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A Review of 2021: Secrets for Success and Habits for Happiness

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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The Whole Truth Podcast 34

 

Kurt Dupuis:
Welcome to The Whole Truth, where two wholesalers help financial professionals build great practices and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. We'll bring you the stories and voices from those on the front lines of this change. And we'll have some fun along the way. 

Steve Seid:
This is more than a podcast. We're building a community of financial professionals who are growing, forward thinking and want to get better. Thanks for listening and contributing to the discussion.

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

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

Kurt Dupuis:
And from the city of the world series champion Atlanta Braves.

Steve Seid:
Wow.

Kurt Dupuis:
I am Kurt Dupuis.

Steve Seid:
That is nice. Congratulations, buddy. And you got the hat on and everything.

Kurt Dupuis:
I got to rep man.

Steve Seid:
Awesome.

Kurt Dupuis:
Put in the work for late nights. Cheering against the asterisks.

Steve Seid:
That's great stuff, man. Congratulations. Congratulations to the whole city of Atlanta.

Kurt Dupuis:
26 years, we broke the curse.

Steve Seid:
We got a couple things to do on this episode. The main crux of the episode is going to be reflecting back on the year that was 2021. And man, we did a lot. When we went back and looked at these episodes, a lot of great guests, a lot of great conversations and what Kurt and I challenged each other to do is come up with our top three or four takeaways, and that's what we're going to spend time doing.

Kurt Dupuis:
I took a gamble here. I took a gamble, presupposing what I thought you were going to pick and went a different direction. I hope that works out and we don't have a ton of overlap.

Steve Seid:
We just came in just like not talking to each other about what we're going to talk about at all.

Kurt Dupuis:
Because we don't know.

Steve Seid:
We're really excited to share this with you today.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's going to be a good idea. Heavy episode.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Before we get into that though, our intro segment where we're going to start is we have a segment called what we're obsessed about this week and something hit my email inbox not too long ago. You guys have probably seen something like this before, but it quantifies the value that an advisor brings. So the first comment let me make up front is there's absolutely no question that people benefit from working with a financial professional.

Kurt Dupuis:
100%.

Steve Seid:
You heard Crosby talk about it.

Kurt Dupuis:
Behavioral alpha alone, I think he said is one to 4% just keeping people invested.

Steve Seid:
So now we get to give you the full picture. This is a study by Russell. This is for a particular year, which was 2020, which listen, there was opportunities in 2020 for advisors to add a lot of value, but all that said this was pretty cool. So in 2020, the total value of an advisor was 4.81% net of fees, which is pretty amazing. Does that surprise you, Kurt?

Kurt Dupuis:
What baffles me is that I don't hear this in everybody's value proposition. I'm always baffled by these numbers and putting this level of granularity on it, I've never seen. So shout out to Russell.

Steve Seid:
Here's what I'm going to do. There's five things that they broke down of where financial advisors added value. I'm going to give you the top one and the bottom one, and then I'm going to have Kurt sort of guess what he thinks the other ones were. The first one, Daniel Crosby was exactly right, was behavioral mistakes individual investors typically make. That was 2.17 of the 4.81.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's almost half right there.

Steve Seid:
The bottom one was cost of a basic investment management. That was 0.29%. So then we have three things left, and Kurt I'll have you guess what was the most and the least. One of them was the annual rebalancing of investment portfolios. One was planning costs and ancillary services, and the last one was tax planning and investing. What do you think was the top out of that?

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, that's tough.

Steve Seid:
Hard, right?

Kurt Dupuis:
It's either going to be rebalancing or planning services. With the volatility that we saw in 2020, I'm going to go with taxes.

Steve Seid:
You're right.

Kurt Dupuis:
I thought it was going to be either taxes or the planning functions.

Steve Seid:
You got it exactly right.

Kurt Dupuis:
So I'm going with taxes.

Steve Seid:
So taxes is 1.31%. The planning bucket was 0.72 and then the annual rebalancing was 0.32. So to sum up, I know there's a lot of categories. You got tax-

Kurt Dupuis:
A lot of numbers.

Steve Seid:
Planning, you got cost of investment management, you got behavioral mistakes and then the annual rebalancing of investment portfolios, those five things added up to almost 5%., net of fees.

Kurt Dupuis:
So if we're not communicating that between behavioral mistakes and tax planning strategies, we're not going more than pay for our fee. What are we doing here? I also like that rebalancing was like one of the least effective things because that's important, but I feel like that's not very systematized. There's there's not a lot of agreement in the industry. Like, is that a once a year? Is that every other year? Is it once a quarter? There's not a lot of agreement there. So I think just directionally know that we rebalance at some interval and we're going to be accretive if we just rebalance. That's all we really need to know there, but 32 basis points there or whatever it was, not a Herculean number.

Steve Seid:
I just like the fact that you can challenge clients or prospects, if they come in, they're like, "I don't know if you're worth it." Well, let me tell you exactly what a financial advisor did last year, and let me tell you what I do that's even above and beyond. There is a great challenger sale there.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, this is what the average investor does. You're probably not the average investor.

Steve Seid:
Excellent. So you guys are all worth it. So that's what we're obsessed about this week. We're going to come back with our roundup of 2021. This is The Whole Truth, stick with us.
All right. Welcome back everybody. So, as I talked about in the intro, we wanted to come with our top few ideas. Kurt, how do you want to proceed here?

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. So I've got a range, some of these are very short and one of these in particular, I could probably do the whole show just recapping that because I thought it was so great, and because I might have shiny object syndrome, got just laser focused on this one topic. So I'm going to start with my least dense favorite idea.

Steve Seid:
Okay.

Kurt Dupuis:
And then move towards my most dense favorite idea.

Steve Seid:
Okay.

Kurt Dupuis:
How about that?

Steve Seid:
Okay. I love that.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. So my least dense idea was a conversation we had with James Pollard about email marketing. This is applicable to me because I have ramped up my own email marketing efforts because of this conversation, which is the takeaway for anybody and everybody out there. Do you remember what he said ROI for email marketing campaigns? You have any idea what that is?

Steve Seid:
No. What was that number?

Kurt Dupuis:
36X. That means consultants that track this $1 spent in marketing should gross you $36 in additional revenue.

Steve Seid:
Oh interesting, interesting.

Kurt Dupuis:
Which is pretty bonkers. So I also think of, so you if do a client appreciation event, let's say that costs five grand. To get a 36X ROI on that, you'd have to increase revenue by 180 grand.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
And that's probably not happening. So I also like the process of this. So writing copy that's witty and applicable. So I really integrated this into some of my own processes. And so I don't know if I've seen 36X ROI, but it's something that I took away this year that I'm now doing differently now because of that conversation, which I think is the point of our chat today.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I was debating, I did not have Pollard in my top five, but I loved our conversation with them. And a big takeaway for me, email can still be very, very effective. And I think the thought now is like, oh, email doesn't work, but that's my preferred method of communication. And it's clearly the advisors, and probably-

Kurt Dupuis:
How many times have you said, like when people call, like professionals that you actually have a relationship with, like, "don't call, email me. I don't want to talk to you."

Steve Seid:
For me personally, the answer is don't call me.

Kurt Dupuis:
For You. You Love the email.

Steve Seid:
There's like three people in my life that I prefer that call me. You're one of them Kurt. I love your calls.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, thanks.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So I'll lead with my most straightforward one. As he always does, I thought Brian Doherty, our social security expert came in and knocked the cover on the ball, particularly around, the benefits of waiting the COLA… I won't get into all of it here, but the reason that I put that in my top five is because of our entire audience of financial professionals, I can't think that there would be one that wouldn't have taken a lot away from that episode that they can directly use from clients. Does that make sense?

Kurt Dupuis:
Agree.

And people tend to crap on the restricted application thing because that pool is getting shallower and shallower, but that's such a small part of what his tool, his calculator helps people figure out if you're not running like a third party assessment on social security options, then what are you doing?

Steve Seid:
Even though it's compelling to delay, he doesn't tell everybody like, "just delay." You don't need an expert if that's your only message, you have various strategies to think about. I just thought he did such a great job that made my top five. So was he on yours?

Kurt Dupuis:
So far so good. No, I didn't have him on my list.

Steve Seid:
Okay. Okay. Good.

Kurt Dupuis:
I flirted with him, but I didn't put him on the list

Steve Seid:
And it was between him and James for me, so. Okay. We covered both, so that's good.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. Well we might get you getting some overlap now.

Steve Seid:
No, I was just going to ask, you're going to save your most dense or your number one for the top. Like you're absolute favorite?

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm saying least to most dense.

Steve Seid:
Least to most dense. Okay. I may save my favorite guess for number one, if that's okay, which was a hard thing.

Kurt Dupuis:
Do it however you want to do it.

Steve Seid:
Okay, go ahead. What's your number two on dense.

Kurt Dupuis:
So my next two are both from the same conversation and both a similar level of density, but I'm just going to give you one right now. And it was a conversation with Penny Phillips, who was awesome. I mean, definitely one of the top interviews of the year. And I've enjoyed hearing her on so many other podcasts because everything she posts on LinkedIn now I'm going and following it. She does like this Wednesday practice management with Penny thing on YouTube. I watch every single one of those. She's just fantastic. But she introduced, and this is not going to be dense because I don't know a lot about it, it just intrigues me, the idea of psychographics. I've heard a lot of people in our business talk about demographics, which are just like your numbers on a page. How old are you? What’s your socioeconomic level or your education level. That makes sense, especially when you're building a marketing plan.

But she really dove into this idea and it's almost a challenge probably for next year is to think through psychographics, which is its literally like putting yourself in the skin of your target market. When they wake up, what type of coffee do they drink? What are the first things that they're thinking about? Do they go to the gym in the morning? Do they go to the gym in the afternoon? Do they not go to the gym at all? What are their patterns and behaviors and psychology behind it. I think if we could tap into that, I think we would be a lot more successful as wholesalers, but I think if our clients, if financial professionals did that for their clients and for their target market, their niche, you would obviously be able to market to them better.

Steve Seid:
So clearly we had overlap here because we were going to both have Penny on. I can honestly say that we loved every guest that we had on here this year, but I think Penny's my favorite. I think that conversation sticks out to me just the back and forth, just the stuff you were talking about. So congratulations Penny, if you wanted to be our guest of the year, I think you just earned it. We'll have to send her like...

Kurt Dupuis:

Can we do like “The Truthies”?

Steve Seid:
Like we should do an award for next year. Yeah. We could come up with funny award names. Yeah, totally agree. The other thing that Penny did when she was talking about managing team members of different generations and how to think about that.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, that was good. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Steve Seid:
Teams are changing generationally, right? We're at a transition phase. And so if you're not thinking about how to work with those Gen Zs, how to work with Millennials, how work is going to change, you know, you're probably going to fall behind and nothing more important than talent, right? So maybe I'll just leave it there, but I thought go back and listen to that episode, if you want to dig into that. Okay. I'll throw another one out there. My next one's from Dax Stadjuhar, when we were talking to Dax we were about to, or so we thought, reopen the economy. Like COVID was close to done, right? And we all felt like, okay, we got through that, let's go back to the office or let's start normalizing, And Dax was like, "Well, hold on. First of all, even if you go back to the office, you're probably not going back to the office full time…

Kurt Dupuis:
Right.

Steve Seid:
…and we're probably not necessarily done with this." And that turned out to be correct. It was dragged a lot longer. So his main point was get your game – your ability to communicate with clients, get that locked in. What is the message that you're able to deliver over Zoom and really upping your game and reflecting on that after a year of sitting at home. To me that resonated. Like I changed the way my office looked after talking to him. Does that make sense?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. And I think one of the points was work from home is not going away. So make sure your hardware, like your equipment is on par at home like it is in the office because this hybrid world is going to be a thing. I actually saw this week there was an interview, I think Bill Maher had with Kevin O'Leary, the SharkTank guy.

Steve Seid:
Yes. I saw it.

Kurt Dupuis:
And he surveyed their clients and he said even some of their suppliers. So the sample size was like 10,000 people. And they thought about 15% would not want to come back. They would want to stay remote. And the number was over 50% and he even described some key personnel that he still wants work with the company, but they want to go work on a farm or live on a farm that they grew up on, but keep working for him. And he is like, "I've got to figure out ways to accommodate that." It's like, that's not what I would've picked, but that's what he wants. And he's great. And I want to keep him, so I've got to accommodate that. So we're going to be talking about that years to come, I think.

Steve Seid:
100%. Okay. Next one for you.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. So my next one's also with Penny and it was the idea of relentless prospecting. So you being your own billboard and with clients, with COIs, with people at the grocery store that you meet, it's like ABC, like Always Be Closing and always be like promoting yourself. What we only briefly talked about though, and I think it's a precursor to getting to that point, is doing the work of really figuring out where your value is, and then being able to communicate it in a succinct way. But she just described this idea of relentless prospecting that you've got to be comfortable saying the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again. It's a message I constantly have to tell myself, because I just think if I say something once people remember, even though I know I'm not that kind of person. So just really having like an airtight value proposition that succinctly describes what you do, but that has that emotionally impact to connect with people. And then just put that record on repeat.

Steve Seid:
Heck yeah. Relentless prospecting. I mean even just saying that.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's a great word, It's empowering.

Steve Seid:
I think you gritted your teeth when you said that.

Kurt Dupuis:
I might Have. It's a problem.

Steve Seid:
One other point I'd have to make is Elyse Archer. That episode has not come out. I think that has the potential to be a top fiver. We're not there yet.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, for sure.

Steve Seid:
I'm going to throw my last one out there and then I'm going to make two comments towards the end on some other things this year. My last one was Julie Littlechild.

Kurt Dupuis:
Same.

Steve Seid:
The referrals conversation that I've heard this industry have since I've been in it has been, "Hey, we should script this better." Right?

Kurt Dupuis:
It's bass ackwards

Steve Seid:
If you say it better, you'll get more referrals, and that never felt right to me because I've been in situations where people are pushy about referrals, but I give referrals when people give me good service and that's kind of what Kurt and I have always talked about on this, is like service the heck out of your clients and you'll get the referrals. But what she talked about, reducing referral friction and the things that you can do, I'm like, BOOM. So go back and listen to that episode if you haven't heard it.

Kurt Dupuis:
So that was my last one also.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
And I have like a page of notes on that. So let's get more dense.

Steve Seid:
Go ahead.

Kurt Dupuis:
On this. So I attended one of her webinars that talked about the myths of referrals and the main myth that I see is that clients aren't referring and 42% of them said in the last 12 months, they have referred their advisor to someone else. And that is completely opposed to what financial professionals say, which is 5%. So what we're describing here is that referral gap. 42% of the time clients are referring, 5% of the time, we're seeing those referrals. So she makes the point is like, we don't need more referrals. We do need to do better job at capturing referrals. So how do we do that? She talks about articulating value and not just saying, "Hey, my advisor's a great guy." You need to tell your clients what that process is going to look like. Right?

I'm going to reach out to them one time by phone, one time by email, after that I'm done. If you are gracious enough to send me a referral, I'm not going to continue to badger this person. That's not our process. So articulating that process. She describes that, I don't need to rehash the whole episode, but it's just so good. It's also asking a lot of clients, right? So they have to love you enough to refer, then they have to themselves recognize an opportunity to refer you, then be able to articulate your value to them. And then it's just asking a lot for folks. So ways to reduce that friction are like a specific landing page on your website, where you can send people. She talks about trigger language.

So it's not like, "Hey, I'm retiring. I need a financial professional." It's like, no, my kids are making bad money decisions or I'm dealing with the health of an elderly parent or my own health. It doesn't have to be just, "Hey, I'm retiring. I need somebody to help me with money." So understanding where those points in life where referrals are needed and attaching stories for what you're already doing for clients, and then making it easy by just sending to like, "Hey, if you ever wanted to refer us, send them to this website, this is the only place you need to send them. It's the only thing you need to know."

Steve Seid:
Y
eah. Let me make two comments on that. One, I think that landing page, don't breeze over that because that's a really big deal. And in fact, I had a client of mine, Jeff, reach out to me and like, "Hey, that's a great idea to have a whole referral page where someone's just got to share a link."

Kurt Dupuis:
I know.

Steve Seid:
Like, I don't know if you can get away with that, whatever firm you are, but if you can, look into that. That's brilliant. And I do love the idea to your point about having the stories and by the way, Kurt, you and I should be doing that too when we go in to see people. When we're going to see a branch manager, "Hey, here's some stories of businesses that we've worked on and helped. This is specifically what we've done." So I'm not surprised she was on both of our lists. I thought that was so practical.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. So we also started this year talking about this is going to be the year of growth, right?

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Like marketing ideas, how are people going to grow? And it just strikes me as closing this gap and being more thoughtful about how we interact with clients.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. It was a heck of a year. So can I reflect on a couple other things from the year that I think I really want to say? And the first of those being, thank you to the audience who listens to us. This is, when did we launch this? What episode are we up to now, Kurt, 30?

Kurt Dupuis:
35 ish.

Steve Seid:
35.

Kurt Dupuis:
34.

Steve Seid:
So we're cranking these out and we're doing it because we get energized by it, but also because there's people that are listening. So thank you guys. And I want to reflect on a couple things because those top five ideas, we're leaving a lot of stuff out there and I don't want anybody to take offense. Each episode had something terrific. There were a few guests I had on this year that just were special for me to have on the show, Jared Morris, who came on, he's been on twice. I listen to his podcast all the time, just to have him take the time to come on our show is big. My professor...

Kurt Dupuis:
Again.

Steve Seid:

Again. My professor Dr. Wayne Winston that came on and just had like this awesome conversation with us. You know, those two are just really special to me. I'm sure having, for example, Robbie come on was special for you. Like that was an amazing conversation. So there was a few that stuck out as being kind of special, you know?

Kurt Dupuis:
Absolutely. And what we're also dealing with is there's stuff that's kind of squarely in the practice management realm.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
And then there's this like ancillary stuff. So like the Dr. Wayne Winston that was like, not squarely on practice management, but there were some takeaways. Same with Robbie. He is not a financial professional, but he's a great team culture builder. So to the extent that that's important to you, that is a banger episode, but, you know, it's not everybody's cup of tea.

Steve Seid:
So here's a question for you. My last thing I want to comment, internal partners that were on the show that came from our organization. There were a bunch of them this year and I want to thank those people. Do you know how many we had, should I give you multiple choice? Or do you want to just guess a number?

Kurt Dupuis:
It's at least three. Nope. Four, no, six. I'm going with six.

Steve Seid:
It's six. You got six.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yes!

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I hope I'm not missing anybody on this.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, we probably are.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And If we are, just-

Kurt Dupuis:
Sorry in advance.

Steve Seid:
We'll buy you a drink. I'm sorry about that. But Ben Alge was back on, he was killer as always, Tom Singler, John O'Neal, Mary Mock, our head of sales - second time for her. But how about this? Two other people that aren't even in the Touchstone organization that are broadly from Western Southern Financial Group, Bill Deihl, James Schleicher. That's awesome. You look like I'm missing somebody.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh yeah, no, did we have internals on?

Steve Seid:
I think that was the year before.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, I got to the right number, just wrong people,

Steve Seid:
But that's pretty cool. Like how many of our internal folks are coming on and providing value and engaging with the show. Hopefully we could do more of that.

Kurt Dupuis:
“The Truthie Family”.

Steve Seid:
I'm just sitting here feeling gratitude, Kurt. I think I'm really proud of what we put together this year.

Kurt Dupuis:

I am too man. And excited just to get back to it again next year.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. We got big plans for next year. We got guests lined up.

Kurt Dupuis:
New certifications, new coaching tools. Uh huh.

Steve Seid:
It was funny when Jared was on, he was like, "You got to get through a certain number of episodes to hit your stride. And if you're still energized, you're still good to go." I feel pretty energized about what we have upcoming.

Kurt Dupuis:
Same, same.

Steve Seid:
Cool. All right. Well, thanks everybody for an absolutely terrific 2021. We're going to come back with our Costanza corner. This is The Whole Truth, stick with us.

Kurt Dupuis:
And welcome back to the Costanza corner where we like to end the show on a high note. Steve, what you got for us, bud?

Steve Seid:
A couple things today.

Kurt Dupuis:
Ooh…twofer!

Steve Seid:
First I want to... yeah. I am happy to report for my Northern California people that we finally got some rain after probably the biggest drought in a really, really long time. We got this huge rainstorm and I was just like dancing in the rain when it came through. That's how happy I was.

Kurt Dupuis:
Really?

Steve Seid:
Oh my God.

Kurt Dupuis:
You and your daughter just hanging out out there, huh?

Steve Seid:
Yeah, we’re just… It's probably the first legit time that she's seen rain and been conscious of it. Like I know you guys get plenty of water in the east.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. That's so wild to think about.

Steve Seid:
In the west, man, you just like, "if we don't get enough in the winter, there is no rain for the rest of the year." And this year was just brutal. So you could just see it in the landscape and you see reservoirs going lower and you start conserving water, and it really is kind of crazy out here. But then all of a sudden we just got like an early storm this year and oh, I feel so much better about life.

Kurt Dupuis:
So your climate is pretty steady throughout the year, but it seems like it's always either like torrential rains or a desert or a firestorm, like one of those three things happening at all times.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. California's amazing. But there definitely are, the elements out here, so to speak. But yeah, it rains in the winter as I just said, between usually November and March, and then after that, it just stops. If you don't get enough and you've got warming climate, that's why we're starting to get the fires because not enough water, heating climate, too dry. And so that's the other thing by the way about the rain is that it actually put out what was left of fire season. Yes, there is a fire season out here. I would like to say that doesn't happen every year, but evidence would suggest otherwise.

Kurt Dupuis:
All right, what else you got?

Steve Seid:
Here's a good one. There was a survey about volunteering and basically, people volunteer to be selfless. That's the whole point, but we all know that it is kind of selfish in itself because ultimately it makes you feel really good.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's the feeling you get.

Steve Seid:
That's it.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm with it.

Steve Seid:
And so essentially there was this massive survey that was done with thousands of people and over half of response said that helping someone with a task, donating, et cetera, et cetera, made their day better. The survey found that good deeds are a reward because of hidden mental and physical health benefits causing the people who perform them to feel Happy: 92%, Relax: 77% and Healthy: 71%. So I absolutely can attest to this that just the best I ever feel is that when I give back and yeah, the study backs it up.

Kurt Dupuis:
So volunteering is healthy. You could skip the gym. Just go volunteer.

Steve Seid:
Just go volunteer. Absolutely. Thanks everybody. We'll see you next time.

Kurt Dupuis:
You can find The Whole truth and subscribe for free on Apple Podcast, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. We'd love it if you took the time to rate and review the show on Apple Podcast, it helps others find the show. And for more episodes of the whole truth, go to www.touchstoneinvestments.com/the wholetruth. That's touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. All one word.

Disclosure:
Please note that this content was created as of the specific date indicated and reflects views as of that date. It will be kept solely for historical purposes and opinions may change without notice in reacting to shifting economic, market, business and other conditions. Touchstone Funds are distributed by Touchstone securities incorporated, a registered broker dealer and member FINRA and SIPC.