunities out there like code, if you have the ability to connect with people that have the same values as you. Which I think is kind of what happened here based on how open this person was with you, so I like… I love that story, Cody, just to begin with, how you started your career, I think was a very good foundation and conducive to doing the right thing for clients, etcetera. Okay, so you’re working along in one day, you kinda say, I wanna strike out on my own… Okay, so let’s talk about Measure twice, Financial. Sorry everybody, I don’t have my baby home, as you all know, I have four children under eight years old, I… And then the covid, the daycare is closed today, or…
0:10:18.8 SARA GRILLO, CFA: For whatever reason, I don’t know, it’s all out of a blur, to be honest with you, but… Okay, so you might be hearing little three-year-old voices in the background, but don’t worry.
0:10:27.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Probably from my side to you and I don’t have kids, so… Okay.
0:10:31.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Alright, cool, so let’s talk about Measure twice financial, because now I saw on Twitter that if you had your one year anniversary of founding the company, let’s talk about the concept. Alright, when you’re sitting there saying, I wanna do something, of course, consistent with my values and my beliefs, my generosity, my desire to truly serve other people, what was your thought process when you were coming up with the concept for… Measure twice.
0:10:59.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, the concept… And it’s funny, a lot of is a lot of small business owners create a product and then they go find people to buy it. Right. What I found is the opposite. As I found a problem and I was like, How do I solve this problem? And the way that worked… So at that firm I was working at that A-U-M-R-A, I received a phone call from a gentleman who said, I’ve interviewed 10, the only CFP financial planners, and none of them will provide financial planning to me without an expectation to manage my money. What the heck is going on? He’s like, I have millions of dollars, but they won’t give me any financial advice on like, when do I climb Social Security? Do I have enough to retire? Which account am I gonna take money from? In what order? It’s like they won’t tell me any of this information that’s important to me without taking control of my 3 million in tagging me 30000 a year before they can even provide any advice to begin with. So he was frustrated, and I heard that actually at over a dozen times within one month, and I was like, Okay, this is real…
0:12:04.2 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: People are searching and people don’t even know what to look for, there’s no advice, only Google search, people are just typing in find a financial planner and all of the find an advisor tools online. First of all, say, type in your zip code, which isn’t really relevant because people wanna work with the best person for them nationally, not really the guy down the street on the corner, whoever’s closest, but also when you type in… Find a financial advisor, or being a financial planner. Again, there’s a lot of labels that are confusing in the industry, they immediately… Again, where the money is and also where the traffic goes is to the AUM firms that lead with… They might offer financial planning, but it’s truly just a lost leader, it’s just the natural gateway to becoming what I call charging rent on people’s money, I know that’s not the… They’re not just charging rent on people’s money, there is some implementation involved, but that’s not the true value of working with a financial planner, it’s the planning, not the implementation, it’s the service, not the sales…
0:13:13.3 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Okay, so you’re listening and you hear the voice of the consumer, I wanna be served differently, what happens next?
0:13:23.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So that actually came out of creating educational content. So at this firm, I was so excited. I do believe that the best way to learn is to teach. And as I was learning, you can imagine how much Impostor Syndrome I had in terms of being new to this industry, like literally managing, moving around millions of dollars a day, and again, this was less than six months after not knowing what the IRA was, and now I’m moving money from Ira to hire. And so I’m doing this, I have this level of impostors, I have no idea what I’m doing, in reality, I did… It’s just impotent me, shows up when you become a humble expert, and those two things are actually… Have to be there, they really truly have impostor syndrome, which is you have to be humble, meaning, you have to realize you don’t know what you don’t know, and you have to have that level of humility to not have the ego, but you also do have to somewhat be an expert because I wouldn’t have been… My boss would have not put me on that position to be managing people’s money if I didn’t have that level of expertise, so to fight this imposter syndrome, I decided, Hey, I believe that the best way to learn is to teach, so I’m going to create educational content, through a blog called Measure twice money, so this was outside of my firm, not related, should get a separate LLC completely, and it never tied to me as an advisor, I just wanted a way, How can I educate consumers who aren’t being served by financial planners, but never having a sales pitch.
0:14:48.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So when I create educational content, it’s not like, here’s a little bit of educational content, if you wanna learn more or if you wanna learn the rest, you’ll set up a free consultation with an advisor instead of that, I just said, If you wanna learn more, just keep reading, because there’s never… I never have the sales pitch, so I gave away just generously without expecting anything in return, and this led to… By the beginning of last year, in 2021, I received about fortify perspective clients who wanted to work with me one-on-one. Just doing financial planning. But that was while I was at my last firm. So all that to say, Oh.
0:15:24.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: You’re not even pitching anything, no instinct as no pitch, no marketing funnel, no email newsletter, no nothing, you’re just talking and giving generously, truly giving. Awesome, I love that. And
0:15:40.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: What happens there is, there’s a quote that I love, that the best way to market is to be remarkable, and what’s remarkable ran the time we’re living right now, what’s remarkable is transparency and generosity, and that’s something that… It’s not very common just in real life at all, but it’s also very uncommon within the industry, first of all, the transparency, not just in the fees, but the transparency in what we do and how we provide value to people, and then the generosity certainly, I would say most in any industry, not just advisors, when they create educational content, it ultimately used as a marketing tool to say, Hey, I’m gonna spend a little bit of work like creating some educational stuff a lot… To me, a lot of advisors, you can purchase this educational stuff from… Everybody’s posting the same link along the way, but consumers are not… They’re not stupid, they’re not silly, they can see… We all get the spam emails every day, we’ve been taught how to see through the fluff and to know when something spam and when something is valuable, so I decided I just truly want to educate people as my core values of generosity and transparency, which are missing, especially in the Industry, and Consumer is just…
0:16:57.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: They would receive this information and consume it and prove provided value sometimes for like six months, and then they think to themselves like, Who’s this guy and why is he giving so much away? And consumers are smart, they can do their research before they buy a refrigerator, they go online to do research before, so they easily just typed in… Who’s this code Garrett guy? They went down their own rabbit hole of discover… I was a financial advisor, a financial planner, so… No, it’s funny is all of the prospective clients that reach out to me actually all through Facebook DMs, I didn’t know they existed until I reached out. Which is kind of the opposite of how a traditional advisor marketing works.
0:17:39.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Okay, so they reaching out through Facebook, meaning they’ve read measure twice money, they’ve read a blog, they’ve been reading for six months, and then they’re like, Who’s this guy code? I’m gonna go find them on Facebook… You weren’t on LinkedIn.
0:17:52.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Right, so yeah, my audience for LinkedIn has always been other financial advisors, financial planners. I’ve never used LinkedIn as a marketing tool. Well, first of all, I have never… Your social media really as a marketing tool, as you kind of notice, but my audience on Facebook is DIY investors on the path to early retirement. On LinkedIn, my audience is financial planners, and then Twitter is funny, Twitter started with an audience of other financial planners within their first five years within the industry, and that switch, it’s about half and half II investors and half advisors at this point, so my audience has changed along the way, but it actually… All of those DMs came from Facebook because I was providing education through a lot of the personal finance Facebook groups, but again, not ever saying, and if you want, send me a DM for more information in lead generation.
0:18:44.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: How did you come up with the business model… First of all, just say, what is the business model for a measure twice. Financial and how did you come up with it?
0:18:54.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, so I would describe Service in the model of a business being service, process on fee, so the service is comprehensive financial planning, and that’s it, right? So the service I sell as the clarity and competence to help individuals and families make their own well-informed financial decisions without implementing just planning. So the service…
0:19:15.7 SARA GRILLO, CFA: But this is what you call advice only.
0:19:18.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Right, so the way to find advice only is it’s the only comprehensive financial planning without the expectation obligation or even the option to manage any client investments, so not only am I offering just planning as a stand-alone product or service, but that’s the only thing I do so in my form, ADV, I don’t have any discretion over any client investments, which is kind of… There are a lot of advisors that I’ll say, Well, I offer advice only, I offer flat fee financial planning, but if it’s an offering, it’s therefore not the only thing you do, so the service is really comprehensive financial planning, which really, if you do go down deeper into that it’s really… The service I provide is personalized financial education, people can get their general financial education by Googling or going into reading blog as we’re listening to Dave brands, you’re Suzie Orman, but personalized education is what’s missing and is also really the value of what I provide, so that’s the service, the process is, I have a three-month, three meeting process, which rate three meetings are intro call just to really define mutual expectations for what they’re looking for in a financial planning engagement on what I can provide.
0:20:40.3 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: The second meeting is the data gathering meeting, which is after I’ve reviewed typically 40 to 50 documents, I found opportunities to have deeper conversations quantitatively and qualitatively, and then the third meeting is the plan presentation where that’s where I present really in an educational format. Typically 25 financial planning topic areas with investment management only being a very, very small piece, or choosing investments on being a small piece of that education, so a service process and fee. So it’s funny, most advisors, they kind of set their fee model and then they go, Who am I gonna serve? And how am I gonna provide value? I think that’s the opposite of what should happen when you’re launching a firm, you should say, Who am I gonna serve? So I wanna serve DII investors on the path, early retirement within five years. How do I wanna serve? I wanna serve with a project-based truly comprehensive financial planning process, and then really that also defines who you serve in a way that… I wanna serve people that don’t need a monthly retainer, they don’t need monthly hand-holding, again, we don’t make financial decisions on a monthly basis, at least, I don’t look at my counts, but twice a year, and that’s just a rebalance if needed.
0:21:59.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So I wanted to work with families, you had really the time, the temperament and the talent to implement their own recommendations for the upcoming year, but they don’t need more than three months. I would say most advisors actually probably don’t see their clients more than… I spent about 15 hours developing a plan in five hours of the client in those three months, so service process and the fee kind of solved itself, right. So now that I know who I’m gonna serve and how I’m gonna serve, the only fee model that made sense was project-based, flat fee, comprehensive financial planning without managing their money, which completely… That immediately eliminated a um, it eliminated any investment management, it didn’t really make sense to calculate their fee based on asset level or income, and also kind of like Andy Paco, we’ve talked to that the simplicity is key. What I decided is, I want every household to pay the same fee for the same service on the same process, so I’ve completely eliminated the conversation of service process and fee from my conversations with clients. The follow-through from the intrust becoming a formal client has been about 100, and I think a big part of that is they understand the service process and fee before they ever reach out, all of that, again, transparently.
0:23:30.3 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: It’s all on my website. Very, it’s not hidden in the bottom, footnotes are in the AP, it’s all straight up service, processed fee, and if they wanna work with me, they’ve made the decision to work with me by the time they reach out…
0:23:49.7 SARA GRILLO, CFA: What you say? If they say, But what about my investments in…
0:23:59.4 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: If somebody asked me, Should I work with a financial advisor to manage my money… Manage my investments for me. I always ask, Do you have the time, the temperament and the talent to do it yourself, and there’s a big misconception about DIY investors is that doing it themselves doesn’t necessarily mean learning it themselves or planning for… Planning it themselves. So I just quickly going through those time, temperament and talent, so first of all, it’s kind of a misconception is that time… It takes time to do financial planning, it takes time to figure out how to invest, but it doesn’t take very long to actually invest, like to push the buttons on fidelity and one finance job, Vanguard, wherever your custodian is, it takes less than a minute to actually implement your investments, I probably spend 30 minutes a year at the most, looking at my own money, so it doesn’t take very much time, a lot of consumers, they assume it takes a lot of talent to implement and manage their investments, and that’s actually one of limited belief or almost like a lie that the industry has told the consumer that I think Rick verily has the complexity equals job security as an industry, we’ve tried to convince consumers that it’s way too difficult for you to do this yourself, you need my help, and the way I illustrate this is the traditional industry has kind of…
0:25:28.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: They’ve thrown a client down a hole, they throw over a rope and say, I’m the only person who can save you, and I think that’s kind of a lie the industry is told consumers is you cannot possibly successfully implement and manage your own investments, which is false, ways
0:25:43.9 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Just to elaborate, an example would be putting the client into a direct indexing program, where now instead of FITS they own a couple hundred stocks, now someone has to watch all those stocks, now they’re locked in, there are attacks implications, there are investment, there are gains, losses, etcetera, right. So yeah, it has a lot to do with the products, the products, with the way that financial advice has typically been rendered, then the tools that are used to do that, so can you tell me what… You create a financial plan, but do you discuss at all their investments as part… Absolutely. Right, yeah. Investment recommendations as part of that, right.
0:26:36.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, that’s a great question and a big misconception about what I do is just because I don’t implement, just because I don’t push the buttons to do the trades, that doesn’t mean I still give them specific tickers, not only that, but this is another thing that’s fascinating about how you can do advice only planning without having discretion is I teach them what to do, how to do it, why to do it in alignment with their own desired outcomes as a family, but during the third month of my three-month process, I can screen share with them and we can actually implement together, that’s something… We’re like, Wait, what, what… You can actually implement with the client that’s possible, yes, they share their screen, they log into fidelity and they say, Hey, Cody, can you teach me how to do that thing you told me is important to do, and Hey, can you… Let’s say they pull up fidelity, I know Fidelity Vanguard, I know all the platforms at this point, and I can teach them how to review their cost basis information, I can teach them how to implement trades transfers, Roth conversions. I’m teaching a man to fish.
0:27:48.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: I’m teaching a woman to fish, this is kind of the concept of the actual implementation of managing their investments is very simple, but the value is really the education on what to do… How to do it and why they’re doing it.
0:28:05.4 SARA GRILLO, CFA: I don’t think you mentioned the numerical fee that you charge.
0:28:11.2 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So I charge 6400 for that three-month process, if you try to… If you analyze that, you’re like, Wow, that’s pretty expensive, if you were to charge that every three months, but most clients want to do that engagement annually or a little bit less often, like every few years. Another thing is I charge 64100 for the first comprehensive plan, but then I charge 4800 for any future engagements, so I do stand-alone engagement… Sorry, standalone engagements, 64100. But if you think about the fee in terms of fairness and benchmarking, the 6400, it’s kind of the average, if you were to squeeze all the clients I’ve served all together, it would be about 25 million portfolio, which take in getting the calculator out, you’re probably doing this quick as a CFA, I’m charging of effectively 26 basis points versus them having their money managed, I would say that mostly these clients would probably pay 20000 a year to work with an advisor who is primary, a primary services managing the investments, whereas… Actually back, one thing that I heard from a client is they actually had an advisor charging them 30000 a year to manage about 35 million dollars for them, and they said, Wait, I just paid you 6400 to do all of the valuable work, and I’m paying him to check in once a year to tell me how the funds did…
0:29:45.3 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: He’s like, There’s a disconnect between what I’m paying and where I’m receiving the value. So this is actually allowed to believe that the future of the profession industry is the separation of financial planning from financial implementation, because I do believe that managing the investment management is a product, is a product just like selling an insurance product or just like an insurance product, or investment product.
0:30:10.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Tell me more about what you just said, please. The future of the industry is… Go ahead. Tell me more, right.
0:30:16.3 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: So the future of the industry is separating financial planning from the implementation of financial recommendations, so the industry in terms of… So you can also break it down to sales, virtual service versus sales. So financial planning is really the true value, that’s the education, that’s where you truly understand a families, desired outcomes, their values, and are able to line their sources of capital with what they claim is important to them. The implementation is what this industry has always been about, is like how can we put them into something… It used to be, of course, Whole Life and Annuities and some of these insurance products, but now I see investment management is the same thing, it’s like how can we move them to a product as quickly as possible, for example, like the advisors who are saying, I won’t give you any of the service until we… Literally the words that advisor say is, close the deal, close the sale, close the client, like this transactional language of closing business and having a book of business, that’s all sales language on the implementation side, whereas the actual value of what we do in our highest and best use in the industry, especially if you have a CFP, is to be an actual financial planner, which is financial planning, financial implementation, there should be separate services and they should charge separately for them, I believe.
0:31:41.2 SARA GRILLO, CFA: So you do the planning, you help them to implement it in the third month, and then they’re on their own, they can check back with you if they want to do subsequent planning, but what if something comes up like… They say, Oh, look today, right? You this week, the markets down, Cody helped me. What happens that…
0:32:08.1 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: But it’s really funny about this question, this question of when people reach out and he got the markets down, I’m freaking out that actually… That’s a really great insight about not creating really healthy expectations, so if a client reaches out scared about what the market’s doing, that probably means that there haven’t been mutually set expectations for what investments are… What we expect them to do, because I only do financial planning, I lead with it since it truly leave with education, so that actually comes down to risk tolerance, and the difference between a risk tolerance and risk capacity, so… This calling and saying, Well, the market’s down, I’m freaking out. Should I be worried? What about inflation? What about, I heard this on the news, is that the right… So they’re calling to tell you about the risk tolerance, which is their subjective, really emotional behavioral feelings about taking risk, and you’re typically downside, of course, being aggressive or being conservative or being risk-averse or all, those are all just on the same… Different sides of the same behavioral bias coin, so risk tolerance is the subjective behavior and emotion, the risk capacity as a client’s objective ability to take risk…
0:33:28.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: To be exposed to risk. So I really believe that the bridge between risk tolerance and risk capacity is financial education, so when a client reaches out and they’re scared about the market, that doesn’t just mean that they’re actually has little to do with… The investments are a little to do with the money or a little to do with what the guy on TV side, it’s really showing that there’s a disconnect between Risk Capacity is tolerance, and that I educate clients that we have to think about money in terms of time, I help them align their investments, risk and return metrics historical… Again, no guarantee future results and historical metrics of risk and return, and we align that with when they’re gonna spend the money, so I do really appreciate using some type of mental accounting approach if you’re having your short-term, intermediate term, longer money, if a client were to reach out to me that I’ve worked with and say, it’s like, Hey, the market’s down. I’m freaking out. That means, I really just need to reiterate that education that we had to say, Hey, let’s remember that when we set up the portfolio, we set it up that none of the money you’re gonna spend within the next three years is exposed to the stereo market that’s going on and again, I use a lot of visuals to show…
0:34:49.2 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: I create my own visuals rather than using these big JP Morgan graphs, they’re really confusing as I just explained, I just explain to clients like how investors are historically rewarded for staying invested over longer periods of time and money that’s need to do within the next couple of years is not appropriate to be invested at that level of… That level of equity exposure.
0:35:12.5 SARA GRILLO, CFA: What if it’s not as conceptual, what if it’s a mechanical thing, they mess up a trade, their 401k or in their Schwab account. So yeah, I think
0:35:28.2 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: They mess up a trade in their… I guess, I immediately thought of taxes and you said that, which is usually a trade that would happen, let’s say that they balance, they mess up, they’re rebalancing in the 401K, thankfully, that’s something that we can then we could come back from without any… There’s no tax consequence to trade in that account, if they made a mistake of realizing a huge capital gain, or, Oh, I accident-ly sold that one where I’m supposed to sell that one.
0:35:57.4 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Or are they… Something got sold, I had an ETF that just went out and left me with a 2000 capital gains, which the broker… I’m not gonna say what the co… The custodian was… But the custodian or four phone calls with my CPA, it was a mess ’cause they were trying to… They reported a 4200 capital gained the IRS. It was 2000, so what… In that case, to get involved or… I guess.
0:36:27.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: First of all, it’s kind of… Actually, if you think about compliance there, again, of course, I haven’t educated them to do those things, but if that’s happened, first of all, there’s not a… It actually takes the pressure off. I wasn’t the person to do it because I literally… There’s no way that can happen, is that. ’cause I’ve seen that happen where somebody, a advisor managing money, the last day of the year, they sold hoops, I saw the wrong thing, and there’s all these capitals and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s the end of the year. But I think that really comes down to, again, you come back to planning and their goals and their objectives as a family is usually those things that you certainly… They’re gonna be related to the tax consequence or something like that. And then again, maybe you can just go into more education and planning, another thing that I do, this is really important in terms of providing value in a reduction of friction, working with clients says… Let’s say that they’re having this issue or they’re having a hard time, they did something with our custodian, and they’re like, I can’t figure it out, and the custodians using all this technical language, I don’t understand, I will call the custodian like I’ll call Fidelity, for example, a record keeper.
0:37:34.2 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Once I get them on the line, I’ll bring in the client on the call and we’ll have a three-way conversation, and again, I’m still not implementing anything for them, but I can really help guide them to make those… To implement those decisions and truly understand, I think when people reach out like that and they just wanna understand, and it comes back to that education of the problem, whatever happened can probably be resolved in some way, they sold too much and gain… Okay, let’s figure out there’s opportunities for tax loss harvesting or things like that, but most of the time when somebody is worried about something happening, that comes down to a fear of uncertainty, which really can be offset hedged by having a really truly educational and personalized conversation with somebody that actually goes deeper than the money, because that’s where, you know, find it… If I were to launch my firm again, it would be called by the way money instead of measure, lie financial, because I believe that financial planning, very little of what we do in terms of value, it has to do with the money. The Bonny, it just happens to be one of the problems that are helping people solve…
0:38:44.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: The advice
0:38:45.4 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Only movement were in term come from… First of all, do that. Yeah, it’s funny.
0:38:51.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Personal is… It’s been around a few years. It really spiked in 2018-2019. There’s a advice only network that was created a few years ago to help people find advice only financial planners, and it was a few resources, I think there was maybe like a Wall Street Journal, New York Times article, of course, which makes that spike for a moment. But again, it was so difficult, it really educated a few consumers, I had a handful of consumers relatively, that advice only even exist, I would say the majority of consumers have no idea that this is an option, Wait, I can get financial planning without the managing my money or what is financial planning to begin with. So advice only has been around for a couple of years at least. Actually, what’s really interesting to me is that advice only is actually huge in Canada, at huge, relatively to how it is here as there’s Al… A Canadian advice-only network. There are, since being on the Michael kits, this podcast, really putting out the definition of advice only, I receive messages, there are advice only financial planners in Australia, South Africa. Actually, multiple parts of Africa.
0:40:06.6 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: There’s advice only firm starting up in Great Britain, there’s a lot of Canadian advice… Only planners, as I mentioned. So the US is kind of late to the game, not in terms of the… Not in terms of the label advice only, but we’re late to the game in terms of respecting the profitability of sustainability of the model entirely.
0:40:33.7 SARA GRILLO, CFA: What would you say are… We’ve gone over what the advantages are, what would you say are the disadvantages of this business model?
0:40:41.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, so I said before, their time, time and talent, two of the three Ts is something that can certainly be managed and there’s misconceptions around, but temperament is the number one reason to have an advisor help manage your money in terms of discretion is it’s not just the client reaching out, and it’s not just the client selling when things are down again, yes, that’s a common… That’s a common mistake that investors make, but it’s really that advice-only planning is just… Serves DIY investors. So if you think about a spectrum of DIY on the left side and delegate on the right side, the industry is solely focused on the delegate, ’cause that’s where the recurring… The sustainability of the scalability of that model is ’cause it’s a sales model, but on the flip side, so there’s a whole spectrum of DIY versus delegate, so if somebody is less DEI or they don’t have… Not just that they don’t have the time, but they don’t want to spend their time and implementing investments, they don’t even really wanna learn how to use their custodian to manage their money that they don’t
0:41:53.8 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Heretofore be able to… They may have dementia, they may be into decline…
0:42:00.7 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Well, what’s fascinating about that is I’ve worked with a lot of clients who hired me specifically, so your husband and wife, they reached out, the husband said, I really want to do a conference, a financial plan. Yes, it’s gonna be great to have the recommendations and the analysis that you do and really help us define our values and goals, but he said I see advice only financial planning as an insurance policy, if something happens to me or something happens to my spouse, or if we get to a place of cognitive mental decline, that’s the time when we really want somebody in our corner that we can reach out to who can help us through that transition, whether I continue to serve them or not, I can also be the trusted refer to another advisor who can help them manage their money, but somebody who I believe can actually work in their best interest, what ends up happening is when, especially older clients like that, when they go into cognitive decline or when there’s a surviving spouse, there’s a surviving widow or widower that’s the time when people get taken advantage of by the industry, they go, a surviving spouse, just like they just got this windfall, maybe insurance or just they got…
0:43:15.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Now, all the money is in their name and they’re like, I don’t know what to do, my spouse managed all the finances, like the first person they reach out to is probably not gonna be the right person for them. So advice only financial planning is a great place to start to determine, Hey, so I can actually help a family determine if they have the time, temperament to the talent to do it themselves, if they don’t, then I can be the trusted resource to help them find somebody else, so I refer people all the time. I only refer to other flat fee, I either refer to other advice only without investment management advisors, planners, or I refer to flat fee with investment management. So at this point, I do not refer clients to a advisors, not because they’re bad advisors, but I do believe that there’s a more kind of aligning the value with the service, I think flat fee with investment management is the way I would refer.
0:44:14.8 SARA GRILLO, CFA: What about scalability? This is an objection that I’ve heard other people in the industry say. They’ve called advisors like you… Advisors with baby practices for Diana, which is ridiculous.
0:44:34.7 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, I think a big part of it is that we all re-each defined our Homeric of success. I think that the traditional industry, there’s a million dollar round table, there’s this… The majority of the industry still is, I’ll kinda do the least amount of work for the most amount of money, and again, that’s a sales approach when we talk about service, that’s not about doing the least amount of work for the most amount of money, it’s about doing the right, the right work for the right amount of money. So just quickly, in terms of scalability, there is some truth that while financial planning, real financial planning is not scalable because it actually requires your time, that managing investment management is extremely scalable because of the tech we have, the tech we have in financial planning is like… It’s decades. At least to me, it’s… I don’t believe they’ll ever truly get there because I believe that there needs to be a human being reviewing those financial documents to see past the numbers. Well, when you have technology reviewing financial statements, it’s probably looking at the numbers, it’s not looking at the variation of the numbers and the patterns on the numbers of, Oh, hey, that year, that year that David had no earnings for Social…
0:45:53.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Social Security, Oh, that happens to be the same year that his child had adopted their child, I wouldn’t have had that conversation with a client of saying, Oh wow, it’s incredible that you were able to take a year off from work when your child was born, that technology does not… At least I don’t see it happening where it truly does financial planning in terms of the real, the emotional, the behavioral, the true… The collaborative conversations that financial planning is so scared of… Scalability, yes, financial planning in terms of collaborative relationships are not scalable, but that doesn’t stop a only financial planners from building enterprise practices. So Eric Simonson, but I know you’re going to be interviewing in a future webinar, is he’s scaling an enterprise advice only financial planning practice, he wants to serve 20000 families, and his whole kind of thing is, I want financial planning to be for everyone. Hey, you don’t make very much money, you have negative net worth, we will provide financial planning for you, we’re going to teach you how to manage your money successfully. That does not exist in the industry, and a lot of people will tell me, this has been around for a long time, but the consumer…
0:47:07.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: If I’m having a hard time finding advisors that do I imagine how hard it is for consumers?
0:47:13.0 SARA GRILLO, CFA: And another thing is in terms of the scale. Now, they don’t mean that. What they mean is the insurance industry will provide you with a free financial plan if you don’t have very much money, but then you have to buy the term life policy costing you 50 a month, but you did get some financial planning at the time you bought the policy, right?
0:47:37.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: That… Yeah, I call that the product leading the plant again, if sales preceded service… That’s red flag. Service always has to proceed sales…
0:47:52.9 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Well, there wasn’t there that… Learn vest a while ago.
0:47:58.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: I’m not familiar with that one. Is that like, I’m more of an educational platform…
0:48:06.2 SARA GRILLO, CFA: I think it was bought by Northwestern Mutual, but I was… I think it was more of like an app though, but… No, I think there were… So they were hiring CFS at one point, but he got bought, so maybe that is what people are referring to learn, but that was how long ago… That must have been 10 years ago. Okay.
0:48:27.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Well, I think that all of those solutions. Most financial planning, again, I say most, and I sound like ignorant, ’cause I’ve only been in the industry for a little while, but my limited experience in the industry, I see that financial planning is still, for the most part, used as… It’s a bait and switch. It’s, Hey, we offer financial planning, and then you do just enough financial planning to gain that little ounce of trust to keep them in the door, to ultimately sell them a product, including Investment Management. So
0:48:59.5 SARA GRILLO, CFA: It was… The business isn’t scalable. Right.
0:49:04.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Here’s the issue that I see is that when people talk about scalability, they’re talking about the scalability of revenue, I care about the sustainability of collaborative relationships, so again, scalability is when people are talking about How can I grow revenue, on How can I provide more value to the families I serve. So it’s a completely different mindset of generosity than what we’ve been taught in the industry.
0:49:36.2 SARA GRILLO, CFA: How many advice only financial advisors are there code…
0:49:42.6 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: If you’re hearing this, reach out, ’cause I only know between 15 and 20 and the entire nation at this point, and I’ve been cheerleading advice only for about two years now. I think there are more in Canada and that network that I’ve met in the United States.
0:50:09.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a practice as an advice on the advisor?
0:50:16.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, so coming back to those questions… The first question you have to ask yourself is, who am I gonna serve? And you really imagine yourself, you just launch a practice day one, somebody walks through the door, somebody shows up on your zoom video call, if your ideal client shows up on day one, who are they… Describe them in as much detail as possible. Create that perfect… Kind of that perfect avatar again, when you’re dreaming, negotiate top down, not bottom up, create the ideal client in your mind, who do you wanna serve even not just like How much money do they have, or are they single or married, but also what emotions are they bringing in the door, are there kids wrapped around their legs or hiding behind their legs and they come through the door. Did they bring their kids with them? As a superstar. Exactly. So you have to say, Who do I wanna serve? And then you say, Okay, well, how do I provide value to that person, and then only then will you determine if you really want an advice-only practice, because again, it’s kind of like putting the coin in the slot, they just jump on goes, Oh, you’re like…
0:51:26.3 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: It’s like, Oh, it’s too big to be a dime, it’s gonna go into this, you’re just defining filters for yourself to determine truly, you don’t decide you wanna be an advice only firm owner, and then go, Who… And how am I gonna serve? You say, Who do I wanna serve? Just try to remove as much knowledge about a few models as you know, if that’s possible, so yeah.
0:51:48.2 SARA GRILLO, CFA: How… It’s always taught, that’s how the people are brought into the industry, that’s how you gotta make a living and figure out how to do that.
0:51:56.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah.
0:51:59.8 SARA GRILLO, CFA: It’s like an entirely different paradigm, right.
0:52:03.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: And I say all the time, You have to flip the switch, you give away without expecting anything in return, that’s not normal, you create content without telling somebody you’re an advisor or trying to flip a sale… That’s not normal.
0:52:17.9 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Okay, no, but it’s the way… Let me tell you when I first started what I’m doing now, I had two children under two years old, I had a baby, that was… Cause for those of you, condom story, I had a baby about every year and a half, I started having kids later in life, Antonio and I have been together a while, and my first baby, and then all of a sudden… ’cause I never thought I was gonna have kids ever, I was always a career woman entrepreneur, and then I have… My first was, Tonio was like, I wanna have kids. And I was like, Okay, I’ll have one main. Right, and so we… Westland. God laughs, right, right, right. Okay, I have what I remember, I was holding her and I was on my maternity leave and I was holding her and I was like, I wanna have six more of these, but I ended up only having three more, but anyway, so I had a baby every year and a half… And him too, come was the weirdest thing was like we both fell so in love with our first baby that just we wanted to have a million kids anyway, so I’m sitting there, I had my second child.
0:53:16.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: I was a financial advisor at one of these insurance program brokerage, wire house broke, whatever it wasn’t even remember, but it was awful. So I quit, and I remember sitting there on my couch and my kids were so young and I was like, Well, what do I do? And so I started making YouTube videos, and I made this YouTube video about like, don’t be discouraged if you… About fasting the CFA exam. And I just was talking and talking about how when I was taking the CFA exam, everybody told me I couldn’t do it. Everything said, you’re a marketing girl. And this is for finance people, like this was totally discouraged by everybody, but I ended up passing it and it was this whole really gutsy, truthful, blank story, and the video ended up getting like 20000 years, which for me was viral, ’cause I had not really… Only a couple thousand followers on LinkedIn at that point, he did not have a large following at all, and then I started making more videos ’cause it was like when my kids were seeking a start, nothing coding, no call to action. No business plan, no. Nothing, literally nothing.
0:54:18.4 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Just transparency. Yeah, okay. Just, I was just… It was almost like I wanted to talk to somebody. I wanted to be at a sense of… I say
0:54:28.3 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: It’s a sense of urgency to share… I think also just content creation is you’re sharing your conversations with other people, or even even the thought, even the conversations you’re having with yourself, you’re just sharing the other…
0:54:40.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: It was almost like I just needed something adult to do because I was running around with kids and everything, and I needed to feel like I was still this business woman, and I would put on my suit when my kids had gonna happen stuff and then open video tape is Yoichi. Literally nothing awful. I didn’t even have a microphone, just some beat up web cam, and then after a while, after a few months, I start getting these emails and they’re like, You know Sarah, I was watching your videos. And it wasn’t even like financial advisor stuff, it was like, I don’t know what to do, I took the CFA exam, but I failed and I had this awful job and… Can you look at my resume? I start working to people’s resumes, and then it becomes… Well, you know, the firm I work for has a website. It stinks. Can you look at the website and then I move into what I’m doing now. But it was just entirely bad, and then I was… ’cause what happened was, either way, it was almost like I didn’t set out with, here’s my business plan, and here’s my intention was…
0:55:43.3 SARA GRILLO, CFA: It was almost like I had no intention to… It was almost like I was called…
0:55:46.7 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: That you’re pulled, it’s almost like others and just like, I don’t know what… Be able to call it like the universe or God, you just get like pull and you’re just like, Okay, I’ll just join the ride.
0:55:58.5 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Right, like this guy, one day in July, this person, the person who founded one day in July, Dan Cunningham, I talked to him a Arlen, he told me that he had been an entrepreneur of other businesses, and in those other businesses, he’s ways like, Oh, the protea has to be this… ’cause he was in software and technology, and he was like, The Profit we as this and this nakanishi one day in July. That’s why the… From his name one day in July, because winding in July, he sat down and he just was like, I’m sick of the fact that all the… He figured out that all the teachers in America don’t make as much as the top 30 hedge fund managers put together or something like that, some ridiculous statistic, and he was like, It’s just not say, or that people aren’t given access to low-cost financial advice. And so he went in and he originally started the form thinking, how was the lowest I could possibly charge instead… Goebel.
0:56:51.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Beans rice.
0:56:52.4 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Yeah. Okay, so he starts at like 30 basis points, and then he finds out, I can’t really hire the caliber of person I want, I’m getting a ton of clients, but I just… The practice isn’t right, so we had to raise it wound up at 50 basis points, which is still way lower than everybody else, and very few advisors are actually doing that, but it’s that same thing where he was called to the knee, just like I was called to the need for, I can’t find anybody who has creative skills who can communicate engaging-ly, but who also is a CFA and has worked on Wall Street and knows the intents of the industry, and it’s so nice when it happens that way, and I wish more people take more time to kind of figure out… To talk to people and figure out what do people really need, because a lot of times what we’re taught that they need has a commercial motive behind it, and it’s at the office, it is like, fine if what people need and then make it work for any taught
0:57:54.5 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: What you’re taught, what you’re taught what you want them to need.
0:58:00.0 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Then there’s all this like, you know the rejection and it’s so tough on this and that if it’s like, it’s not that tough. If you look at what people are really demanding and then say to yourself, I’m like, You’ve done… Like Dan did there, I believe Eric is doing right now. I’m gonna use my creativity and come up with new ways to do things to make it profitable.
0:58:24.8 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: I would stay there though, it is very important, again, you talk about the value of financial planning, it would have been very difficult to do what I’m doing right now. Had I not had some level of financial independents, so I had to have the discipline to invest, we had about a 35% savings, even as a household, we were making a 600000 a year, but we were still saving 35% of our income, low cost of living being super frugal, but in alignment with our values, I wouldn’t have been able to just launch my own firm if I were starting from like… If I were working paycheck to paycheck, I couldn’t have done that. So it’s so important that anybody listening, you have to build that level of discipline and financial independence to be able to make these big jumps, it’s very difficult to negotiate and to say no to all of the mutual of the world when you’re starting in the industry when you don’t have any… You don’t have any cushion or runway financially.
0:59:28.5 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Or when there’s financial pressure…
0:59:31.0 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Right, well, and again, a lot of that’s out of our control, certain… Consider myself lucky privilege, whichever word you choose, whichever synonymous with that. But again, you have to have not just discipline, but build, build a level of intentionality toward what you want, and I think a lot of people, because they’re coming from these environments where you’re always starting at the bottom of the ladder, we even talk about that, like you’re Oh, you’re a base level employee, you’re always trying to negotiate upward, whereas in reality, especially if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and drive, you should… When you’re dreaming, when you’re thinking about what you wanna do, always negotiate top-down, not bottom up, and that’s the problem is we’re taught from a very young age to only say, Can I please do this? We’re always trying to ask permission, and the whole as permission versus ask for forgiveness, we’re always trying to say, Can I just do this one little extra step, can I climb a little bit faster rather than just saying, again, while you’re dreaming, just dream. It’s not just dreaming big, but dream top down, say, if we’re at exactly what I wanted, what would it look like? And then go, Okay, well, that part’s a little tricky, so I’ll have to kinda negotiate down from there, but it’s so much more productive than negotiating bottom up, especially if you’re going to…
1:00:52.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: At some point, if you’re built to be an entrepreneur, you’re gonna end up there where you somehow you’re gonna end up there. So it’s just… Do you want it to end up there more on your own terms or on your subconscious or what you’ve been taught growing up.
1:01:08.9 SARA GRILLO, CFA: What do you tell someone that wants to do this?
1:01:13.7 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Well, the first sentence, I would say it would end in a question mark, I just… I would wanna know really what’s behind it, what a big question that I learned from business coaches, any time you decide to do something… What’s the end in mind? So with me too, when I’m building a practice, I could say, Okay, well, what’s the end of mine with Measure twice Financial, do I wanna be solo boutique enterprise, do I wanna deliberately limit my capacity or do I wanna try to scale… It’s really important to think end in mind when you’re starting something is, it’s very similar to how I talk about investing with clients, I say, before you invest your money, we have to understand when we’re gonna need this money again to cover our lifestyle expenses. So if you have a dream about doing something differently or building a business, think end in mind, dream big read books. I spoke with, I had Zoom calls with 125 other financial planners one-on-one within the last 12 months, like you need to show that level of drive and intention to learn from others, and there’s a quote I learned when I was a professional musician, which is nobody is going to call you if they don’t have your number, so a lot of financial advisors, financial planners just in any business world, we’re kind of waiting for a phone call from somebody who doesn’t know we exist, so I would ultimately tell them you need a mentor in every part of your life, physical, mental, spiritual, relational, financial…
1:02:43.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: And that means… We always talk about, we don’t have time to do this, you have to prioritize your time to really become the person you actually wanna become, and it’s not do the least amount of work for the most amount of money, let’s do the right work and figure out… And again, and the last part of that equation is… Okay, and by the way, how do I get paid?
1:03:09.6 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Well, I think it looks here one year, business founding anniversary, believe yesterday. Well, congratulations, thank you. Thank you so contribution. It is my hope that more advisors will follow this model, and if for some reason it is prohibitive, that advisors will at least be inspired by the spirit of the innovation that you’re bringing to the profession faster.
1:03:40.9 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: That’s a great segue into this concept of fulfillment or your purpose is not what you do, but how you do it. So how I’m doing what I’m doing in my business, I can translate that into any other industry, I have no doubt that every three years I could go into a different industry and do exactly what I’ve done with this one, because again, the drive intentionality and the purpose is how I do it, not what I do, and how I do it is with generosity, transparency and intentionality. Defining those core values. So I would encourage anybody listening that you truly have to understand yourself like that deeply, again, reach out to me, coder ACH, out to Sarah, like we’ve got a lot of resources that we were just… We had the sense of urgency to just tell the world. So if you find value in this like tell the world.
1:04:36.1 SARA GRILLO, CFA: And especially for some of you, I don’t wanna say younger, but a lot of you are younger who are starting out of the industry, I really want you to hear this message that you can make your own reality, and that you don’t have to do things than be part of the machine. Please understand this. That there are people that can help you. You could join our LinkedIn group. Advice rockers come to connect with me on LinkedIn and just say, Hey, I wanna be in the group, or having periodic webinars, we’re having one on June 7th and fact, there’s great opportunities in the group to meet others over on… This group has grown so much and I haven’t really even been pushing it, but so many people are hearing about this and just wanna be part of this community, at least just come and be part of the community and sit there and see what other people are talking about… So that you could be guided by the ideas… All right, so I’m gonna wrap here. Thank you so much, Cody, for being here to talk about advice only financial advice. I am having a webinar on June 7th, everybody, it’s a free webinar, and I’m gonna include the link in the show notes, advice rockers group on linkedin, connect with me.
1:05:58.2 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Or you could just do a search for it. It’s a public group. I have an advice only newsletter, if you are interested, just let me know and I can get you subscribe to it. And I’ll also put that in the show notes. Coda resources. Would you be able to offer up? For folks that wanna learn more.
1:06:18.6 CODY GARRETT, CFP®: Yeah, so for me, I would go actually, start just going by going to my Twitter, so it’s measure twice, M-N-Y, it’s like measured this money, but I ran out of letters on Twitter, so measure twice and why? I’m sure are, I can put that in the show notes, but on the top of my Twitter profile, you’ll see this link tree link, and that links to my podcast, all of my educational resources. I’m gonna be teaching my entire financial planning process to other financial planners and DIY investors starting at the end of this year, so yeah, I have all my resources, my press media, how to contact me, is all there on that link tree. So start at Twitter, even if you don’t have a Twitter login. You can still go to my Twitter profile, just Google measure twice, M-N-Y Twitter, and you’ll get there.
1:07:03.7 SARA GRILLO, CFA: Great, okay, everybody. Thanks so much for this thing, and we will see you in the next one.
Podcast transcript may be altered from original recording
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