What is an absurd advisor fee? After seeing someone on social media critiquing what they consider to be an absurd advisor fee, Matthew and Micah decided to sit down and discuss this exact issue. You or other advisors around you may have a specific number in mind when thinking of what is appropriate to charge for your services, but in this episode, you will hear why it’s not about the price—and what you should be focusing on instead.
Listen in as the guys discuss what is considered “too much” and push you to examine the different areas that go into creating an appropriate fee for each client. You’ll learn how to get past the head trash and figure out exactly what you are able to offer clients so that you can charge for the value you add to their lives.
Listen to the Full Episode:
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
- How to get into an environment and headspace to understand the value you generate.
- Why it’s not about finding the cheapest advisor.
- Tips on how to get rid of head trash.
- Important examples of why it’s often better to charge more.
- What you need to be looking at as examples (and where NOT to look).
- Why low prices can inhibit you from providing better value to clients.
- What to focus on and what people are really paying you for.
Ideas Worth Sharing:It’s not finding the cheapest advisor out there, it’s which one delivers the most value to help you meet your goals. - @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet We get wrapped up in the idea that we need to be cheap. It’s not about a price, it’s about the value you can add to a client. - @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet If they don’t feel like that we are worth X amount of money, that’s okay! We’re going to part as friends. - @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
Resources In Today’s Episode:
- Matt Jarvis: Website | LinkedIn
- Micah Shilanski: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter
- Email Matt and Micah
- The Backstage Pass
- The Perfect RIA LinkedIn Page
- Brian Tracy
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Read the Transcript Below:
This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…
Matthew Jarvis: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I’m your cohost and actually co-founder. Someone told me other day, Micah, that we shouldn’t call ourselves cohosts, we should be co-founders of the Perfect RIA podcast. Of course, Micah is here as always.
Micah Shilanski: How’s it going, sir? I love that introduction where Jarvis is like me, me, me, me. Oh yeah, and this other guy on the podcast.
Matthew Jarvis: And there’s Micah.
Micah Shilanski: And didn’t say he was a co-founder or a cohost. He’s just another guy. But after your phone call, I do think that that’s appropriate. So I’m okay. I can take that.
Matthew Jarvis: It reminds me of, I don’t know about your parents, when I was growing up, my mom, anytime I would say, “Well, we should do this,” she would say, “Oh, is there a mouse in your pocket?” So if you wonder who the co-founder is, don’t assume that it’s Micah.
Micah Shilanski: Now that we’ve confused our entire TPR nation.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s right. We’ve messed it up.
Micah Shilanski: We have an exciting topic to talk about today. And it came from Jarvis didn’t apparently have enough to do and got on social media. But good news is we get a fun episode for you today.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah. I try to stay off social media because it usually ends badly and this will probably be no exception, but I came across an advisor who posted on LinkedIn. His name is Scott. We won’t throw out his last name, but you can probably find him. He says, “With over 20 years as a #financialadvisor,” Micah, I’m not sure what it means to be a hashtag financial advisor, but whatever, he says, “I’m still trying to figure out what any #advisor could possibly be doing to justify charging a client 50,000 a year in advisor fees. Anyone want to try and justify these types of absurd advisor fees, I’m waiting.”
And so I just really couldn’t pass up on that kind of fight. I replied and said, “Hey, we are going to in fact do an entire podcast on how we’re going to justify what you consider to be absurd advisor fees.” And Micah, it we’ll just maybe throw this one out there. Do you happen to know anyone who’s actually charging their clients the absurd fee of $50,000 a year?
Micah Shilanski: Well, to be frank, let me think about in the presence of the room, yes. Yes, I do. In fact, I onboarded a client recently and their fee is $5,000 a month we’re running on his credit card. So if we take 5,000 times 12, pretty sure that’s over 50,000. And that’s just one example. And he is elated, by the way, with everything that we’re doing and everything that we’re putting together. Now, he is quite a complex case and we have a great opportunity to deliver a ton of value in his situation. Right? But I can think of dozens of examples of clients that we work with, that you work with, dozens of advisors out there that are part of the Perfect RIA nation that can deliver so much value, clients are elated to pay their fee because it’s not just about the lowest price.
This is not a vanguard argument with financial advisors, right? It’s not finding the cheapest advisor out there. It’s which one delivers the most value to help you meet your goals. I’ve got another client. I was hired, I wrapped up the surge week, and I was hired at the end of last week. And a client that had met with multiple other advisors that have a ton of money sitting around and have all these sales pitches and have no idea what to do. And they were like, “You were the first advisor that actually talked to us in a language that we understand, broke things down into small action items that we can move forward.” And oh, by the way, I’m the most expensive one they met with.
So again, we get wrapped up in this aspect that we have to be cheap. It’s not about a price. It’s about a value in which you add to the client, to the prospect, to people’s lives, which generate what you’re worth. All right, I’m getting up on my soap box. Maybe you should speak as you are co-founder.
Matthew Jarvis: No, no. And I know this is a topic we’ve talked about a lot on The Perfect RIA podcast, but apparently we’re not talking about it enough. But Micah, I want to pull back. You said you signed a new client just recently, not 10 years ago, not 15 years ago. Just this last week. They’re paying $5,000 a month in fees. So surely that $5,000 number, that was hidden on page 47 of the paperwork in fine print and they signed a 47 year non-negotiable, nonrefundable contract. That’s got to be the case, right? Please, I hope everyone listening got the deep sarcasm here.
Micah Shilanski: Yes. And they can’t even ask about the fee going forward, by the way. It’s written in the contract. There’s no questioning this is going forward. Obviously that is not the case. Right? The client knew exactly what it is. I don’t know. What is our contract? Like four pages. I don’t know on that one. Right? So we have our standard advisory contract in which they signed, which is on their credit card. So they get to see it every single month. This is not a shocker that’s going to be out there or any hidden charges taken out in some hidden account or commission that’s going to be there.
This is a direct expense in which they see, which oh, by the way, is like every other fee in which we charge our client, whether it’s a financial planning fee, which comes out on a credit card of which they see on a reoccurring basis, it’s their credit card, or we debit it from their investment advisory account as an AUM fee. They see that as well. None of our fees are hidden. We highlight them to the client because we want to make sure this is a good relationship. And if they don’t feel that we are worth X amount of money, that’s okay. We’re going to part as friends.
Matthew Jarvis: Totally, totally. I just wanted to highlight that for the nation, both for Scott, because this episode is for him, but for everyone else listening. We get in this head trash and say, “Oh, I can’t charge this high of a fee. In fact, I need to lower my fees.” And I remind advisors again and again, unless you’re listening to this podcast in China or some other communist country where people don’t have a choice but to pay you, they have a choice to pay you. If they don’t think you’re worth the fee, great news, they just won’t pay you. But don’t make that decision for them. Don’t say, “Well, I’m sure in their minds, they’re thinking that Micah is not worth it. Therefore I should lower my fees.” Let them make that decision. Don’t sabotage yourself.
Micah Shilanski: No, no, no, no, no. I’m going to agree with that. The first thing is though you have to make that decision, right? Because the fees are all between your ears. It is a head trash that’s going to be up there. So you have to get yourself in an environment where you can generate that. Now I’m not saying you have to change and sell out of your other firm and go and start your own thing. That’s not the comment. You have to get your own head space in an area to know that you are worth this and how much value you generate to your clients.
Matthew Jarvis: Yep. Now, as I do, and Micah loves to tease me about this, as I do, anytime I engage with any advisor, I immediately pulled Scott’s ADV. I was so grateful that he was an independent advisor that I could pull his ADV. And as seems to always be the case when someone’s beating up us on fees or beating up on TPR practices or beating up on success in any regards, Scott has what I would consider a terrible practice. And Scott, I’m really sorry about this. This is why we’re not using your last name so you can’t get us for defamation.
According to his ADV, he charges $875 flat fee a quarter and he has 36 clients as of the end of 2019, his most recent ADV filing. Quick math, 36 clients, times $875 a quarter, that’s by the way, $875. That wasn’t shorthand for $8,750. Just $875 a quarter. That comes out to be $126,000 a year gross. Now Micah and I were trying to, before the podcast, do some math and give this guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s only working two days a year, in which case, well, pretty good. Not bad for two days in a year. I seriously doubt that. Also on his website, I see no other team members listed, which means that he’s probably spending, I don’t know, Micah, a third of his day doing minimum wage work, right? He’s answering the phones, he’s doing the paperwork, he’s screening through emails. How is this massive value?
Micah Shilanski: Right. And sure enough, and I want to tie this back into the quote, because one of the things that reading years ago, Brian Tracy really kind of helped change my life in some positive ways. And it was this quote that it really stuck with me. “Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.” And that’s what he’s doing. He’s arguing for his limitations. He’s saying there’s no way that you can have this much money. There’s no way you can provide this much value. There’s no way you can do X, Y, and Z. You’re arguing, and sure enough, you have limited yourself in your own mind.
And how often do we do that? Right. We see someone on the success ladder above us that’s a few rungs up and we start knocking at them. We want to take them down. Oh, it’s because he’s doing something unethical or because it’s their practice or, oh, I could never work with that type of client. Or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Whatever the excuse is going to be. What limitations are we throwing out there that we’re creating on ourself that don’t really exist?
Matthew Jarvis: Yep. I will step off my high horse as my dad used to say, step off your high horse, I don’t even know what that means by the way, but just for a minute and say, hey, if Scott in fact sat down and said, “What I want to do is just work with 30 clients. I’m independently wealthy otherwise. I don’t need the revenue. This is like my golf. This is my hobby,” if he was intentional about that, then more power to you. Whatever practice you want to design with intentionality, awesome. Judging by the snarkiness of his comment, and again, my responses are equally snarky. So please don’t assume anything there. That’s not what this is about. This is about “I’m bitter that my practice isn’t successful. I thought that if I offered lowest fees, everyone would flock to me. I could be the Spirit Airlines of financial planning. And it hasn’t happened that way. And I’m angry that other people have more financial success than me because they must’ve stolen it. They must have done something unethical to get there.”
Micah Shilanski: Right. Again, I like your concept. Is this is the practice that you want and it fits your lifestyle and you want to do it, then rock on. But why are you knocking on other people that’s going to be there? I mean, why? I mean, what good comes from that? Number one, let’s go to the client. Are you helping the client by making this statement? So prospects out there that are going to look at this statement that are out there, does that help them at all? No, because what you’ve said is every single financial advisor is the exact same and delivers the exact same value that’s out there and should charge the least amount of money. Good news is, clients are smart enough that they know that’s not a reality. But that’s not a helpful comment to help our industry grow.
Let’s pivot it out of the finance industry. And this is an example we’ve talked about before. Sometimes it’s helpful to look outside of our own industry to get relative examples because we’re too close to it. Look at the hotels, right? This is something we’ve done before. We said on the podcast, if you paid $500 a night for a hotel, is that a good deal? It depends. What hotel? Am I getting the Ritz Carlton on the Miracle Mile in Chicago? Okay. 500 bucks, probably a steal for that room. Am I getting a Super 8 in the middle of Texas? Ooh, that’s not a good deal. Right?
So this is all a relative question. And that’s the issue with this aspect of it, thinking that everything is the exact same and it’s not. Financial services are so different between firms that are going to be out there. But also, this is the huge benefit that’s going to be there. Us as the TPR nation, us as TPR advisors, we have the ability to see this distinction, and better than that, Jarvis, we can make this distinction to our clients. We get to show them the difference in working with us. And that means we get to show them the value in working with us and how we can dramatically improve their lives and achieve their goals. And guess what? They’re happy to work with us.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Totally. I want to draw one more parallel from your hotel example, which is that Motel 6 does not advertise against the Ritz Carlton. They don’t have billboards across the street from the Ritz that says, “You are dramatically overpaying staying at the Ritz. We have beds and four walls and you can get it for a lot less.” That’s just a whole different market. If you’re going to compete on price, and some people can. Walmart competes on price very successfully. That’s a tough market. As an independent advisor, listen to his podcast, you will not win that. Vanguard can do it for free. Fidelity can do it free. They have other revenue streams. They have economies of scale that we can never imagine. You’re not going to win this game and you’re not going to be able to deliver massive value.
If you’re trying to make your mortgage payment on your building or you can’t afford to hire a high quality assistant, which by the way, if you haven’t listened to our team webinar, you should really go back and find that and listen to it, with low fees, you just can’t afford to do those things. You can’t afford to deliver mass value. You can afford to maybe deliver mediocre value or subpar value or dial a CFP value. You can’t deliver massive value on bargain basement fees.
Micah Shilanski: Let’s jump into that one, right? So you just brought up such a great point that’s going to be there. You can’t hire people. Now there’s people out there that are like, “Well, I don’t need assistant. I can do it all myself.” And we make a comment that it’s not worth our time to do certain levels of activity. That is not demeaning to our team at all. I value my team. I respect my team. They do things so much better than I do. The things that I don’t do well, they do very, very well. But guess what? The things that I do well, I am pretty darn good at. I am in the top level in planners in United States, if not in the world, in what I do now. Now I’m also that egotistical that I believe it. But this is the value that I am going forward in my tier.
So I stay in my wheelhouse. What do I do exceptionally well? And that’s what I do. My team members come in and they pick up on a lot of things that I don’t do well, because guess what? If I do planning really well, but I’m crappy at getting appointments, crappy at returning emails, and I don’t communicate with letters and follow up and there’s spelling errors in letters and communication because I’m not that grammatically correct in writing, especially, and all of that goes out to a client, does that deliver value? No. That’s where they come in to deliver value. And if you want bargain basement prices, you are depriving your client of the value they deserve because you were not willing to invest in your client. You’re not willing to hire a team member to pick up in the areas in which you’re lacking in to provide better value to client. How dare you deliver such crappy value to these people and hold yourself out as a financial advisor. It’s wrong.
Matthew Jarvis: But at least they’re getting a deal, right?
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When I get stuck on these, when I get a head trash stuck on these, and by the way, I know that I’ve got a head trash whenever I have an emotional response. Whenever I’m saying I can’t do something or I have to do something, I know that that’s head trash.
Micah Shilanski: Trigger warning.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Trigger warning. So I like to look at parallel examples. Micah, you mentioned the hotel example. Let’s use a few more to really beat this home.
So imagine that you’re going in for surgery. You need knee surgery, right? And the doctor says, “Great news. I am the lowest cost knee surgeon in the area.” And you say, “Well, why is there not a nurse here? Why is there not an anesthesiologist here?” The doctor says, “Don’t worry about it. I’m going to do it all myself. I learned all this stuff in med school. I’m just a one guy show. I want to keep overhead low. This knee surgery is usually 30 grand. I’m just going to charge 800 bucks for it. Don’t worry about it.” You would go insane. You would be like, “No, get me out of here.” You would beat them to get out.
Same, imagine if you get on the plane and the pilot comes on and he’s like, “You know what? These airlines, they’re way overcharging people. I personally tuned up the engines before we started the plane and they charge too much for fuel here at the airport. So I brought cans of fuel from 7-11. I’m just going to go fill up the plane.” Micah is dying here because he actually flies planes.
Micah Shilanski: I put the least amount of fuel in possible to save on weight, which saves on fuel consumption. So don’t worry. We got just enough to make it.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s right. So in all these scenarios, your head’s exploding. Like, “That’s impossible. That would never happen.” It’s not different in our industry. We’re not going to just shave every fee off, I’m going to do it all myself because that’s going to be providing value to clients. No, it’s going to be providing a low fee until you go out of business or until everything just gets screwed up.
Micah Shilanski: And just that example, so recently, and you might see in some of the videos come out, I got a nice little forehead mark and I got a little bit of a head injury.
Matthew Jarvis: A little bit. Yeah.
Micah Shilanski: Some pictures. A little bit of a head injury. I might’ve had to bust out a trauma kit. But anyways, so when I was in the ER, great example, right? I mean multiple people. When the doc went in to stitch me up, I just made a comment that they hadn’t cleaned my wound out yet. I cleaned it in the field, but it should probably do a better cleaning. And he stopped what he was doing. He had the cleaning supplies right there. He did not clean my wound. He said, “Okay.” He took his gloves off. “Someone will be in in a little bit.” And he sent someone else in to clean it up. He sent someone else in for the anesthesia, right? He wasn’t doing that. He was only going to do the stitches. That’s it. Right?
So again, this is one aspect of just what you were saying. If he did everything, Jarvis, it would have been a total red flag saying, “You know what? This doesn’t make sense.” Same thing with these other professionals, whether it’s attorneys or accountants or whatever. Why are we trying to do everything when that’s not the value we provide?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, let’s pivot a little bit on this podcast. We got our ranting out hopefully. At least for this episode, our ranting out. Let’s pivot a little bit. So you’re an advisor and, “Sorry, Matthew, Micah, I get it. I need to charge a premium fee, but I still have head trash on this. I’m still really not sure to do.” And let’s kind of run through these things. We’ll get to action items in a minute. But one of the things that I want to address is you need to stop comparing apples to oranges. So if you look and you say, “Hey, Vanguard’s got a dial a CFP at 30 basis points, or Schwab’s doing it for free or Scott here’s doing it for $875 a quarter.” Stop looking down market at what you should charge and the services you provide.
Instead, look upmarket and say, “All right, who has a practice that I want to emulate? If they died and I could take their practice, that’s the practice I would want.” Copy that practice. I don’t want to run a Vanguard office. If you do, Vanguard’s hiring, by the way. You can work in their call center. They have great benefits I hear. Instead, I want to look at him and say, “Hey, what’s Micah doing?” Now again, Micah and I are cohost co-founders. So I was trying to flatter him, but I still, I look around and say, “Boy, what’s Ron Carson doing? This guy is a genius. I want to see what he’s doing.” That’s the direction I want to model, not down. I don’t want to know what some clown is doing with four clients. I want to know what the best in the industry are doing. And I’m going to copy that.
Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. Now also one of the things, because this is a head trash issue. This is something that I do because I suffer from head trash just like everybody else. Jarvis, I know you do as well. Right? So it’s just something that we have. So what are the tools in your tool chest to deal with head trash when it comes up? Where’s your thank you letters that you get from clients? Where do you keep those?
I keep all mine. I have a list of all of the thank yous, whether it’s a conversation I’ll put a note in, whether it’s the thank you emails, whether it’s the letters, the handwritten cards, all of those things all put together. And if we come to an issue about saying, “Are we really worth it?” What’s that head trash on how we’re doing? And you start reading out these letters directly from clients that are there about how you’ve changed their lives. Now, of course we can’t use testimonials. These things would be gold. But we can read it internally and you can use it internally, say, “You know what? We make a difference in clients’ lives and they’re happy with us and they want to work with us in those things.” These are great.
And you know what another great way of really knowing what your value is with your clients? And this is going to be the scary one. Raise your fees. And 99% of your clients say, “Yes, you’re worth it. We’re happy to pay this,” just think about that. Right? Think about that. You went to your client and said, “We were going to do a fee raise because XYZ.” Backstage pass members, we have this all outlined for you on how to do it. We’ve got Jarvis’s fee letter that’s in there that he mailed out to his clients to raise their fees. They raise it. What a thank you. What a compliment that is that they’re willing to pay you more to help them achieve their goals.
Matthew Jarvis: I really like that, Micah. And I always stress that you need to have your tools, your tool chest if you will, on how you’re going to address head trash. And like you said, having those thank you notes, having those different things to remind yourself. The imposter syndrome is so strong. I was doing some one on one coaching with an advisor this last week. And we were talking about doing a one page financial plan, which is something that we rally on all the time. He says, “Well, Matthew, I’m charging them X amount of money. I have to spend more time than this.” I said, “Ray, no one is hiring you for your time. In fact, they don’t even want your time. Given the choice between listening to you rant for two hours and then you come in and in two minutes and just saying, ‘Here’s what to do,’ they want the two minute option.”
So get past the imposter syndrome or just recognize you’re always going to feel to yourself that was too easy, it wasn’t worth the fee. And then also remember, people are paying you for what you know. They’re not paying you for your time. They’re not paying you for the thickness of your financial plan. To Micah’s point, look and focus on what your client says is valuable, what they’re thanking you for and build your value and your fee proposition around that.
Micah Shilanski: You know, Jarvis, one thing that I used when I was trying to get over that and started trying to stop killing clients with paper mentally is I changed my focus in my conversations of saying, “You know what? In our conversations, I want to start at a 30,000 foot view. And then I’ll get down into as much detail as you want to get down.” So this gives me permission to say, “If the client ‘needs more time,'” I’m using air quotes, “to understand this more, then I can get into those details, but they don’t want it.” They want that higher level view. You’ll have some that want to dive down a little bit deeper. No one wants to get into the weeds of all of that stuff.
So in your conversations, keep it at a high level. Let clients know it’s at a high level and you’re happy to go deeper in that case. So give yourself permission and then get the feedback from the client on what they actually want. What are they asking for? What are they picking up from the conference room? Right? What questions do they have for you? Those are the things that are important to them.
Matthew Jarvis: Now I’m going to confess one more thing on head trash. I still run into it on fees. So especially when I’m meeting with higher net worth clients, people with great education backgrounds, very smart people, I’ll run through the one page financial plan. And again, that’s all in the backstage pass how we do that. And then I’ll get to the fee part and that voice in my head will say, “This guy is so smart. He’s going to do it all himself.” Never mind by the way that I found a dozen things he could do better. Never mind that. Never mind that he wants someone to delegate to. Never mind that this is his life savings and he wants a second opinion. Never mind all of that. Right? I still think, “This guy is going to say no way, man. A one page financial plan, and you want me to pay you 50 grand a year? That’s insane.”
And so to help with my own head trash, I just tell him, “Hey, listen, it only makes sense to hire me if you think the value is worth some multiple of the fee. And as soon as you think it’s not worth the fee, we will part ways as friends.” And if I feel by the way any pushback from them, any hesitation, I’ll say, “Great. Let’s just try it for one quarter. Just one quarter. And if we get to quarter two and you think, eh, not worth it, no problem. We’ll part ways as friends and we’ll have fixed all these things on a one page financial plan.” Newsflash, by the way, no one leaves after one quarter. They stick around for, most of the time, their entire life. So if you’re feeling that head trash, go ahead and give yourself an out that’s not, “Well, I guess I could discount my fees.” That’s not an out. That’s just being a wimp. That’s sabotaging yourself. But if you want to remind them, “Hey, listen, as soon as it’s not worth it to you, we part ways as friends,” perfect. Perfect.
Micah Shilanski: You know, it was kind of funny, Jarvis, on this note two weeks ago at a prospect meeting and I was talking with a client that was down in the lower 48 and chatting about it. And they had a financial advisor. And the financial advisor, and I always ask them questions about who they’re currently working with and whatnot. Well, ended up, he fired his financial advisor. In the time he sent me his documents and statements, et cetera, to review to the time he came in for his initial appointment, he ended up firing him. So I asked why he fired him. Well, he didn’t communicate, he didn’t do anything. He left everything alone in index funds and never made a change for two years. Well, if he’s going to do nothing, I can do that just as well, might as not pay him 1%.
And so we went through and at the end, we’re asking about if they want to move forward and hire us or whatnot. And our fees are substantially more. For them, it was pretty good. They have a pretty sizable estate. So it was only 1.75% AUM plus the financial planning fee that’s going to be there. So that was the fee. And he pushed back and he said, “Micah, why should I pay you 1.75% when this other guy was doing it for 1%?” I said, “You know what? That’s a great question. Number one, you have to see the value in it. But clearly 1%, this is what it’s worth. Maybe that’s the reason you should pay more and maybe you’re going to get more value out of it.” And it was just interesting pivot in that conversation. And sure enough, he decided to come with us and hire us.
So again, it’s not about the fee. It’s about the value in which they see in that conversation. He had worked with another advisor for years and there was, as you said, a dozen things that were never addressed, that we’re going to be able to provide value on that is worth more of a multiple than just an AU 1%.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah. Micah, I want to touch on one other thing on this and then we can probably pivot to action items or whatever else on here. I’ve had the opportunity over the last couple of years to work directly with hundreds of advisors, partly through the backstage pass. And I’m curious, Micah, your experience. I have never once ever run into an advisor where I thought even to the slightest degree that the reason they weren’t successful is their fees were too high. I’ve never run into that. I’m sure there’s somebody out there. I hope to find an advisor one time who’s charging like five and 50, right? And I’m like, “Wow, that might be the issue. That might be.”
Micah Shilanski: I’ve got a hard time taking that one in.
Matthew Jarvis: That might be. That could be my head trash. But every single other time, it’s, “You’re not communicating value effectively. You are not managing prospect expectations.” We’re going to do another podcast episode on that. “You’re not letting them know how to determine value versus price.” There’s all these other things that are going on. It’s not your fee. And by the way, all the time you’re spending trying to figure out the perfect fee, it doesn’t exist. The perfect RIA is a real thing. The perfect fee doesn’t exist. Pick the fee and just do it. I’m back to ranting. I’m sorry.
Micah Shilanski: But that’s so the important part of this, right? We get caught up in playing office. And you know what? Fee schedule’s playing office. I don’t know why I didn’t put that correlation in there. We get so caught up in playing office versus delivering value to our clients. And it’s not about playing office. It’s about being out in front of clients. So quit dinking around with your fee schedule, increase your fees, set premium fees, set it as a fixed. Fixed is a non-negotiable. That’s going to be out there. A clear pricing schedule. And press on and move forward and you will be successful. Quit dinking around about this because you’re just arguing for your limitations.
Matthew Jarvis: I love it. I love all of this. We’re going to have to rename this episode the rant episode. But if you haven’t increased your fees, this episode is for you. If we’ve gotten you to raise your fees, the rants are worth it. So Micah, should jump into action items or do you have another pearl of wisdom to throw in there?
Micah Shilanski: Another rant? No, let’s jump into some action items. I think it’s going to be great. Number one, we wrapped up the assistance webinar. Went over really, really well with Victoria and Coleen. If you did not jump on that and get that information, it’s not just for advisors. It is for your team. You need to check it out because, Jarvis, as we talked about today, it’s just not about you. It’s about how your team works and how that synergy needs to come together was a perfect RIA. That’s going to be the first one. Kind of a shameless plug, but make sure you check out that assistance webinar.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, yeah, that was a really great webinar. Really excited for that. Excited to be doing that on a regular basis for the backstage pass members as well. Second action item. Only compare your firm or your fee schedule, your investment models, your schedule, anything, to firms or people that have what you want to have. So when you see someone in the industry say, “Hey, fee schedules are going down,” pull their ADV. And if they don’t have one, you probably don’t want to listen to them period. Pull their ADV and if they’re more successful than you, then great. I’ll tune into that. If they’re not, I don’t want to hear about it. I just don’t. There’s that old saying that you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Spend your time and energy around people that you want to be like.
Micah Shilanski: What if they don’t have an ADV because they’re not actually in financial advising?
Matthew Jarvis: Well, or they could be like part of an LPL group or a Raymond James, where they don’t have their own ADV. So that’s going to be tricky. But ask them for their tax return. Pull a Micah. Just be like, “Hey, let me see your tax return.”
Micah Shilanski: That’s exactly what I want to see right there. All right. Number two, set a DMV schedule. Set a delivering massive value schedule right now. If you’re not on regular massive value deliveries to your client, don’t do quarterly. Right? That’s a lot of stuff that goes on. Set one or two. I would say minimum of twice a year, spring and fall would be where I would start. Set at least two deliveries of the mass in values that’s going to be there. Now in the backstage pass, we have a whole list of these things that could be there. It’s beneficiary reports. It’s net worth updates. You could go over the Secure Act when it came out and changed. You can do the real IDs, because those all got postponed. What do people need to do? There’s so many things that you could be doing, which are massive value items. So set a schedule and make sure you do it because that goes hand in hand with raising fees.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And our last action item. This is one that’s actually just from me personally, so you can tune this one out. Don’t engage with online trolls. Just don’t do it. It’s a waste of your time. Again, this is me. This is the pot calling the kettle black here. Just no good ever comes to that. Right? I’ve managed to get my self blacklisted from events. I’ve done all sorts of great things engaging with trolls. And at the end of the day, they’re not like, “Matthew, your wisdom is superior. I have seen the light.” No, everybody just gets angry. So don’t do it. Matthew Jarvis, listen to me. Don’t do this. Don’t record entire podcast episodes.
Micah Shilanski: If you don’t create a forcing mechanism, then that’s not going to happen. So I think we’re going to have to come up with some—TPR Nation, we need some help. I need some creative ideas and we’re going to hold Matthew to this forcing mechanism because we’re going to troll his online social media and see if he engages with other trolls that are out there. And if that happens, what’s the penalty? We need a good penalty for Jarvis to keep them on the straight and narrow. This is to help him. This isn’t punitive. This is to help Matthew become a better person.
Matthew Jarvis: Oh no. Now I’m waiting for the flood of posts. I’m going to start getting letters in the mail.
Micah Shilanski: Twitter.
Matthew Jarvis: Twitter. Yeah, right.
Micah Shilanski: So Twitter. Start posting these things on Twitter. What does Jarvis need to do if he violates these rules? I think this would be exciting. He’s turning a little red. This was not pre-scripted. So I am excited about this.
Matthew Jarvis: I’m going to find that Micah’s given a kickback, like, “All right, listen, Matt has to pay me a thousand bucks every time he posts on social. I’ll give you half of it if you draw them in.” This is going be bad news. This is bordering on the prank rule.
Micah Shilanski: All right guys. Always, this is about action items. Go and do this. Make yourself a better practice. Take one glimpse of what we talked about today, implement it this week with your team, implement it with yourself. It’s about delivering massive value to clients so you can have the perfect RIA, you can have the lifestyle, you can have the practice you’ve always dreamed about. And until next time, happy planning.
Matthew Jarvis: Happy planning.
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