So What, Exactly, Is The Perfect RIA?

Micah Shilanski, CFP, shares how The Perfect RIA transforms the financial planning industry by providing financial advisors with a real-world formula for success.

4 min read

Micah Shilanski
Micah Shilanski
Financial Planner, CFP®

What started as a drunken soapbox about all the frustrations Matthew Jarvis and I felt in the financial planning industry, The Perfect RIA podcast has become an industry-leading avenue to success for our tens of thousands of listeners.

Each week, Matthew Jarvis, CFP®, and I unpack the problems—and solutions—we find in our own practices and the practices of hundreds of other advisors we have the pleasure of meeting. As a result of our success, we’ve seen more openness and transparency in the industry.

Many advisors have scoffed at how we’re airing our dirty laundry for the world to see, saying we’re only here for clout—but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If these uptight industry conformists were willing to peek at the fan mail in our inbox, they’d see that we’re not upending the industry for personal gain; we’re changing lives.

The Perfect RIA is here to change hearts by delivering massive value to advisors and impacting their lives, families, and clients.

The Success Formula

I’m sure you’ve heard that there’s more than one right way to skin a cat, and the same is true for being successful. However, there are certain elements that every successful business and practice will have, and Matthew Jarvis and I don’t shy away from that. In every episode, we unpack the ideal RIA’s inner workings to illustrate proven success methods.

Solving for a successful practice is a lot like algebra: there are specific values you need to solve for in your own equation. By tuning into the podcast, becoming a BackStage Pass or Invictus Member, and attending our live events, we’ll show you how to copy and implement our proven formula of success.

In reality, achieving your own Perfect RIA isn’t that complicated. However, it is hard—you’ll have to put in a substantial amount of sweat equity to double your success. But that’s a good thing—if it were easy, everyone would do it, and no one would be worth a premium fee.

The Perfect RIA

Been There, Done That

Unfortunately, I spent an excessive amount of time in my career chasing shiny things that I was told would help me. I maxed out credit cards on marketing schemes, lead generators, and a bunch of theoretical stuff that had no real impact on my business.

Many loud voices in the industry told me how to run my business, but only some of these people had real-world experience. Their advice was useless and damaging, and they hid their lack of success under vanity metrics.

There’s power in following the path of someone who has stood where you are now and reached higher. Every advisor needs someone in their world who can take them by the hand and show them the next step.

Our goal with The Perfect RIA platform is to help financial planners along their journey to perfection. I’ve been in the industry for [over 20 years], and throughout my career, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. By sharing my shortfalls and solutions, I aim to help other advisors side-step my problems and reach a successful level faster.

Finding Perfection

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. You’ll never tighten your Surge schedule, improve the flow of client meetings, or optimize your value adds without making changes.

To find the best solution for the problems in your practice, you need to be willing to make adjustments and finetune your processes. Repeating the same old tune and expecting a different outcome doesn’t mean you’re a better advisor; it means you’re insane.

Most advisors are too involved with the finer details of their practice. They’re blind to how the office runs, creating a “you can’t see the forest for the trees” situation. Or, more simply, they’re drinking their own Kool-Aid.

When we peel back the layers in our practices, the least compassionate thing we can do is skip over issues to offer meaningless “atta boys.”

      Hollow platitudes don’t trigger growth.

      Confronting the uncomfortable truths in how our practices run, how we lead our teams, and how we communicate with our clients triggers growth. And these are the discussions advisors need to be having.

      Few things are as unsettling as financially undressing in front of peers, but it must be done. Airing your business processes and finances in a mastermind leaves you feeling exposed. However, you must have someone in your world who can compassionately call you out when things aren’t working for you—especially when you can’t see it.

        The part of The Perfect RIA that ruffles feathers is that we call things out as they are: we’ll always call a spade a spade. We won’t hesitate to call it out if something doesn’t work.

        That said, I won’t poopoo something that I don’t personally do. If you’re doing something extraordinary in your practice that works for you—fantastic—I want to hear about it! And I want to see your supporting evidence.

        Take Action

        Simply following The Perfect RIA isn’t enough to trigger a lasting change in your practice. You need to act on our proven principles to be the advisor who drastically transforms his or her practice. 

        We’re not talking about making a slight change in 2023, either. You only need to work a little harder to improve by five to ten percent. 

        But if you want to double your revenue, time away from the office, or success, you’ll need to make profound changes in your life—and we’ll be here to help you through it.

        Action Items

        We love to see transformations happen!
        Send us an email at and let us know what double you’re aiming for:

        ● I want twice as many clients
        ● I want to double my revenue or profitability
        ● I want to double my time with my family

        Let us know what gaps you need to jump over to get there. We’ll add this information to future podcast episodes.

        Don’t forget to put your double goal on a post-it note on your monitor to help motivate you to stay on the course.

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