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, Matthew Jarvis. And with me as usual, the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you my friend?
Micah Shilanski: I’m doing excellent. I’ve got no big complaints. Broadcasting again from Maui, so and getting a little bit of sunshine in here so I’m not going to complain too much about that.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, I keep telling Jackie that we ought to… We have a second home but to sell that one and get a second home on the Big Island instead. But our current summer house is two-and-a-half-hour drive versus a six-hour flight. So, I don’t know, maybe we’ll stick with what we got.
Micah Shilanski: I was talking with a lady here at Maui and she owns a property and she actually has a timeshare and she owns a lot of timeshare weeks and I said, “Well, how’s that working out for you? She’s like, “Good. It actually cash flows. And I’m like, Whoa, Whoa. What do you mean it actually cash flows? She’s like, “Well I have 72 weeks and that pays for a year. If I get them all rented out.”
Matthew Jarvis: 72 weeks pays for a year. Is this like Saturn where Saturn..
Micah Shilanski: No, this is, she needs like a year-and-a-half of rental to pay for one year. So she was joking that it doesn’t actually cash flow, right? She need more income than in a year. So she rents it for over 70 weeks. All of her weeks of her timeshare. It pays for one year. That’s going to be there. So yes, you could buy a place on the big Island. It may or may not cash flow for you. I’m just throwing it out there.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, it wouldn’t be for cash flow; interesting. And this is not the topic of our podcast today but interesting. I was talking to an advisor, how so many of the industry studies are, in my opinion, not reliable because the information is being volunteered or it’s not being verified and it’s what’s called a selection bias. So only people that have things they want to talk about volunteer for this study.
Matthew Jarvis: And this gentleman pushed back and he said, “Well, Matthew, maybe you keep really good records in your office, but most offices according to this gentlemen, don’t keep good records.” And so we couldn’t verify the information. And I said this, what made me think about Micah, with your timeshare example. I said, “This is really not difficult information to look at. We look at gross revenue, which you’re reporting to the IRS on your federal, your corporate tax return. And we look at adjusted gross income that you’re reporting on your personal tax return. Those are the two numbers we need, right? We know how much your practice is earning and we know how much you’re taking home.” And that’s a good starting point. So again, don’t massage the numbers. This stuff isn’t complicated.
Micah Shilanski: And actually this isn’t the purpose of our podcast, but it kind of brought it up right there. When I have clients buying rental properties, I actually, I look at the same thing with them. When they’re going to buy investment properties and whatnot we go to whoever the seller is and we actually request an authorization to pull their tax records on their Schedule E or their LLC property, et cetera. Then they’re like, “Well, why are you doing this?” And I said, “Very simple, because no one overestimates their income to the IRS, right?” So when you’re buying these other properties, these rental properties or clients that are buying them. The sales person will say all of this great stuff that’ll be there. The person selling it says, “Oh look at all of this stuff.” You pull their tax returns, you get a totally different answer. And I think that’s the same thing with advisor practices. No one overestimates their income to the IRS. And if we use those benchmarks, that are there, what actually gets reported to IRS? That’s our verifiable information and we’d have a hell of an accurate study.
Matthew Jarvis: Boy, I really like that. So let’s go delve a little bit deeper on this. This is not what we planned to talk about.
Micah Shilanski:So much for the SECURE Act.
Matthew Jarvis:So much for the SECURE Act. We’ll get to that. It’ll still be here. So, but I want to highlight this rental property example Micah, and I don’t want to just flatter you because yeah, that’s what we do. But it would be so easy. I see so many advisors who get sucked into arguing with the real estate sales person, right? So the realtor says, “Oh this thing cash flows at 27% annually.” And Micah could say, “Well, that’s ridiculous. No piece of property can cash flow at that rate.”
Matthew Jarvis:But now it’s an argument between Micah and this guy and it’s just arguing opinions, right? And neither one has the higher ground. But Micah, as soon as you say, “Hey, let’s just pull the tax returns, I always find those to be most accurate.” That’s not an argument. You seem like a genius to the client at that point. Because then you have the numbers. Well you say, “Well, Mr. and Mrs. Client, I’m not sure what the realtor was talking about. They said 27%. It actually looks like they’re losing money on this property every year. Something’s not adding up here.”
Micah Shilanski: Well, I love to do it with a real estate agent there.
Matthew Jarvis: I’m sure you do.
Micah Shilanski: But yeah, I mean those little things like that. And also sometimes you need a why, right? Let’s focus on this. Sometimes you ask for the tax records. They are going to be like, “Why?” We’re like, “Well, we’re probably going to get a business loan because this is a business property.” And so the easiest way to justify that is to show the business income. Having a historical income is a great way to do that. And that’s a why. And if you have a why with a request man, nine times out of 10 it’s going to go through. So yeah, that’s a great little thing to do. You don’t get in an argument about what the actual projected numbers are. You get real historical data. You can make great decisions with that.
Matthew Jarvis: I use a similar approach when clients say, “Hey, Matthew, I want to retire. I’m retiring and I want to buy rental properties for cashflow and retirement.” And there’s a lot of ways this can go wrong, right? They have no experience in rentals. And I used to, early in my career, I would jump in, “Well the three T’s, toilets, tenants, and taxes.” And I would kind of go to this and now I just say, “Yeah, you know what? That can be a great idea. I’ve seen a lot of people do that successfully. Why don’t you go out and look for some properties and we’ll see how the numbers look and then we’ll talk about it more.” Now, nine times out of 10, it’ll stop there because they really weren’t that interested. They just wanted to throw that out.
Matthew Jarvis: One time out of 10 they’ll find some properties and will say, “Hey, let’s look at the cashflow.” Micah, to your point.”Wow, this thing has like a 2% free cashflow. And that’s assuming that the toilets never back up. And when you’re in Maui, who’s going to take care of the backed up toilets?” “Oh yeah, Matthew, this does not seem like a great plan.” “Okay.” Versus me trying to beat up on their idea. Now I become the enemy, right? If I say, “Micah, that’s a terrible idea. Let me give you 15 reasons.” Now I’m their enemy.
Micah Shilanski: And I love this too, especially when we have spouses that have different desires, right? One wants to buy a rental property, income property and one doesn’t. I always like to lead with, “You know what, let’s make an informed decision. So let’s not make a decision either which way to go right now. Let’s just make an informed decision. So how about we go get this information, then we can have great information to make a decision and then we’ll just say, “Does it line up to your goals?”
Micah Shilanski:And I love framing it that way with clients because who’s against making an informed decision, right? Let’s get the information, now to your point, Jarvis, they’re going to self-select. And then I got the other little piece that I threw in there, which is let’s make sure it lines up with your goals. And then that’s another easy thing. Great it’s generating 2% cash flow. You really need a five, 6% rate of return in order to stay retired. Is this really what you want to do, right? We don’t have to be the bad guy on this. We just help make them an informed decision and they’re going to self-select the right decision, 99 times out of 100.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, they really will. One other line that I use that I find really, really successful and especially when you have a couple where they have different opinions. I like to say, “You know what, I’m just the numbers guy here, so let’s get the numbers together and then you guys can make that decision. But I’m just a numbers guy here, so let’s make sure we have all the numbers.” And again, that’s an easy way to draw out the numbers versus me. But I don’t want them to feel like I’m backing them into a corner, right? Where a sales person, if you go into the used car lot they’re going to say, “Oh, what kind of monthly payments can you afford?” And every question you answer, they’re baiting you. I don’t want people to ever feel that way with me.
Micah Shilanski: No, I love it. Well, folks that wraps up our talk on the SECURE Act. I hope you found this information useful. All right. Back to our topic today. Sorry, thank you for that little tangent.
Matthew Jarvis: Back to the SECURE Act. Back to the SECURE Act. Well actually I want to start with just a small tangent on the SECURE Act, which is, we probably are all familiar with the Aretha Franklin song Respect. Where she sings R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me. Micah and I were trying to flip quarters on who had to actually sing that song, but interesting. No, so Aretha Franklin, right, made this song. It’s like a culture icon, right? Everybody knows the song. Everybody can sing it, but she wasn’t actually the person that wrote the song. There was a gentleman by the name of Otis Redding who wrote the song originally and he wrote it as a song complaining.
Matthew Jarvis: He says, “Boy, can’t I get a little respect? I go to work all day, can’t I come home and get a little bit of respect?” And it wasn’t popular at all. It wasn’t until Franklin said, “This could really be a fun jazzy song and kind of sing it with some attitude,” that it became a bestseller. And I mention that not because you should start singing in your office, you really should not. I mention that because advisers often get hung up in the technicality of things and they try to communicate all this technical jargon to clients and they lose interest. Just like you don’t want to hear a song about some guy complaining about not getting any respect. Clients don’t want to hear you recite 47 pages of the SECURE Act. Or, really anything else for that matter.
Micah Shilanski: Right. And it goes back to kind of our leading quote, right? It’s talking about not, how you communicate with clients, it’s not what your process is. It’s how your clients feel about that process. How are you delivering that information to them so that they can understand it? They feel empowered with that information. You’re not eliminating decisions for them. You’re not making it a negative experience. You’re empowering them with these decisions so they can go and accomplish their goals. That is what is the most important part of this entire process.
Matthew Jarvis: It really is. It really is. So just like required distributions that we talked about in the last episode. The SECURE Act is really an opportunity to deliver massive value. Even if it doesn’t translate into massive dollar savings or massive changes, it can be massive value. We want to highlight a couple of examples of these. One is just getting in front of clients with the information. So similar to RMDs, you don’t want to send clients a 42-page report about SECURE Act. That’s kind of a waste of time. You would be great to communicate with them and say, “Hey, you know what? With the changes in the tax law now would be a great time to look at your beneficiary. In fact, I have a report here with your beneficiaries and let’s walk through what might happen if you were to pass away and leave this money to your children or to whomever you’re leaving it to.”
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, that’s great. And if you’re a member of the backstage pass, we’re going to throw up a copy of our beneficiary report so you can see actually what it looks like. But the big part about this, and we talk about this with no industry jargon, is we don’t use percents that’s inside of there. It’s dollar amounts that are going to be there. So you’ve got $1 million IRA, you got three kids, okay. Each kid is going to get 333,000 Is that okay with you? What is Johnny going to do with over $300,000, right? So these are, it’s dollar amounts is kind of the really important thing. Now as you’re communicating this with clients, it’s really important when you’re communicating the SECURE Act. I think two things, at least we’re going to focus on in our office.
Micah Shilanski: Number one, letting all the clients know that we’re on top of it. Okay? Now this can be generic. This doesn’t have to be, I don’t need to send out 400 different emails to every individual person in our firm that says that you know how we’re individualizing taking care of this in an email. What I need to do is let them know that we know about the law change. We’re looking into it, we’re getting answers and at our next client meeting, which is coming up in a couple of months, which reminds them that we have a meeting coming up. We’re going to talk about how this affects them personally, right? So we’re answering two questions. Number one, do we know about it or are we on top of it? Check, we are. Number two, more importantly, how does it affect me? Great. Micah’s on it.
Matthew Jarvis: Totally. Totally. And the answer might be, does it affect you at all? Or if it affects you in ways that aren’t significant. But yeah, to get ahead of that, somewhat related, you don’t need to be a master in all aspects of the SECURE Act or anything else. Now you need to be really competent in that and we’re going to talk about some resources for that. But Micah, you had mentioned an example, a client had emailed you the headline of something about how the SECURE Act could blow up your trust. And that can get kind of a weird nuance thing and you had actually kind of looked that up. There is some weird obscure scenario where if your trust was written incorrectly, the SECURE Act could cause problems with that.
Matthew Jarvis: But it’s perfectly fine to tell a client, “That’s kind of a nuanced aspect of the SECURE Act. I will look into that and get back to you.” Or the really classic answer is just tell why you’re interested in that? And it might just be because they have an itch to scratch, right? If they’re asking about the exemption to the early distribution penalty for adoption and you know they’re not in a situation to adopt people. I might just be like, “Hey, listen, why do you ask?” “Oh, I’m just curious.” All right, well that’s different than something else.
Micah Shilanski: All right, well then generically here’s the answer versus, “Oh, my daughter’s going to adopt and they’re thinking about dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.” Okay, great. Now this is something good to know, right? This is part of our family planning that we want to know about. So asking, not just answering their question, but Jarvis, I love that. Asking them why this is important to them. Getting a little bit more, tell me more about that, right? Something you often say, getting more information from the client before you dive into the answer because you could be going off the wrong direction entirely. So really important to think about that.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. You also want to get a feel for how much information they want here. They might just want a one word answer or a one sentence answer. Don’t assume that they want to know the full depth of your information. I was in a meeting recently with a “expert,” not related to our industry, and she was essentially reading this report to me and it was driving me crazy because I’m like, “I know how to read and if I just wanted to read the report, I would just read the report. I wanted your assessment of it and how it applies to me.” So don’t be guilty of that in your practice, be it the SECURE Act or anything else.
Micah Shilanski: And I will say this is something I struggle with, right? Because I always want to flex my knowledge and everything that I’ve done and read and research and go, “Oh, it used to be this and the law changed to this. And then this came through and this is what we’re spending and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.” None of it matters to the client, right? So this isn’t about you, it’s about the clients. It’s not about you flexing your knowledge and experience and expertise in front of the client. It’s about helping them achieve their goals. So you really, for me that’s something I constantly have to make sure that I’m answering the correct way, not just vomiting information on the client that doesn’t apply to them.
Matthew Jarvis: I completely agree. So some of the aspects of the SECURE Act that we’re going to bring up specifically with clients, of course one would be the change in the required minimum distribution start age. And there’s going to be a lot of confusion around this and there will probably be confusion around this for, I don’t know, maybe a decade-
Micah Shilanski: Five years.
Matthew Jarvis:… until they change the law again, five years. So we’re going to communicate like we talked about with required distributions. We’re going to communicate with every client, age 68 or older, letting them know the impact of this. Either you were impacted by it and congratulations, your new start age is 72 or you were not impacted and we’re going to stick with what we were doing already, which is dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.
Micah Shilanski: Okay. Now focusing on what you just said right there, right? I want to highlight this. That’s going to be there, this is so important. Jarvis didn’t say, “Oh, you got screwed in the SECURE Act and you still have to take your RMDs because you turned 70 and a half in 2019. He said, “Oh, you’re not affected by this. You’re just going to take it normally.” He did not focus on the negativity of the SECURE Act and how it was, quite frankly, not as beneficial for them because their birthday happened to be in May of 2019, turns 70 and a half. They got to take the normal RMDs. They’re not kicked out to 72. He focused on, “Oh, you weren’t affected by the change. This is our plan that’s going to be there.” Don’t make your appointments about negativity, and I love how you highlighted that real fast.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, that’s really, really a key. You don’t want to have any kind of negative energy, and I don’t mean that in a kind of a fufu way. I just mean you’re right. Our brains attach emotions to things. And if we’re complaining about politics or tax laws or something like that, the brain’s going to associate that negativity with you and your office. Even if I’m 100% aligned, if they say, “This was the stupidest thing and so-and-so is the stupidest politician.” And if I, 100% agree on all of that, I’ll go back to like we talked about with the RMDs. “Hey listen, mine is not to understand the “why”, that politician did not call me before they made that decision. Otherwise, I would’ve been glad to give them a piece of my mind.” And I smile and we laugh. Say we’re just going to try to implement this in the way that best accomplishes your goals. Is that okay with you?” “Oh yeah, Matthew. That’s really what I want.” Perfect.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah. I like to make a little joke of it, right? I’m like, “Look, I called the White House, I called the Senator, they didn’t return my phone call. I would have told them how to fix this. So, but at the last we couldn’t connect, our calendars didn’t align. So this is what happened.” So make a little joke out of it. Move on to how it actually affects your clients. Now, so we’ve got the RMD change, which is there. It’s another thing that really talk about with clients is, and I think this is reviewing your beneficiary designations, is so important, is the stretch is gone, right? So we all know kind of how that works. Yes, sure.
Matthew Jarvis: There is that.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Eligible designated beneficiary, which is a little exemption that could be there for some stretch capability, but now we’ve got that 10-year window to take money out of. So I think these are important things to communicate with clients. Or if a client already has an inherited IRA, right from 2019 or beyond, how does that affect them? So bringing up these differences with a client to let them know, “Oh no, it’s okay, you’re still under the old rules. We’re going to still take this.” Or “No, now you have to take the 10-year out because there was a death in 2020.” But articulating this decline and how it affects them is really important if they have an inherited account already or if they’re going to potentially in the future, like when they die, how are their kids going to get the money? How is the spouse going to get the money? You don’t have to go into a big diatribe about it, but you need to communicate how it affects them.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah, and I drop in there every time we’re talking about technical subjects. I always add in there, but don’t worry, we’ve got this all under control.
Micah Shilanski: I love that.
Matthew Jarvis: I also, this is an interesting thing I started doing recently, Micah. Anytime I’m emailing with a client about a subject, I’ll always end the email with, “If this is all about as clear as mud, let’s sit down together and discuss it in person.” And it’s a kind of a funny thing. But it gives clients permission to say, “Geez, this stuff really is complicated and maybe I do need to sit down or maybe I just need to trust that Matthew’s got it under control.” But yeah, I put that anytime you, “Hey, this is all about as clear as mud,” smiley face. “Let’s sit down and we’ll talk about it together.” But I mentioned that because in your client meetings, same thing, watch for the client’s body language, which this is universal.
Matthew Jarvis: If they are just sort of nodding along like they’re waiting for you to shut up and move on to the next subject. Listen to the questions they ask. So if you explain something and they ask a question, that’s what you just explained, that’s on you for not explaining it well. Don’t say, Oh geez, a client’s not very smart. All right, how can I articulate this more clearly? How can I translate this into language that they understand?
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, I absolutely love that. So let’s talk about a couple of great opportunities that are out there with the SECURE Act. And I know I’m going to be talking about with clients on Jarvis, I know you are as well is one is a little bit of a a window fora QCD, a qualified charitable distribution, right? So kind of the cool thing that’s out there for clients, RMD did get pushed to 72, they can still take QCDs at 70 and a half.
Micah Shilanski: So this does give us a pretty fun little planning window that’s going to be there. I mean also Roth conversions. That’s another fun little planning thing is now our window is extended on Roth conversions because RMDs are potentially kicked out. So how does that fit into our tax plan? These are great opportunities to bring the clients that this is affected by and saying, “Great, look at this law change. Now, here’s how we’re going to change your tax planning to reduce your tax liability over the next 20 years.” This is something I’m often saying with clients is we’re going to make a plan to reduce your tax liability over the next 20 years. This does several things with this comment. Number one, it gets them focused long-term. I don’t want them focused one year at a time. Every year is different. I want them focused long-term.
Micah Shilanski: Number two, it gets them thinking about tax planning in the future versus just filing returns and dealing with them one year at a time. We’re now planning a long time in the future. So I love that and it also puts me in their future for the next 20 years because we’re building that long-term tax plan. So I really love articulating it that way with clients. And also taxes are an easy game to win when we got a 20-year scope, right? One year at a time, that can be a little challenging. 20 years, man, we could beat the IRS out of a whole lot of money legally over the next 20 years.
Matthew Jarvis: I like that. You know what? A line that I use a lot related to that is, “Mr. and Mrs. Client, our philosophy is,” and again, we’re here on the left coast, so we need to be a lot more sensitive to some of these things.Matthew Jarvis:I always say, “Mr. and Mrs. Client, our philosophy is we’re going to pay the IRS every dollar we owe.” And we all kind of nod and I say, “But we’re not going to leave them a tip.” And they all say, “Yeah, I don’t leave the IRS a tip.” Perfect.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Tipping is stupid.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, tipping is stupid, that’s a whole other discussion. I want to tie this Micah, briefly to the 100K challenge, right? Which is to add $100,000 of new revenue to your practice this year. And it’s easy to think, Oh, Hey, what does this have to do with the 100K challenge? Adding $100,000 in revenue? But my experience has been, and Micah, I’d love yours. Every time I go to clients with massive value, things like this, they always result in more referrals-
Micah Shilanski: Amen.
Matthew Jarvis: It comes up with their friend around the water cooler. Oh, the SECURE Act. Of course, they wouldn’t say the SECURE Act. They would say, “Oh, I heard that my beneficiaries are going to get ruined.” “Oh, I just talked to my advisor. He’s got that whole thing under control.” “Really? Who’s your advisor?” “It’s Micah Shilanski. Yeah. You really ought to talk to him.” This also is a talking point. When you hear this come up when you’re just talking around potential clients, right? They say, “Oh, my beneficiary’s ruined.” You can just say casually, “Oh yeah, we just helped a lot of clients with that.” And then end right there and they say, well, either they’ll say nothing, in which case, great let it lie. Or they’ll say, “Well, really? How did you help them?” He said, “This really is not the place for that. You can give my office a call. I’d be glad to look at it. It’s pretty nuance depending on your situation. I’m sure your advisor already looked at it with you.” “No, they didn’t”. “Oh, interesting.”
Micah Shilanski: I was just about to throw that in there. I’m so glad you did. Yes. You always throw in there, “I’m sure your other advisor already looked at this, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah,” and then shut up, right? Nine times out of 10 they’re not because they’re not really an advisor. They’re just a broker masquerading as a financial planner, so they didn’t look at it and increased that little bit of seed of doubt that shows that you were different. That shows that you’re being proactive and that’s so important in this is knowing… Your clients knowing that you’re taking care of it, prospects, knowing that you’re always forward looking and taking care of this stuff. Really, really important.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. One last point on this kind of subject, when people ask me, we’re all asked, “How’s work,” right? Everyone says, “How’s work?” It’s like in our culture, is the number one thing to ask. And most of us just say, “It’s good, it’s busy, it’s whatever.” I like to say, right now, I say, “Oh, it’s great. We’re helping a lot of clients save money with this new tax law.” Wait, what, you asked? That’s what we’re doing. We’re helping clients save money. This new tax law. Can I get it on that? Right? The window was open to me, right? They asked me, “Matthew, how’s work?” And I told them in one breath, how’s work? Instead of just wasting the opportunity with ‘good’, ‘busy.’ “Yeah. Just helping a lot of clients save money with the new tax law.” “Well, that sounds really interesting.”
Micah Shilanski: But what I love about this, this isn’t a sales gimmick, right? This isn’t a trick to bring them in to sell them a big life insurance policy, right? Which is always what I get concerned when people say they’re doing tax planning. Okay, what do you mean? Right? Well, you’re an insurance agent. Great. All this tax-free revenue. But no, you’re actually talking about saving real tax dollars in place because this isn’t a sales gimmick. It’s a real thing that you’re doing. No, right now, first quarter, we are looking at saving clients money over the next 20 years in tax planning because the SECURE Act. Thank you for the law change. I love these law changes. It’s what a great way to highlight our expertise. What a great way to find new opportunities to help clients achieve their goals and that’s what these law changes do if you get in front of it, right?
Micah Shilanski: And I know this is what we talked about a little in the last one, but I think it’s so important. These things you have to be in front of. You can’t be behind. Now I did have a client email me, it was like the day after the SECURE Act passed and saying, Hey, he got this title from this some online thing. He got sent any copy of the title and send it to me. No link to the article whatsoever, but saying how he’s retiring, his trust was going to blow up his retirement plan, right? It was a great title. I forget what it was. It was a great title. Didn’t apply to him in the slightest, but it got him concerned.
Micah Shilanski: So you’ll have some clients like that, but everyone else, you really want to stay in front of this, get in front of them with that. And again, going back to those two things, every client’s going to get communication that this changed or on top of it and we know what’s happening. And number two, we’re going to talk about how it applies to your personal situation at our next meeting. Really important to make sure we’re checking those boxes.
MatthewJarvis: That’s right. And with our pattern of R & D rip off and deploy, backstage pass members will get copies of the newsletters we’re sending out, the email footers, those kind of things that we’re sending out to clients so that you can just adapt that to your language and get that out to your clients.
Micah Shilanski: I love it. Well this podcast is all about action items which are going to be there. So clearly, your first action item is our shameless plug, buy the backstage pass. Now one of the things with that too, I do want to go ahead and just make sure our listeners know with the backstage pass is you’re going to get a couple of really cool things. Is number one, you’re going to get the documents that we talk about on a podcast. Anything we go through or that and we have in our office, we’re going to throw up there for you so you can see.
Micah Shilanski: But I’ve got to say number two, and we haven’t talked about it much in the last few podcasts is our 100K challenge. This is a pretty amazing thing where we’re challenging advisers out there to add at least 100,000 in new top line revenue, or 20% this year, whichever is greater, and Jarvis and I have sat down and we’ve mapped out a strategy for the next four or five months that you have to do to get there. Now this is work, right? This isn’t a magical silver bullet that doesn’t exist. This is actual things that you have to do, but oh my gosh, what would I paid for that? For people to outline that for me and for like, do this, do this, do this, and it’s not rocket science stuff. It’s just stuff you have to do to add that type of increase. I mean, oh my gosh, I can’t…. It’d be amazing if that was there 20 years ago. So it’s a great benefit that’s out there. So there’s our shameless plug.
Matthew Jarvis: And we’ll add a quick… I always feel like I beat up on this all the time, but to have that available to us 20 years ago from someone who had done it, right?
Micah Shilanski: Oh, yeah.
Matthew Jarvis: I spent a lot of money on a lot of programs that said they would give me $100,000 in revenue and it turned out they hadn’t actually done it. Their $100,000 dollars in revenue was-
Micah Shilanski: It was their 100,000.
Matthew Jarvis: All right-
Micah Shilanski: Tested in the trenches, right?
Matthew Jarvis: Tested in the trenches, action steps number one, you need to get a solid understanding of the tax act as it applies to your client demographic, your niche. There’s some great resources. Kitces has some great stuff on his website. Micah, I know you follow Ed Slott’s stuff really closely. Know how it applies to your demographic. If you have younger clients than yeah, understand how the adoption and provision works. But if you have older clients like Micah and I do, then understand how the RMD portion works. QCDs, Roth conversion windows, those kinds of things.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah. And then communicate that with your clients, right? So communicate that. That’s going to be the second thing that you’re going to do. So understand the information. Don’t send them a Kitces link, right? God, I love him. I love the information that he puts out. That is not for the average consumer. It is way too much information. You’ve got to distill that bad boy down to one page and get some basic bullet points to clients, communicate that you’re on top of it so that they know they are taken care of. That’s a really important thing because that’s your second action item you got to do.
Matthew Jarvis: Can I, can I confess? I have sent Kitces links to a couple of clients with the goal of overwhelming them and maybe that’s nefarious. But I had a client who really wanted to get nuanced on a subject and I said, you know what? Here’s kind of, here’s the action items. Here’s the summary for you. If you really want to dive deep into here, here’s five white papers, four Kitces articles and two books you can read on the subject. Because I want them to be like and by the way, these all things I have read, but if you want to get versed on this, if you want to go to the nets behind on this, help yourself.
Micah Shilanski: Boom. There it is. There you go. So that’s one strategy for doing it.
Matthew Jarvis: Not recommended.
Micah Shilanski: Are they still a client?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Like I said, I’ve only done it once or twice and it was a client. They’re like, “Hey, could you tell us about what page 437 of the tax act means?” No, no, not going to waste my time there.
Micah Shilanski: So, all right, so your third action item, I’m just going to share, number one is you’ve got to understand the rules that’s there. Number two, you’ve got to communicate with clients. It’s going to be there. Number three, you’ve got to educate your team on this, right? So one of the things I think we often miss as advisors is we think about kicking stuff out to our clients. We think about how it’s going to affect us in our lives. We do not step back and educate our team on how this goes out and we got to know this because otherwise all questions will focus on me. One of the things that we implement in our office, it’s actually working out fairly well. I think we talked about a few podcasts ago, but whenever my team comes to me with something, they have to come with a recommendation and a “why,” right?
Micah Shilanski: What are they recommending and why? Now maybe that’s not to the client-facing, but I want to see it because I want to see for two things. One, are they on the right track? And number two, what was the thought process to get them there? So forcing our team to give me recommendations has really helped us educate and it’s really shown a gap in my quality of education level I provided to my team of what I need to highlight. So that’s a good little tip for you that maybe that’s helpful. But go to your team, educate them, give them the information on how it’s going to affect the clients. How it potentially affects them so that they know they can answer questions as well or at least understand when clients have questions coming in.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s a really important reminder, Micah, and I appreciate you bringing that one up because it’s something that I sometimes forget about, right? I’m like, Oh, I’m totally versed on it. I’m sure my team is too. Of course, they’re not. But in a real perk there is, when you articulate this to your team like you would to clients, they’re going to give you feedback that clients wouldn’t necessarily give you. They’re going to say, “Micah, I’m sorry, I still don’t understand this.” Which means that your client has had no chance of understanding it. So yeah, use that as your opportunity to practice, to refine that message, right? And that was going to be my action item number four, know your and rehearse and your talking points for your next client meeting. How are you going to communicate these couple of things to clients in an articulate way, right? You’re going to say, “Mr. and Mrs. Client, the RMD moved for some people, not for you” or “It did move for you, right? Couple of bullet points that you’re going to be able to articulate in just a minute or two.
Micah Shilanski: I love it.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, anything else that you got on that list other than backstage pass members? Be sure to log in and R & D, and as always give us five stars on the podcast services. We appreciate that. It makes us feel good inside.
Micah Shilanski: It does and it’s really helping to grow our listeners and thank you for our TPR Nation, especially those that have listened through all of this other stuff that have made it to the end of the podcast. You are dedicated listeners. We appreciate that. We appreciate the feedback that you give us. By the way, because the podcast has changed over the last year, if you have feedback, please go ahead and let us know privately because we are egocentric and but share it as well. Get this out to other advisors that we can help and improve the industry and it’s until next time, happy planning.
Matthew Jarvis: Happy planning.
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