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06 Practice Analysis Review: Synthesizing the Data

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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Steve Seid:
Hey, everyone. This episode covers the cornerstone of our business consulting capability, which is called PAR, Practice Analysis Review. The idea is a simple one. First, how can we identify opportunities or challenges in your business today? And then, more importantly, how can we help you take action and execute?

Kurt Dupuis:
And it sounds straightforward and simple, but our approach is incredibly unique. You're also going to want to hang around for our final segment, which is called Just Stop It. It could very well be the ramblings of a madman, but I think you'll get a kick out of it. And as always, you can send us ideas, questions, and feedback at thewholetruth@touchstonefunds.com. And if you haven't already, please consider subscribing on your favorite podcast hosting platform. Without further ado, here's our episode on PAR.

Disclosure:
The views expressed herein are those of the participants and not those of Touchstone Investments.

Steve Seid:

Welcome everybody to The Whole Truth from the Bay Area, California. I am Steve Seid.

Kurt Dupuis:
And from Atlanta, Georgia, I am Kurt Dupuis. Thanks for joining us today. We're going to tackle probably the single biggest underlying aspect of everything that we do around practice management. And to keep it simple, it has been known in many forums, but where it is settled to be generic across firms is PAR, the Practice Analysis Review. So, today, we're going to tell you what that is, where it comes from, and what are the crucial pillars of our analysis and what we do with that analysis.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, when we talk about PAR, Practice Analysis Review, what does that mean? Well, what it means is we have become experts at taking a big, whopping heap of data, that many firms offer, that no one knows what to do with. People at home office don't know what to do with, sales managers in the region do not know what to do with it. Complex managers, branch managers, they do not know what to do with it. And between some of our more savvy sales folks and some of our more savvy business folks, we have really mined this data to make it useful for advisors, with the ultimate goal of helping them run more profitable, more efficient, and more defensible practices.

Kurt Dupuis:
And just like this podcast, we don't do any of this without something actionable, so we take this mountain of data and think something more the size of Mount Everest, not the Blue Ridge Mountains here in Georgia. And we distill it into three actionable pillars because, again, if it's not actionable, it's not useful. And we come up with not only a plan, but we help advisors execute on the field level. So, what that means is, we as wholesalers are the local accountability partner to work with advisors to make sure that the goals that they find through this data are actually executed upon. The single biggest variable for outcomes that we have found is how engaged is the advisor. So, if an advisor has the will, we can find a way. I use the analogy often where the smart speaker in the house... You have one of those, Steve?

Steve Seid:
Yeah, sure.

Kurt Dupuis:
So like, hey, Google, help me mine my practice data. Look, my friend, my phone's turning on right now. So, we've done enough of these. We had the-

Speaker 4:
[crosstalk 00:03:25] all the way up.

Kurt Dupuis:
Look at that. There it is.

Steve Seid:
There it is.

Kurt Dupuis:
Google doesn't understand. No, but what we can do with this is, really, advisors speak their hopes and dreams out into the world into existence, and between our experience and expertise with this, we can make it real life.

Steve Seid:
So, let me talk about why we've been more impactful than others with synthesizing the data. The first is that we're able to take, as Kurt described, this big data set and synthesize the data to a few actionable opportunities. But then what's most important is we're not trying to overwhelm, which was where I see other practice management programs fail. They throw a huge project at someone then say, "Okay, get going." We're not trying to overwhelm. What we're looking for are what are the one or two small things that you might want to take an action on? And then, most importantly, and this is the key to our success, is we're be able to help you execute. Now, what does that mean? Let's take something like investment cleanup. You open up a lot of these books, and Kurt you've seen them, how many different mutual funds and ETFs, I mean, do you see in these books?

Kurt Dupuis:
Hundreds if not thousands.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I mean, some people have clean books, but the more often than not, you open up a book, you see a few hundred mutual funds and about 100 in change orphan funds. And so, if you were to go to an FA, you'd say, "Okay, we're going to go ahead and clean all that up," they see this huge project, even if they're the most motivated team that you'll come across, they just end up going back to day-to-day work. They have good intentions. So, how do we get around that? We get around that by giving them bite size pieces for them to do over time. It's not about cleaning up 300 mutual funds. It's about cleaning up this one household over the next week or two weeks. It's about cleaning up these three positions over the next week or so.

Steve Seid:
And so, we take these little bite sized pieces to not get in the way of your business, to make it completely manageable, and so when we look back six months, you've made some real progress without really disrupting your business, which I think is the key to all of it. That execution piece, truthfully, we should be saying it over a podcast because that is the secret sauce with all this, but it really does help. And it's not just for what we're talking about with PAR, it's anything related to the practice.

Kurt Dupuis:
My simple equation to help advisors understand that they don't have to make these gigantic leaps on a day-to-day basis, it's progress over perfection. We want someone to be able to look back in three, six months and say, "Yes, this has been helpful." So, I'd say the three pillars, really quickly, and then we'll break them down in the next segment. So, the three pillars that we tend to look at at most shops are three of the biggest trends that are really unsolved for in the wealth management world.

Kurt Dupuis:
And the first is advisory conversion. So, we all know that that's a big trend that's taken place in the industry over the last, really, couple of decades, so how can we identify and execute on some opportunities there? Secondly, we did a whole series of podcasts on this topic, and that's client optimization. How can we find the most robust, meaningful relationships, find more like that, while at the same time, rightsizing our service for those that maybe are not at the top of the book? And then, lastly, something you've already alluded to is what we would call book optimization investment cleanup. And so, we'll talk about some stats and figures around all of those, and you can start thinking about where you might stack up. And then, we'll talk about how we help advisors make progress while maybe not reaching perfection. Stick with us. We'll be right back.

Steve Seid:

And welcome back, everybody. So, we're in segment two. We're going to talk a little bit about... We were pretty general and vague and high level in the segment one. This is where we're going to get into some detail, and we'll first start with where did this practice analysis review come from? And it started with a report at Morgan Stanley called MAP, which is their Manage Asset Profile report, and a lot of the partner firms got to see this huge report. I think the firm had huge expectations for what it could accomplish, but they ran into challenges when they distributed out to the field force and it was completely overwhelming. Just as Kurt described, that humongous dataset where advisers opened up and they said, "Whoa, okay, there's some interesting stuff, but I'm just going to go back to calling clients."

Steve Seid:
And so, no one really took action.,And so that's where this originated. And we got really, really good expert, in fact, at looking at MAP. And again, I talked about why we were successful in the first portion, but that's where it came from. And then, we got so good at it, and we did it hundreds and hundreds of times at Morgan Stanley, that we started to approach other firms. And we've built these reports at a lot of the different firms where we can go in, where we can mine the data, and identify some opportunities and help you execute.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. So, a couple of the big differentiators for other shops, I think talk about practice management is one, they don't have the analytics background that we do, so I really love that analytics is the launch pad for what we do. We're not taking guesses, we're not using averages. We have clean looks at the data. But then, secondly, how we are empowered on the field level, as the externals in the field, to help advisors with this. And Seid, I should mention, you have been part of this progress, I would say at Touchdown, since the beginning, and have seen the evolution of us using this data in myriad ways and really being influential in how that exists today. But can you contrast to maybe six years ago how we would use this sort of data versus how we use it today?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Thank you for that kudos. This is something that I definitely [crosstalk 00:00:09:22].

Kurt Dupuis:
That's the only one I'll give you this episode.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I've enjoyed watching this over time. It actually has been a lot of fun. I think the tables turned for us when we went beyond investments. So, what happened when the firms gave this to all the investment partners, guess what they focused all their attention on? The investment side, [inaudible 00:09:41] funds, the ETFs, the SMAs. How can we go in there and say, "You're using this. It's not good. Use us"? If I had to summarize what every other firm did, it was that.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's the Trojan horse method, right?

Steve Seid:
It's the Trojan... And by the way, advisors can see through that so easily. So, think-

Kurt Dupuis:
And that's not to say that there's zero use for that.

Steve Seid:
There's great use. There's great use of that. Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
I think we just found a little bit more.

Steve Seid:
Well, I think when you could be an objective business partner, as opposed to someone that's selfish and looking for goals for yourself, when you can get to that point where you're a partner, that's where the relationship changes. So, again, nothing against fund clean up, we do it too, but we just think that we want to become a bigger partner than that. So, that was a big thing for us, was going beyond the investments, and I think like any other program, we spent a lot of years figuring out which of the data points were actually actionable. There's some things on paper, and firms do this all the time where they say, "Oh, look at this great data. This should force an advisor to take action." But a lot of things can be drummed up in an ivory tower that aren't necessarily... It happens on any side of the... It happens on our side of the business, too.

Steve Seid:

So, it was this thing I'm moving beyond investments and then figuring out what was really actionable, and then doing it over and over and over again. So, you learn things when you do this types of exercise hundreds of times. We learned about things that went beyond the data, right? You saw the same situations and challenges over and over again. So, those are some of the things, Kurt, that come to mind.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. And it's completely tailor made because you can look at... And we're going to talk about some averages because we looked at thousands of these, and we'll talk about some of those averages, but no advisor is the average, right? No one's business is the average. So, using the experience that we've gained through the whole team, not just us as wholesalers, but the other teammates that we rely on, having that experience is also paramount to having success, because it's not just looking at the numbers and saying, "Okay, well, you're slightly below average on this. How can we ramp this up?" There's as much art to science with this.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. But now, Kurt, there's enough setup at this point, so let's get into it. What's the data that we are actually looking at here?

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, in its most robust form, we take this Mount Everest of data, tens of thousands of data points, hundreds of different columns in Excel, we aggregate them into one page. And the three main pillars of what we have on that page, which we call the dashboard, are the advisory opportunity, the client optimization, book optimization. So, advisory opportunity, Seid, since you've done most of this, a little bit of a Q&A, what is a ballpark number for the average amount of assets an advisor has in advisory?

Steve Seid:
So, I don't have the exact data, but I'm going to guess somewhere between 30 and 40%.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. That's about right. It's a third.

Steve Seid:
Which is interesting because at this point people think, "Oh, the industry has been moving towards advisory forever. There's nothing left to do. If we could have moved our book to advisory, it would have been done, and yet we're at 30 something percent."

Kurt Dupuis:

And people also confuse that the amount of revenue that's recurring, which they associate, so if they think they have a fee-based practice, they say, "Oh, well, 95% of my fee is recurring revenue," that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about the percent of assets, not the percent of revenue.

Steve Seid:
Right. And so, it's really simple, and then if you say to yourself, "Okay, I want to move towards advisory. What are the assets I should be looking at to do it?" And that's what we're answering with that data point.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. What's the highest amount in advisory you've ever seen.

Steve Seid:
I've seen small books. You're talking about less than 75 million in revenue. I've seen a number that's 80 and change percent in advisory.

Kurt Dupuis:
80, oh wow.

Steve Seid:
What about you.

Kurt Dupuis:
I've seen 70s. I've seen low 70s.

Steve Seid:
I think for what I would call... God, it's hard. I don't love to say, what's the average assets because my Bay Area number is going to be different than someplace else, but I think of my run of the mill advisor out here, the biggest numbers I see is like 60 and change percent. That's the people that are leading it.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. And so, based off the data that we can get here, there's many different shoot offs we can have, so obviously, the most actionable item here is, "Well, let's find what's not an advisory but that could potentially move over to advisory. What at least structurally make some sense and identifying those assets and starting to engage in a plan to help convert those?"

Steve Seid:
Yeah. By the way, in any one of these, there's some offshoots that we share with you that are almost like bonus statistics, and this goes, again, with doing hundreds of these where we found out all these different data points. So, in our advisory section, we also tease out some other numbers that may be useful to you to drive revenue or move to more fee-based, and that's, how much cash do you have in on the sidelines? Do you have clients where you're not getting full wallet share in terms of IRA assets? So, we add some other things in there during this section, as well, so it's not just like a raw advisory number. We've got a few different cool things there.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. At the end of the day, unless you can attach certain client relationships to these opportunities, this is all useless, and it's just numbers on a page. So, that's where we try to take the idea that's in black and white on paper but also match it up to where those opportunities are housed, and that's where we start building a game plan.

Steve Seid:
Yep. So, item two, then... We talked about advisory. Item two is client optimization. So, you've talked about it a little bit, but spend a little bit more time on what we're doing there.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, let's just talk about some averages.

Steve Seid:
Sure.

Kurt Dupuis:
Average ROA, return on assets, that we've seen in the business. It really surprises me how I always ask people to guess this number, they go all over the place. So, you've done quite a few of these. What's the number side?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. God, you're challenging me today. I think it's not far off from the advisory number percentage, actually. I want to say 40 something percent, 40 to 50%. 40, 50 basis points ROA. Am I off?

Kurt Dupuis:
That's a little low. So, the dead average is the low 60s. Let's call it 62.

Steve Seid:
Oh, it's the low 60s. That's higher than I thought.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. The main metric, that you would not be surprised to hear, that affects that ROA number is how much you have in advisory. So, obviously, the more that you have in advisory, the higher your ROA tends to be.

Steve Seid:
Correct.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, this is all about, to me, this is about freeing up time for folks. So, how many clients are you dealing with? Do you have a service model that appropriately services these? Are you delivering that next level of service that we talk about? The number that we often quote for a number of households that an advisor can really maintain effectively is probably somewhere around 125 range. We talk to folks each and every day that have five, 600 households, and they have a good business. We're not the folks that come in and say, "Look, you need to chop this down," but we do want folks to be aware of both the benefits and maybe some of the potential pitfalls of having so many households.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So, I mean, again, back to it, what is your ROA? Is there an opportunity that we can do to increase that ROA? What are the clients that are holding that ROA down? And then, how do you think about actually servicing that whole thing? When I think about that, that encapsulates where I spend most of my time in that center bucket.

Kurt Dupuis:
Same here. Assuming you're talking to someone who's largely converted to advisory because we present this as a waterfall, that if you're not a high advisory person, that you might get the most bang for your buck as far as time spent. But since a fair number of the people that we do talk to are, that second book of client optimization is typically a pond where swimming in.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And that's the point of, in some cases, we come to teams and they want to work on seven different things, which is always nice that they see all this opportunity, but we're going to narrow you down. And if one bucket is going to be more impactful to your business, that's going to take care of some of those other things, like Kurt's talking about advisory, will likely steer you in the direction. But again, it goes back to whatever the advisor wants to work on.

Kurt Dupuis:
And forgive a certain level of hubris here, but the single variable that we found with whether or not we're successful, and by successful I mean measurable statistical success in a certain bucket that an adviser wants to work on, is advisor engagement. Like I said, we're the Google speaker, we can bring anything into fruition, but it's how dedicated our clients, our prospects, our advisors that we're working with are going to be engaged with this content.

Steve Seid:
Yep. And some other things on this middle bucket, I'll just throw some things out there, Kurt. I hope you don't mind. Junior partners, mergers and acquisitions, teams forming together, all of that can be greatly enhanced by the middle bucket and thinking about the number of different clients you have, the segments of clients you have, coverage, all those things. That's some other cases that we work with there.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, going in a waterfall for about... We first talked about advisory opportunity, how we can help identify and impact an advisors book to convert more assets to advisory. Secondly, how do we optimize the client mix and client optimization? And thirdly, this is something that we know other folks talk about, they probably don't do it quite like we do it, but it's what we call book optimization. So, Seid, do you want to tell the folks what that entails?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. It's the investment cleanup portion where we're looking at the number of different mutual funds, we're looking at the number of different ETFs, how many of those are orphans, which means they only show up once in your book. We can get into other things like individual equities, but the whole idea is tightening up the investment piece. And there's many reasons to do this besides the outcomes for clients, things like that, but in a world now of reg BI and having to provide documentation on investment selection and just general efficiency, having cleaner books just make a whole lot of sense right now.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. So, how I often think about them, advisory is more money, right? The main intent there is to drive revenue. You could argue that you could take a few different routes to do that, but principally, that's what I see is converting to advisory, is growing the revenue of the practice. With client optimization, the second bucket, I see that as just more time. That's where you're getting efficiency. That's when scale comes into play. And then, lastly, with book optimization or working on the investment lineup, that's de-risking your book. That's making your book defensible. Right? Some people sleep fine at night knowing that they have 500 unique mutual fund strategies in their book, knowing that they're not really following them all. Some people sleep fine with that. That's great. Other people want to work on that, but at the end of the day, that bucket is meant to make your practice more defensible.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And I want to take some time now after, now that you know the three different buckets, to go through some common questions that we get around PAR. Kurt, you can feel free to toss some in, but I'll throw a couple of common questions that I get. One is, how much are you guys getting paid from this service?

Kurt Dupuis:
I love this question.

Steve Seid:
That's my favorite question, because they see the value of it, and they're like, "What are you getting out of it?" What we're getting out of it is building a different kind of partnership with the FA that they haven't had from our side of the business. Yes, throughout the process, if we can help on the investment side, we will do that, but our number one goal, honestly, is just to make practices run better.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. I love that question because it just shows that this resonates with people and that clearly we're fluent in how to go about this.

Steve Seid:
Next question is what kind of results can I expect? And the answer is it depends, because what you get from us is an accountability partner. You get a coach, you get someone who lays out those goals at time, and what we're going to do is work through things at a pace that makes sense for your business. But what I can tell you is, you are going to get what I would describe, and I know this is generic, is meaningful results. We're going to do it over time. But when we look back at our efforts together, you will definitely describe them as meaningful.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, it's self-serving for us, too, but in a good way. Right? Because if we can't say, "Hey, we had this conversation on January 1st," and how many conversations, how much work we've been doing over six months, and rerun the data on July 1st or January one of the next year. If we can't visually and infallibly demonstrate, "Yes, this has been worth your time," then again, how actionable is this? How useful is it? So, results do vary, but the important thing is that we should be able to show some sort of results. Otherwise, we're spinning our wheels.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And expect accountability partner when you talk about results. Expect it.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah, buddy.

Steve Seid:
I don't know how you approach it, Kurt, but I set goals. Again, we talked about these manageable and very achievable goals, that if you show up to a meeting and you said you're going to do something over the last five weeks, and it's very easy to do it... "Oh, I didn't do it." It's our job to push back and keep you moving on that. That's just part of our job. We're not here to be the excuse maker. That's it. And so, what other questions do I get on this? Do we see your clients? No, we do not see your clients. We are able to manipulate data and help you do things on the end where you can get things to the household level, but we absolutely never see your clients. Final question I'll throw out. There's probably a few more, but... What qualifies us to do this? We have a dedicated team back in our home office, which is Cincinnati, Ohio, that's almost exclusively dedicated to the analytics and to the data and anything that's PAR-related. It is a primary strategy for us. We are getting trained on this constantly. We are consistently making this better. So, what makes us qualified to do this? It's our core competency. It's something we spend a lot of time and we focus on getting better at.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. A lot of people, they go to sales meetings, and they talk about sales reports and they talk about the products and updates on the product. We flip that completely on its head, is what we spend the majority of our time is how can we engage with advisors' practices? Yeah. Well, here's some market updates, and you've got to know what you're talking about on the product side, but it's not our go-to. I don't know when it happened because I haven't been here as long, but at some point our DNA shifted to being a product-based company, like many are, to a practice management value add type company. So, we spend a ton of time on it not just thinking about it academically, but actually getting our hands dirty with advisors and working through this. So, that's what gives us credibility in doing this.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And the other reason that we don't jam product, is we know through the process, we're probably going to be able to help somewhere. We're pretty deep on that front, so it's not like we need to be paranoid or anything about that. We can usually find ways to help. So, in summary, what is PAR? PAR is we're taking a big data set, data that you guys are thrown at you all the time, that you may not know what to do with, and we're synthesizing down to a one page report. We're going through that report with you. It's usually one page long. And we're going through some potential opportunities, not because we want you to do all those opportunities, we want you to select what you feel are the biggest opportunities. Then when you decide what you want to work on, you've got an accountability partner, you've got a planner, you've got a full team behind you that actually helps you execute at the pace that makes sense for you and your business. So, when we look back, we've made some very real progress, and that is a huge improvement on the current state.

Steve Seid:
So, what's the takeaway from this episode? Well, we would argue, run a PAR with us. That's probably a good takeaway from this episode. If you haven't gone through this exercise with us, it's worth undertaking. But the other, for those that want to do it on their own, is you've got a lot of data at your disposal. Don't ignore it, dig into it, try to figure out what's useful, because there's so much more you have at your fingertips now than you had 10, 15 years ago, and it's gold. So, with that summary, we appreciate that. We're going to come back with our segment three, which is going to... We're going to have some fun in segment three this time, Kurt.

Kurt Dupuis:
Here we go.

Steve Seid:
It's going to be a little bit different than usual.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm excited.

Steve Seid:
So, this is The Whole Truth. Stick with us.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, today, we have a new segment, that instead of ending with the Costanza Corner, it's going to be in the spirit of the Costanza Corner, but we're going to call it Just Stop It, where we're going to get Steve going on some rants on some things that really bother him. And I don't know what that's going to do for you, but for me, much like the Costanza Corner does, is going to put me on a high note to end this episode. So, Steve, what do you want to just stop it?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I've started taking notes on things that really bother me. I have to try really hard to be positive. I am a positive person, but it takes effort. It's not natural. So, there are things in day-to-day that just drive me crazy, and that's what the segment's about. I'm going to give you three of those. Okay?

Steve Seid:
All right. You're in a presentation, you're in a discussion. It's usually in front of a lot of people. Somebody goes in front of the microphone or talks about the group, and they start talking about a subject that they want to talk about. And they stop that, and right in the middle of it they say, "And I was just talking to so-and-so about that." Have you ever been in a meeting like that? So, they'll say, for example, "Hey, I think that this strategy is something that we should undertake, and I was just talking to John and Scott about this before," and then they'll continue. Have you ever heard that, Kurt?

Kurt Dupuis:
I have, but I don't see why that bugs you so much.

Steve Seid:
It happens all the time, and I'll tell you why it bothers me. It adds absolutely nothing to what they are saying. It derails it. So, what they're trying to do is just give themselves some credibility to what they're saying, and to me, it looks insecure. So, Kurt, I think we should start a podcast. I was just talking to Martha, Dave, and Jack about... It adds nothing to what I'm telling you. You can skip over it. So, this does not bother you? This drives me absolutely bananas.

Kurt Dupuis:
Completely disagree with you on this one.

Steve Seid:
Okay. Okay, that's fine.

Kurt Dupuis:
Because if you're talking about a subject with a person, and forget presentation, just one-on-one with somebody, you're talking to someone and trying to exude credibility or socially... There's tons of [crosstalk 00:00:28:49].

Steve Seid:
It's false credibility.

Kurt Dupuis:

It's not.

Steve Seid:
It's false credibility.

Kurt Dupuis:
Because when you can say, "Oh yeah, I've had the same conversation with Bob," and then they go around and they talk to Bob, they're going to be like, "Oh yeah, Steve actually knows what he's talking about with this. He's not just blowing smoke up my rump."

Steve Seid:
I think that there's probably circumstances where you're just... Fair point. There's probably circumstances where that's true. Most of the time, it's just filler nonsense. Okay? So, that's my first one.

Kurt Dupuis:
Going to disagree.

Steve Seid:
Stop saying, "I was just talking to da, da, da, da about this [crosstalk 00:29:20]."

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, just for the record, I'm not going to just stop doing that. I'm actually going to do it more now just to bug you. Thank you.

Steve Seid:
Please don't do it in front of me because it'll make my brain explode. Okay? There's another one. That's just like this that people do to add credibility. I'm going to save that for my final one. Okay. The second thing to just stop, everyone, I understand we're in a different period in history and a lot of ways, every time period is unique, but don't you feel like nowadays everyone just loves to throw, "This is the biggest thing in history. This is the most robust in history." Everything is the most substantial thing in history. First of all, you don't know all of history. Second of all, this time period is probably not the most of anything. It is a long [inaudible 00:00:30:02]. It's probably been done before. I just find this... Now it's like the thing that everyone has to say is it's the most important in history. And you know what? It's pure narcissism, is what is.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, I think what you're talking about in English language is known as a superlative, right? Where something is meant to describe something that is superb, it's at the top, there is no equal.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
We do overuse the crap out of that. [crosstalk 00:30:26].

Steve Seid:
We overuse the crap of that. There's [crosstalk 00:30:28]

Kurt Dupuis:
Now, and I'm the worst offender of that.

Steve Seid:
There are some times where that's appropriate, but not everything that any of us do are the biggest, are the greatest, are the smallest in history. Okay? Let's just stop that. And my last one, and this is very much related to my first one, so you may disagree. And this happens all the time when I'm watching the news, is people throw the word right in there in everything they said, which is just filler nonsense. What does that mean? I'm telling you, "Kurt, I think the sky is blue." So, I'll come on here, and I'd say, "Kurt, the sky is blue, right?" And then, they throw these random rights in there as if that adds... It's, again, it's insecurity. What they're trying to do is get their audience to say right back to you.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's a vocal cue, yeah.

Steve Seid:
But the audience isn't doing it. They're righting themselves. And this happens all the time. If I turn on the news, and I know we can poke fun at all kinds of different panels on news stories, but you notice every one of them just say right after everything. "The stock market just came down today, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right?" They just throw random rights in there.

Kurt Dupuis:
There has been an increase in the word right in common vernacular. But my question is, is it the grammar that offends you or the societal implications that offends you so much?

Steve Seid:
I think it's just, I don't like things that are just filler that you use it to try to build credibility but if you took it out, nothing is lost. It's just filler words. You know what else is is... Okay, I'll add another one that people do all the time.

Kurt Dupuis:
See, I'm susceptible all these, because I don't start these trends, but I notice them and then I feel like if other people are saying them, I say something like that. I feel like, that's another one.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I feel like-

Kurt Dupuis:
Doesn't mean anything.

Steve Seid:
... feel like it doesn't mean anything.

Kurt Dupuis:
No, I'm saying, I think that, right?

Steve Seid:
I think that, yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, in my head, I know that, but you hear it so much, you just... See, now you're getting me going.

Steve Seid:
You know it's another bad one? Literally. Literally.

Kurt Dupuis:
Literally is bad.

Steve Seid:

I got another bad one. Obviously. People love that one. "Obviously, da, da, da." Well, no, it's not obvious. What are you talking... So, anyways, that is the stuff that is happening, and I know I'm trying to stay positive, but this is my... I can vent on this podcast, too, can't I?

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, the funny part for me with all this and why I am going to end up on a high note is I am susceptible to all of these things. So, I felt like this was a really circuitous way just to say you don't like how I talk.

Steve Seid:
Obviously, that's what I'm saying, right?

Kurt Dupuis:
You're literally the worst.

Steve Seid:
They are literally the worst. So, hopefully, you got a laugh out of this.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, the takeaway here is be you and say whatever you want, and you're going to annoy Steve no matter what, so don't stop it.

Steve Seid:
That's fair. Thanks for listening, guys. We'll see you next time.

Kurt Dupuis:
Have a good one.

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